Cherry: Stopping distracted driving

Posted by: Lydia Kirschner  | Friday, February 14, 2020 5:03 pm

With nearly nine American’s killed each day due to distracted driving, steps need to be taken to make roadways safer. While state law currently prohibits texting while driving, it is difficult to enforce as people use their cell phones for more than just texting. This session, state lawmakers are taking a stand against distracted driving to help keep Hoosiers safe.

Even though distracted driving greatly increases the chance of a crash, people throughout the state continue use their device while driving, including using social media or playing games. Cell phones take your eyes and focus off the road. Even in a matter of seconds, a deer could run into the highway, a stoplight could turn red or a person could run into the street, all without you knowing. People often relate distracted driving to texting, but dialing a number to make a call causes a driver to be six times more likely to crash.

Legislation I supported would reinforce Indiana’s current safe driving law, which prohibits texting and driving, by making it illegal for drivers to hold a cell phone while driving. Motorists could continue to make calls in hands-free mode or use a GPS on their dash, as long as it is not in the driver’s hand. If passed, organizations around the state have committed to creating public awareness campaigns about hands-free driving and staying alert on the road.

Across the country, 21 other states have taken action to combat distracted driving by implementing hands-free driving laws. By joining in these efforts, our state would be more aware of the dangers distracted driving presents, and above all, keep Hoosiers safe.

This proposed legislation is crucial to stop drivers from using their devices behind the wheel and causing injuries and deaths. We must all do our part by putting down the phone and keeping our focus on the road. This bill has passed out of the House and is now up for consideration by the Senate. For more information visit iga.in.gov.

 

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State Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) represents House District 53,

which includes portions of Hancock and Madison counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.