NEW YORK - Verizon Wireless has declared its support of the legislation introduced July 29 in the U.S. Senate that would effectively ban texting and e-mailing while driving.

"This approach is a logical extension of our previous breaks with other wireless companies to support statewide legislation banning texting and e-mailing while driving," Verizon Wireless Vice President and General Counsel Steven Zipperstein said in a statement.

Verizon Wireless has been supporting statewide hands-free driving laws as early as 2000. Since then, Verizon Wireless said it has been the only wireless company supporting bans on texting and e-mailing while driving.

Dave Williams, Verizon's New York region manager fleet operations, told Automotive Fleet he is in full agreement with the company's position to ban texting and e-mailing while driving, especially because of the associated maintenance expense.

"Obviously, a vehicle accident with another vehicle is a major concern, but what is not being considered are the near-misses that occur as well as hitting objects in the road [as a result of driving distraction]," Williams explained.

Potholes, striking the curb, striking objects in the street, going off the road, etc. all contribute to damage to the front-end components, possibly affecting the vehicle alignment, and causing premature tire wear and even damage to the tire itself.

"The more we can keep the driver focused on driving, the less it will cost to maintain the vehicle," said Williams.

Verizon Business was listed as one of the Top 10 Communication fleets in Automotive Fleet's 2009 Fact Book, based on size, with a reported 1,919 vehicles in its fleet operations.

Just this week, a texting tow truck driver collided with another vehicle - injuring two - before going through a fence, into a house, and finally landing in a pool.


Originally posted on Automotive Fleet