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Eye On Boise

Bipartisan bill bans texting while driving

Idaho's got bipartisan legislation in the works to ban texting while driving, a move roughly two dozen states already have made. Sen. Les Bock, D-Boise, proposed similar legislation this year, but now he's got a high-profile co-sponsor on board: House Transportation Chairwoman JoAn Wood, R-Rigby. "I've ben thinking about it for quite some time," Wood told Eye on Boise. "Maybe it's because I'm not very good at it anyway - there's no way that I could do that and drive. I see kids coming out of the high school and doing it, and it really bothers me that they're on the road and doing it."

“This issue was a bit under the radar when we brought it up last winter,” Bock said. “But clearly, the time has come to enact legislation that will help drivers realize that it’s neither safe nor smart to text while driving.” He added, “Public awareness of the dangers of texting while driving has increased exponentially this summer. We now know that the longer we wait to act, the more lives will be lost.”

Bock's other co-sponsors for the bill so far include Assistant Senate Minority Leader Elliot Werk, D-Boise; and Reps. Liz Chavez, D-Lewiston; Elfreda Higgins, D-Garden City, and Anne Pasley-Stuart, D-Boise. Bock also has legislation in the works to require use of a hands-free device while talking on cell phones while driving, something that's already the law in Washington. Wood said she hasn't signed on as a co-sponsor on that one at this point; she plans to look into the issue and confer with other members of the House Transportation Committee.

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.