Apr 05 by GJEL

California Distracted Driving Awareness Month Stresses Enforcement

Though 2010 marked the first annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month, California did not participate in an official capacity. So this year, California is making an impact with a statewide crackdown on distracted driving. About 225 local police agencies will team up with the California Highway Patrol to implement 103 CHP Area Commands and a “zero-tolerance policy” against offenders. A first-time offence carries a $20 fine, but with additional charges, the economic damage can reach over $200. So during Distracted Driving Awareness Month this April, remember to be safe and avoid distracted driving, or your wallet could regret it.

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Feb 02 by GJEL

Cyclists Included in Proposed California Distracted Driving Law

Since Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood made reducing distracted driving one of his top priorities, the dangerous practice has been the subject of heated debate among safety advocates, policy makers, and the insurance industry. The debate gets even hotter when distractions are targeted for non-vehicular modes of transportation, like walking and cycling. Currently, for example, New York City is considering imposing penalties for distracted walking, and here in California, the legislature has included cyclists in a once-popular law increasing fines for distracted driving, reports StreetsblogSF.

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Aug 10 by GJEL

Alabama eCrash System: Distracted Driving Causes 100 Car Accidents Per Month

Part of the auto safety overhaul languishing in Congress would require the addition of black box recording devices that would indicate the cause of car accidents. While Senators try to find a way to get a workable safety bill passed, the state of Alabama has moved forward with an experimental eCrash data recording system designed to track the impact of distracted driving. Based on preliminary data, the University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Public Policy found that distracted driving was responsible for more than 1,400 accidents since June of 2009.

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Apr 19 by Ben

California Senator Joe Simitian: Distracted Driving Laws “Will Take Time, Education, & Enforcement”

For the past few weeks at GJEL blog, we’ve been focusing on distracted driving bans limping through state legislatures across the country. The movement is also picking up steam on the national level. The Department of Transportation have launched trial programs in New York and Connecticut to boost regulation, and congressional Democrats have promised to address a federal distracted driving law this year. But here in California, the debate is really heating up. Earlier this month, the state’s transportation and housing committee approved a bill sponsored by Palo Alto Democrat Joe Simitian which would increase distracted driving fines for drivers, and add new penalties for cyclists. Speaking to GJEL Blog, Sen. Simitian discussed the real-world dangers of distracted driving, opposition from cell phone companies, and his bill’s potential to save more than 700 people per year in California alone.

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