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August 4th, 2009
08:41 AM ET

To Ban or Not to Ban

Although we probably don’t like to admit it, many of us are guilty of having sent a text while driving. If you were told that texting while driving could increase your chance of getting into an accident by more than 20 times…would it make you think twice before reaching for your cell phone? Well, new research from Virginia Tech suggests just this. And the Government is planning to do something about it.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is meeting with a committee of experts next month to figure out what to do about the problem and says that if it were up to him, he would ban texting while driving altogether. What would you do? Do you think the Government should implement and enforce this ban?

Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Jimmy

    The government shouldn't have to get involved in something like this. People should just be smart enough NOT to text while they are operating a motor vehicle.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  2. george villegas

    what i would do i put cellular signal blockers in cars and that way solve the problem.


    August 4, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  3. Beth in VA

    I remember a time when you had to stop at a pay phone to talk to somebody while in transit. You have hands-free cell phones to allow you to talk to whomever it is that sent you the text, there is no reason to have to text somebody while on the road. It would be a shame to have to live with the guilt of killing some family so that you could text back LOL to somebody's joke.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  4. JZ

    Texting should be banned. The movie Seven Pounds says it all.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  5. David

    As someone who text messages while driving, I have to say YES – ban me. After many close calls, I am slowly learning my lesson. As someone to stare at their feet for five seconds while they are driving and they will tell you you are crazy. Well, what's the difference between that and text messaging. Okay, back to driving.... 🙂

    August 4, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  6. Fil

    They should most definitely ban cell phone usage of any manner while operating a motor vehicle. In addition the offense should be treated on the same level as DUI / DWI if not worse. I've seen one too many idiots have too many close calls because they are too busy talking on the phone or even worse texting!

    August 4, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  7. Darryl Matthews

    My hope is the automobile industry can install a chip in cars that will jam cell phones while the car in in motion. If you need to make an emergency call, pull over and stop. It should be mandatory to install this device and cars on the road retro-fitted. I see far too many people driving and looking at their phones. unfortunately too many distractions have caused too many deaths due to accidents.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  8. Lisa

    Ban. I think talking without hands free and texting should be banned. Everyday see some person holding up traffic or driving bad due to talking or texting.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  9. Meagan

    I think that banning texting while driving would help in teaching drivers, especially young ones, how to become more responsible. All it takes is a second for an accident to happen, and texting only gives that opportunity for more to go wrong.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  10. Jay Cannon

    Texting while driving is extremly dangerous, some people arent that great of drivers and when you add another distraction, thats just a reciepe for disaster. There doesn't need to be more studies on this, the proof is in the countless lives that have been lost from texting and driving.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  11. Jaye

    Absolutely texting should be banned. What purpose does it serve to text while driving? Why should we discriminate on just texting? What about talking on a cell phone? Even if using a headset a person is distracted dialing the number, fumbling to to the headset in, etc. And don't get me started on GPS systems. Does anyone think looking over at a GPS to punch in an address or view the screen isn't distracting? How about we go back to what automobiles were designed for...getting to a destination in the safest way possible.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  12. Dino Ianniello

    I completely and fully support a ban on Texting while driving with steep fines and suspension of license for a period of time for repeat offenders. This rising risk on the road today is nearly on par with the irresponsibility of drunk driving and DUI.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  13. Cecily Beard

    Please, please, please ban texting while driving. When behind the wheel, the business at hand is DRIVING and should be nothing else.

    And while the research doesn't yet seem to support it, please require hands-free phoning. In my driving experience, many of my "close calls" involved drivers with one hand holding a phone to their ears. Hands-free at least allows two hands on the wheel (and concentration levels shouldn't be any different than talking to a passenger). I believe that long-term research will prove this out...

    August 4, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  14. Gordon Tyler

    I'll have to admit that I tried to text while driving once. Won't ever try again. I tend to think that the only way to stop it is to have the phones detect movement and turn off that feature (and probably other distracting features). It could work similar to the way the GPS navigation systems prevent you from entering an address if you are moving. Of course, the problem is that the people that aren't driving could be locked out too. Let's see if the phone manufacturers can come up with something clever...

    August 4, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  15. horse

    This is not even a debate, i didn't even know people use to text while driving, i think that's a stupid practice. If you can get charge for talking on your cell phone while driving, why not while texting which is more dangerous. you're not only endangering your life but also other people's lives.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  16. Pamela Rini

    I definitely think it should be banned! "Texting" while driving is a HUGE distraction. Those people who do it should just think how they would feel if one of their loved ones were in an accident or possibly killed because someone driving near them was "texting". It is selfish and immature. People need to wait till they are not operating a vehicle to text someone. We have become a society that feels the need to be communicating via cell phone or text message constantly. Concentrating on the road seems to be a thing of the past with some people, and I fear it will lead to many accidents and deaths.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  17. John

    Being a young driver, I have to admit that I am guilty of texting while driving. I may perform this act, but it does not mean that I support my actions. I do feel that this issue has caused many car-related incidents in the past years, but I feel that the Obama administration has to take on more important issues before handling something like this. For me to fully support this government movement, I need to see other changes occur.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  18. Charles Hirth

    Yes!!! I am a texter and they should ban texting. They should also ban the application of makeup while driving, reading newspapers and cell phones.


