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...]

Survey: Distractions still on the rise

Drivers continue to reduce their use of handheld cell phones for talking, while text messaging is on the rise, according to a nationwide survey. The annual survey sponsored by State Farm also found year-to-year increases in usage of the Internet and, specifically, social network web sites. Among drivers 18-29, however, increases in electronic communications activity were found from 2014 to 2015 in cell phone talking, texting, GPS programming, the Internet and social media. "Younger age groups perceive many of these behaviors as less distracting and report being more likely to … [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...]

Social media a major roadway distraction

Almost half of drivers distracted by their smartphones are busy using social media, a new survey suggests. Key activities self-reported by the drivers -- in addition to texting and using email -- include "surfing the Net," taking selfies and shooting videos. Seven in 10 people who own smartphones and use them daily engage in some form of smartphone activity while driving, a survey conducted for wireless carrier AT&T shows. Most of those activities are against the law, depending on the state. Facebook, of course, takes the top spot in social media, with a quarter of the smartphone … [Read more...]

New N.Y. penalties, suspensions in effect

New York drivers who text message or use handheld cell phones are looking at new maximum fines for the offenses. Young and new drivers, meanwhile, are flirting with a yearlong loss of their licenses for electronic distracted driving violations. "Driving habits are developed early, and we are sending a message that texting while driving is unsafe, unacceptable and downright dangerous," Gov. Andrew Cuomo (pictured) said in announcing the tougher distracted driving penalties and suspensions. "There have been far too many avoidable tragedies due to texting while driving, and with these new … [Read more...]