Residents in California often find that their state is among the first to enact major legislative changes, especially those designed to improve the environment or protect the safety of its citizens. One area in which California has led the nation is in combatting distracted driving. Handheld use of cell phones was banned in 2009, long before most other states followed suit. Today, there is an effort underway to expand the state’s distracted driving laws.
As reported by Good Day Sacramento, a bill has made its way to the Governor’s desk in the hopes of being signed into law. If signed, it would add one point on a driver’s record for their second distracted driving violation. No point would be added for a first violation. For driver’s eligible to attend traffic school, however, the point may be able to be avoided for a second offense but may then be added for a third.
Holding a phone or texting while driving are certainly dangerous activities, but they are far from the only distractions that put innocent people at risk. Research shows that even talking in a hands-free mode can increase the risk of having an accident fourfold.
In fact, a story in the Press Democrat highlights this very fact. A driver engaging in a hands-free FaceTime conversation struck a woman crossing the street because he was so engrossed in his conversation that he never saw her. The pedestrian was in a crosswalk. Her head injuries landed her in the hospital. No details on her prognosis are known.