A poll shows that while 90% of Canadian adults have seen a driver breaking distracted driving laws by using a handheld cellphone while behind the wheel, drivers from British Columbia have it the worst. 95% of respondents stated they’ve seen motorists breaking cellphone laws. And that’s not all. They also report higher instances of tailgating, speeding, lane cutting, and other offenses.
Click here to learn more about the poll.
Alabama recently became the latest state to enact legislation prohibiting drivers from engaging in text based messaging while behind the wheel. In the neighboring state of Mississippi, however, texting while driving is still legal in most cases, and, though the practice has already become a topic for discussion in state courtrooms, the idea of a bill outright banning it is still the subject of controversy among state legislators. Though state law in Mississippi currently bans motorists with only a learner’s permit and school bus drivers from sending or reading text messages while behind the wheel, a farther reaching ban is still being debated. Several legislators tried unsuccessfully to introduce legislation prohibiting drivers from using handheld communication devices while behind the wheel in the most recent legislative session. Many of those opposed to such a bill argue that it is impossible for law officers to enforce effectively. One such legislator, though he readily conceded that texting while driving is an unwise decision made by motorists, expressed doubts that a law could actually cause the widespread practice to be discontinued by the general public. A statement issued by a representative from the Mississippi Highway Patrol said the law enforcement agency, as well as the state’s Department of Public Safety as a whole, has no official stance on the desirability or feasibility on legislation banning motorists from texting and driving. The Department of Public Safety’s focus is on educating drivers about the dangers of distracting habits behind the wheel rather than promote legal prohibitions.
One in five of Fortune 500 companies surveyed by the National Safety Council have adopted policies prohibiting their employees from using a cell phone while driving a company owned vehicle. An estimated 20 percent of the 150 companies that replied to the National Safety Council’s questions regarding their cell phone policies have made a corporate policy mandating a total ban on cell phone use, several of them in response to the National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendation that cell phone use while behind the wheel of a moving motor vehicle be prohibited in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C. The National Safety Council supports the National Transportation Safety Board’s cell phone ban suggestion, which prohibits drivers from using a cell phone for sending text messages or engaging in a cell phone conversation while operating a vehicle, even if the handheld communication device has been equipped with a Bluetooth transmitter or other hands-free device. According to a statement issued by the council, more than 30 safety studies have concluded that using a cell phone while driving is equally hazardous and distracting regardless of whether the motorist is using a hands-free device. One company conforming to the recommendation is Owens Corning, headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. Signs reading “No cell phone while driving” have been posted throughout the company parking lot. The companywide policy is that no employee should make or receive a business related call while driving any vehicle. The survey conducted by the National Safety Council, a nonprofit safety advocacy organization, is not a complete picture of the cell phone policies enforced by companies across the United States, but no fully comprehensive list of corporate policies currently exists.
Let this be a warning to all those people who continue to drive while texting or talking on a handheld cellphone: you might soon be facing even steeper penalties.
That’s because the State Senate yesterday voted 24-9 to adopt a bill that would increase the fines levied against those persons caught in breach of California’s ban against texting while driving and talking on a cellular device that’s not handsfree. The bill has been passed on to the State Assembly.
The new bill would make it so that first time violators have to pay $30, a significant $10 increase from what’s currently on the books. However, this number jumps to $199 when court fees are taken into account. For persons who have already committed the offense yet get caught again, they’ll be forced to pay around $371. Their driver’s record will also incur a point.
Not everyone seems completely sold on this idea, though. Although the proponents of the bill cite statistics which show a decrease in both distracted driving and death resulting from same, other senators believe that regular citizens think the measure is trivial. One senator stated that he would like to see more emphasis placed on erratic drivers, not just people with phones to their ear or in their hands.
The bill still has a ways to go. Last year, the governor vetoed a similar measure that drastically raised the first time penalty to $50. The governor reportedly nixed the bill because he thought that what was on the books was already sufficient.
An Ohio bill designed to curb the practice of texting while driving has just cleared one more hurdle.
The State Legislature voted today by a 82-12 margin to approve a ban of texting while driving throughout the entire state of Ohio. Any violations of this law would be considered a misdemeanor, and fines could reach as high as $150. However, if a city has a stricter law or steeper penalty for those persons who use their cellphone while driving, the local measure takes precedence.
If a person driving a vehicle is spotted texting and that person is under the age of 18, then he or she can be pulled over and slapped with a primary offense. However, it should be noted that, for all other drivers, texting will only be considered a secondary offense. What this means is that adult drivers can’t be pulled over for texting alone. They must also be committing some other offense that initiated their having to be pulled over. Only then can a citation be issued.
Although the legislation is widely supported, some worry that it will be hard for officers to make the distinction between teens and adults. The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, for instance, say that they would have liked to see texting become a primary offense. Still, they support the measure because they think it’s a step in the right direction.
A recent survey of Californian college students reveals that the majority of the sampled population engages in illegal distracting behavior while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle by using a mobile phone for text or voice communication without the use of a hands-free device.
