California has passed new legislation aimed at reducing the number of distracted driving accidents in the state. The law would require all drivers to keep their smartphones mounted while driving, and would limit all drivers’ interactions with their phones to a single swipe or touch.
California law already forbids texting or calling while driving, but this law would take a much more extreme approach to the issue. According to the Office of Traffic Safety, California ticketed 329,572 drivers for texting or making calls while driving in 2013. This new law would increase that already-sizable number.
The size of the fine, however, is relatively small. First offenders would pay a $20 ticket, while repeat offenders would pay $50. Only time will truly tell if these fines will serve as an effective deterrent.
Distracted driving accidents: an epidemic
In an age of constant multitasking, it appears our culture in struggling with the concept of safety first. Distracted driving killed more than 3,150 people in 2013. Every day, eight people on average are killed in an accident that involves a distracted driver.
Statehouses across the country are looking to create new regulations that protect citizens. States such as Maine and New Jersey have also taken similar measures to reduce the problem. While these programs are still in the experimental phases, it’s important to understand that the law does have protections in place that can help victims get the funds they need to pay medical and repair expenses. If you were involved in one of these accidents, you should seek the counsel of an attorney.
Hopefully, laws such as these will be able to make a positive impact on distracted driving, but in the meantime, all of us need to come together and make a collective decision to put safety first. We all have the chance to reduce distracted driving every time we get behind the wheel.
Frederick M. Dudek is a San Diego personal injury attorney with an exceptional passion and expertise for fighting on behalf of bicycle accident victims.