    Jefferson City, MO

    August 4, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  19. Prakash Shiwakoti

    I would think texting while driving is really dangerous for the driver itself and the other drivers around. Although many of us know it is dangerous, we are addicted to texting and ignore the dangers before us. Worst thing I have seen is texting while driving by the cab drivers and public bus drivers.

    Prakash Shiwakoti,
    San Jose, CA

    August 4, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  20. Dennis King

    Texting and cell phone use is killing and injuring too many people. They need to be chargable driving offenses ASAP. I , at age 62 DO NOT text will driving. I will pull off the road if it very necessary to respond at that moment. I also avoid cell phone use unless it's a know call, and then I will pull off the side of the road. I see big rig drivers, delivery people, all walks of life doing this dangerious pastime behind the wheel. It needs to stop!!!

    August 4, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  21. Michael Murphy

    Only a complete idiot would text while driving. Ban it completely.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  22. Peter C. King

    You have only to look at the accident statistics to conclude that a motor vehicle is one of the deadliest implements in history. Anything that distracts a driver should be banned, including:




    August 4, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  23. Conrad Archer

    At 60 mph a quick glance left or right sometimes find me heading off the road or onto another lane. Texting cannot possibly be done in less than three seconds (for the simplest text). It should be banned, but enforcement is problematic.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  24. Romaine Harper

    So glad this question on texting was asked today. Yesterday I was walking past the rear of a car & suddenly it backed up and I had to use my hand to bounce myself away from it and even at that, the car touched my hip. The young girl in the car had not even looked back before she started to back up. I was parked right next to her and as I walked to my car door, I looked at her and...guess what...she was either dialing a number on her cell or texting. I pointed to her & mouthed.....Get Off The Phone! This is only 1 of many experiences on the road with people texting & holding their cell talking. I have a cell but use a bluetooth and only use my phone on the road for emergencies!

    August 4, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  25. Gavin Palmer

    There are many people who do not respect the dangers and responsibility involved when driving. I have been in traffic while talking on the phone. I can tell the person I am talking to to wait while I address the more important issues of driving safely. People who speak to me, whether on the phone or in the passenger seat(s), must realize that driving is my top priority... and I will ignore the conversation if I need to.

    It is a common problem in the United States for people to misalign their priorities.

    I am always against regulations that attempt to prevent irresponsibility unless the regulations involved certification/testing... similar to a driving test. However, our driving tests utterly fail to address the inability of drivers to respectfully prioritize.

    I can drive while drunk, text, read, talk, and do many other things because I prioritize... but I am the minority.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  26. Mike G

    You are actually debating whether this should be banned or not??? What idiot would think that it shouldn't be? Too many people are getting hurt or worse by drivers (mostly young people) who think that they are indestructible or that texting while driving is safe. What about the poor guy they run into or over.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  27. Phil

    I think we should ban cell phones altogether while driving. People need to keep their minds on moving their 2000+ lbs of steel around others.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  28. mrsfigueroa3467

    I can't believe even need a law to ban texting while drivign. Are we so stupid that we don't not to realize that you should not text while driving. Would you type a term paper while driving?

    August 4, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  29. Roland

    Congress can jump on these types of laws, but no one seems to make even an idle effort to filter pornography from children easily available through the internet to any child with an electronics device and a close wireless network. Which is doing more damage?

    August 4, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  30. Jerry Lester

    Absolutely! Too many times, I've seen the car in front of me weave in and out of the lane it is traveling in due to the driver playing with their cell phone...obvioulsy texting or reading email. A lot of states are now enforcing a hands-free device for talking on a phone in an effort to keep our roads safe to travel; to me, this is a bigger problem as it takes your hand(s), eyes, and mind away from driving!

    August 4, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  31. John Senter

    I commute on one of the busiest stretches of the interstate highway system, IH-35 between Austin and San Antonio, Texas. I have observed a girl texting while speeding. She was completely oblivious to her surroundings while steering with her knees! I am for a ban on texting while driving because, not only will they kill themselves, but they are going to bring other drivers with them to the grave!

    August 4, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  32. Leonard

    There is nothing new about this research. As a statistician and natural thinker I know without reasonable doubt that driving cannot go with texting it is just like driving with your eyes closed.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  33. Erica C.

    I honestly don’t understand why anyone would want to text while driving……it’s bad enough we all talk on the phone. But with that said, I don’t think lawmakers should take the rights of people to be responsible enough to make the right decision for themselves…..

