The state of New York this week unveiled a new initiative that aims to quell rampant texting and driving. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo introduced a series of special “Texting Zones”—essentially re-branded Rest Stops—that are scattered throughout the New York State Thruway and State Highways; the areas will be identifiable with new signage, and designated as specific areas where motorists can pull of the road and text. Almost 300 signs will be erected across the state, with a total of 91 Texting Zone locations.
The message that “It can wait” will be scrawled on some of the signs, echoing a similar message throughout the smartphone industry. New York’s new project might seem like an odd use of state resources, but it attempts to address a very real issue that many people still consistently engage in when they know they shouldn’t. It needs to stop. People might not necessarily be convinced to actually pull their car over just to text, but the signs could be a reminder that what you’re texting someone probably isn’t all that important.
Speaking about the new Texting Zones, Governor Cuomo said the signs will be a reminder that drivers can legally pull over and use their phones all they want. “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.”
Being hyper-connected used to be a fantasy people only dreamed about, but with smartphones now more accessible than ever, it’s never been easier to talk to a friend, or browse the Web, or Instagram a photo. Driving and even smartphone use should be considered a privilege, not a right, and it’s up to us to practice good habits while in possession of both—you don’t want to regret something you could have otherwise avoided.
If you’re in the New York area, you can see the full list of Texting Zones at the source link below. Some smartphones today—most recently the Moto X—have been taking steps toward taking users’ eyes and hands away from smartphones while on the road, which is great. But it’s still up to us if there’s to be a true difference. Do you think something like this is a good idea?