Texting behind the wheel was forbidden Tuesday for interstate truck and bus drivers.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood pushed the federal rule after more than 5,800 people died in 2008 because of distracted drivers.
The new move comes four months after President Barack Obama banned the nation’s almost 3 million federal employees from texting while driving on the road.
“They are taking many steps, and they are working faster than I could have imagined to get things accomplished,” said Jennifer Smith, of Focus Driven Advocates for Cell Free Driving.
Smith helped form the group after the death of her mother in a crash with a driver using a cell phone. She said she wants to see still tougher cell phone restrictions for drivers.
“We need to get a no-texting law on the book, straight across the board. No one needs to be texting,” Smith said.
The American Automobile Association is also lobbying for a driver texting ban in all 50 states. Texas law only forbids texting and cell phone use by drivers younger than 18.
“Polls show that 90 percent of the people that are out there driving or have been questioned by this say it’s a good idea,” said Dan Ronan, of AAA Texas. “The public seems to support this idea and believes that it’s a hazard to drive like this.”
“I think it’s a rule they should have, because it’s dangerous,” said bus rider Anthony Scott at the Dallas Greyhound station.
A statement from First Group American, the company that owns Greyhound, said it already imposed a ban on the use of all mobile devices while operating any company vehicle in 2008, including talking or texting on cell phones.
“Employees across all divisions of the company are instructed to pull over at a safe location and turn off their engine before making a call or sending a text message,” said the statement from Maureen Richmond, of First Group America.