The question is vague, as it does not explain what the Alert Drivers Act is, and why it is described as 2009, when we are in 2011. With proper information, I believe this would be an excellent question and a very relevant law, based on the proliferation of cell phones prompting distracted drivers.
I have personally witnessed drivers straying from their lanes on the highways. When I have been able to pass, I have observed the driver with their phone between their hands, hands resting on the steering wheel, while texting. The concern is that the driver's eyes frequently look down to the phone and off the road. This seriously slows reaction time.
I think that if states imposed penalties on drivers who were texting, drivers would be much less likely to text while driving. Everyone knows that it's a bad practice, but having a monetary penalty, along with the hassle of being pulled over and losing time, it would really bring the issue to the forefront of most drivers' minds.
There should definitely be laws against texting while driving. Doing this takes your eyes off the road and makes you pay less attention. It also removes at least one hand from the wheel, so that you have less control of the car. All these things increase the odds of an accident that could injure you or someone else.
Congress has frequently offered incentives to states to adopt substantive protective measures as a condition of receiving federal funding. While states could and should adopt texting-while-driving bans on their own, many have not done so. Individuals are overconfident in their driving abilities, leading them to believe that they can safely text and drive. Therefore, government action is needed to discourage this behavior. If states are not acting on their own accord, federal pressure should be applied for the safety of the public.
Taking your eyes off the road for the sustained amount of time that it takes to type and send a text message is utterly dangerous. We don't allow people to drive drunk because, when they do, all of their faculties are not available to them to focus on driving. When you text while driving, it is like you are voluntarily making yourself act drunk, because you purposely remove your focus from the road to do something else. It is very dangerous and definitely should be made illegal.
Texting while driving is dangerous. There is literally no text important enough to put yourself and other drivers at risk, because your friend wanted to know how your day was. Texting is especially popular among teens, and as they are some of the least experienced drivers on the road, they do not need their attention diverted for 5 seconds to text their friends about some unimportant thing. With the ALERT Drivers Act passed, it would hopefully make the roads safer from people who do not have self-control with their phones.
We already require that drivers who are impaired not operate motor vehicles. If we already require that they not drive drunk or under the influence of drugs, than we should require that they not engage in any other impairing behaviors, and texting is clearing an impairing behaviors. If even one life is spared, than the law will have been a success.
Not all states have penalties in place to prevent people from texting while driving. Since there are no laws in place the result is many deaths each year. Drivers are sometimes killed as well as people they hit or their own passengers. The Senate should see to it that all states adopt the ALERT Drivers Act of 2009 so unnecessary deaths can be prevented.
I oppose this act as I feel it could be used as a money raisin method as when one is pulled over for this it is the driver's word against the officer's word. Also I believe the federal government should not impede states rights and dictate these laws. Each state should decide for themselves if the Alert Drivers Act is feasible for their locality. If approved it would require more personnel to enforce as well as more money spent on the court systems.
The adoption of penalties to prohibit texting and driving is an action that should and must be taken to raise motorist safety. However, the action by the Federal government to require and mandate such laws by the respective states is not the answer and directly flaunts the Constitution. The curtailment of texting and driving is a matter for each state to deal with at the time of their choosing and not under the jurisdiction of the federal government.