Distracted driving news

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... ]

Vermont plan: Allow cell phone searches

Citing enforcement problems, a Vermont legislator seeks to give police the ability to search motorists' cell phone for evidence of distracted driving. The plan from state Rep. Martin LaLonde operates on the concept of "implied consent" to the searches by all of those who drive in Vermont. Drivers who refuse to hand over their mobile phones would face the same … [ More... ]

Survey: Distractions still on the rise

Drivers continue to reduce their use of handheld cell phones for talking, while text messaging is on the rise, according to a nationwide survey. The annual survey sponsored by State Farm also found year-to-year increases in usage of the Internet and, specifically, social network web sites. Among drivers 18-29, however, increases in electronic communications … [ More... ]

Traffic deaths: ‘Troubling increase’ in 2015

U.S. traffic fatalities show a "troubling increase" for the first six months of the year, federal officials say. The 2015 fatality estimate is up just over 8 percent from deaths in the same period last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Nov. 24. Distracted driving accounted for 10 percent of all crash fatalities in 2014, killing 3,179 people, the … [ More... ]

Siri a winner in Nova Scotia courts

Canadian provinces continue to struggle with the specifics of their distracted driving laws. In the latest case, in Nova Scotia, the Supreme Court sided with a motorist who was ticketed for using the Siri feature on an iPhone to ask for directions. The high court ruled in late October 2015 that employing the voice-activated navigational system did not … [ More... ]

Tech hangover for drivers cited

The process of "readjusting to the task of driving" after using wireless communications devices presents a "hidden and pervasive danger," according to a AAA report. Researchers found that driver distractions can persist for almost a half minute after use of some cell phones and in-vehicle information systems. The AAA said its study reveals that hands-free … [ More... ]

Saskatchewan deaths down after impounds

Saskatchewan has seen distracted driving crashes and fatalities fall in the wake of a year-old law that allows for seizure of serial offenders' vehicles. Preliminary numbers for 2014 show "quite a significant decrease" from 2012 and 2013. In 2014, there were 26 fatalities and about 600 injuries linked to distractions, according to Saskatchewan Government Insurance. … [ More... ]

Ontario distracted driving fine near $500

Fines for Ontario drivers who plead guilty to distracted driving now begin at $490, with three demerit points. Technically, the distracted driving fines that can be imposed by a judge range from $300 to $1,000 under a law that took effect Sept. 1. The set $490 fine is for drivers who plead guilty. (It includes victim fine surcharges and court fees.) Those who are … [ More... ]

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