To date, 49 states ban texting, 39 with specific laws banning texting and 10 states with laws that ban any use of handheld cell phones while driving. These laws are only as good as their enforcement.
For this reason, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is offering states grants for texting ban enforcement. Connecticut and Massachusetts are the most recent recipients of these grants.
The grants will help the states plan and conduct high-visibility anti-texting enforcement programs. Each state will receive $275,000 to do the following over a 24-month period:
- Train officers on better methods for spotting drivers who are texting;
- Develop anti-texting protocols and techniques, which may include stationary patrols, spotters on overpasses and roving patrols; and
- Develop media techniques that alert the public to the perils of texting and driving.
The states are required to test and document the effectiveness of these measures for the benefit of other states.
“While it is relatively easier for law enforcement to determine illegal handheld cell phone use by observing the position of the phone at the driver’s ear, the dangerous practice of texting while driving is often not as obvious,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “These two new demonstration programs will help identify real-world protocols and practices to better detect if a person is texting while driving.”
Our law firm has represented several clients in accident cases involving texting while driving. Better enforcement of texting ban laws may have prevented some of these accidents, so we applaud NHTSA’s efforts. We also urge parents to have their teenagers take a No-Texting-Pledge.
Attorney Eric Hageman represents clients throughout the United States in personal injury and wrongful death accident claims against negligent drivers. His practice includes lawsuits against semi truck drivers and trucking companies involving serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, burn injury and amputation. You can contact Eric for a free consultation here.