Post Date April 13, 2012 – The American Automobile Association called for more laws to ban text messaging, hand-held cell phones and other items which case distracted driving. The association expects law makers in fifteen states to pass driving laws barring such habits. 35 states have passed new laws that bar drivers from sending or receiving text messages while driving a car or motorcycles. These activities cause, driving violations ,at fault accidents and increases in auto insurance rates.
Since last year, the NTSB has lobbied for a complete ban on non-emergency use of portable communication devices by drivers; saved for GPRS or other gadgets that actually help communication in driving. The AAA’s main legislative priority in 2012 will be lobbying for stricter laws on teen driving. The AAA motor club and the AAA Auto Insurance Company reiterated the need for tougher penalties on drivers who violate laws on distracted driving.
The penalties for distracted driving behaviors such as talking, texting, changing radio stations and applying makeup behind the wheel, vary across state lines. Sending text messages in Pennsylvania will cost a driver only $50 as fine. If the same driver receives multiple violation, they will receive an increase in their auto insurance rates. In New York State, the same offence costs drivers $150, and three points on their driving record. Those points will result in an car insurance rate increase. Talking on a hand-held device also earns drivers three points on their record and a steeper cash fine. There is no total ban on cell phone usage in any state yet, nine states including Washington D.C., prohibit drivers from talking on hand-held gadgets. Some states, laws forbid youthful operators and school bus drivers from using mobile devices while driving. AAA will lobby for a graduated driver licensing (GDL) to improving teenage drivers’ skills. These programs delay full licensure for teenagers, until they become experienced under low risk conditions. These programs exist in all states, but concerned authorities hardly enforce them strictly.
Michael E. Dortch
President & Managing Agent
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania 19446
(800) 807-0762 ext. 602