It was a proud moment for Indiana personal injury attorneys and auto safety advocates in the state. Last week, the Indiana Senate voted to approve a bill that would ban texting while driving for all motorists. The bill was approved 29-21 in the Indiana Senate, and will likely be merged with another similar bill that was passed in the House.
The bill that has passed the Senate would extend the state’s current laws banning text while driving for all drivers below 18, to all motorists. Last month, the House passed a bill that imposed a ban on texting while driving for all drivers. That bill was approved 85-11 and makes texting while driving an infraction. Under the bill, motorists would be fined up to $500 if they are caught texting while at the wheel. Once these two bills are merged, it will be sent to the governor for his signature.
As Indiana personal injury attorneys, we have been supporters of laws banning texting while driving for all drivers. This new enhanced piece of legislation would tackle an oft-seen problem on our roads – distracted drivers. There is enough evidence to indicate that texting while driving increases distractions, and has no place behind the wheel. The most popular of these studies is the one conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute last year. That study was conducted on truck drivers, and found that drivers who were texting at the wheel were more than 23 times likely to be involved in an accident.
We don’t need more proof that texting while driving causes accidents. We need more action to prevent such distracting behaviors, and not just among teen drivers.