According to a research study conducted at the University of California San Diego, nearly 80 percent of the college students living in San Diego County report using a handheld communication device while driving. The study was carried out by the university’s Trauma Epidemiology and Injury Prevention Research Center. Students from four area universities and eight smaller local colleges were surveyed about their driving habits. Approximately half of the students surveyed in this study also reported sending and reading text messages while operating a moving motor vehicle. The results of the survey are scheduled to be released at an upcoming press conference in front of the university’s Hillcrest Medical Center. Text messaging and talking on a handheld communication device while driving are both prohibited by law in the state of California.
As a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, I have seen the harm drivers can do when they stop paying attention to the task at hand. If you or someone you love has been injured in an automobile accident linked to an inattentive motorist, please consider contacting a Los Angeles car accident attorney.
The Alabama state legislature is for the third time considering a bill that would prohibit drivers from sending and receiving text messages while operating a moving vehicle. Currently, between 25 and 30 cities and communities in the state of Alabama have passed local ordinances prohibiting texting while driving. A statewide ban has previously been considered twice without being made into law, the current iteration of the ban has not come up for a vote, but some legislators say it has strong support in the Alabama State Senate. Some local law enforcement officers have spoken out in favor of the ban, citing the poor driving habits exhibited by motorists. Distracted drivers are responsible for thousands of traffic collisions each year, resulting in hundreds of deaths, according to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Research conducted by the safety administration indicates that drivers sending or receiving text based communications on a handheld communication device take their eyes away rom the road for an average of 4.6 seconds at a time, and texting while driving makes the likelihood of becoming involved in a traffic collision approximately 23 times greater.
As a car accident lawyer in Fresno, I am well aware of the damage that drivers can cause when they become distracted. If you have been injured in a collision involving an inattentive motorist, please consider discussing your case with a Fresno personal injury attorney.
About a month after the state of Pennsylvania passed a law prohibiting drivers from sending and receiving text messages, some state law enforcement officials say they are having a difficult time enforcing the traffic safety regulation. Throughout the state, law enforcement officers have issued 37 citations for violation of the law since it took effect. According to some officers, distinguishing between drivers who are sending text messages and drivers who are simply inputting a phone number in their handheld communication devices (Which the law allows) is difficult. Officers will often be required to wait until they see a vehicle violating a separate traffic regulation, such as driving toward the oncoming lane of traffic, crossing a double line, or weaving between lanes, before they can pull the driver over. Often before a patrol car can get close enough to verify a driver is texting, the driver’s vehicle will be stopped at an intersection, where sending a text message is not illegal. Officers are not allowed to check motorists’ phones to see if they have been sending text messages without first obtaining a search warrant. In most cases, a search warrant will only be sought in a situation where the allegedly distracted driver has been involved in a traffic collision.
As a car accident attorney in Bakersfield, I have seen the damage that dirvers can do when they let their attention stray from the road ahead. If you have been involved in an accident linked to distracted driving, please consider contacting a Bakersfield personal injury lawyer.
The state of Texas is holding a Distracted Driving Summit in an effort to provide drivers with safety information regarding to distracted driving practices and reduce the number of distracted drivers on the state’s roadways. The Summit is the result of a joint effort between private businesses, the Shriners Hospital for Children and the Texas Department of Transportation. It will feature a panel discussion between the survivors of motorists killed by distracted drivers. Ray LaHood, the transportation secretary, is scheduled to speak. Other experts in the auto safety field will discuss the results of scientific experiments regarding distracted driving, as well as the efforts legislators and carmakers are currently making to discourage distracted driving habits such as texting behind the wheel. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, more than 9 percent of fatal auto collisions are linked to driver distraction, a number that some experts estimate is lower than reality due to drivers involved in fatal collisions being hesitant to report they were texting and driving at the time of the accident. More than half of all drivers surveyed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said they believe their driving ability is not impaired when they talk on a handheld communication device.
As a car accident lawyer in San Francisco, I am hopeful that these and other efforts are successful in making the roads safer for all of us. If you or someone you love has been injured in a collision involving a distracted driver, please consider contacting a San Francisco personal injury attorney.
Traffic safety advocates are hoping to combat the distracted driving dangers posed by handheld communication technology with another high tech innovation: virtual reality. The Peer Education Summit on Distracted Driving is attempting to instruct high school students on the risks posed by sending text messages while behind the wheel of a moving automobile, by inviting them to use a virtual reality simulation program designed to recreate the experience of attempting to drive a car while texting. Students participating in the program experience the simulated consequences of causing an injury collision or hitting a pedestrian due to the distractions of text messaging. The program hopes the experience of killing a virtual pedestrian will help convince a teenage driver to put his or her phone away for the duration of a car trip. According to safety experts, sending a text message takes a driver’s focus away from the road for an average of five seconds. When traveling at 55 miles per hour, a vehicle travels approximately 100 yards, or the length of a football field.
As a car accident attorney in Ventura, I have seen the irreparable damage that motorists can cause when they take their eyes and attention away from the road ahead of them. If you or someone you care for has been injured in an automobile accident linked to inattentive driving, lease consider contacting a Long Beach car accident lawyer.