NY Governor Andrew Cuomo recently unveiled a series of designated texting zones along the New York State Thruway, the major road that runs east-west across the state. The idea is to give drivers a safe place to pull over so they can continue the text over who won or lost last night on Dancing With The Stars and other equally critical communications. The 298 signs along the road are in addition to all existing rest areas and parking areas which are also considered safe places to text about the horrible outfit that girl in math wore.
Texting while driving is illegal in New York State and enforcement of that law has actually been pretty aggressive with State Police issuing 21,580 tickets this summer; about four times the 5,208 tickets they gave out last summer. Numerous studies have shown that texting while driving is very dangerous and has been responsible for many accidents and deaths. Setting up safe texting zones seems like one of those ideas that is either very smart or it will just encourages people to pay more attention to their phones than what they’re actually supposed to be doing in the real world.
“New York state is continuing to use every tool at its disposal to combat texting while driving,” Cuomo said in a news release. “In addition to tougher penalties, new detection methods for State Police and ongoing public outreach efforts, we are now launching special Texting Zones to allow motorists to pull over and use their phones.” While you can’t legislate common sense and stupidity is still not a crime, this is probably not a bad move for the state to make. The really interesting question is how long before they start charging motorists to use these zones.
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Image courtesy of wamu.org.