Tech crackdown: Alaska bans drivers from texting, DVD viewing

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A law signed by Gov. Sarah Palin Monday will ban Alaska drivers from watching DVDs, text messaging or even fiddling with their iPods while behind the wheel.

The new rules go into effect Sept. 1.

The law stems from a 2002 accident in which a man accused of watching a DVD while driving collided with another vehicle, killing two people. The driver was later acquitted of second-degree murder, manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

The new law makes it a class A misdemeanor to watch a video screen while driving. If you're driving while distracted and cause an accident that injures or kills someone, the crime becomes a felony.

A few activities, such as checking a car's global positioning screen, will still be legal.

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