Sponsored by Sen. John D. Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, the Distracted Driving Prevention Act would provide incentive grants to states that ban texting and handheld cell phone use for all drivers and adopt a total ban on cell phone use by drivers younger than 18. The bill requires states that receive a grant to allocate at least 50 percent of those funds to educate and advertise to the public the dangers of texting or using a cell phone while driving, as well as enforce the distracted driving laws. The remainder of the funds can be used for other traffic safety improvement projects.
"Texting on a cell phone while you're driving is unsafe at any speed," said David Snyder, vice president and associate general counsel of the American Insurance Association. "AIA supports effective legislation banning texting while driving, and these public grants will go a long way to helping inform the public. This legislation is important because it will serve as the anchor for all related efforts to modify unsafe driving behavior, including public education and technology."
The bill would also create two high-visibility education and advertising campaigns, administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to educate motorists about the dangers of texting and cell phone use while driving. The legislation would require the Federal Communications Commission to collect data regarding wireless devices and existing and developing wireless communications technologies that have the potential to reduce the dangers of distracted driving.
Further, the bill would require the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe regulations on the use of electronic or wireless devices by operators of commercial motor vehicles and school buses and prohibit their use in circumstances where it interferes with the driver's safe operation of the vehicles.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
July 29, 2010
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