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...]

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...]

N.J. plan for roadside ‘textalyzer’ tests

A New Jersey lawmaker says police should be able to use "textalyzers" to test the cell phones of drivers involved in serious crashes. The distracted driving legislation from state Sen. Richard Codey is similar to a bill recently introduced in New York, to significant publicity. New Jersey drivers who refuse to hand over their cell phones would be subject to penalties in procedures similar to those used on suspected drunken drivers who refuse to have their breath tested. "Policymakers and road-safety experts are reaching back to tried-and-tested strategies to treat distracted driving … [Read more...]

Tenn. targets distracted school bus drivers

Tennessee "now has the strongest law in the nation" guarding against distracted school bus drivers. Gov. Bill Haslem on April 28 signed into law an act that cracks down on school bus drivers who text and use cell phones on the job. The legislation came in response to a horrific 2014 crash -- blamed on a texting bus driver -- that left two children and an assistant teacher dead in East Knoxville. The new law permanently bars offenders from driving school buses in Tennessee, and makes them subject to at least 30 days in jail and a minimum $1,000 fine. The law bars use of a variety of … [Read more...]