x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

A message on texting

New York's initiative might offer an idea about how to tackle texting-while-driving.

The dangers of texting while driving are well-known to all of us. And yet, many drivers continue to send messages when they are behind the wheel. So what’s the best way for a local authority to tackle this issue?

A pilot scheme in New York State might provide the answer.

The state is planning to introduce “texting stops” along some of its highways. Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor, has recently announced the creation of 91 “texting zones” to encourage drivers – 49 per cent of whom reportedly text while driving – to pull over before they start checking their phones.

A total of 298 roadside signs bearing messages like “It can wait: text stop 5 miles” will be placed along the state’s major arteries.

The initiative requires only minimal investment, as it essentially entails the rebranding of existing parking areas as text stops and installing a few new signs to point the way to these rest stops.

Clearly it takes a New York state of mind to come up with such a solution. The questions that remain now include whether the scheme will prove effective and if it could be usefully adopted elsewhere in the world? In both cases, we’d like to think so.