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Drivers of vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds have been banned from sending text messages while driving in the US, in a move welcomed by everyone.

The new rule, which comes from from the US Department of Transport, applies to commercial trucks and buses. If you're driving your rig for fun then you're OK to text and tweet as much as you like - as long as you're not in one of the nineteen states that have already banned texting while driving any motor vehicle.

The Associated Press explains that government drivers have already been banned from texting while driving since the beginning of the year, regardless of the state from which the text is sent. But with this new rule, anyone driving a vehicle over 10,000lb* could get a fine of $2,750 if caught sending a text at the wheel.

The ban might seem an obviously good idea, but in most cases it's easier for legislature to pass laws than enforce the existing ones. In the UK our perfectly-good undue-care-and-attention law has been supplanted by various bans on using mobile phones, which are enforced with equal vigour (or not at all, as it may be).

But that's not stopped Democratic Senators proposing that states which fail to ban texting in cars should face a cut to their federal road funding, so "jst ht a pt hol" might be the text message of choice. ®

* For UK readers: That's a proper truck. If you're hauling 7.5 tons on your car licence then you'll be fine to keep in touch by text.

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