    August 4, 2009 at 9:48 am |


    August 4, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  35. Alex Hanga (Rochester, NY)

    I am an avid bicyclist and recently I was riding on a relatively safe and wide road near my home. I was on my way back from a pretty lengthy ride when I noticed in my side view mirror a car driving on the shoulder behind me. I immediately swerved so that this car wouldn't hit me and as the car passed I was able to peer into the passenger side window to see a woman holding her BlackBerry near her stick shift. She was obviously text messaging and thus not paying attention to the road. What made me more angry was that she had a bike rack on her car so she, I would think, understands the perils of biking. She made a turn relatively soon after she missed me into a neighborhood so I followed and found that she was literally a minute away from stopping. So what could have been so urgent that she couldn't wait one minute to reply to this text? I was going to ask her but her young daughter (I assume) came out to meet her. I let it slide but made a mental note of her license plate and came home and wrote it down. I planned on posting a note on my Facebook status but didn't. If I ever run into her again doing that (unlikely) I will take further action.

    I have a BlackBerry and am in sales and have been in a car with salespeople who are driving in busy traffic and text messaging or even emailing while swerving through traffic. I have also encountered people while I am driving who are swerving and I notice them with their phones. I believe this is the biggest hazard on the road today, bigger than DWI because at least drunks are trying to pay attention to the road!

    I say ban it completely!

    August 4, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  36. Tammy

    I would hate to know that my loved ones life ended because of this. To many distractions already.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  37. Bob Stafford

    It should be a "no brainer" All Cell Phone use, including texting should be banned by the driver of any vehicle. I understand there is technology that can render either the vehicle or the cell phone inoperative if the two are tried at the same time. Go for it!

    Bob Stafford
    Brainerd MN

    August 4, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  38. Ed Cronin

    I have seen many close mishaps on the road, luckily the other 50% of the drivers are watching out for people busy on there cell phones,
    I would consider it reckless driving.
    Washington state pass a new law recently, adding an extra fine if you get into an accident while using a cell phone. worthless law.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  39. Aj

    Of course it should be banned, so should the use of a cell phone while driving should have restricitions ( FOR ALL STATES) cell phones should be Hands Free no if or but's about it just as seat belts are required. You have to have peripheral viison to drive. My grandchildrern and I were almost killed the other day if I had not been paying attention and looking in my rear view mirror. I had been sitting at a light for 3 seconds and a car came flying up behind me phone glued to their ear and I swerved over to the next lane and a car that was exiitng off an interstate ramp had to turn their car to miss them also. Texting should be banned we already deal with people applying facial products and men shaving their beards..TEXTING WHILE DRIVING NO !!!

    August 4, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  40. Harris Morison

    The government can ban it,but what good would it do?.They have made talking on your cell phone illegal in some states.It doesn't stop anyone from doing it.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  41. Bob McGraw

    HI Heidi... Great show!

    It's a "no brainer" if you ask me. I've personally witnessed two people running red lights while texting in the past few weeks. I was waiting for the light to turn green and therefore had an excellent "point of view" – a clear view of the both drivers as they traversed the intersection without a care in the world.. If I had proceeded through the intersection the moment the light changed I would have been "T-boned" without a doubt.

    Keep up the good work,

    August 4, 2009 at 9:52 am |

    I think this is somethiing experts dont have to meet and discuss over, people are killing inocent people through accedents and to me I think there should be a ban right away to stop the use of cell phone either texting or talking.
    Secndly the government needs money for health care high ticket fee should be imposed for offenders to pay

    August 4, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  43. David Paoli

    The government should definitely enforce the ban on texting while driving because if there is no legal deterrent to preventing hazardous social behaviors such as texting while driving, people will naturally continue to do them despite the fact that they are potentially subjecting themselves and other people to a collision with a speeding car. I see this negligent and self destructive behavior in other avenues of life as well–smoking, for instance, probably kills more people per year than automobile accidents from texting while driving, yet still we allow people to smoke. There should be a ban on texting while driving, smoking, and all other behaviors and substances that are potentially hazardous to the health and well being of society. As part of the societal contract between man and the state stated by John Locke, I feel it is the state's natural obligation to uphold the well being of the "commonwealth" in which all people sacrifice their liberty to live under the laws of the state because it is mutually beneficial for them to do so. In conclusion, It is in the best interest of the common well being of societal members to ban texting as substantiated by the philosophy of John Locke.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  44. Kassy

    There have been recent efforts nationwide to charge drunk drivers who cause a fatality wreck with depraved indifference murder.

    I think texting while driving should be banned the same as drunk driving and I think if a fatality wreck is caused by a texting driver, that driver should be charged with murder.

