Brits get tough on distracted drivers

Britain's distracted drivers are getting the message as the new doubling of penalties has been accompanied by a national crackdown on use of mobiles. First-time violations of the laws against driving while using a mobile phone bring fines of £200 and 6 points vs. the driver's license, effective March 1. The Daily Mail reported that "scores" of drivers received citations on day 1, including the driver of a 7-ton truck making his way through a roundabout. Norfolk police tweeted that they'd stopped 11 drivers for mobile infractions in an hour and a half. The national crackdown … [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...]

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...]