Category Archives: State Legislation

Hands-Free Info 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 to attend the Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC. 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.

Idaho proposes ban on texting while driving

Idaho’s got bipartisan legislation in the works to ban texting while driving, a move roughly two dozen states already have made … “the time has come to enact legislation that will help drivers realize that it’s neither safe nor smart to text while driving. Public awareness of the dangers of texting while driving has increased exponentially this summer. We now know that the longer we wait to act, the more lives will be lost.”

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Ohioans back ban on texting while driving

Ohioans overwhelmingly support a ban on texting or using hand-held cell phones while driving, according to a new poll.

A total of 89 percent support the texting ban, and 75 percent say hand-held cell phones should be off limits on the road, according to the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute’s results released Tuesday.

And about 84 percent of those polled said banning hand-held cell phones while driving would improve safety on Ohio’s roads.

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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.

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Proposal Would Bar Texting While Driving in Kentucky

An eastern Kentucky lawmaker is getting behind a texting while driving ban.

The Governors Highway Safety Administration Director, Barbara Harsha, said she expects a flood of additional state legislatures to take up the issue when they convene their 2010 sessions.

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Texting drivers still not getting the message

St. Paul, Minn. — It’s been a little more than a year since Minnesota banned texting while driving, It’s obvious many drivers haven’t received that message — or they’re ignoring it. But safety officials vow they’ll be increasingly backing up the law with education and enforcement.

“I like to feel I can multitask,” said Kristine Brewitz of Stillwater, who figures she can text message while driving, as long as there’s no traffic and the road ahead is clear. “There are times when I feel I put myself at greater risk,” she said. “But I do feel I still watch the road and look for signs and stuff. There have been a few times where I’ve been a little bit scared. I’ve never been in an accident, knock on wood.”

A Harris Interactive poll last month found about two-thirds of Americans favor restrictions on cell phone use in cars. But an even bigger majority, 80 percent, support an outright ban on text messaging while driving. The group that represents the highway safety offices of all 50 states is calling for a nationwide prohibition, too. Insurance companies are paying more attention to the issue. One study found texters are up to 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident.

Nationwide Insurance expects to offer discounts for drivers who adopt technology that blocks text messages to them while they’re in a moving vehicle. Devices and services that shut down mobile texting are expected to hit the market soon.

Read the full article here.

Utah Teen Kills 2 While Texting and Driving

Teen pleads guilty after killing 2 while texting and driving

Teen pleads guilty after killing 2 while texting and driving

After a crash here that killed two scientists — and prompted a dogged investigation by a police officer and local victim’s advocate — Utah passed the nation’s toughest law to crack down on texting behind the wheel. Offenders now face up to 15 years in prison.

The new law, which took effect in May, penalizes a texting driver who causes a fatality as harshly as a drunken driver who kills someone. In effect, a crash caused by such a multitasking motorist is no longer considered an “accident” like one caused by a driver who, say, runs into another car because he nodded off at the wheel. Instead, such a crash would now be considered inherently reckless.

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Governors Highway Safety Association Endorses Texting While Driving Ban for All Drivers

SAVANNAH, Ga., The membership of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has enacted a new policy encouraging every state to ban texting behind the wheel for all drivers.

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