On Friday February 28, 2014 a road safety bill passed the Kentucky House of Representatives by a vote of 62-32. There are provisions in the bill that lawmakers reportedly hope would prevent distracted driving accidents in the future. The bill must now go to the Kentucky Senate for consideration. If it passes the Senate then it must be signed by the governor, or approved in an override vote, before it becomes law.
What the Bill Includes
The specifics of the bill, as passed by the House on February 28 include:
- Doubling the fines for texting and driving. The cost of a first offense would go from $25 to $50 and the cost of a second or subsequent offense would go from $50 to $100.
- Prohibiting drivers from dialing a number on their cellphones when they are in a school zone and the caution lights are flashing. Fines would be doubled for this offense.
- Prohibiting drivers from dialing a number on their cellphones when they are in highway construction zones. Fines would also be doubled for this offense.
Modifications or amendments to this bill may be made as it goes through the Senate.
Distracted Driving Is a Significant Problem in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Highway Safety reported more than 53,600 distracted driving accidents in Kentucky during 2012. Those accidents resulted in 174 deaths and more than 14,700 injuries.
Do you support the current legislation? Do you think it will help prevent distracted driving crashes in Kentucky? Let your state senator know what you think, as this is a public safety issue that could affect any of us at any time—regardless of our own driving habits.