Senator says texting ban needs tightening to apply at red lights

Richard Mauer

JUNEAU -- The state's law against texting while driving needs to be beefed up to also ban texting while stopped at a stop sign or red light, said Anchorage Republican Sen. Kevin Meyer.

Meyer introduced Senate Bill 122 to strip language from the current law that only bans texting while a vehicle is motion. The new bill would only permit texting or operating "a screen device" when a vehicle is legally parked or broken down.

In a prepared statement, Meyer, who represents parts of South Anchorage and the Hillside, said that texting at a red light or stop sign "can also be a very dangerous situation, because the driver is distracted and can interfere with other traffic around them."

The current texting ban has been through several incarnations. It started out as a response to a fatal accident in which a truck with an owner-installed video monitor on his dashboard collided head-on with a passenger car on a Kenai Highway. The married couple in the car was killed.

After its introduction Wednesday, Meyer's bill was referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee.

Reach Richard Mauer at or 257-4345.


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