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Senate Study Bill 3045 expands violations relating to the use of electronic communication devices while driving by prohibiting any use of an electronic communication device while driving unless it is in hands-free mode. The bill also defines electronic communication device as devices including, but not limited to, telephones, personal digital assistants, or portable computers. The definition of an electronic communication device does not include GPS or navigation systems. This bill will help enhance the ability of law enforcement to reduced distracted driving. There are significant challenges to enforcing cell phone use and texting bans. Drivers can disguise their mobile use by holding their mobile device where it cannot be detected by law enforcement. Privacy laws make it difficult for law enforcement to access phone records to discern whether a crash involved mobile device use. These data and evidence gaps result in under-reported instances of distracted driving and stymie the development of a data-driven roadmap to guide further policy and enforcement methods. Many states have begun to look at similar legislation, with 16 states already having adopted a ban on the use of hand-held devices.

Author: Waylon Brown