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Indiana Reacts to New Federal Distracted Driving Recommendations

The National Transportation Safety Board, part of the federal government, recently revised its distracted driving recommendations, calling for a federal, nationwide ban on cell phones and text messaging while driving. The ban would apply to all drivers and all vehicles, with an exception for emergencies only.

This change comes in the face of increased use of cell phones in Indiana and across the nation. The NTSB estimates that during the day around 13.5 million American drivers are using hand-held phones at all times. Indeed, 3,092 deaths in the last year were definitively connected to distracted driving – and experts believe that the actual annual deaths are far higher.

Indiana law currently bans texting while driving, including typing, sending, and reading text messages. The penalties, however, are light compared to the risks: while texting while driving results in fatalities, the maximum fine is $500.

Some Indiana State lawmakers have already reacted to the NTSB’s new recommendation. Notably, State Senator Travis Holdman, the sponsor of Indiana’s current distracted driving law, told the press that the new NTSB recommendation was unsurprising. He believes, however, that although the recommendation is sound, state lawmakers – not federal – should enact such laws.

Indeed, the Indiana State Senate has already tried to toughen Indiana’s laws. Last year, it considered legislation banning all use of handheld devices while driving. The law failed to pass the General Assembly.

Our attorneys are experienced at representing the victims of distracted driving, and their families. We know all too well the devastation caused by distracted driving, and we applaud the new NTSB recommendations. We encourage our Indiana lawmakers to continue their efforts to bring Indiana’s distracted driving laws in line with the NTSB’s proposals, and to make Indiana safer for all.

If you or a loved one were injured by a distracted driver, call 877•877•LAW2 (5292) or 219•924•2427 for a free consultation with our top personal injury attorneys.

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