2007_07_txtmsg.jpgState Senator Carl Marcellino of Oyster Bay and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz of Brooklyn are co-sponsoring a bill to stop drivers from text messaging while driving. Last month, an SUV driven by a 17-year-old girl crashed into a tractor trailer upstate in Ontario County. The SUV's driver, Bailey Goodman, and the four friends in the car all died on impact (the tractor trailer's driver was uninjured).

Investigators found that text messages had been sent from and to Goodman's cell phone shortly before the crash; Goodman also spoke on the cell phone a few minutes before the crash. It will never be known if Goodman had written the text messages herself, but the Ontario County sheriff said, "Cell phones are a distraction and could be a contributing cause in this accident."

There have also been questions about whether Goodman was permitted to drive at night and with non-relative passengers under 21, because she only had a junior license. Ortiz, who has sponsored a lot of legislation banning or restricting the use of cell phones while driving (including the current ban on non-hands-free cellphone use), said, "It's a shame that it may take a tragedy like this for this bill to move forward."