Today, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, and Wyoming became the latest states to make it illegal to for drivers to text message while in a moving vehicle. They join 19 other states that already had the rule in law books.
As of this morning, the following states have texting laws:
Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.
Four more states already have plans to join them, bringing the total to 29 states. No texting laws take effect in Kansas on January 1, 2011, Kentucky on July 13, 2010, Louisiana on August 15, 2010, and Wisconsin on December 1, 2010.
Some states have made this a primary offense, meaning an officer can pull you over simply for this infraction, and does not need to have any other reason for citing you. A handful of states have made texting a secondary offense, meaning the officer must have another offense he pulled you over for before they can cite you for texting.
Make sure in you know what's legal in your state and what is not. In Michigan, law enforcement agencies were not in agreement in when you can be cited. Some agencies said you could be cited for texting even while at a stop sign while some said only if you are moving. This could cause some confusion, but how about just staying clear of texting at all.
No states have laws against making calls while driving, so instead of texting, how about using a hands free kit if you absolutely must make a call? Look into acquiring a bluetooth kit which can make nearly every call function wireless. I can phone anyone with the touch of a button with voice activated bluetooth.
Be sure to drive safe over the long weekend and have fun. Happy Independence Day to all Americans on July 4, and Happy Canada Day to all Candaians today! We'll see you back here on Tuesday, July 6!