New York State bans texting while driving

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New York State Gov. David Paterson recently signed a law that forbids the use of handheld devices for reading, typing and sending text messages while driving. The law, signed by Paterson on Aug. 26, goes into effect on Nov. 1.

Text messaging while driving already is illegal in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia. Six additional states — Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Oregon — have legislation in place that will prohibit text messaging by Jan. 1, 2010.

The American Trucking Associations is supporting text messaging legislation in Congress provided it does not inadvertently prohibit the use of truck cab fleet management systems.