Calif. texting law update to governor

A rewrite of California's electronic distracted driving laws has cleared the Legislature and been sent to Gov. Jerry Brown. The bill from Assemblyman Bill Quirk, left, was designed to simplify and expand the state's distracted driving laws by recasting its ban on texting & driving. AB 1785's wording, inspired by a court ruling, places the focus on use of the handheld electronic device itself, rather than the activity (such as text messaging). It is designed to get mobile devices out of drivers' hands. "Smartphones have an abundance of available features that demand a driver's … [Read more...]

Pokemon game raises distraction fears

Safety officials are trying to stop a wave of distracted driving caused by the "Pokémon Go" game before it starts. Warnings have been issued in numerous states about hazards presented by the "virtual" smartphone game, in which players hunt "wild Pokemon" characters in the real world. "Catching virtual creatures to get to the next level is not worth risking your life or the lives of others," officials in New York warned, noting that the craze has taken the safety community by surprise. "No Pokemoning from behind the wheel," the Washington State DOT urged in a Tweet days after the game … [Read more...]

California: 13% of drivers on phone

About 13 percent of California drivers are busy using cell phones while behind the wheel -- up from almost 10 percent in 2015 -- a state study suggests. Almost 8 percent of the state motorists were deemed to be driving distracted due to electronic device use, up from 5.4 percent. The state Office of Traffic Safety called the results of its sixth annual observational study "discouraging, but not totally unexpected." "Typing" and "posting" by drivers were up almost a third in the 2016 study, although "nearly all types of usage were up." The report -- "Observational Survey of Cell … [Read more...]

Louisiana texting fines now start at $500

Distracted drivers in Louisiana will see significantly higher penalties for texting or social media use while behind the wheel. Gov. John Bel Edwards on June 13 signed into law legislation that establishes $500 fines for first-time offenders of the state texting law, a penalty that will double for serial offenders. Minors will pay higher fines as well. Louisiana's new distracted driving penalties go into effect immediately. Senate Bill 91 (Act 472) comes from state Sen. Yvonne Colomb. The full Senate approved the bill in mid-April and the House followed at the end of May. Louisiana … [Read more...]

Book targets ‘phony traffic laws’

Al Cinamon is a frequent commenter on this web site. He maintains that our current crop of traffic laws is phony. They actually encourage distracted driving, he says. Now Cinamon has published his opinions in the book "What You Don't Know About Driving Can Get You Killed!" Cinamon, a driving instructor for more than 50 years, says the book targets "fables and fairy tales." The book is an exposé divided into two parts: Part 1 deals with "phony traffic laws that can get you killed" and Part 2 reveals "bad driving habits that can get you killed." In Part 1, he attacks the cell-phone and … [Read more...]