When people’s lives are at stake, how do you draw the line between the necessary and the overboard? This is what many states are struggling with when it comes to cell phone use in cars. There have been 11 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia) that currently ban the use of handheld cell phones while driving. Soon to join the list, once the governor approves the bill, is Illinois. However, the use of hands-free devices will still be allowed.
Kentucky's distracted driving problem
In Kentucky, the number of recorded fatalities due to car accidents hasn't gone below 700 since 2007. Records have shown an annual decrease since then. However, we are still looking at significant figures. In 2009, for instance, there were 791 people killed due to car accidents, more than 200 cases were attributed to distracted driving. These statistics cannot be ignored! The data, after all, came straight from a press release issued by the local government’s office.
Kentucky drivers, regardless their age, are not allowed to send or read text messages in a moving vehicle, unless it's an emergency. However, those over 18-years-old are permitted to enter telephone numbers on their phones, as well as use the GPS system. The thing is, these practices are still distractions. They take the driver’s attention away from the road. Speaking of distractions, there are penalties for texting and being distracted while behind the wheel. Penalties vary depending on the case, but the goal remains the same. That is to keep roads and people safe.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I have seen how devastating a distracted driving accident can be to the victim and their families. Distracted driving laws like Kentucky's cell phone ban may seem extreme or ridiculous, but it helps save lives. In Kentucky, the cell phone law is classified as primary law. A primary law means if a police officer sees you texting while driving, they can pull you over without having to witness another offense. To help prevent a ticket and help to save lives, please put your phone and other distractions away before you drive.