Ariz. takes a baby step with texting law

Arizona, long one of the most resistant states to distracted driving laws, has adopted its first texting & driving law for the public. Come July 2018, teen drivers who are in the first six months of licensing will be barred from text messaging while driving. Gov. Doug Ducey, who signed the legislation April 27, said he wished the Legislature had gone further -- "banning texting while driving for all minors." There were, of course, the usual hopes for distracted driving laws in 2017 affecting adult drivers. But Arizona lawmakers have long fended off attempts to join the rest of the … [Read more...]

Iowa’s text message: primary enforcement

Iowa has adopted full enforcement for violations of its texting & driving ban, effective July 1. Gov. Terry Branstad signed the legislation April 17. He also OK'd a road-safety bill whose provisions include a legal presumption that handheld electronic device use while driving is reckless driving. Branstad also hoped for a handheld cell phone ban out of the legislative session, but it did not happen. While the texting & driving change does somewhat toughen the distracted driving laws, it mostly brings to state in line with most of the rest of the nation. It does remove Iowa from a … [Read more...]

Group sees ‘red’ over texting laws

Citing an "alarming two-year jump in motor vehicle crash deaths" and a falloff in traffic-safety lawmaking, the group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released its annual report card. The survey of highway safety laws gigs nine states for having ineffective distracted driving laws. Eight of those receive overall "red" ratings for anemic safety laws. Flagged for not having all-driver texting & driving laws are Arizona, Missouri, Montana and Texas. Criticized for anemic secondary-enforcement texting laws are Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota. Looking solely at … [Read more...]

In Arizona, another roadblock to law

Arizona's backers of distracted driving laws appear to be in for yet another disappointing legislative session. Hopes were raised for 2017 with the departure for Washington of distracted driving law foe Andy Biggs, longtime Senate president. But now Senate Transportation Committee chief Bob Worsley, left, appears to be filling Biggs' shoes. Worsley, a Republican, has blocked from his panel's consideration all distracted driving legislation except a plan to outlaw use of wireless communications devices by young drivers -- and only for the first six months of their licensing. Worsley, … [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...]