Social media a major roadway distraction

teenager distracted by smartphone

Almost half of drivers distracted by their smartphones are busy using social media, a new survey suggests. Key activities self-reported by the drivers -- in addition to texting and using email -- include "surfing the Net," taking selfies and shooting videos. Seven in 10 people who own smartphones and use them daily engage in some form of smartphone activity while driving, a survey conducted for wireless carrier AT&T shows. Most of those activities are against the law, depending on the state. Facebook, of course, takes the top spot in social media, with a quarter of the smartphone … [Read more...]

Congressmen link cell phones, DOT grants

federal grant money

A trio of congressmen have filed federal legislation seeking to limit distracted driving grants to states that ban handheld cell phone use and adopt primary enforcement. U.S. Reps. Eliot Engel of New York, Ted Deutch of Florida and Mark DeSaulnier of California introduced the Distracted Driving Prevention Act of 2015. The federal legislation would "amend the (U.S. Department of Transportation) process of granting money to states that have passed statutes to address distracted driving." While most states have texting & driving laws, only 14 have laws prohibiting the use of handheld cell … [Read more...]

Oklahoma gets texting & driving ban

signing texting and driving law in Oklahoma

Oklahoma's state Legislature has approved a texting & driving ban that gives police powers of full enforcement. The governor signed the distracted driving act into law May 5. The final vote of 85-7 came in the House on April 29. The House previously OK'd a ban with secondary enforcement, but went along with the Senate's upgrade. That means police would be able to stop and cite offenders for texting alone. The fine for all offenses would be $100. No points vs. the driver's license. The law would go into effect Nov. 1, 2015. Oklahoma remained one of the few remaining states without a … [Read more...]

Texting tickets at highs in N.Y., California

Andew Cuomo

Ticketing for texting & driving has hit record highs in New York and California, based on numbers just released for 2014. New York reports texting & driving tickets increased 35 percent in 2014. In California, texting tickets also increased in 2014, roughly 10 percent, but the overall number of distracted driving citations slumped significantly in the Golden State, from 426,360 to 359,292. Most distracted driving tickets in California are for cell phone use, which was down again in 2014, with texting making up less than 10 percent of tickets written for talking & driving. When it … [Read more...]

April: Distracted Driving Awareness Month

california texting ban for teen drivers

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, entering its fifth year. It's an event without an official sponsor, but the NHTSA seems to be taking the lead with its "U Drive. U Text. U Pay." campaign. Meanwhile, law agencies are taking the opportunity to crack down on distracted drivers. Hawaii, California and Connecticut are among the states warning motorists of distracted driving sweeps in April, backed in large part by federal funds. The National Safety Council once again took the occasion to promote the idea that hands-free use of electronic communications devices was no safer than … [Read more...]