KENTUCKY’S DISTRACTED DRIVING LAWS
Distracted driving is partaking in any action that diverts the driver’s attention away from the roadway while operating a motor vehicle. This includes messing with the radio, eating, drinking, conversing with passengers, and setting your GPS. But, the biggest distraction in this day and age has to be cell phones. Whether it is texting, talking on the phone or any of the numerous other things you can do on your phone, paying attention to your phone while driving can often be a deadly game.
It may not seem like much to look away from your phone for two or three seconds, but looking away for five seconds while driving 55 MPH is the equivalent to driving the length of a football field with your eyes shut. That is part of the reason why distracted driving is such a hot-button topic because looking away for even a second can result in dire consequences for not only the person driving but the innocent drivers surrounding them.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 481,000 drivers are using cell phones per day while driving during daylight hours alone. This creates a huge potential for accidents and it shows in the accident statistics. In 2015, roughly 391,000 motorists were injured in distracted driving incidents. Even worse, 3,450 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2016. These statistics bring about the question, “What can be done?” Well, some states are doing their part to curb distracted driving by passing strict laws.
LAWS TO END DISTRACTED DRIVING
A recent headline-grabbing law to be passed was in Georgia and took effect July 2018. This law is being called the “Hands-Free Georgia Act” and will forbid drivers from holding a phone or using any other part of their body to support a phone. Drivers caught violating this new law face a $150 fine and three points docked on their license. For first-time offenders, the fine can be avoided if it is proven that the offender has purchased a hand free device to prevent future distracted driving incidents.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT KENTUCKY?
While it doesn’t directly affect Kentucky, it shows that more states are passing laws as this and Kentucky may soon follow suit. In passing this law, Georgia joined more than a dozen other states in passing similar laws. At the office of Mike Breen, we fully support distracted driving laws to be passed in Kentucky. There are too many lives at stake on our roadways to put them at risk by texting or making phone calls. Hopefully, Kentucky takes action sooner rather than later.