Alaska addressing texting ban issue
A few months ago, Alaska lawmakers were forced back to the drawing board after a training judge advised other magistrates to dismiss texting while driving cases because of some loopholes in the 2008 law. While the case is on appeal, it didn’t stop a few House representatives to come up with a stronger law.
As opposed to its predecessor, House Bill 255 explicitly prohibits motorists from reading or typing a text message from a cell phone or any electronic device while driving a motor vehicle.
The House Transportation Committee heard arguments from one of the bill sponsors, Rep. Les Gara, as many questioned if HB 255 would make up for the current law’s flaws.
“It’s carefully worded so not just today’s technology but tomorrow’s technology is addressed,” said Gara.
The House Representative pushed the Transportation Committee to adopt the proposed bill in order to ensure safety on the roads of Alaska.
“I think you only really need one fact, and that is according to the National Conference on State Legislators, drivers who text while they drive are 20 times more likely to have an accident than people who don’t text,” Gara said.
The bill has now been referred to the Judiciary Committee for its next hearing.
Source: Associated Press, January 26, 2011