Texting Ban To Affect Idaho Drivers

Not Texting While DrivingTechnology is permeating our lives. It is an inevitability and we adapt to the new creature comforts and conveniences. While texting isn’t exactly new on the block anymore, it is still a very prevalent form of communication.

However, it has the potential to be dangerous when combined with driving, because it requires you to take your eyes off the road. Violations of this law will lead to penalties and possible auto insurance premium increase. Even if it’s just for a moment, those couple of seconds could mean the difference between noticing the car in front of you braked abruptly, or a rear-end crash.

Presently, Idaho doesn’t have any laws regarding texting or using your phone while driving. Although, if you’re involved in an accident, and you’re found to have been distracted by your phone or texting, you can be cited for it.

A new bill, S.B. 1274a, aims to change this so that the simple act of texting while driving on its own is considered an offense. If this bill is passed in the Senate, Idaho will be the 37th state to implement a texting ban.

According to The Spokesman-Review, “After years of debate, the Idaho House has passed a ban on texting while driving, voting 53-17 in favor of legislation proposed by Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Coeur d’Alene. The bill, S.B. 1274a, now returns to the Senate for concurrence on a House amendment that removed an exemption for law enforcement or emergency vehicles.” If the changes are adopted by the Senate, this bill is projected to begin taking effect July 1st of this year.

Bill Popularity

The new bill has gotten plenty of support this time around while previous bills have failed. The previous year’s bill would have made texting while driving an offense only if the driver was distracted by the act. The bill failed partly due to the vague wording.

Some who oppose the 2012 bill go as far as to question whether or not the bill can be reasonably enforced. One major question raised by the measure is: How can law enforcement officers tell whether a driver is dialing a phone number or texting?

Regardless of whether it can be enforced, it is a prevalent sentiment amongst the population that texting while driving shouldn’t be allowed. It is irresponsible to endanger the lives of others in such a fashion. Sometimes simply having a measure in place can serve as a deterrent.

Certainly, families and individuals who have been adversely affected by distracted drivers have shown support for this law. The Spokesman-Review states, “In January, 18-year-old Taylor Sauer, of Caldwell, died in an Idaho freeway crash while texting. Her surviving family members offered tearful testimony in favor of the bill in committee hearings in both houses.”

While this is a touchy subject for some, it is still waiting on the Senate for approval. Visit our website for more information on Idaho’s automobile laws and insurance requirements.

Image courtesy of the Kansas City Star and source from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

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