Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel announced support for new legislation that bans texting and emailing while driving. Specifically, Verizon Wireless said that it supports the House of Representative's ALERT Driver's Act (H.R. 3535), which was recently introduced by U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.).
The Tier 1 carriers said they support both federal and state legislation banning both texting and emailing while driving. While Verizon initially said that it was the only carrier to support this type of legislation, Sprint quickly countered with a statement of support as well. "Sprint supports state legislation which bans texting while driving and we support federal legislation which does the same. Distracted driving is dangerous and as research shows, texting while driving is extremely dangerous. We look forward to working with legislators interested in taking this step," said Vonya McCann, senior vice president of government affairs at Sprint.
But Sprint and Verizon aren't alone. Tier 2 carrier Cellular South in March announced that it had joined a bipartisan coalition in Mississippi to support a bill that would restrict cell phone texting while driving by teenagers. That ban prohibits 15- and 16-year-old motorists with drivers' licenses or temporary learning permits from texting while driving.
Meanwhile, AT&T has put its efforts behind educating consumers about the dangers associated with texting while driving. The company last month announced it would revise its policies for employees to prohibit texting while driving, and also would put warnings on handsets for sale in its stores about the dangers of texting and driving. Finally, the carrier is producing a series of public service announcements to discourage the activity.
In August, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood threw his support behind a proposed nationwide ban on texting while driving.
- see this release
Transportation Secretary supports ban on texting while driving
Cellular South supports texting while driving ban
Senators seek nationwide ban on texting while driving