    Those who argue against a murder charge for drunk drivers base their arguments on the impaired capacity created by drinking – they were drunk so they didn't know they shouldn't drive. No matter how much credence you give to that argument, there is no corresponding argument for texting while you drive. Texters are not incapacitated before they get behind the wheel – they consciously choose to impair themselves by doing something they know is dangerous.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  45. Kurt Christensen

    I live in Salt Lake City, UT where it is illegal to text and drive. Personally I don't agree with it. I am a texter and many times receive messages while driving. Even though I agree with how the number of accidents increase if engaged in texting, I still am guilty of doing it. But I have learned to memorize my phone's keypad and can text without taking my eyes off the road. Plus I try to save my texting when I'm at a stop light vice actually driving. If people will be more smart about how they text while behind the wheel we may not have to go to the extent of banning it all together.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  46. al quinn

    Heidi, I think all cellphone usage should be illegal unless a hands free system has been installed. Texting requires two hands and diverts eye scan from your direction of travel so it needs to be banned unless a hands free system like a HUD, head up display, can be made. An HUD would permit sight of potential conflicts ahead but requires a 'on screen' touch pad to cap off a safe system. Of course, a soiled screen (windshield) would also pose a threat.
    Thanks for listening.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  47. Louis Napoli

    Most cell phones have gps capability, as such, speed can be measured. Add a feature that disables texting if the gps shows speeds greater than 10 mph.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  48. eProducer

    Texting is suicide. The problem is that you might kill yourself and innocent people, too. Witness the recent rash of mass transit accidents where texting was involved. Ban texting nationwide.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  49. Carol Ginzburg

    Why is this even an issue?


    Driving involves one split second decision after another: is the car in my blind spot going to change lanes just when I was planning to do so? has traffic suddenly slowed because of an obstacle or accident ahead – or even just for heavy traffic? has a child darted into the street chasing a ball? did I fail to see a stop sign endangering a pedestrian I also did not see?

    There is barely time to respond to any of these situations and many others even when my full attention is on the road. I NEVER take my eyes off the road, and if there is a passenger in the car who is talking to me, I slow down because I know I am distracted by conversation. Driving requires 100% of my attention – and has for the 52 years I've been driving, with little more than a fender-bender on my record. The only thing I can safely do in the car while at the wheel is listen to the radio or a CD that is already in place.

    I often remember that teen-ager who was "just reaching into the backseat for a CD," when she killed 4 people on bicycles, all parents of young children.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  50. David Walls

    As a former truck driver of 20 years, you get a birds eye view of what goes on in passing autos. Keeping it clean, to see someone texting, operating their laptop, or reading a newspaper at 75 mph. is a common occurance. It is also mandatory for a truck driver who is piloting an 80,000 lb. car crushing missile to answer by text on their Qaul-com texting machine, (which resembles a laptop) their respective companies inquireis. For them to find a place to pull over a 70 ft. long vehicle everytime they need to answer would be impractical, unsafe, and make for late deliveries, as well as putting the drivers employment in jeopardy.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  51. Cathy L

    Technology is great and it was created to make our lifes easier, is the individuals that need to be aware and understand the responsibility behind the wheels, please think about the pain you can cause to others and yourself before you do it.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  52. Silvia Sanza

    I cannot understand the slightest disinclination to totally ban texting. Things happen so fast that to fail to pay full attention with eyes on the road at all times can be devastating. A five second text msg is the equivalent of closing your eyes. It's even more distressing than cell phones - at least with cell phones your eyes are on where you're going.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  53. marsh

    another way take people money– state of nc had once use red light camera. and said it was for safety purpose.( they had great reason why they should do this) within 2 yrs they STOP it because money (millions) they thought they suppose to get from it they wouldnt get it until years later.... this no different , they use texting accidents to justified what they are doing.(like red light cameras)

    so texting accidents not what they wory about –it money they can make behind it–follow the money!!!!!

    August 4, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  54. CJ

    What’s next? A taxpayer-funded summit to determine whether or not to ban the reading of Moby Dick while driving? For crissake, even a drunk has enough sense to keep his or her eyes on the road! We’ve become a nation of morons. Best would be telecoms ceasing to provide text-messaging service altogether. But that will never happen. Fine then. If idiots must text while driving, then they should be arrested soon as spotted doing so by cops. Phones confiscated and hauled off to jail to be charged with DWT (driving while texting). When convicted, their licenses suspended for a year and a stiff fine levied, if not a few more days in jail. Or both.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  55. DW

    I'm on the road daily due to my career. Most slow drivers are texting, dialing or talking on cell phones causing road congestion. This becomes a dangerous hazard. In our town drivers messing with their cell phones have caused several highway deaths. Currently, detectives investigate accident time with drivers cell calls, texting, reading email times. Throw in texting, smoking, applying make-up, drinking coffee, plus children and you have an accident waiting to happen. If your busy with your phone, you should be held liable for your accident regardless of who is at fault, just like not having insurance being your fault for the accident. California started that law and in the first week had a high number of ticket, however enforcement soon redirected the efforts some where else so that was a true was of time and money. If our legislators pass a national bill, be sure to pass the penalty/consequences at the same time or this too will be another unenforceable law. DW

    August 4, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  56. David B

    If wearing a seatbelt is law then texting while driving must be considered as illegle? Hands free phone calls and wireless systems in cars are available to talk. Ban texting and impose high fines.

