Monday, January 25, 2010

Focus Driven

The local NBC affiliate just did a piece on a anti-distracted driving group called FocusDriven. As some of you may know, I really have a problem with distracted drivers. Be it eating, putting on make up, reading books or the paper and especially texting while driving, gets my dander up in a hurry. I believe texting while driving should carry a penalty at least as large as a DUI would bring.focus_25 Michigan recently passed a weak texting law that goes into effect in May. The law only allows officers to pull over texters as an secondary offence. Meaning that after someone runs you and your bike over while they were texting, will be written a ticket after they scrape you up off the street. And the fact that the offending driver was texting while diving is established. I guess this law is a step in the right direction, but is woefully lacking in teeth to get this practice stopped.

I guess it will take groups like FocusDriven to educate the public and hopefully get the attention of lawmakers to pass legislation to prohibit these actions while operating a motor vehicle. The group was formed by people that know first hand the lives that are ruined by distracted drivers. They have lost family members to these drivers. I for one fully support FocusDriven and will be writing my local legislators and passing the word around until a better law is on the books in Michigan. I hope all who read this will join in to help eliminate distracted drivers from our roads. Not only making them safer for bikers, but safer for everyone who uses or crosses them.

Here is a small sumary on the states that currently have cell phone/ texting laws on the books provided by Govenors Highway Saftey Association, The full list of all the States cell phone laws can be found on this page as well.

"Current state cell phone driving law highlights include the following:

Handheld Cell Phone Bans for All Drivers: 6 states (California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington), the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from talking on handheld cell phones while driving.
With the exception of Washington State, these laws are all primary enforcement—an officer may ticket a driver for using a handheld cell phone while driving without any other traffic offense taking place.
All Cell Phone Bans: No state completely bans all types of cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for all drivers, but many prohibit cell phone use by certain segments of the population.
Novice Drivers: 21 states and the District of Columbia ban all cell use by novice drivers.
School Bus Drivers: In 17 states and the District of Columbia, school bus drivers are prohibited from all cell phone use when passengers are present.
Text Messaging: 19 states, the District of Columbia and Guam now ban text messaging for all drivers. Fifteen states, D.C., and Guam have primary enforcement. In the other four states, all driver texting bans are secondarily enforced. Some states have limited texting bans.
Novice Drivers: 9 states prohibit text messaging by novice drivers.
School Bus Drivers: 1 state restricts school bus drivers from texting while driving.
Local Laws: While this chart addresses only statewide laws, many local jurisdictions have enacted cell phone and/or texting while driving bans. However, six states have preemption laws that prohibit local jurisdictions from enacting such restrictions.
Some states, such as Maine, New Hampshire and Utah treat cell phone use as a larger distracted driving issue.
Utah considers speaking on a cellphone to be an offense only if a driver is also committing some other moving violation (other than speeding"

Till Next Time........................

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