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...]

Oklahoma’s texting law getting results

Oklahoma's 1-year-old ban on texting while driving has paid off, an analysis by the state Highway Safety Office suggests. At the anniversary of the state's texting & driving law, statistics show reductions in distraction-related events across the board: in total crashes linked to distractions, injury and non-injury crashes, and in fatalities. The Oklahoma texting law went into effect Nov. 1, 2015. (Oklahoma at the time was one of the few remaining states without a ban on text messaging by all drivers.) Studies of the effectiveness of handheld device laws have produced mixed results … [Read more...]