The National Safety Commission Alerts

Safety is No Accident. Visit the National Safety Commission - America's Safety Headquarters for driver safety information, auto recalls and teen safe driver tips.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Distracted Driving Law Enforcement for Texting and Driving

Over the past few years distracted driving has come to the forefront of traffic safety discussions. Mostly everyone agrees that distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents and fatalities on roadways across the US. However, identifying the problem has not been the main objection for proposed distracted driving legislation.

For example, Georgia’s Governor, Sunny Perdue, threatened to veto text messaging and cell phone bills that has been passed by Georgia Legislature. Governor Perdue cited enforcement issues led him to consider the veto. In response to his threats safety advocates, law makers and students lobbied endlessly urging him to sign the bill. Finally, he signed the bill SB 360 which outlaws text messaging and related activities on a cell phone while driving.

Under Georgia’s new distracted driving laws text messaging will be banned for all drivers. Cell phone usage (both handheld and hands-free) is prohibited for all drivers under the age of 18. A $150 fine will be issued to those in violation of the new laws. These laws will go into effect on July 1, 2010.

Vermont and Kansas have also recently passed new distracted driving laws. Effective immediately in Vermont, drivers under 18 are banned from text messaging and using their cell phones while driving. Drivers caught violating the rule will be faced with fines ranging from $100-$250. For first time offenders the fine will be $100 and repeat offenders will face escalated fines up to $250.

Until January 1, 2011 drivers in Kansas will be issued a warning if they are caught text messaging while driving. Kansas’ Governor Mark Parkinson recently signed a bill that will be make it illegal to text message while driving for all drivers in Kansas regardless of age. The ban will go into effect January 1, 2011.

Previously, text messaging while driving, handheld cell phone use by adults and all cell phone usage by teenagers while driving had been outlawed in Connecticut. However, Connecticut recently made some adjusts to their current distracted driving programs. Governor Jodie Rell signed a plan that would make the previous laws stricter. In an effort to crack down on distracted drivers the new law does not include the previous law’s policy of forgiveness for some first offenders.

Now, first time offenders face a fine of $100. Repeat offenders face a fine of $150 and third time offenders face a fine of $200. Hand help cell phone use by adults is still outlawed. Cell phone use of any kind is still outlawed for teenagers as well.

Read more about the measures taken to stop distracted driving including distracted driving groups such as Oprah's No Phone Zone and phone/text blocker apps.

Labels: , , , ,

© 2011 All rights reserved.
The National Safety Commission, Inc.
PO Box 3359
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004-3359

AddThis Feed Button