WASHINGTON (June 9, 2010) The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies(NAMIC) applauded a vote by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee today to approve legislation encouraging states to take action against distracted driving.
“We applaud the committee for taking action on this important safety issue and passing S. 1938, the Distracted Driving Prevention Act,” said Kathy Mitchell, NAMIC federal affairs director. “By encouraging states to take action against the use of phones and texting while driving, this bill will help save lives.”
Sponsored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W. Va., S. 1938 would provide grants to states that enact a ban on texting while driving, require drivers to use a hands-free device and prohibit drivers under 18 from utilizing a cell phone while driving. Sen. Rockefeller is the Chairman of the committee.
Additionally, the bill would require the Department of Transportation to release regulations on commercial motor vehicle operator use of cell phones/texting while driving within a year from passage, and set up two National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advertising programs to educate the public about the dangers of using a cell phone or texting while driving. An amendment added by the committee would also bar auto manufacturers from installing entertainment device screens within view of the driver.
Distracted driving killed 6,000 people in 2008, and injured over half a million others. “With this bill, we can prevent thousands of deaths and help more drivers arrive home safely,” Mitchell said.
With the committee’s approval, S. 1938 will now head to the full Senate. A similar bill, HR 3994, is awaiting action in the House Transportation Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.
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Posted: Wednesday, June 09, 2010 10:28:02 AM. Modified: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:31:43 PM.
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