Target: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Goal: Tell Governor Cuomo that ‘Texting Zones’ won’t prevent accidents
Recently, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo suggested ‘Texting Zones’ to the state’s highways in an effort to prevent accidents caused by drivers who send text messages while operating their vehicles. ‘Texting Zones’ work similarly to rest stops. In a ‘texting zone,’ a driver can pull over and send a text, answer one, or use their cell phones to make calls.
Ninety-one new zones via 298 signs have already been placed on New York highways, but this development will do nothing to cut down on the number of accidents, and even deaths, that result from texting while driving. In a release, Cuomo stated, “These Zones will be identified with signs along the thruway and state highways, reminding drivers that there is a nearby opportunity for them to legally and safely use their phone. With this new effort, we are sending a clear message to drivers that there is no excuse to take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road because your text can wait until the next texting zone.”
In today’s world, where information is fed at lightning speed and digested just as quickly, pulling over to answer a text message or send one isn’t only a waste of time, but an option that will go largely ignored by the general public. The result? ‘Texting Zones’ become a waste of tax payer money and an impracticable solution to the problem of distracted driving.
By signing this petition, you’ll tell Governor Cuomo that his ‘texting zones’ only further encourage unsafe driving habits and, in the long run, will have little to no impact on drivers who text while operating their vehicles.
Dear Governor Cuomo,
Your decision to install ‘Texting Zones’ on the state’s highways is not only an act of frivolous spending but a trivial resolution to the problem of distracted driving.
It takes money, tax payers money, to make, distribute and put up these signs that, in a society where apathy towards distracted driving is quite high, will do nothing to rectify the dire situation. The fines in place are respectable, but could be enforced and even increased. Lives are at stake the minute anyone thinks it ‘okay’ to use any electronic devices while operating a vehicle. ‘Texting Zones’ say to the public: ‘We know you are going to text and, as an incentive, we’ll provide you with special ‘rest stops’ to continue doing it, only if you promise to pull over.’ Our society will not respond to the ‘rest and reply’ notion promoted by your idea of ‘Texting Zones’.
Drivers are becoming more daring and doing more than just texting and driving. Some are even surfing the web. Distracted driving has quickly replaced drunk driving as the #1 cause of death and accidents amongst teens behind the wheel. Because of this phenomena, I propose that drivers who text or use any electronic device while driving face the same penalties that those who drink and drive receive.
All in all, imposing ‘Texting Zones’ on your state’s drivers won’t solve distracted driving. In fact, it may very well be promoting it. I urge you to rethink your recent decision and revisit the statistics.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: governorandrewcuomo via Flickr