    However, the problem is much harder to police, how do you catch offenders? Is this safety first education for the drivers, you need to teach this at driving school, so as to instil the correct attitude to driving safely and will take a few years to see the change.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  57. Tanefouet Fils

    There is no reason why someone should be texting while driving. He/she is a danger to him/herself and to other drivers and road users. We should ban texting and cellphone use while driving and should go to the extent of withdrawing the driving licence of the defaulters.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  58. David Walls

    P.S. The trucking companies formerly mentioned, (to limit THIER LIABILITY) will say the Qual-com warns not to use while operating the vehicle all the while knowing the deivers job is in jeopardy if they can't safely reply.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  59. Joshua Kosches

    Texting While Driving (TWD) needs to be banned
    and is even worse then driving while talking since
    you are taking your eyes off the road for a much
    longer time then it would take you to dial a number.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  60. eProducer

    Gavin, do you have insurance? If you have a family, please buy some right away, Hopefully, you won't kill anyone else when you meet the grim reaper during a drunken binge or texting while drunk driving. Enjoy your anticipated short life while you can, or stop your cavalier attitude, stop texting and driving impaired, and live longer.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  61. Gregory P Frost

    Dear Heidi, I am a professional driver, I drive from coast to coast. There has got to be something done about this right now! This texting while driving is alot worse than drunk driving . I see it so often , That I have quit driving altogether. I do not want to run over and kill someone for their stupidity. It has got so bad that I count the cars that go by me and I look down at them just to see if the driver is texting. yes ,, at least 8 out of 10. Are in fact distracted drivers. I am so shocked that this is in fact happening on our roadways. I have even seen truckers texting while driving and running off the road almost crashing , barely missing a crash .. Please help get these Idiots off our roadways.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  62. audrey

    If people can't talk on the cell phone and drive, how on earth would they think they can text and drive?

    They need to ban texting while driving, allowing only hands free cell phone usage.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  63. Jason P. Snyder

    Texting while driving should be BANNED.... It is worse than DUI.
    At least a drunk has his eye on the road!

    August 4, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  64. Johnny

    Hiedi, Is this just another move by the Federal government to infringe on State's rights? Let the the State's decide whether to ban texting and driving. Doesn't the Federal government have more inportant things to do? BTW: Great show!

    August 4, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  65. Amy Skewes-Cox

    Banning text messaging while driving is absolutely essential. My 16 year old shows complete distraction when texting when he's standing at the kitchen door. I hate to think of his limited awareness if behind a wheel.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  66. David Schutt

    No, texting should not be allowed while driving. Why do we not do a hands free texting some thing similar to the automated typing programs or even voice recording. This could be incorporated in the blue tooth. this way you would not be taken your eyes off of the road.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  67. Ed North Carolina

    It is not just texting, but talking too. Watched a lady talking on her cell phone hit the car in front of her at a stop light. She put the car in reverse hitting the car behind her while still talking on the phone. Texting or talking while driving is dangerous. There is no difference, all should be banned.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  68. Greg Mulcahy


    August 4, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  69. Tim

    If I'm not mistaken laws have been passed in alot of states already that cell phone use is illegal while driving a vehicle, this to my understanding does and or should include texting, talking or anything else involved with a cell phone. So banning texting for states that don't have an illegal cell phone law would be ineffective. Passing a law to punish those who get in an accident after the fact to me just isn't the best solution for the problem.
    Cell Phone manufacturers need to take an active approach to effectively create a product in conjuction with the auto industry manufacturers, example: such as car stereo dvd players, these have a brake grounding switch that the dvd player only works once the cars brake is applied or the car is in PARK.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  70. Mark

    It definitely should be banned. I've seen numerous teenage drivers text while driving and this is extremely dangerous and teaches unsafe practices to our young. In addition cell phone usage should also be banned while driving unless using a wireless device. That is one of the main reasons people don't use their signals because they have a phone in one hand.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  71. MMW

    We have laws in place to keep small children in the proper carseats and I have never seen those laws enforced. What makes anyone think that a law against sending a text while driving would be any different?? Law enforcement doesn't pull people over when there are kids climbing all over the inside of a car, how are they going to know for sure when someone is sending a text message??

    August 4, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  72. Wes

    I was a victim of a distracted driver, I was rearended while stopped on my motorcycle the car was dong 35 MPH. I have a friend that was hit on his motorcycle when a 16 year old ran a stop sign texting. Both our lives and our health impacted through no fault of our own. The National Highway Transportation Safety Admin recommended that all cell phone use should be banned. Also, there are the many studies done that say cell phone use while driving is dangerous. Why is it still allowed? Money! Its not whats best for us it is what is best for the lobbyist and the cell phone carriers. Many people are being hurt and maimed on the highways by this technology daily.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  73. Jill

    BAN! I see the worst drivers are the ones with a cell in their hand. Its one thing to answer your cell and say "hold on let me pull over" and its another to dial or text and or use the cell when its equal to several drinks in driving performance. People drive better on 1 drink than they do on 1 cell phone! I see poor driving and near accidents EVERY time I am on an errand. BAN them while driving Texting and cell phone use.! thank you Heidi

