AAA Michigan Applauds Legislators for First Step in Banning Texting While Driving

October 22, 2009

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ — AAA Michigan today (October 22) applauded legislators for their vote which would ban all motorists from text messaging while driving in Michigan. Today’s bill was passed by the House Transportation committee and will be sent to the full house for consideration.

“AAA Michigan strongly supports this bill and we hope that it will be passed as a primary enforcement offense,” said AAA Michigan Traffic Safety Manager Jack Peet. “We understand the wireless carriers, such as AT&T, lobbied the transportation committee members to make this a secondary offense. We hope the wireless carriers will see the safety reasons why this bill should be passed as primary enforcement legislation.

“The technologies that help us multitask in our everyday lives present a hard-to-resist challenge to the typically safe driver,” Peet added. “Today’s action is a great step in helping to make our roads safer. Studies have shown that a driver’s crash risk doubles when he or she looks away from the road for two or more seconds. Text messaging while driving is a clear and persistent danger to all drivers.”

AAA Michigan joins AAA clubs across the country in working on new legislative and communications/educational campaigns to help pass laws banning text messaging by drivers in all 50 states by 2013. Currently, 18 states and the District of Columbia have laws that address text messaging by all drivers. Two more states have laws that prohibit teens or other new drivers from texting while driving.

AAA Michigan cites strong public support for text message ban laws and new research by the Automobile Club of Southern California showing the impact of California’s texting ban, implemented in California in January, 2009. Prior to the California texting while driving ban, researchers observed 1.4 percent of drivers at any point in time in Orange County, Calif., were texting while driving. Following the law taking effect, just 0.4 percent of drivers were observed texting – a decline of about 70 percent.

AAA Michigan has been involved in driving safety since its founding nearly a century ago, with activities including the AAA School safety patrol and road safety improvement programs. AAA Michigan offers travel, insurance and financial services to more than 1.6 million members in Michigan. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG), the largest affiliation of AAA clubs in the Midwest, with approximately 4.1 million members in eight states. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation, a not-for-profit organization with more than 51 million members in the United States and Canada.



Source: newswire

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