Posted on January 17, 2010
It’s illegal to text while driving in New York City, right? That includes receiving as well as sending texts, correct? And that also includes reading texts while behind the wheel, no? We’re just checking; because in what can only be called a magnificent piece of irony, New York state agencies send traffic-alert texts about road conditions that drivers receive…while they’re driving. Which is illegal. In part because the agencies that are sending these texts made it so. Government in action. The New York State Legislature outlawed texting while driving in New York this past fall. On November 1, it became illegal to use cell phones, ipods, and other electronic devices while driving. But Notify NYC, run by the Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, alerts subscribers about traffic conditions and city emergencies by email, phone messages…and text messages. More than 25,000 New Yorkers subscribe to the service, which was launched last May. A spokesman said drivers could check their messages when they stop, or can sign up for phone calls that can be answered with hands-free devices while driving. The State Department of Transportation also sends out emails and text messages through TransAlert, which gives drivers information about traffic problems. Last November 772 alerts were sent out to drivers...who presumably read them while driving. Hey, New York drivers? Be smarter than your local and state governments, OK? Act like grownups behind the wheel--not like 13-year-old girls at recess.