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...]

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...]

Britain to double mobile phone fines

Britain's new government is following up tough talk on electronic distracted driving with a doubling of penalties for handheld mobile phone use. The new punishments, still being finalized, will be be at least £200 and 6 points vs. the driver's license, officials says. They will take effect in the first half of next year, the Department for Transport said. The moves are spearheaded by new Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, left, who was appointed by Prime Minister Theresa May. Distracted drivers "could kill and cause untold misery to others," Grayling said in a statement Sept. 17. "I … [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...]