I for one look forward to seeing the results. I will say now that my guess is that such laws will do little to reduce accidents, but we will see. One wonders what the unintended consequences of such law will be.Last year, Americans sent 1.6 trillion text messages and spent 2.3 trillion minutes talking on cellphones. They also drove nearly 3 trillion miles. More often than many will admit, those activities happened at the same time.I am not convinced such laws generate more benefit than cost, as I explained in an earlier post.
On Thursday, the Safe Driving Act takes effect here, placing Massachusetts among the majority of states where the law forbids texting while driving, and where 16- and 17-year-old motorists will not be allowed to use a cellphone in any manner while at the wheel, unless it is to dial 911.
Rather than just speculate about this, however, I decided to get some evidence. I have two students writing senior theses on whether these laws reduce traffic accidents. I’ll report on their results in about six months.
Monday, 27 September 2010
Posted by Paul Walker at 4:00 pm