Can Handing Out 'Txting Kills' Thumb Bands Stop People From Texting While Driving?

from the beats-bad-laws dept

We've pointed out that some recent studies have suggested that laws that ban texting-while-driving may have actually made the roads more dangerous, because it hasn't stopped people from texting, but just caused them to further hide the activity by holding the phone down low -- forcing them to take their eyes off the road more. This isn't to say that we think texting while driving is a good idea -- it's not. But just because you pass a law trying to ban a really dumb idea, it doesn't mean it will have the desired effect, and the early evidence suggests that there are serious unintended consequences with these laws.

Instead of laws, I think that a combination of education and technology could be a lot more effective, and it appears that at least some law enforcement folks are trying to increase the educational aspect. Parker Mason points us to the news that police in Iowa have started issuing "Txting Kills" thumb bands (sort of like the Livestrong bracelets... but for your thumb) rather than tickets to those caught texting while driving (they're also just handing them out at schools). It's nice to see an educational component, rather than just strict punishment, but I'm not convinced that thumb bands alone will do the trick...

Filed Under: driving, education, iowa, texting


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  1. identicon
    Erik Wood, 2 Nov 2010 @ 3:49pm

    text and drive...and technology

    I think these programs help teens get the message. I also decided to do something about teen (and adult) texting and driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user (especially teens) I built a tool for teens and their parents called OTTER that is a simple, affordable app for smartphones.. I think if we can empower the individual then change will come to our highways now and not just our laws.

    Erik Wood, owner
    OTTER LLC
    OTTER app

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