Distracted driving news

British Columbia hikes fines, adds points

British Columbia has more than doubled the fines for distracted drivers, following up on public demands for tougher punishments. The new penalties, which go into effect June 1, will tag first offenders with a base fine of $368. With insurance premium hikes tied to four newly added penalty points, the offense will cost violators $543. (The current fine is $167 with … [ More... ]

Tenn. targets distracted school bus drivers

Tennessee "now has the strongest law in the nation" guarding against distracted school bus drivers. Gov. Bill Haslem on April 28 signed into law an act that cracks down on school bus drivers who text and use cell phones on the job. The legislation came in response to a horrific 2014 crash -- blamed on a texting bus driver -- that left two children and an … [ More... ]

Alaska rethinks texting & driving law

Alaska is reining in its texting & driving law to encourage police to actually enforce it. Following the lead of Anchorage, the state's largest city, the Legislature approved and sent to the governor a plan to make an electronic device offense a traffic violation instead of a class A misdemeanor, if no injury or death occurs. Alaska's distracted driving offenses … [ More... ]

N.Y. considers cell phone ‘field tests’

New York legislation envisions roadside electronic scans for cell phones possessed by drivers involved in wrecks. "Field tests" under the proposed "Evan's Law" would seek to determine whether the cell phone was used at the time of the crash, but the scanning technology would not provide police with access to user content on the device. Israeli firm Cellebrite … [ More... ]

Wisconsin: Hang up in road-work zones

Wisconsin has outlawed use of handheld mobile phones in construction zones. The law comes in response to a trio of highway workers' deaths in 2015 and was requested by local county highway commissioners. The law, which takes effect Sept. 1, comes with fines ranging from $40 to $100. Wisconsin has a general texting & driving law, but does not prohibit use of … [ More... ]

Indiana texting law takes a beating

A federal appeals court has cast a dubious eye on Indiana's texting & driving law. Ruling in the case of a suspected drug trafficker pulled over for texting, the court found that "the most plausible inference from seeing a driver fiddling with his cell phone is that he is not texting" -- citing a list of other activities possible on smartphones. In the decision … [ More... ]

AAA: Driver use of cell phones widespread

About 70 percent of U.S. drivers confess to recently using a cell phone while behind the wheel, a new survey suggests. About 1 in 3 of drivers say they use the cell phones "fairly often or regularly," according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The group cited a "culture of indifference" toward unsafe driving behaviors. Just over 42 percent of the … [ More... ]

Nine states flagged for texting laws

An annual survey of highway safety laws gigs nine states for having ineffective distracted driving laws. Six of those receive overall "red" ratings for anemic safety laws. A majority of the states gigged as falling "dangerously behind in adoption of key safety laws" were lacking texting and driving laws with full enforcement. Those "red" states are Arizona, … [ More... ]

Indiana license plate: ‘Put the Phone Down’

We've all seen the bumper stickers that urge motorists to get off the cell phone and drive. Now there's something a bit more official. Indiana now has a sponsored license plate with the bold message: "Put the Phone Down." The state gives $25 of the $40 cost to the Indiana Motor Truck Association, which vows to devote 100 percent of its share to distracted … [ More... ]

NTSB posts distraction as ‘Most Wanted’

The NTSB has unveiled its "Most Wanted List" of changes in 2016 to save lives and reduce transportation accidents. Not surprisingly, "deadly distractions" get major play. "It will take a cultural change for drivers to understand that their safety depends on disconnecting from deadly distractions," the National Transportation Safety Board says in its breakout on the … [ More... ]

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