Nearly $18 million is going to be dished out to states that have laws banning distracted driving in 2013.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the grant program is being used as incentives to get more lawmakers working to stop dangerous distracted driving habits. The funds were allocated through the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act that was recently passed by Congress. For a state to qualify, it must have a comprehensive, primary law in place that stops drivers from driving distracted, including text messaging at the wheel. Only primary laws will be acknowledged, meaning that an officer can stop a driver for using their phone and doesn’t have to observe another broken law, according to Truckinginfo.com.
The NHTSA reports that there were more than 3,090 people killed and another 420,000 injured in distracted driving car accidents in 2012. These kinds of accidents are preventable, too. There’s never a good reason for a driver to take their attention off of the task at hand — driving.
Our Charlotte car accident attorneys understand that distracted drivers continue to plague our roadways despite the recent increase in enforcement. In the state of North Carolina, only drivers under the age of 18 are banned from using a hand-held cell phone behind the wheel. Drivers of all ages are banned from text messaging while driving however.
States that have these laws but choose to keep them as secondary enforcement will not be eligible for these funds. In addition to the near $18 million, lawmakers have chosen to help the NHTSA with advertising to support state’s enactment of these kinds of laws.
David Strickland, the Administrator with the NHTSA, says that enforcement efforts are key in helping to keep our roads safe. Laws are virtually useless when they’re not enforced by officers. Whether it’s drunk driving, distracted driving or any other kind of safe-driving concern, law enforcement officers have what it takes to help to reduce the number of accidents. These funds that have been freed up by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act not only to help to fund public awareness and driver education, but they will also help our nation’s officers to crack down on distracted drivers.
Each state has 45 days to apply for these funds.
Without enforcement, these laws are meaningless. Drivers are requested however, to act within the spirit of the law. There should never be a phone call or a text message that’s worth risking someone’s life. As a matter of fact, drivers who use a hand-held cell phone at the wheel are 4 times more likely to get into an accident. Drivers who text at the wheel are nearly 25 more times to crash their vehicle. Decrease these risks, put down the phone and keep your attention on the road!
Contact the Lee Law Offices if you’ve been injured in a car accident. Our firm offers free and confidential consultations to discuss the rights and the cases of accident victims. Call 800-887-1965 today!
More Blog Entries:
North Carolina Tractor-Trailer Accidents Leaves Roads Covered in Booze, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, August 21, 2012
Distracted Driving in Rock Hill: “It Can Wait” Targeting Texting Behind Wheel, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, August 20, 2012