Arkansas: Cell phone laws, legislation

Cell, text messaging update: A bid to stop handheld communications device use by all drivers in Arkansas fell short in a House Committee on Feb. 24. The legislation from state Rep. David Fielding went down to defeat in an 11-7 vote. Legislators voiced concerns about constituent anger over limiting cell phone use and "personal rights." The bill might be revived, supporters said after the vote. The plan would have allowed police to stop and cite violators (primary enforcement) and came with fines from $50 to $200. A coalition of Central Arkansas law officers says distracted driving is the key … [Read more...]

North Dakota: Cell phone laws, legislation

Latest cell/texting news: A North Dakota woman has been charged with homicide after she allegedly hit an SUV and killed one of its passengers while using social media. The 20-year-old was checking photos on Facebook at the time she slammed into the SUV on Interstate 29, police said after searching her cell phone. Abby Sletten, 20, was charged Sept. 3, 2014, with negligent homicide in the May 27 death of the passenger, an 89-year old woman from Minnesota. North Dakota's first distracted driving laws went into effect Aug. 1, 2011, with text messaging prohibited for all drivers. Primary … [Read more...]

New Mexico: Cell phone laws, legislation

Cell phone, text messaging legislation news: The state unveiled a gory public service announcement that shows a body smashed against a windshield due to the vehicle driver's distracted texting. Officials said the ad was designed to get the attention of young people used to gore in horror films and TV series. Gov. Susana Martinez has said texting while behind the wheel is the leading cause of death for New Mexico teen drivers. "Distracted drivers pose a serious danger to fellow motorists on our streets, roads, and highways, especially among our youth." New Mexico's ban on text messaging … [Read more...]

Iowa: Cell phone laws, legislation

Distracted driving news: Alarmed by the rising number of deaths on Iowa roads, Gov. Terry Branstad has established a task force to look into the problem of driver inattention and impairment. The group will examine "use of different devices and other things that might distract drivers," the governor said in late July. Branstad said a legislative push for a handheld cell phone ban is a distinct possibility for 2017. An upgrade of the current texting law -- to primary enforcement -- also is expected to get lawmakers' attention. Branstad said he'll unveil a game plan during his next state of the … [Read more...]

Hawaii: cell phone laws, legislation

Cell phone, text messaging news: Law officers across Hawaii wrote more than 11,000 distracted driving tickets in 2014. Hawaii's distracted driving law saw a set of changes go into effect July 1, 2014, with a base fine of $250 the headline item. The Legislature also made violations in school zone or construction areas subject to a $300 fine. Previously a first-time violation cost $100 while subsequent offenses within a year crept up to $300. The revised Hawaiian distracted driving law also makes clear that drivers temporarily stopped for red lights or stop signs cannot use handheld … [Read more...]