New York’s Dutchess County Bans Texting while Driving

July 14, 2009

New York’s Dutchess County is sending drivers a message: No more text messaging behind the wheel.

County Executive William Steinhaus said Friday he wouldn’t veto a law against sending text messages while driving. His decision means the law will take effect once filed with the state.

Steinhaus says he has reservations about “legislating common sense” but feared a veto might leave motorists thinking it’s acceptable to text while driving.

Backers say the law will prevent accidents. Violators could be fined up to $150.

Some other New York counties and at least 14 states have banned texting while driving.

Police cited cell phone calls and text messages as possible factors in a crash that killed five teenagers in the Finger Lakes region in 2007.

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