Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) July 15, 2013 – Connecticut has a novel idea to crackdown on cellphone usage in vehicles.
“Connecticut has an interesting idea to cut down on the number of people who use mobile devices when they drive,” commented Bobby Lee, an Austin personal injury lawyer, with Lee, Gober & Reyna. “If it works there, it may have possibilities in Texas.” Connecticut state lawmakers want to inform insurance companies when drivers are cited for using a cellphone while driving. The upshot of the bill would make distracted driving violations reportable to insurance companies, thus increase the person’s insurance rates plus increase the fines for talking/texting while driving.
“If people had to pay even higher insurance rates for their behavior involving cellphones, they may pause to think twice about doing it,” Lee suggested. “When being on the wrong side of the law and having to pay for it, on top of being fined and cited, people often remember it vividly.” Connecticut’s bill has garnered support from all political parties.
The increases in fines for distracted driving would jump from $25 to $50 for a first-time offender, to $350 from $250 for a second offense, and for any further violations, each ticket would cost $500, instead of $400. All tickets would then be placed on the person’s driving record.
“It’s a novel idea and may make driver’s sit up and take notice. People hate paying more money for insurance, and if they end up getting a hiked vehicle insurance rate because they were talking on their mobile device, they might not only still be alive, but cautious about getting fined,” said Lee. “Sometimes, hitting them where it hurts the most alters people’s behaviors —- for the betterment of everyone.”
In Texas in 2012, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported 90,378 crashes involving distracted driving, resulting in 18,468 serious injuries and 453 deaths. The numbers show that just about one in four car accidents are the result of driving while distracted. Driving while distracted can refer to other in-vehicle distractions, including GPS systems, laptop computers, TVs and even CD decks.
Lee, Gober and Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road, Suite 220-S
Austin, Texas 78759
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