Brown OKs new Calif. distracted driving law

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a rewrite of the state's distracted driving laws. The act's sponsor, Assemblyman Bill Quirk, celebrated the overhaul of what he called the state's "archaic laws" regarding use of portable electronic devices while driving. Brown, left, who did not comment on the measure, had vetoed several efforts to increase punishments for electronic distracted driving. Quirk's legislation, AB 1785, did not increase penalties. "This bill targets the deadliest cause of distracted driving-related crashes, the use of an electronic device while driving," Quirk said … [Read more...]

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. Update: The governor signed Quirk's measure into law Sept. 26. /update. 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' … [Read more...]

California: 13% of drivers on phone

About 13 percent of California drivers are busy using cell phones while behind the wheel -- up from almost 10 percent in 2015 -- a state study suggests. Almost 8 percent of the state motorists were deemed to be driving distracted due to electronic device use, up from 5.4 percent. The state Office of Traffic Safety called the results of its sixth annual observational study "discouraging, but not totally unexpected." "Typing" and "posting" by drivers were up almost a third in the 2016 study, although "nearly all types of usage were up." The report -- "Observational Survey of Cell … [Read more...]

Google points finger at distracted drivers

Google's self-driving cars have been hit 14 times, all the fault of humans operating other vehicles, the technology's developers say. "Not once has the self-driving car been the cause of the collision," Google's project leader Chris Urmson says in a blog post. "Instead, the clear theme is human error and inattention." Put another way: "Our self-driving cars are being hit surprisingly often by other drivers who are distracted and not paying attention to the road." Ouch. The most recent incident, well publicized, came in early July when a vehicle hit one of Google's modified Lexus … [Read more...]

California: 10% of drivers on phone

California's Office of Traffic Safety reports a "shocking" increase in use of cell phones by state drivers. The OTS and Highway Patrol released a study July 14 suggesting a 39 percent increase in the percentage of California drivers using the wireless devices. Results showed almost 10 percent of drivers -- 9.2 percent -- were using cell phones while behind the wheel. Not all uses reported were in violation of state law, however. More than 3 percent of the drivers were employing headsets and/or Bluetooth devices, which is legal in California and all other states with restrictions on … [Read more...]