Lawmakers in Idaho have been working feverishly to pass a new statewide ban on texting while driving, after several years of attempts which failed miserably.

This latest move comes on the heels of a report by the National Transportation Safety Board calling for every state to take steps to curb the use of handheld devices by drivers. According to the NTSB there is no more dangerous way to drive than “distracted”, eclipsing even the danger of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Already 35 states and the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. have total bans on texting and driving, with some going farther and barring the use of any handheld device by drivers.

If there is a complete and utter opposite of defensive driving it is distracted driving because your attention is clearly not on the task at hand (driving) but rather on what is in your hand, like a smartphone. Studies have shown that even the use of a hands-free device is enough of a distraction to limit your ability to drive and operate your vehicle safely. This fact has been borne out in repeated studies by groups around the world.

Idaho lawmakers are trying to make the roads a safer place by limiting the use of handheld devices. While they are not seeking a total ban on the use of all hand held devices they are seeking to limit how those devices are used. Starting with a limit on something which clearly involves taking your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel of your car, they are trying to keep drivers from hurting themselves and others.

Lawmakers are looking to allow exceptions to the law for police and other emergency workers, but otherwise all drivers would be required to obey the ban, making Idaho a much safer place to drive.

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