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...]

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...]