NY Pioneers Safe ‘Text Zones’ for Drivers

by Matt Klassen on September 26, 2013

While currently there’s nothing preventing drivers from pulling over to take a call or send a text (save impatience and general laziness of course), New York state has launched a pilot program aimed at creating designated ‘texting zones,’ driving home the message for those behind the wheel that using these zones is a safe—and legal—option for the constantly connected everyman.

Earlier this week Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled New York’s plan, and while the project is certainly nothing one would consider ambitious or revolutionary in the ongoing fight against distracted driving, it’s the sort of practical step needed to force drivers to think about their mobile habits, and give them designated areas to satisfy that insatiable craving to use their phones.

Although the plan itself is truthfully little more than signage pointing drivers to one of the 91 newly designated ‘Text Stops,’ it comes as part of New York state’s comprehensive—and nationwide leading—plan to combat texting-while-driving, setting an example the rest of the world would be wise to follow.

“New York State is continuing to use every tool at its disposal to combat texting-while-driving,” said Cuomo, stating that, “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.” He went on to say that “with this new effort, we are sending a clear message to drivers that there is no excuse to take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road because your text can wait until the next Texting Zone.”

Simply put, distracted driving is the greatest threat to motorized driving since the liquor bottle, and all levels of government are searching for ways to get people’s eyes off their phones and back on the road. In fact, studies have shown that even hands-free mobile accessories do little to preserve a driver’s focus, and while the hands and the eyes may still be focused on the road, the driver’s brain is not.

As part of its own efforts to combat this epidemic of stupidity, New York adopted significantly tougher measures to help curb distracted driving by increasing the penalty for the infraction from three to five points of the driver’s license, and increasing the length of suspension and revocation periods for young and new drivers for engaging in the practice.

While almost all states and provinces across North America have adopted some sort of distracted driving laws, with its newest program New York has recognized that we can’t simply tell people to stop texting, it’s far too ingrained in our social psyche now. Instead, what we need to do is contain this behavior to appropriate areas, particularly when it’s coupled with extremely complex tasks like driving.

So while no one will give New York governor Andrew Cuomo an award for its relatively innocuous ‘Texting Zone’ plan, he’s to be lauded for adding a positive spin to this ongoing battle, finally reminding drivers where they can text, instead of constantly telling them where they can’t.

Did you like this post ? TheTelecomBlog.com publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion – you can subscribe by: RSS (click here), or email (click here).

Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Previous post:

Next post: