An executive order issued this week bans federal employees from texting while driving when using government vehicles or phones, or while on government business. Given the safety risks of texting while driving, we think this was a good move, and hope that it extends to the general population. Take our poll and tell us what you think, inside.
A couple years ago, we wrote about the excellent customer service the Washington Nationals provided to a fan who was unable to get a hot dog. We’re sad to say that such responsiveness and concern do not extend north to Baltimore’s Camden Yards, where we suffered our own tale of hot dog woe this past weekend.
Please Stop Texting While Driving Two recent incidents with conductors of public transit vehicles getting into accidents while texting have magnified the consequences of using cell phones while operating a vehicle. Surprisingly, there are few complaints about other drivers sexting while driving. [Consumer Reports Cars]
A pair of friends in Pennsylvania decided to pursue the world record for text messaging. After they reached 217,000 texts, they learned that one of their providers, T-Mobile, really had an upper limit to “unlimited” texting, and sending 217,000 texts led to a $26,000 phone bill that cost $27 just to mail.
She must have calluses on her thumbs. Teenager Reina Hardesty racked up 14,528 text messages on her parent’s AT&T bill last month. She say’s she basically just texting back and forth with four of her friends all day long. Thanks goodness for unlimited text-messaging plans, otherwise it would have cost $2,905.60. Guess for a teenage text insurance policy, $30 is worth it. Reina’s parents have since set a limit of no texting after dinner. Good luck enforcing that.
Several readers have pointed out that American Express has made some changes to its contract “in response to the challenging environment” — the most offensive of which seems to be a new clause that gives them the right to call — or text message — any phone you use to contact them including cellphones, for the purposes of offering you American Express products and services.
Rumor confirmed: AT&T has indeed dropped the price of its unlimited data and messaging plan by $5—the new cost is $30/mo, and $10/mo to add a second phone under their shared family plan. Unless you plan on texting more than 200 messages a month, however, it’s not worth it (you can get unlimited data + 200 messages for $20). [Engadget Mobile]
Hear the scorn of a million parents cry out in righteous anger: despite recently increasing basic text messaging rates from ten cents to twenty across the board, NYT reveals that Carriers pay roughly nothing.
Starting in January 2008, it will be illegal to text while driving in Washington State. The measure signed into law by Governor Chris Gregoire also bans talking on a cellphone without a hands-free device while driving. Violators will be punished with a fine, but only if first pulled over for another reason.
Under the new laws, drivers who read and compose text messages or talk on a cell phone without a hands-free device could face a $101 ticket. The text-messaging ban takes effect Jan. 1; the cell-phone law will be enforced starting in July 2008.
Drivers will be exempt in “some situations, including emergencies.” — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
From The New York Times: “The company, the largest cellphone carrier in the United States, will hold a series of interactive “texting bees” around the country early next year to teach parents how to send text messages to their children. The promotion is a way to increase sales, of course. But the company contends that its campaign will help parents get to know their sons and daughters by teaching them teenage slang and the advantages of texting over making phone calls, sending e-mail or simply having a conversation.