Delaware to ban texting while driving

    Law to be signed Tuesday will also prohibit all drivers from talking on a hand-held cell phone while behind the wheel

    More than half of the states in America have laws banning texting while driving, and Tuesday Delaware will join them. Governor Jack Markell is expected to sign into law restrictions on cell phone use and a outright ban on texting behind the wheel.

    The law prohibits any use of texting, pagers, and PDAs while driving, but makes exceptions for hands-free devices, like headsets or wireless Bluetooth devices.

    In 2008, 252 car accidents in Delaware were attributed to distracted driving, according the state police.

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    But studies have shown that it’s not the device, but the conversation that causes accidents. Drivers are distracted by talking – holding a phone or not.

    AAA Mid-Atlantic has been lobbying for distracted driving laws in Delaware for years. Spokesperson Jana Tidwell says this legislation is just the beginning.

    “We believe this is a very positive first step in addressing distracted driving. But AAA will continue to speak with lawmakers in the future, and bring that research to them, hopefully amend and strengthen these laws going forward.”

    Currently Delaware’s cell-phone ban applies only to drivers under the age of 18. The new law makes exceptions for emergency vehicles and CB radios. It goes into effect in January.

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