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Verbally Sending a Text Message: There's a Technology for That

It's illegal to text while driving in the state of New York. So drivers who are running a little late or otherwise need to send a quick message, short of using hands-free technology to make a phone call, they either cannot send the message or need to stop the vehicle to do so. If drivers are caught using a handheld cell phone, they may receive a very costly ticket. The new iPhone 4S, however, may offer a solution to drivers that need or want to send a quick text message.

New York's texting law bans "manual communication" (or drivers taking their hands off of the steering wheel to use their cell phones) and the reading of the text messages. So, it would not be illegal for drivers to send a text messages if there was a way to send or "read" them without manually manipulating their cell phones.

Apple's latest iPhone comes with a new technology called "Siri." Siri is a voice operated technology that lets iPhone users verbally state what they want the phone to do, including sending text messages. The technology allows drivers to activate the text message system with their voice, write the text by speaking the message, and send the message by voice command. When a message is received, the technology will read the message to the driver.

However, Syracuse.com notes that drivers still may run afoul of the law using this technology to send or receive text messages. Siri technology needs to be manually turned on; meaning, drivers would still need to manually manipulate their iPhones to be able to verbally send a text message. Further, drivers violate the state's ban on texting if they decide to proofread messages they are about to send.

Apple's Siri technology looks to be a way for drivers to send text messages while behind the wheel, but drivers still need to be cautious that they do not violate the texting ban inadvertently. New York's ban on texting while driving is a primary offense - meaning police officers can pull over and ticket drivers solely for texting or manually manipulating their cell phones.

Source: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2011/10/love_texting_while_driving_iph.html

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