States that do not ban texting by drivers could forfeit hundreds of millions of dollars in federal highway funds under legislation introduced Wednesday in the Senate.Under the measure, states would have two years to outlaw the sending of text and e-mail messages by drivers or lose 25 percent of their highway money each year until the money was depleted.Studies show this is far more dangerous than talking on a phone while driving or driving while drunk, which is astounding,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, one of four Democratic senators to introduce the proposal.Regulation of the roadways generally happens at the state level. But the federal government has exerted pressure on the states based on the threat of withholding federal highway funds, as Congress did in 1984 to pressure states to raise the minimum drinking age to 21 years.The Governors Highway Safety Association, a group that represents state highway safety agencies in every state, opposes texting while driving but does not support the proposed legislation.
“We oppose sanctioning states since there is not yet a proven effective method for enforcing a texting or cellphone ban,” an association spokesman, Jonathan Adkins, said.
I still wonder what are we going to ban next in the name of saftey while driving. Seriously, at what point do we stop legislating and just require some common sense?