Wyoming is the 20th state to enact a statewide ban prohibiting drivers from texting while behind-the-wheel.
Beginning July 1, the new ban will allow Wyoming law enforcement officials to ticket anyone caught texting while driving in the state.
“Wyoming has taken an important step to eliminate distracted driving,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Texting while driving, like talking on cell phones while driving, is dangerous to the driver doing it and all of those around them.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, nearly 6,000 people died and more than half a million were injured in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver.
In 2009, more than 200 distracted driving bills were considered by state legislatures and legislative activity is expected to remain strong this year, according to the DOT.
The DOT has unveiled sample legislation developed by NHTSA to be used as a starting point for writing new state laws to prohibit texting while driving.