Distracted driving news analysis

Woman wearing Google Glass

New tech, new era of driver distractions

Lawmakers trying to come to grips with the technology behind distracted driving won't find the going any easier when they get back to work in 2015. Police across the nation already complain that state distracted driving laws are ineffectual in the era of smartphones -- devices that are essentially handheld personal computers. Many state laws were written when cell phone calls were the main … [More ... ]

Distracted driving news

google map on smartphone

75 percent of U.S. now on smartphones

Three out of four mobile phone users in the U.S. now has an Internet-connected smartphone, according to an industry study. That translates to about 182 million people in the U.S. with the advanced mobile phones -- with smartphone penetration at an all-time high of 75 percent, according to the comScore report. The quick market adoption of smartphones has been … [ More... ]

the Yukon flag

Judge: ‘Hands free’ means no hands. Period.

Wedging a cell phone between your shoulder and ear qualifies as hands-free driving -- at least in the eyes of the Yukon courts. The Canadian territory's distracted driving law is simply too mushy, a judge ruled. A Marsh Lake man fought his distracted driving ticket and won, saying that he was using the smartphone's speaker with both hands on the wheel. A … [ More... ]

south carolina state flag

South Carolina writing texting tickets

South Carolina drivers who text while driving now can be stopped and cited for the distracted driving offense, as the new law's six-month warning period has elapsed. Tickets range from $25 (first offense) to $50 (subsequent). Distracted drivers will not see points vs. their licenses for infractions, meaning insurance rates will not increase for … [ More... ]

bicyclist racing in city

NYC distracted bicyclist law proposed

New York City bicyclists would be prohibiting from using smartphones and similar devices under an ordinance proposed by a Brooklyn councilman. City Council Member Mark Treyger says he was inspired to file the legislation after witnessing a distracted bicyclist nearly cause a multivehicle crash. Treyger cited an increased number of crashes involving bicyclists … [ More... ]

alamo in san antonio

San Antonio OKs handheld cell phone ban

San Antonio, the second-largest city in Texas, has outlawed use of handheld cell phones, effective Jan. 1. The city joins Austin, whose ban on the wireless communications devices also goes into effect with the new year. The moves come as chances for enhanced statewide distracted driving laws took a blow with the Nov. 4 election. Governor-elect Greg Abbott shares … [ More... ]

Andew Cuomo

New N.Y. penalties, suspensions in effect

New York drivers who text message or use handheld cell phones are looking at new maximum fines for the offenses. Young and new drivers, meanwhile, are flirting with a yearlong loss of their licenses for electronic distracted driving violations. "Driving habits are developed early, and we are sending a message that texting while driving is unsafe, unacceptable … [ More... ]

Washington flag for text message ban post

Wash. state panel: Rewrite cell phone laws

The state of Washington was an early leader in distracted driving laws, but a transportation panel says it's fallen behind the times. Washington's Traffic Safety Commission seeks a complete and unambiguous ban on the use of handheld cell phones while driving. Washington state law "doesn't preclude you from looking at Facebook or the Internet as you're driving," … [ More... ]

Texting & driving lawmaker State Rep. Damschroder

Ohio’s primary enforcement push

Ohio legislators are being asked to rush through a toughening of the state's texting law before their two-year session ends in under two months. State Rep. Rex Damschroder, author of the state's 2013 texting law, seeks to upgrade the ban to primary enforcement, meaning police can stop and cite all drivers for that offense alone. Currently, only teen drivers are … [ More... ]

state flag of vermont

Vermont cell phone law in effect

It's hands off or pay up for Vermont drivers attached to their cell phones. The state's first handheld cell phone law went into effect Oct. 1. Fines are up to $200 for first offenders but no points unless the violation occurs in a work zone (two points). Subsequent violations can bring penalties of $250 to $500. Vermont Transportation Secretary Brian Searles … [ More... ]

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