New distracted driving laws in Miss., N.H.

state trooper writes a ticket

Texting while driving is now illegal in Mississippi, while New Hampshire motorists will have to have to put down their wireless devices or face a ticket. Mississippi is a latecomer to the texting & driving issue, being the 45th state to ban the distracted driving practice. Gov. Phil Bryant approved the law in mid-March. Mississippi drivers caught texting while behind the wheel are subject to fines beginning at $25, but they go up to $100 in summer 2016. The originating legislation -- House Bill 389 — also outlaws social media use by drivers, but does not address cell phone use. In an … [Read more...]

Texas texting & driving bill fails

State Rep. Tom Craddick of Texas lashes out

Texas backers of a statewide texting & driving law will have at least two more years to wait. State Rep. Tom Craddick, left, said any texting-related deaths in that period would be "on the back of those senators" who refused to bring his distracted driving legislation to the Senate floor. The distracted driving plan, he said, "will not become law and will not help prevent future injuries or loss of life." Craddick's House Bill 80 was approved by the House in a 102-40 vote March 25. The bill was delayed in Senate committee by an opponent, and then fell one vote short of reaching the … [Read more...]

Oklahoma gets texting & driving ban

signing texting and driving law in Oklahoma

Oklahoma's state Legislature has approved a texting & driving ban that gives police powers of full enforcement. The governor signed the distracted driving act into law May 5. The final vote of 85-7 came in the House on April 29. The House previously OK'd a ban with secondary enforcement, but went along with the Senate's upgrade. That means police would be able to stop and cite offenders for texting alone. The fine for all offenses would be $100. No points vs. the driver's license. The law would go into effect Nov. 1, 2015. Oklahoma remained one of the few remaining states without a … [Read more...]

Texting tickets at highs in N.Y., California

Andew Cuomo

Ticketing for texting & driving has hit record highs in New York and California, based on numbers just released for 2014. New York reports texting & driving tickets increased 35 percent in 2014. In California, texting tickets also increased in 2014, roughly 10 percent, but the overall number of distracted driving citations slumped significantly in the Golden State, from 426,360 to 359,292. Most distracted driving tickets in California are for cell phone use, which was down again in 2014, with texting making up less than 10 percent of tickets written for talking & driving. When it … [Read more...]

Mississippi OKs texting & driving law

Mississippi flag for texting law article

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed legislation banning texting by all drivers. It goes into effect July 1. His state had beem among the few remaining in the U.S. without a strong texting & driving law. House Bill 389 -- given final approval by the Legislature on March 10 -- also would outlaw social media use by drivers, but does not address cell phone use by drivers. Fines would begin at $25 but go up to $100 in summer 2016. (Updated with governor signing.) The final Senate vote in favor of HB 389 was nearly unanimous, with three senators voting against the plan. The House … [Read more...]