Should Texting While Driving Be Banned?

Proponents of a ban say public safety is at risk. Critics argue against one more unenforceable law

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Proponents of a law forbidding the use of hand-held devices behind the wheel say distracted motorists are far more likely to cause roadway accidents. Critics argue that though texting while driving is dumb, laws against it are unenforceable. Is a ban the way to go?
Edited by Steve St. Angelo

Yes

By Carolyn McCarthy
New York Democrat serving her seventh term in the House of Representatives

As a member of Congress,
I work to pass comprehensive, common-sense legislation that will benefit average Americans. With the same fervor I had when I was first sworn in to office in 1997, I seek common ground on issues that I believe will make our country stronger and safer each and every day.

I had always known of the dangers of distracted driving, and it should come as no surprise to the American public that when drivers are preoccupied with tasks that take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel, it most certainly creates unsafe and potentially fatal scenarios on the roadways....

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No

By Radley Balko
Senior editor for Reason magazine; former policy analyst on civil liberties issues for the Cato Institute

Forget flu season. Several times per year, America comes down with a national case of TOBAL-itis.

TOBAL is short for "There Oughtta Be a Law." Here's the progression of symptoms: Wrenching anecdotes about the effects of some alleged new trend make national news. A panic takes root in the media. Earnest editorialists scrawl urgent pleas for action. Politicians grandstand. Soon enough, we have our new law or regulation. It doesn't matter if the law is enforceable or may have unintended consequences....

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