Distracted driving news

U.S. distracted driving fatalities slip 2.2%

The number of distracted driving deaths slipped in 2016, bucking the trend in a year that saw overall fatalities rise 5.6 percent, federal officials report. The overall number of deaths linked to distracted driving was 3,450, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. That compares with 3,526 in 2015. The decrease was 2.2 percent for "distraction-affected … [ More... ]

Oregon’s new distracted driving law in force

A comprehensive rewrite of Oregon's distracted driving law is now in effect. Targeting various ambiguities in the old law, the new rules focus on the holding of "mobile electronic devices" such as smartphones. "That's the key," says House Bill 2597 author Rep. Andy Olson. “The law doesn’t say you can't use (cell phones and smartphones), you just can’t have them in … [ More... ]

Maine governor axes handheld cell phone law

Gov. Paul LePage says Maine doesn't need more "social engineering" -- and has vetoed the Legislature's handheld cell phone ban. The Republican governor said legislators and police should instead focus on the state's existing laws regarding texting & driving and distracted driving. "We have a distracted driver law, we have a texting law -- if they're not working … [ More... ]

Rhode Island prohibits handheld cell phone use

Rhode Island is joining three of its New England neighbors by adopting a ban on handheld cell phone use. Gov. Gina Raimondo approved state Sen. Susan Sosnowski's distracted driving measure July 10 after it cleared the General Assembly at the end of June. Sosnowski, left, has been trying to get a handheld cell phone ban through the legislature for a decade. The … [ More... ]

Texas governor OKs ban but targets local laws

The push for a texting ban in Texas finally has ended -- but the debate over distracted driving regulation in the Lone Star State seems sure to continue. Gov. Greg Abbott, left, signed the texting ban into law June 6, after some last-minute fears that he might not. The governor said, however, that he would push for special-session legislation pre-empting stronger … [ More... ]

Apple unveils Do Not Disturb for driving

Bowing to safety concerns and consumer sentiment, Apple has unveiled a Do Not Disturb While Driving feature for its upcoming iPhone operating system. "iPhone can now sense when you're driving and prevent you from being distracted by calls, text messages and notifications until later," Apple said. "People trying to reach you can automatically be notified that … [ More... ]

Colorado hikes texting fines, limits enforcement

Colorado has graduated from being "one of the lowest-fining states" for texting & driving. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law the plan from state Sen. Lois Court, left, that makes a significant increase in texting & driving penalties. First-time offenders now face penalties of $300 and 4 points vs. the driver's license. There's a catch, however. In adopting … [ More... ]

Texas finally gets a texting & driving ban

The long drive toward a texting & driving ban in Texas has finally ended. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the measure into law June 6, after some last-minute fears that he might not. The governor said, however, that he would push for special-session legislation pre-empting stronger local laws. The ban goes into effect Sept. 1. Rep. Tom Craddick, left, carried the … [ More... ]

Wash. state overhauls distracted driving law

Washington state drivers looking forward to another year and a half of relatively lax distracted driving laws are in for a surprise: Gov. Jay Inslee signed the "Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act" into law, as expected, but not before vetoing the Legislature's enactment date of Jan. 1, 2019. The tougher electronic distracted driving law now goes into … [ More... ]

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