    August 4, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  74. Linda

    I think that president Obama has more important things to worry about. Leave the cell phone issues to the state government.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  75. Rachel Partington

    Absolutely, texting should be banned. Driving safely requires glancing in your rear view mirror every 4-6 seconds, along with observing road signs, destination points and other sites as far as the eye can see. Switching lanes and merging requires careful attention as well. If there is, in fact, extensive proof that sending texts is a definite distraction, and one of the leading causes behind many recent fatal crashes, I find it hard to believe that this subject is even debatable. Texting while driving is inexcusable.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  76. Richard Wilson


    August 4, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  77. Robert P

    COME ON PEOPLE!!! Wake Up!!! If you were taking a drivers test and you were texting, would you pass? Of course not! Then why should texting-while-driving be legal? YES!!! Texting-while-driving should be illegal and you should be punished the same way you are for driving while drunk. Both can kill you and others. How many train collisions, ferry accidents, car crashes, dead people, paralized people will it take to make texting-while-driving illegal? I don't do it and can't understand why any sane person would. We have enough distractions while driving, to be a safe driver you need to concentrate on the road. Be smart people!

    August 4, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  78. scott

    I think it would save a lot of people if texting was band. Its bad enoph to talk on the phone and pot on makup wile driving. Its a no braner

    August 4, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  79. Rex in Amarillo

    As a charter bus driver, I see it all the time. vehicles swerving in and out of their lanes, speeding up and slowing down, etc... I feel that any cell phone use while driving should be banned and carry the same penalties as drunk driving. Heads up folks if you are texting around my bus while on the highway. I will not put my passengers in danger. YOU are going into the wall or ditch!

    August 4, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  80. Diana Benitez

    OMG (Pun intended) Texting while driving should most definitely be banned. Despite popular belief, driving is not a right, it is a privilege, and if they don't operate a vehicle responsibly this can be taken away. People also need to remember all the time that they are driving not just a car, but a lethal weapon.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE. This isn't just your life, it is the life and well being of people around you and they have the same rights you live their lives in safety.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  81. Mimi

    Absolutely BAN them!.....Ban ALL cell phones while driving!...That would be the SMART preventive way to go. It would be a perfect world if everyone were smart and had common sense but reality says it isn't! .... and that is why we need smart people willing to do what's right to protect everyone!

    August 4, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  82. Brian Roders

    How could they tell? Just like speeding and Drinking and driving, they would only be able to apprehend a small percentage of offenders who text while driving

    August 4, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  83. Amanda

    While I agree that texting should be banned in any way possible, is it really realistic to use GPS type devices to accomplish it? What if the person texting is the passenger in a vehicle? The GPS idea would prohibit them from texting too. That idea is ridiculous.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  84. Austin

    Heidi, the federal government is correct to addresss this issue especially because federal dollars are awarded to the States to maintain the highways; but it needs to include a ban on hand-held cell phone use. We have inexpensive hands-free devices which would make the roads even more safer.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  85. Ken

    There are so many things that can distract a driver, banning texting alone doesn't cover it all. As with cell phone use, this merely allows the police to give you a citation so that revenue can be gained. Still, I have only one objection, which is that the federal government should not be involved in this, and should be left to the States.

    The Fed will use it's highway grant leverage (extortion) to force this upon the States as it has done time and time again. Tell the Fed to stay out of State legislation.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  86. Cameron Stewart

    I am UK ex-pat permanent resident in Florida. Back in the UK one can fined 1000GBP (approx $1640) on the spot for using a cell phone while driving. Maybe a little bit extreme on the fine but it certainly acts as a deterrent. I'm scared stiff every time I go back and need to make a phone call. 'Hands free' devices for phone calls and no texting! Let's save lives people! Some people have enough problem driving anyway, let alone with a distraction.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  87. Meg


    I am a 16 year old student driver who is just now finishing driver's training, and I have seen a number of people on the roads talking on cell phones and texting. As a student driver it is not fun to be in a situation where the instructer has to grab the wheel to keep you from being hit by someone on their cell phone, whether they're texting or talking. They teach in driver's training that in an emergency situation you are to PULL OVER and use your phone. One of the biggest dangers on the road is a distracted driver......and the biggest distraction is a cell phone.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  88. Kurtis Shea

    Even though phones are convenient, it has been a growing problem in our world today. Texting is our main concern because it takes our eyes off the road, to read something probably unimportant. If they really had something important to tell you they would call you which is more safe then texting because you can keep your eyes on the road.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  89. Jesse

    Cell phones do not have GPS capability. They use triangulation to guide you, as in cell towers, not satalites. Service providers bank on the average person not knowing this. In fact it doesn't work even half as well as GPS outside a large service area. Anyway I agree what good would putting a ban on texting or talking on phones. Anyone that does isn't thinking on the possible consequences.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  90. Alex Larson

    Texting while driving is a concern but most people who have common sense and a driver's license realize when it is safe to be texting and when it is not and people who are texting tend to focus on the text and while doing so lose speed because of the loss of focus on the accelerator. I agree in some aspects, that people should not be texting while driving but i do not want my government regulating how i use my cell phone in my own car. There is a point of big brother watching and the sense of all my rights being slowly trimmed down that at some point people need to realize what is necessary and what is frivolous along with the definition of invasion of privacy. Pretty soon i won't be allowed to do anything without it being regulated by the government

    August 4, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  91. Mr. Foster

    When it comes to texting while driving,it needs to stop!
    If the person can not text when they are parked,they should just wait until they get to there destination!

