States send mixed message on texting and driving - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

States send mixed message on texting and driving

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Fiddling with your iPhone behind the wheel can get you fined across much of the nation. But many states are more than happy to tweet you with up-to-the-minute directions on how to steer clear of a traffic jam.

It is a mixed signal that some safety experts and politicians say could be dangerous.

According to an Associated Press review, least 22 states that ban texting while driving offer some type of service that allows motorists to get information about traffic tie-ups, road conditions or emergencies via Twitter.

Some supporters of text-messaging bans say that states that provide traffic information via Twitter are undermining these laws.

But state transportation officials say they are not encouraging people to get online behind the wheel. They say drivers should read their tweets before hitting the road.

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The Arkansas ban on texting while driving goes into effect October 1st. This week, the state became the latest to provide road conditions via Twitter, the microblogging service that lets people read and send messages of 140 characters or fewer.

Other places offering traffic information via Twitter include: California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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