Governors Highway Safety Association Praises Hawaii's New Distracted Driving Law

May 24, 2013 -

The Governors Highway Safety Association is heaping praise on lawmakers in Hawaii for passing a very tough law against distracted driving and another law concerning seatbelts. The law prohibits drivers from texting or using hand-held devices while driving.

While there are some loopholes for adults over the age of 18, for youngsters just about all device usage while driving is now illegal including cell phones, video game devices, music devices, and more.

While other states (40 to be exact) now have strict laws concerning texting while driving, Hawaii joins 11 other states that have passed a comprehensive law to deal with the issue. The law still allows for adults who want to use hands-free devices the ability to do so, but drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using even hands-free devices.

The law also has exceptions for audio equipment, GPS devices and video entertainment devices for passengers. Emergency calls are also allowed.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the law on Monday. Abercrombie also signed a bill that requires even adults to wear seat belts in the back seats of cars.

 

Source: Insurance Journal


Comments

Re: Governors Highway Safety Association Praises Hawaii's ...

The ideal solution for any state is to simply pass and enforce a single "distracted driver" law. None of this "No Texting/gaming/doing make-up" piecemeal crap. A single all encompassing law. 

Of course that means less of a revenue stream for the cops, which is what these laws are really about.

Re: Governors Highway Safety Association Praises Hawaii's ...

The problem with your suggestion lies in the fact that people tend to be terrible judges of their own abilities.

If you just had a generic "distracted driving" law without anything specific called out, that would still leave the door open for people who go "sending a text message doesn't distract me" or "fixing my makeup isn't distracting" up until their car hits someone else's. By citing specific examples, the law is saying "this stuff in particular is distracting, don't do it", which reduces the number of people who behave in such ways.

Sure, there's always going to be people going "screw those morons in $STATE_CAPITAL, I'm doing what I want to", but there's also going to be people going "I can text while driving just fine, but there's no way I can prove it to the cops, so I'll hold off for now".

(The ability for cops to raise revenue via tickets is more of a bonus in this case.)

Re: Governors Highway Safety Association Praises Hawaii's ...

How well you think you drive is of little impact in distracted driving cases. If a cop sees you swerving all over the road and pulls you over to find out you were texting, you will get a ticket. If you truly drove as well as you think you can, you wouldn't have been doing anything that the cop would have pulled you over for.

Re: Governors Highway Safety Association Praises Hawaii's ...

How well you think you drive is of little impact in distracted driving cases.

Unless of course you cause an accident, because you only thought you weren't distracted, before a cop notices you.

Re: Governors Highway Safety Association Praises Hawaii's ...

That is why it is important to teach people what constitutes distracted driving. We do not need a new law to micromanage the issue. We only need to enforce the current one that wraps up all potential distractions in a single tidy package.

Re: Governors Highway Safety Association Praises Hawaii's ...

Exactly. The point is to discourge behavior that could cause an accident that much more easily. It's like that old saw about an ounce of prevention and a pound of cure; if you can only catch people when they're swerving all over the road, there's a much higher chance that said swerving will hit another car (or a tree or a road sign) before a cop pulls the vehicle over.

Re: Governors Highway Safety Association Praises Hawaii's ...

"The law also has exceptions for audio equipment, GPS devices and video entertainment devices for passengers."

The biggest problem with these kinds of laws is the differences between them and their enforcement state-to-state.

In California, apparently using your cell phone as a GPS is illegal whether or not you make a call according to a judge there - http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/04/09/court-rules-using-cell-phone....

In Maryland, talking without a hands-free device or texting has just gone from a secondary offense to become a ticketable offense (bringing the total number of states that do this to ten). - http://washingtonexaminer.com/maryland-to-start-ticketing-for-cellphone-...

There needs to be uniformity to these laws.

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Papa Midnight

Re: Governors Highway Safety Association Praises Hawaii's ...

I don't need someone 1000 miles away telling me how to drive. I don't want to have to abide by crappy laws just because people from your messed up state can't handle personal freedom.

Re: Governors Highway Safety Association Praises Hawaii's ...

Yeah, there's a lot of grey area's there.  Having previously lived on the Big Island, I can say that it's already financially taxing, so why not tack on some fines.  It's also got some of the highest auto insurance rates.  On the plus side, weed is prevalent, so that's cool!

 
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