SEATTLE - A state lawmaker in Washington is closing in on reaching her goal of banning motorists from sending or reading text messages while driving.
Rep. Joyce McDonald, a Republican, told The Los Angeles Times she decided to write a bill prohibiting DWT -- "driving while texting" -- when she was visiting a high school class in Seattle. She noticed students texting each other in class, and that led to a discussion of the practice.
"I was really a bit shocked to learn just how much these kids text each other, including when they are driving," said McDonald.
McDonald's campaign gained momentum when a five-car pileup in Washington state was blamed on a driver who reportedly had been distracted by a text message on his BlackBerry.
McDonald's bill gained final passage last week, and Gov. Christine Gregoire is expected to sign it -- making Washington the first state to impose a ban on reading or sending text messages while driving.
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the District of Columbia already have de facto bans on driving while texting -- with laws prohibiting cell phone use of any kind while driving.
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