President Obama has brought the hammer down on texting-while-driving for all of his employees. His employees just happen to be the entirety of the federal government.

If you work for the U.S. government and you’ve been enjoying the incredible freedom of text messaging while you drive, those days are now sadly over. President Obama has decreed that no federal employee shall text while driving at work, or while driving a federally-owned vehicle, or even while using a federally-owned cellphone. Sorry mailmen, and the other 4.5 million people this ban will affect.

I can’t say that this is a bad thing in any way. Simply reading a text the other day while driving almost made me plow my car though a group of schoolchildren and puppies. Texting is akin to reading or writing a book while driving, something that doesn’t seem too safe to me, and with the mounds of young, new drivers out there with cellphones it can only be a matter of time before some type of nationwide ban comes into play.

18 states have already enacted similar texting bans, and for good reason. A study recently concluded that the risk of a crash increases by 23 times if a driver is text messaging, and 515,000 injuries and 5,870 fatalities were the result of distracted driving in the U.S. in 2008. I suppose “text messaging” could be replaced with anything that involves not looking at the road though, including playing video games or watching a movie. For now, I’m still going to play Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box while I drive, until the fascist government takes that from me too.

Source: Ars Technica

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