In Arizona, another roadblock to law

Arizona's backers of distracted driving laws appear to be in for yet another disappointing legislative session. Hopes were raised for 2017 with the departure for Washington of distracted driving law foe Andy Biggs, longtime Senate president. But now Senate Transportation Committee chief Bob Worsley, left, appears to be filling Biggs' shoes. Worsley, a Republican, has blocked from his panel's consideration all distracted driving legislation except a plan to outlaw use of wireless communications devices by young drivers -- and only for the first six months of their licensing. Worsley, … [Read more...]

Hersman to advise DOT on vehicle tech

National Safety Council president Deborah Hersman has been named to the Department of Transportation's Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation. Hersman, a longtime activist in the fight against electronic distracted driving, previously worked for the federal DOT as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. "With new technologies and innovative approaches to mobility, we hold the keys to reach a future without transportation fatalities," Hersman said. Hersman was appointed by outgoing DOT Secretary Anthony Fox, whom she lauded for his leadership on technology … [Read more...]

Cargill adopts total cell phone ban

Agriculture giant Cargill has adopted a total ban on cell phone use by employees when they are driving. The move by the diversified Minnesota corporation became effective Jan. 1, 2017. Cargill's policy affects about 150,000 employees. The rules apply to all cell phone use, regardless of whether a hands-free device is employed. The ban on electronic distracted driving also extends to employees' private vehicles when they are doing company business. The National Safety Council -- which advocates a total cell phone ban for drivers -- said Cargill is the largest private corporation to … [Read more...]

Craddick back, seeking Texas texting law

Citing the "most fundamental purpose of protecting lives," state Rep. Tom Craddick has refiled his texting & driving legislation in Texas. Craddick makes his fourth run at a distracted driving law in the state, whose lawmakers have proved unusually resistant despite widespread ordinances at the local level. "All Texans are feeling the pain of damage, injury or loss of life and are calling for action by the Texas Legislature to enact legislation that will prevent these irresponsible crashes, unnecessary tragedies, preventable injuries, and needless deaths," Craddick wrote upon filing his … [Read more...]

Pennsylvania adds prison for texting deaths

Distracted drivers who kill or seriously injure others will face up to five years in prison under legislation signed into law by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. Nicknamed "Daniel's Law," the measure provides for two-year sentences for causing "serious bodily injury" while texting. Causing a death can bring a five-year term. The current maximum penalty for violating texting & driving law in Pennsylvania is $50. Daniel Gallatin, a volunteer fireman from Lawrence County, was killed in 2013 by a woman who was texting while driving an SUV. His motorcycle was hit from behind. The driver, Laura … [Read more...]