[r31] Rep. Mahan 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. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) voted today to increase the safety of Hoosier motorists as he helped pass legislation that would ban texting while driving.

"Texting and driving continues to dramatically increase, while killing more and more Hoosier drivers each year. It's about time Indiana law catches up with today's technology," said Rep. Mahan.

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.

"When you're driving, looking away for a few seconds - the time it takes to send or read a text message - is enough time to miss something and not be able to react," said Mahan.

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.

"The bottom line is, texting is a huge distraction and increases the risk of being in or causing an accident," said Rep. Mahan. "The bill allows drivers to use a hands-free device to send or read a text message, keeping their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road."

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 soon 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