[r24] Rep. McClain supports "Texting and Driving Ban" (1/26/2011)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Start Date: 1/26/2011 All Day
End Date: 1/26/2011
STATEHOUSE-State Rep. Rich McClain (R-Logansport) voted today to increase the safety of Hoosier motorists as he helped pass legislation that would ban texting while driving.

"Texting is one of the biggest distractions facing drivers in Indiana. It endangers the driver sending or reading the text, as well as others on the road," said Rep. McClain.

House Bill 1129 would make sending or reading a text message or e-mail while driving a motor vehicle a Class C infraction.

In 2009, the Indiana General Assembly passed legislation that would ban teen drivers under the age of 18 from texting or emailing while driving a motor vehicle. Since 2009, the legislature has received feedback from constituents urging the passage of legislation to include all Hoosier drivers.

"Even if a driver is looking away from the road for a few seconds, that's still enough time for something to happen. Drivers need to have as few distractions as possible when they're behind the wheel," said Rep. McClain.

Data from the National Safety Council shows that 1.4 million car accidents that occur annually are caused by drivers talking on the phone or texting-more than 200,000 alone are caused by texting.

"Texting is one of the leading causes of accidents, so we need to make sure drivers are driving safely" said Rep. McClain.

Thirty other states already have similar laws in place, causing the amount of drivers seen texting behind the wheel to decrease.

House Bill 1129 passed the House with an 85-11 vote. It will now be heard in the Senate for further discussion. If passed into law, it will go into effect in July 2011.

To view up-to-date information regarding this legislation and others, visit www.in.gov/legislative