The state of Connecticut recently signed into law two bills aimed at Distracted Drivers – laws which introduce new penalties and conditions that will impact drivers and employers.
There are some particular features in these new laws that will increase their impact:
- They change distracted driving citations to a ‘moving violation’, putting it on the list of serious traffic violations and assigning it points.
- They allow for the offence to appear on the motor vehicle record of the driver and be available to car insurance companies to use when calculating rates for an insurance policy. A fine is a one-time payment, but an auto insurance company can raise your rates for three years, or more, for a moving violation such as this.
- The laws make it illegal for motorists to use their handheld device when behind the wheel – including when the car is sitting motionless. That means drivers may not use their mobile devices even when stopped at a light or stuck in traffic. Presently, a motorist must be driving (car in motion) to be ticketed.
It is likely that we will see more of this type of legislation brought in, together with the associated tougher financial penalties, that can have much more impact than a one-off fine. This is something that will impact drivers and employers.
At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.