The County Board banned text-messaging-while-driving at its meeting this morning.  The law will take effect 180 days after the County Executive signs it into law. 

“The problem here is distracted driving,” said County Legislator Bill Burton (D, IN – Ossining), Legislation Committee Chair. “It’s important to note that the ban on text messaging while driving will benefit the younger, more inexperienced drivers who are so accustomed to using text messages to communicate with their friends that they lose focus on the road.”  

Burton added that one of the primary components of the law’s enforcement will be an education campaign. There will be outreach to municipalities and high schools to inform teen drivers and parents of the new policy.

“We have an obligation to legislate on this issue,” said County Legislator Vito Pinto (D, IN, WF -Tuckahoe), Public Safety & Security Chair. “We feel it’s a benefit to our constituents to address what’s become a real public safety concern. Plus, it’s appropriate that we take this action on a county-wide level, so municipalities don’t have to.”

The text message ban will be enforceable at the municipal level by local police departments and does not apply to GPS or hands-free devices.