Arkansas: Cell phone laws, legislation

Cell, text messaging update: Fines for texting & driving have been increased to $250 and then $500 under legislation approved by the General Assembly in 2017. State Sen. Will Bond's SB 347 also modernizes the existing texting law's language to include social media use. The senator separately proposed legislation that add serious penalties for distracted drivers who injure or kill others, but that plan did not succeed. "We're trying to bring to light how dangerous this conduct is," Bond says. Convictions under Arkansas' texting & driving law are averaging about 300 per year, state records … [Read more...]

North Dakota: Cell phone laws, legislation

Latest cell/texting news: Drivers who commit offenses while distracted are subject are now subject to an additional $100 fine. The unusual and somewhat vague law -- approved by the Legislature and governor in March -- would bar drivers from doing anything with their sight not directly related to operation of the vehicle. The offense, which is subject to secondary enforcement, is categorized as "failure to maintain control." It took effect Aug. 1. The 2017 law essentially adds general distracted driving wording to the state's texting & driving statute. State Rep. Corey Mock's plan … [Read more...]

New Mexico: Cell phone laws, legislation

Cell phone, text messaging legislation news: Almost 50 people have died in New Mexico so far in 2017 as a result of distracted driving, officials said in late August. There were 8,216 distraction-related injury crashes resulting in 3,113 injuries. In Bernalillo County (the Albuquerque area), there were 3,985 crashes. Distracted drivers were blamed for just over 20,000 crashes statewide in 2016. State Sen. Steven Neville, who sought to toughen fines in 2017, said: "Distracted driving is a real problem in New Mexico. It is approaching the rate of DWI in our state." New Mexico's texting & … [Read more...]

Iowa: Cell phone laws, legislation

Distracted driving news: Iowa's heightened enforcement of its texting & driving law is now in effect. Police will no longer need another reason to stop and cite texting drivers. The revised statute also bars use of social media and general Internet browsing while behind the wheel. Gov. Terry Branstad has said he was disappointed the Legislative did not approve an overall handheld device ban. The new texting & driving rules sailed through the Legislature as Senate File 234 before receiving final approval by the governor. Almost 9 in 10 Iowans supported the upgrade, a February poll … [Read more...]

Hawaii: cell phone laws, legislation

Cell phone, text messaging news: Honolulu has barred pedestrians from viewing handheld (or portable) mobile devices while crossing a street. Fines: $15 to $99 depending on number of previous infractions. The City Council vote was 7-2 and the mayor signed off on the ordinance in late July. "Sometimes I wish there were laws we did not have to pass -- that perhaps common sense would prevail," Mayor Kirk Caldwell said. "But sometimes we lack common sense." Officials cited the rising number of accidents in the tourist-heavy city. Honolulu's distracted walking law goes into effect in late … [Read more...]