    August 4, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  92. Tom Kauffman

    Our neighbor, a wonderful wife and mother of two young daughters, was killed when a driver who was texting hit their car from behind and drove them into the path of an oncoming car. The 31 year-old mother was killed, her husband was injured, her 3 year-old and 5 month-old girls were OK. But a family has been injured to the core because of shear stupidity on the part of the driver and our lawmakers. All texting and dialing while driving must be made illegal. Hands-free must be the norm. By the way, the driver who was texting was uninjured.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  93. Gottlieb Leonard

    As a driver located near and sometimes in the District of Washington I fully believe that texting should be a ticket-able offence, but first I would like to see enforcement of the laws we already have. Such as using a turn signal, drive right pass left, you must use a hands free device to use your cell phone while driving, ect. But we would have to get our police officers to do the same. I think drivers in the US are among the worst in the world; I have live in Korea and most of Europe.


    August 4, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  94. Jennifer Gourdie

    Have phones that can send an automatic response that the driver is unable to respond at the moment. This would be similar to an out of office reply that we use in email. That way drivers aren't as likely to feel that the sender is being ignored. It won't solve all the problems but it could help.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  95. Frank Braun

    Heidi every time I get into my car to go some place I wonder is this the day that some brain dead cell phone user is going to get me killed because they just can't get their phone out of their ear. I would rather be on the road with 10 drunk drivers than 1 idiot on a cell phone.
    Frank Warrenton MO.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  96. Wade Dilley

    I am a defensive driving instructor for the National Safety Council and this is one area of great concern in which we spend a great deal on during classroom discussion. I have yet to hear from any of my students that texting can be done safely while driving. You can find a great deal on distracted driving on their website:

    August 4, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  97. Carol W.

    Texting while driving should absolutely be outlawed. The only problem is that just because something is outlawed does not necessarily mean that people won't do it-look at drunk driving. At least the threat of receiving a hefty ticket might make it less desirable.
    I live in a relatively SMALL town, and I already know two local teens who have died in car accidents due to texting.

    August 4, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  98. Joe

    By all means, BAN IT! As a professional school bus driver, I cannot tell you how many times in the course of a day I encounter potentially dangerous traffic situations due to drivers either trying to text messages or talk on their phone while driving. The ones I fear the most are the ones who try to tell me they are the only driver they know who CAN do this safely. WRONG!

    August 4, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  99. J

    I think the Government should focus on fixing healthcare first! We don't want to overwhelm the Republicans with multi-tasking. Heaven forbid we actually upset our fiscally responsible BLUE Dogs too. What would our Health Insurance Industry do if suddenly their interests are being ignored because of Texting debates.

    August 4, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  100. Mary

    To Ban or not to Ban Cell Phones while talking or texting on phone, is a no brainer, of coarse Ban them. I have to admit yes i have talked on my cell phone and i did drop mine while driving and i reached down to get the phone off the floor just a second. and i scrapped the side of my car on a side railing. which of coarse cost me to fix my car. What a lesson i was taught, you learn after the fact. Its common sense not to use your phone how stupid we all are plus we could have killed someone.

    August 4, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  101. Thomas

    Texting while driving should be banned. I can not believe it even needs discussion. A driver who is texting is more dangerous that a drunk behind the wheel. Drunks usually drive to the best of their impaired ability. Someone who is texting is paying virtually no attention to their primary responsibility, the safe operation of a vehicle. Using a cell phone is dangerous enough and should be banned nationwide. At least it is possible to keep your eyes on the road while talking. Texting while driving is WAY more dangerous.

    August 4, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  102. Mark Boltz

    In Virginia they already put a ban in place on texting, but it's only a secondary offense, meaning that the officer cannot pull you over for just that infraction. But here in the DC area the distractions are wide ranging, and go well beyond text messaging. Many drivers display no skill in talking on their cellphones while driving, and I also see drivers reading the newspaper, applying makeup, drinking coffee, and doing any number of things in the car besides actually driving it. So in the end, a ban on texting alone won't resolve the overall issue of distractions.

    Also, why limit a ban to just texting? With modern phones, I could also be driving while Twittering, posting to Facebook, checking e-mail, looking up a local restaurant, reading Web pages, browsing the iTunes Music store and more. What about all the BlackBerry users checking e-mail while driving? Maybe a ban on overall mobile device use should be instituted instead?

