Don't distract and drive
Pennsylvania's belated law that bans texting while driving hasn't produced many citations because it is a half-measure. The law doesn't bar use of hand-held cellphones while driving, so police have a difficult time determining if drivers are texting or dialing their phones. Either distraction could prove deadly, of course, but the law makes a distinction that hinders effective enforcement.
Since communications technology always moves faster than legislatures, the ultimate answer probably lies in technology itself.
Unfortunately, the technology seems to be moving toward further distraction rather than away from it. Some car companies have begun to market technology enabling texting and control of an array of entertainment and Internet options by voice command.
A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that systems that translate speech to text and enable scrolling through email require greater concentration by a driver than talking on a cell phone, talking to a passenger or listening to the radio or a recording.
About 9 million vehicles have such technology and the number is expected to reach 62 million by 2018, according to AAA.
Instead of enabling distraction, the technology should be developed in the other direction, to prevent the use of texting by drivers in moving cars.