The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) has endorsed a federal bill that would require states to pass laws banning text messaging while driving a moving vehicle. The Avoiding Life-Endangering and Reckless Texting by Drivers Act “was prompted in part by studies by Virginia Tech and the University of Utah, which found that drivers were much more likely to crash if texting while driving,” according to a NSWMA press release.
Under the terms of the bill, states would have two years to enact text messaging bans or risk losing 25 percent of the annual highway funds they receive from the federal government. Presently, texting while driving is banned in Washington, D.C., and 14 states. Maryland's ban takes effect Oct. 1.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., introduced the legislation, which has been referred to the Senate's Committee on Environment and Public Works. Other sponsors of the bill include U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Mary Landrieu, D-La.
“The solid waste industry fully stands behind the goals of this bill,” said Bruce J. Parker, president and CEO of NSWMA, in a press release. “With a fleet of more than 130,000 trucks driving many miles each day to collect and manage America's solid waste, road safety is of paramount concern to our industry. Making texting illegal while driving is a sensible idea that will help protect garbage men and the millions of other Americans who share the roads every day.”