New York this week made a huge step in promoting safe driving—and cracking down on texting while driving—when Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled 91 new “texting zones” across the state. The initiative places about 300 signs along New York highways – signs encouraging drivers that “It Can Wait,” as well as providing notices for rest areas at which to pull over and send those texts while their vehicles are safely parked. Currently, most states have laws against texting while driving, and many states, including Connecticut, have banned handheld cell phone usage altogether. So what will New York’s new plan do for safety in the state of New York, and what effects will it have on the surrounding states and the rest of the country?
The initiative to get people to pull their cars over and send their texts while safely parked is certainly a noble one, but one recent study suggests it may not necessarily be as effective as Governor Cuomo and many other officials hope. Specifically, the study shows that people who text and drive the most are also the ones who are most likely to think they are good “multi-taskers,” and that, therefore, the dangers of texting and driving don’t apply to them. This is a dangerous assumption, as texting and driving is a very dangerous practice that is a leading cause of countless accidents nationwide every year.
However, on the flipside, many officials believe the introduction of “texting zones” can also be a great benefit to those drivers who understand the implications—and dangers to themselves and everyone else on the road—of texting and driving. If both drivers and government officials can rally behind this noticeable compromise and advocate pulling over to a “safe zone” to send a text, this can become a growing trend that impacts other areas of the country. For now, time will tell; if statistics start to show a decrease in accidents caused by texting and driving, this could become a nationwide movement. Don’t be surprised if you see the signs for “texting zones” begin to take effect – drivers all over the country may soon be neglecting their phones while driving because they understand that “it can wait” until they’ve reached a safe “texting zone.”
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