States Move to Enable Laws to Ban Texting as Distracted Driving

March 5, 2011

Trucker to Trucker, the prime site for looking for trucks for sale focuses on texting while driving laws:

Federal rules already forbid texting while driving, but now state legislators are also moving to enact their own laws to prohibit driving while distracted. A dozen states are considering laws to forbid texting whilst driving, however these will affect all drivers and not simply truckers, which is as it ought to be.
Last year, twelve states enabled prohibiting laws, bringing the total to thirty states who now have bans on texting whilst driving on the statute books. The ban on texting while driving appears to have reached a national tipping point and signals a growing trend to aggressively pursue and enforce the policy, as well as looking at other issues which are, or can cause, distractions whilst driving. One such extension is the current consideration on a ban on pets within the rig cab itself.
The 12 states which brought in new laws include:
Indiana
Texting and driving is already outlawed for drivers under 18, and the ban is now being extended to all drivers (good idea). Fines of up to $5000 will be levied. Cell phone use is also being banned, though this is still being discussed by law makers.
Maryland
Existing rules only ban the typing of text messages as opposed to texting itself. An amendment will close the loophole to ban the practice while driving altogether. It will be unlawful to text or to read texts whilst driving under the revised law, including when stopped at traffic lights or an intersection.
Fines of up to $500 and a range of secondary offenses are included.
Arizona
A Bill is in the House to ban texting and driving with an exception for those dialing telephone numbers on their cell phones and also for texting whilst parked.
$50 fine which increases to $200 if an accident occurs.
AZ already has a law banning texting and driving for under-18s and the new law makes textig a primary offense, i.e. one for which you can be pulled over by the police.
Oklahoma
A Bill is winding its way through the House which includes a cell phone ban on drivers under 18 and a ban on all cell phone use for drivers within a school zone.
Missouri
Drivers under 21 are already banned from texting and driving and a new law is in the legislature which would impose a $200 fine on text-driving violators.
North Dakota
A complete texting while driving ban narrowly passed the House and is under consideration in the Senate. $100 fine and two points added to the violator's license increasing to 4 points for repeat violators. Third time violators will lose their license for one year.
Arkansas
Arkansas already bans texting and driving and drivers under 18 are banned from any cell phone use, even if it is hands-free. A new law bans cell phone use in highway construction zones and school zones.
Alaska
Texting and driving are already banned and a complete cell phone ban (unless hands free) is currently under consideration.
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