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GHSA News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2009

Contact: Jonathan Adkins or Kara Macek
(202)789-0942, ext.13 or 14
(202)669-9746, cell

New Hampshire and Oregon Ban Texting While Driving

WASHINGTON, D.C.—New Hampshire Governor John Lynch and Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski have signed bills that make their states the 15th and 16th to ban texting while driving. Since December, the number of states with this law has more than doubled. A similar bill is awaiting the Governor's signature in New York.

The New Hampshire law also bans typing on laptop computers or other electronic devices while driving. Both the New Hampshire and Oregon laws take effect January 1, 2010.

GHSA expects the number of states with texting bans will continue to grow, particularly given the recent number of high-profile crashes in the news. On Wednesday, a crash occurred in New York state involving a distracted driver. The Buffalo News reported that the driver of a tow truck texting on one cell phone while talking on another crashed into a car, injuring a woman and her young niece.

According to GHSA Executive Director Barbara Harsha, "There's a tremendous amount of interest in state legislatures and the highway safety community in the distracted driving issue. Regardless of the law, texting and driving should not mix. We need to restore some common sense to driving."

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Cell Phone Laws are posted online at: www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)® is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy and enhance program management. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org.