Tennessee texting bill grilled

ronald_textingTennessee legislators continue to dance around the issue of text messaging while behind the wheel.

(Update: Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen signed a texting ban into law on May 13, 2009.)

A month back, opponents of a Tennessee texting ban called for the attorney general to clarify if the dangerous practice was already illegal under state law (it was, sort of). Now they’re reheating a tired and familiar argument.

Rep. John Lundberg, R-Bristol, was grilled about his HB 107 on Tuesday. A fellow Republican asked why he was singling out texting while driving as opposed to, say, “eating a bowl of chili or a cheeseburger.”

“Frankly 90-some percent of us don’t have a hamburger strapped and attached to our waist,” Lundberg replied.

The House Transportation Committee then voted to advance the proposal to the House finance panel. It added a provision requiring the roads department to post signs advising motorists about the text messaging ban.

Meanwhile, the wireless trade group CTIA reported that Americans served up more than a trillion text messages in 2008.

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