Taxi Texting Is A NO NO!!!!
In-and-around 1998 a representative of ATT appeared before the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission to promote the allowed use of cell phones, by NY City Taxi Drivers. He espoused training. Education he claimed would be the end-all to save-all when it came to taxi drivers using cell phones. A logical approach.
The oldest Commissioner on the Agencies bench, Martin Greenberg called him out on it. He said something to the effect of: "Sonny, you remind me of the tobacco executives who stood before congress and claimed that smoking does not cause cancer"...A valid and vivid comparison I thought. The line generated a few laughs and then the Commission voted unanimously to outlaw the use of cell phones by taxi drivers while operating a taxicab unless the Cab was legally parked.
In 1998 cell phones were coming into their own. A proliferation of devices that lead to what is now a never ending stream of data that links the distraction of cell phone use to traffic accidents.
Enter "The Texting Revolution"....Who would think that people would rather push a few letters on a key board than say what they mean the way that they want????? But Texting is all the rage and, it is, on the surface and in depth of study, much more of a distraction than speaking on a cell phone. Thus, a greater risk to the driver and those they would injure should they wander from the thought train and drivers lane......
At this moment in time the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission is creating the language to add to the appropriate rules for taxi operators that will make it clear that Texting is against the law. It is already outlawed by New York State DMV and thus is outlawed while driving a taxi as in any other vehicle. But industry specific language is needed to clarify industry specific realities.
IT IS DANGEROUS.
And the one thing no one will debate is that Texting while driving is dangerous. How dangerous??? Only the hospitals and the cemeteries know for sure. We as a nation have instituted laws and manufacturing incentives and mandates that have reduced traffic related deaths to under forty thousand per year from forty-eight thousnad per year twenty-five years ago. All the while the country has grown in size making these reductions all the more impressive.
But as all the apparatus is in place for drivers ed and alcohol and drug counseling we find almost every teenager with a cell phone and their fingers at an ever-alarming rate, on the key board. Grade school love stories that were once passed in notes in class are now sent through cyber space. I feel like I am George Jetson...ALMOST.
What will be interesting to see is the defense people offer when standing in front of a judge charged with texting. At which point the judge in Solomonic candor will simply demand the cell phone records which will either convict or exonerate the defendant....
NO TEXTING ZONE