    August 4, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  103. David

    Hi Heidi,

    Sorry to miss the first hour Newsroom today.

    Yes, it should be an offense to be texting while driving. I don't know how long the average text is but my guess would be that the person driving would not be looking at the road in front of and the conditions around them for at least the better half of a minute. The study you're referring to says that someone who takes his/her eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds while going 55 mph travels the length of a football field, that would be without seeing where they're going. Any longer than that you're going the length of several football fields.

    I hardly ever use the words no-brainer, but this is a no-brainer. Just one look at the shot of that bus driver in california rear ending another car on the highway should be enough evidence to look at.

    Probably this is already an offense, some sort of reckless driving. Please consider that driving offenses result in points on your license. When you receive enough points, your license can be suspended or asked to take a defensive driving course or both. The idea behind this is to catch people who might have various unsafe driving habits before they have an accident.

    You know texting is intense communication even it is only a few sentences. People are looking intently at a view screen on a device that is smaller than a wallet to see what someone is saying to them and to respond. Probably not a good idea to be doing that behind the wheel.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  104. Kerry

    I personally, would like see ALL usage of cell phones while driving outlawed. I have seen too many instances of drivers talking on their phone ignoring their surroundings, incapable of preforming the basic driving skills (signaling, stopping, turning, etc.) because "the call" is more important than anything else. I have watched people that can't even leave theit house without using their phone as they backout of their residence. D'oh!!! This has become a serious addiction, and it will only become worse with each succeeding generation.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  105. Juan

    Hi Heidi,
    Great show. Of course texting should be banned! And while we are at it, lets not forget phoning, talking, eating, reading and putting make-up while driving. As a frequent texter, I am guilty of texting and driving and it definitely gets me distracted to the point of almost rear ending other vehicles on the road. But nothing gets me more distracted than driving a motor vehicle after watching Heidi Collins in the Morning!! Now, talk about a serious distraction on the road!! LOL Perhaps Dr. Sanjay Gupta should do a Distractability Study on texting while driving and driving after Heidi. Any volunteers?? Btw Heidi, that red oufit this morning was really hot!! Meeeeeeeeercy!!! And you still think texting is that distracting??

    August 4, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  106. Vince Di Fruscio

    This is a no brainer, a person who texts while driving put not only themselves at risk, they put all of us at risk. Ban it!!!

    August 5, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  107. Laurie

    I think it would be good to ban texting while driving. Better yet, ban it yourself! I had it turned off on all of our cell phones. My teenage daughter isn't too happy, but I don't care. I don't want her driving and texting so I took the steps to keep it from happening.

    August 5, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  108. hugh


    Why dont you ask the NRA how thye feel about he shootings at the gym are they not the ones opposing gun control

    August 5, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  109. Jim Oliver

    It is totally childish and ridiculous for anyone with a brain to be against a law banning texting while driving. I know there are laws against in-
    attentive driving. But these are only enforced as a result of an accident.
    Tell me how bad would you feel if your family was killed by a stupid, careless driver who thought he had the right to text his buddies while driving down the road. There are many cars on the road and I am sure the police cannot stop everyone. However, I feel that if a law banning
    texting , backed up by a hefty fine, was passed drivers would refrain from this practice. This is not an issue of loss of freedom. It is about loss of life.

    August 5, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  110. Bert Bergland

    Obama's faithfulness to Saul Alinsky and a drive toward a Socialist States of America is truly frightening. The speed with which he and the Democrat Congress are trying to move forward to acheive this socialism has stunned America. The CNNN/Report Card results are stunningly low. But the Republicans are not held in much higher esteem, to be fair. American citizens are awakening en mass to the threat they now see forming on the political horizon. I predict a nearly complete new set of faces in Washington in 2010.

    August 6, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  111. Jay Thompson

    I believe this is a drop-dead issue. There is no question that people are distracted and certainly they are not looking at the road while they are texting and also, it goes without say, while they are reading text messages.

    Many states are now banning talking on the cell phone while driving, believing this distracts the mind too much. If your not able to talk on the telephone while driving how much more distracting is text messaging.

    August 6, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  112. brider

    I park my car every summer and ride my motorcycle.......i have been riding for over ten years and it is geting harder every year to stay alive while riding........ quick wife and i was riding on a major highway we were in the middle lane of a 4 lane highway..the lane on my left side a man in jeep cherokee the lane on the right a semi truck.........The man in the jeep just started to come into my blinker........keep in mind we are on the highway doing 60mph......for some reason the person in the semi was looking because we were only about about half way up the trailer on the soon as the jeep started to come in my lane the semi driver made a quick move to move into their right lane.....which gave my wife and i the room we needed to stay alive........something like this has happen to me in the city also.........and neither one of them were texting or talking on the phone..........I have about 30 life treating close calls every year................Cell phone use in cars is very bad but also people just don't pay enough attention when they drive.............Its not all the cell phone its people driving habits.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:52 am |
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