Pennsylvania legislators appeared at Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital to promote legislation than would make talking on a cellphone while driving illegal. Fines of $50 and $100 for illegal cellphone use would be imposed for regular driving and school zone driving, respectively. The potential ban would be similar to current penalties for texting while driving. There would be certain exceptions for GPS devices.
Click here to learn more about the potential ban.
A ban on cellphones and other handheld devices while driving is something one Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to make happen. The ban would offer extra support to a law already in place that makes it illegal to text while driving. The two laws would go hand in hand, allowing police to stop and ticket someone who is caught with a cellphone in hand. Last year, the state of Pennsylvania experienced over 50 deaths and 14,000 crashes caused by distraction.
Click here to learn more about the potential ban.
The traffic division of Sault Ste. Marie’s Police Service has started an enforcement program aimed at distracted drivers. The penalty incurred by a driver for using a cellphone while driving is $155. This law has been in place for two years. And all throughout August, officers will be stopping drivers at intersections for failing to stop at red lights, turning at times and in situations that are inappropriate, and holding handheld devices.
Click here for more about this effort.
Drivers in North Carolina are barred from texting while driving, but Chapel Hill attempted to one-up their state by instituting a cellphone ban on all drivers. However, a Superior Court Judge has just ruled that the enacted ban is unconstitutional as it now stands. The ruling is the result of local towing companies who complained that the ban actually contradicted a previous law requiring tow truck drivers to use their phones to answer questions from citizens whose vehicles have been towed.
Click here to learn more about this unique legal battle.
In a recent crackdown on distracted drivers, police in Whitby, Ontario issued 84 citations over a four-day period last week. Police are hoping that the word gets out that distracted driving will not be tolerated. They believe that many drivers are still ignoring Ontario’s ban on using handheld communication devices while driving. Over half of the citations issued last week were for violating the handheld cellphone ban.
Click here to learn more about this enforcement effort.
In Ottawa last week, plainclothes police officers posed as construction workers so that they could look out for drivers who were either talking or texting on handheld cell phones or not wearing their seat belts. These plainclothes officers radioed details of the offenders to uniformed officers, who then pulled over and ticketed drivers. 41 tickets were issued between 10 am and 12:45 pm alone. One Ottawa police sergeant hopes that drivers will learn that using hand-held phones while driving is risky. Drivers found talking on their phone can be fined $155, and people who do not wear seat belts may be fined $240.
To learn more about this effort, click here.
The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey has signed a law allowing authorities to charge drivers with vehicular homicide if that person’s vehicle kills someone while they were distracted by a cell phone. Drivers caught texting while driving can be charged with reckless driving, just like someone who is drunk. The law will be known as “Kulesh, Kubert, and Bolis’ Law,” so named for three victims of distracted driving.
To learn more about the new law, follow this link.
According to a new report, distracted driving is responsible for 10% of all accidents, racking up about 15 fatalities a day. Many places are adopting bans and restrictions; in Minnesota, minors are not allowed to talk on their phone while driving. But plenty of adults are prone to erratic driving while trying to use phones, as evidenced by a ride-along with Burnsville police, so some places have banned device use altogether. The danger and the increased awareness have led Washington to consider a nationwide ban on cell phone use while behind the wheel.
Click here to read more about distracted driving crackdown efforts.
As a result of the significant number of accidents and deaths due to distracted driving, Atlantic County police are cracking down on cell phone use in cars. Even if one is using a speakerphone, the Department of Transportation says those using cell phones are four times more likely to get into crashes that could cause serious injury. While officers say they dislike giving out fines, they plan to stage an enforcement operation throughout Atlantic County in New Jersey. A citation would cost offenders $130. Police say such a program is necessary for the safety of all motorists. A cell phone message, Northfield police officers stressed, is not worth a life.
Click here to learn more about Atlantic County’s law enforcement efforts.
The City Council of Bridgeport, West Virginia, is putting an early stop to texting and cell phone usage in cars. On Monday, the city council passed a law that bans all hand held device usage while driving. A statewide ban goes into effect a year from now, but the council chose not to wait. Hands-free devices are still legal though.
To learn more about the city’s efforts, click here.