We love when highly-visible companies like Verizon Wireless formally endorse legislation that promotes complete bans on texting while driving. With research showing that sending text messages while behind the wheel of a multi-ton car is as dangerous as driving drunk (even more so, in some cases), it’s become clear that texting and driving can kill. To that end, Verizon is officially endorsing a new US Senate bill (S. 1983) that would create a state grant program aimed at rewarding states for enacting legislation that would outright ban texting and driving, as well as prohibiting drivers from not using hands-free systems for making phone calls while driving.
The Senate bill is essentially a cash reward system that should spur US states into adopting regulations that would make it illegal to send text message or use a mobile phone without a hands-free system when behind the wheel of a car. Sure, there are states that have already enacted such laws, but there’s nothing like some cold, hard cash to get some of the lazier bureaucrats and politicians in some states to fall in line.
This is what Verizon Wireless vice president and general counsel Steve Zipperstein has to say about the US Senate bill S. 1983:
For a decade, Verizon Wireless has been the loud, consistent voice on the life-and-death issue of using wireless services while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. From the first years supporting state legislators working to mandate hands-free technology when behind the wheel, to legislation moving in the U.S. Senate today that would effectively ban texting while driving, we appreciate the leadership of public officials working to make a positive difference on our roads. We endorse the legislation being considered in the Senate, and whole-heartedly support the goals of Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), as well as Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tx.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).
To that, we say, well done, Verizon. The carrier has already sponsored nationwide ad campaigns against texting while driving, and this latest endorsement only proves that they’re serious about keeping text messages off the road.
The S. 1983 bill will be up for discussion on Wednesday, June 9th at 2pm. Find more info here.