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 driving education programs such as the Save a Life Tour. The vanity plate was unveiled Jan. 14 by the truckers group, the office of the state attorney general, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the state DOT. The truckers group … [Read more...]

‘Close to Home’: Social-media tragedy

The latest video from AT&T's It Can Wait campaign against distracted driving shows the consequences of a mom's glance at a smartphone image posted to social media. In slow motion or full speed, it's not a pretty picture: The public-service ad follows through on AT&T's promise to expand It Can Wait beyond just texting & driving, based on studies that show social media use is a significant threat on roadways. The spot also has 30-second versions. Directed by Frederic Planchon via the agency BBDO New York. … [Read more...]

Corporate news: distracted driving

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 National Safety Council -- which advocates a total cell phone ban for drivers -- said Cargill is the largest private corporation to adopt such a policy. Auto insurer Geico is investing $1.3 million in New York State efforts to curb distracted driving. The insurer … [Read more...]

Jenner’s distracted driving party

Another celebrity is taking heat for distracted driving, this time reality star Kendall Jenner. Jenner posted an Instagram video that showed her and model pal Ashley Skye getting down to Avril Lavigne's "Sk8er boy" while cruising through heavy traffic in L.A. The ladies are dancing in their seats, pointing and looking at each other as they sing along to the summer of 2002 hit, which came out when they were something like 7 years old. They pass through a pedestrian crosswalk and scoot past vehicles slowed in traffic on both sides of their vehicle. "Being uber girly," Jenner's post … [Read more...]

Cell phone search warrants needed

In a privacy ruling certain to affect distracted driving enforcement, the U.S. Supreme Court says police must have search warrants in order to examine the cell phones of those they arrest. The justices' cell phone ruling of June 25 said: "The police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested." The Fourth Amendment ruling was seen as a pivotal decision in the broad area of digital privacy. It did not specifically address distracted driving cases but clearly would apply to them. Police who seek to … [Read more...]