Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz (Brooklyn) was very pleased by the efforts of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to propose a set of guidelines for states to create laws that would ban text messaging while driving.
Ortiz has been working to ban distracted driving since 1996. The Assemblyman has previously warned “The penalties that are currently in place do not properly impress the severity of the dangers caused by using a cell phone while driving.” The Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood also stated: “Texting while driving, like talking while driving, is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening practice.”
According to the NHTSA, nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver while more than half a million were injured. Ortiz feels that New York State can prevent future crash related injuries and deaths with the passage of his legislation (A.2453). The Assemblyman has been pushing for more severe penalties to cell phone wielding drivers hoping that this would deter them from violating current laws.
“The proposed legislation, prepared by NHTSA, is a great model for all states to follow, and will go a long way in creating safer roads throughout the United Sates. Each year more and more people are seriously injured or killed on our highways because of the recklessness of inattentive drivers. We have a responsibility to our constituents to put an end to such senseless accidents and to keep our highways safe. We can do this by enacting and enforcing strict laws that ban talking and texting while driving”, said Ortiz.