New York drivers will soon see a new type of signage on major highways throughout the state: A total of 298 signs will be erected directing them to one of 91 “Texting Zones.” The zones themselves are just existing parking areas and rest stops, but the signs — some of which will say things like “It can wait, Text Stop 5 miles” — will hopefully catch motorists’ attention. In addition, says Governor Andrew Cuomo in a press release, there will be “tougher penalties, new detection methods for state police and ongoing public outreach efforts” all designed to reduce incidences of texting while driving.
What’s the Big Idea?
The number of “distracted driving” tickets handed out by New York state police this summer totaled 21,580…an increase of 365 percent from last summer. Combined with a recent AT&T survey in which 49 percent of adults admitted to texting behind the wheel, it’s no surprise that state officials are getting creative. Cuomo says, “With this new effort, we are sending a clear message to drivers that there is no excuse to take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road because your text can wait until the next Texting Zone.”
The 141-year-old magazine announced that it will no longer allow readers to comment on its Web site, citing research to back up its claim that the tone of the discussions hindered the championing of science.