Pressel: Bill taking aim at distracted driving moves forward

Posted by: Jessica Bruder  | Thursday, January 23, 2020

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 23, 2020) – Legislation co-authored by State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) that would prohibit holding a hand-held electronic device while driving passed out of the House Roads and Transportation Committee Wednesday.

Pressel, a member of the committee, said nine Americans are killed each day as a result of distracted driving. It is also one of the top killers of teenagers, responsible for more than 58 percent of teen crashes. He said while Indiana has a law that prohibits texting while driving, it is difficult to enforce and drivers continue to use their devices including scrolling through social media feeds and playing games.

“Improvements in technology have made cell phones incredible tools, allowing us to communicate in an instant, get from Point A to Point B and play virtually any song at any time,” Pressel said. “However, having these capabilities at the tips of our fingers has led to more distracted drivers on our roads. For this reason, it is critical we establish clear guidelines to keep motorists safe. This is an issue that I’ve worked hard on for the last few years, and I am thrilled to see the support for this bill as it makes its way through the process.”

Pressel said 21 states have implemented “hands-free device driving laws.” If passed, drivers in Indiana could not hold their cell phone or electronic communication devices while driving.

According to Pressel, there will be a comprehensive and statewide educational campaign to inform Hoosiers about this law if it is enacted.

House Bill 1070 now moves to the full House for further consideration. For more information about this proposal, visit


State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) represents House District 20,
which includes portions of LaPorte and Starke counties.
 here for a high-resolution photo.