Category Archives: Federal Legislation

Hands-Free Info

HandsFreeInfo.com seeks to reduce the confusion over local laws and legislation regarding the operation of motor vehicles while using cell phones and text messaging devices. The legal landscape changes frequently, so this web site’s team stays busy keeping on top of the latest developments nationwide.

The site also is dedicated to reducing the number of distracted-driver accidents on U.S. highways by promoting the use of hands-free cell phone devices.

Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHoodU.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a September summit to address the dangers of text-messaging and other distractions behind the wheel. In late September, senior transportation officials, elected officials, safety advocates, law enforcement representatives and academics will convene in Washington, DC to discuss ideas about how to combat distracted driving.

The summit will be conducted over the course of two days.

  • Wednesday September 30, 2009 8:30am – 5:00pm EST
  • Thursday October 1, 2009 7:30am – 1:15pm EST

Watch the Live Streaming Web Cam

AAA Campaign Aims to Pass Texting While Driving Bans in All 50 States by 2013

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — AAA and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety are launching new legislative and communications campaigns to reduce distracted driving and improve safety on our roadways. AAA today announced that the motor club will work to pass laws banning text messaging by drivers in all 50 states by 2013, citing strong public support for the laws, the danger of distracted driving, and new research by the Automobile Club of Southern California showing the impact of California’s texting ban. AAA will join the Foundation to call on motorists to drive distraction-free for the week of October 5 – 11 as part of its inaugural Heads Up Driving Week: Try it for a week, do it for life.

“The new technologies that help us multitask in our everyday lives and increasingly popular social media sites present a hard-to-resist challenge to the typically safe driver,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet. “Enacting texting bans for drivers in all 50 states can halt the spread of this dangerous practice among motorists nationwide, and is a key legislative priority for AAA in state capitols.”

Currently, 18 states and the District of Columbia have laws that address text messaging by all drivers. Two more states have laws that prohibit teens or other new drivers from texting while driving. Laws differ across the states and some have significant shortcomings, according to AAA.

Read the Full Article

TxtResponsibly.org to attend the Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC.

TxtResponsibly.org has received and accepted an invitation to attend the Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC. on behalf of the U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The Distracted Driving Summit will be convened by the Department of Transportation on September 30 – October 1, 2009 and will provide an opportunity for expert speakers from around the nation to lead interactive sessions on key topics including the extent and impact of the distracted driving problem, current research, regulations, technology implications, and best practices in enforcement and public outreach. More on Press Release.

Ford joins Verizon Wireless in supporting federal legislation banning drivers from text messaging.

Legislation proposing a nationwide ban on handheld texting while driving has received a boost from the Ford Motor Company. In supporting the legislation introduced by Senator Charles Schumer and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, both of New York, Ford becomes the first major auto maker to publicly favor such a ban.

As the dangers of texting while driving become more evident with mounting incidents of accidents, states are increasingly moving to ban the practice. To date, 17 states have moved to ban texting while driving. The proposed federal legislation calls for 25% cuts in federal highway financing for states that decline to go along with a texting ban.

Read the Full Article

Victims welcome mobile ban

Sisters Lucy, 18, and Isabelle Simon, 15, died in a crash near Levin two years ago after Lucy, the driver, lost control while answering a text.

Their mother, Anne McCabe, welcomed the ban but said education programmes to change attitudes were vital to its success. “You’ve just got to keep banging away and hope like hell something gets through.

“My daughter was a great driver and a fantastic texter and she could do all those things at the same time, but guess what? You can’t.”

Read the full article here.

Officials suggest bans won’t stop at texting

A new article in the Concord Monitor discusses official concerns that new laws won’t stop drivers from texting – but perhaps the dramatic statistics will:

Cell phone use is a factor in an estimated 342,000 auto accident injuries and costs $43 billion each year in property damage, lost wages, medical bills and loss of life

Read the full article here.

Obama administration to crack down on texting drivers

The Obama administration today signalled a nationwide clampdown on people who send text messages while driving, a practice cited as the cause of a recent series of high-profile fatal crashes.

The transport secretary, Ray LaHood, also hinted at action against drivers distracted in other ways, such as by use of mobile phones and fiddling with electronic route finders.

He is organising a summit next month of transport safety specialists, members of Congress, police and others to discuss the problem. He plans afterwards “to announce a list of concrete steps we will take to make drivers think twice about taking their eyes off the road for any reason”. He said: “This is a huge problem for America.”

Read the full article here.

A surge, please, on state bans against TWD (texting while driving)

The study, released last week by Virginia Tech University, analyzed the driving behavior of 203 truck drivers who traveled about 3 million miles equipped with in-cab cameras and other sensors. It found that sending and reading text messages on their phones was by far the most hazardous distraction to the drivers, causing the risk of a crash to be 23 times as high as for a nondistracted driver. The risk of a crash while driving under the influence of alcohol is about seven times as high as with an unimpaired driver, the study added.

Read the entire article here.

Download the VirginiaTech Transportation Institute study here.

White House convenes Texting Summit

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has called for a meeting of lawmakers, safety advocates and police organizations to figure out how to address the problem of texting while driving. Several recent studies suggest using a cellphone to send and read text messages is one of the most dangerous things one can do behind the wheel — perhaps even more dangerous than driving drunk.

Read the full article here.