According to a series of news reports, a recent court ruling may change how many law enforcement officers approach distracted driving laws.
The reports show that a US Circuit judge has said that the Indiana ban on texting while driving is “largely efficacious,” claiming that looking down at your phone while driving is not necessarily proof that you’re texting. With the ruling, the judge dismissed charges brought against a man who was initially pulled over for allegedly breaking the state’s distracted driving laws. The man involved in this case was later found to have 5 lbs of heroin in the trunk of his vehicle.
The man was pulled over in 2014. And while he was looking at his phone, he claimed that he was searching for music, not texting.
While the ruling may have helped this particular driver, the judge believes that the state of Indiana would be better off by changing its distracted driving laws if they are really concerned about the efficacy of the texting-while-driving ban.
Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous activities in the country. Yet many drivers continue to use their phones and take part in other activities while driving, putting their own safety in major risk.
In the future, many of the distracted driving laws on the books across the states may be challenged in court like Indiana’s law. If drivers are serious about their safety, however, the fact that using a phone to text while behind the wheel is illegal should not be the only incentive behind a driver’s choice to focus on the road instead of using his or her phone.
Safety should always come first, no matter what.
If you’re a driver or the parent of a young, inexperienced driver, you should lead by example by simply putting your phone down. Children who are used to parents who are constantly distracted while behind the wheel are more likely to be just as distracted. Teaching your children about safety and about putting safety first.
You may learn more about this particular court ruling and how it could influence local distracted driving laws by following this link. If you’re serious about safety, keep in mind that distracted driving in Washington state is illegal.
Motorists in Washington must keep in mind that any use of a handheld cell phones while operating a vehicle is illegal, except if the driver is operating an authorized emergency vehicle or a tow truck that is responding to a disabled vehicle. Drivers may also use hands-free technologies such as speaker phone, headsets, or earpieces to talk.