If You Can Text “Hasta La Vista, Baby”–Don’t!

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday signed a new state law that bans texting while driving. It closes a loophole in the law, which went into effect in July, that required those engaged in voice calls while behind the wheel to use hands-free technology.

Despite the connection to the calling-while-driving law, I suspect the Governator was prompted more by the recent Los Angeles commuter train accident that killed 25–which might have been caused by the train driver texting-while-operating. (Hey, maybe Mr. Schwarzenegger could be the celebrity spokesperson in my proposed texting PSA!)

Regardless, the law is something most mobile communications experts will welcome. Just because you can reach consumers “wherever, whenever” via SMS doesn’t mean you should expect to while they are operating a vehicle. The new law doesn’t go into effect until January, but hopefully people don’t wait until then to follow it.