Government Law

New road signs urge drivers to use 'text stops' for otherwise illegal messages

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In an innovative approach to forestall the danger posed by distracted drivers sending or receiving text messages, the state of New York has created some new road signs. “IT CAN WAIT,” they read. “TEXT STOP 5 MILES.”

Nearly 300 of the signs will be posted throughout the state, not only alerting drivers of existing rest stops and parking areas but reminding them there is a safer alternative to texting while behind the wheel, the Los Angeles Times (sub. req.) reports.

Even as the state has stiffened penalties and increased enforcement of a law that prohibits a driver from using a handheld phone to talk or text, the practice is causing more fatal traffic accidents than drunken driving, Gov. Andrew Cuomo saidat a Monday news conference. “We have three times more distracted driving incidents than we had five years ago.”

At least 41 states and the District of Columbia prohibit texting while driving. And a recent appellate court decision in New Jersey took the prohibition a significant step further. A third party who sends a text to a driver can be held liable for the accident that results, the court ruled, although declining to impose liability on the remote texter who was a defendant in that case.

Hat tip: Legal Examiner.

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