The Idaho House of Representatives has passed a bill prohibiting drivers from sending text messages while behind the wheel. The bill, passed 53-17 after several years of debate on the topic, would make text messaging while driving an infraction of traffic laws. While the state law already classifies distracted driving as a misdemeanor, this bill would be the first legislation to specifically address text messaging specifically. The bill will now be considered by the Idaho state senate, which passed a similar bill in February with a vote of 29-6. The modified version of the bill passed by the House removed an amendment exempting the drivers of emergency vehicles and law enforcement officers after those groups stated that such an exemption would not be needed.
During the House’s hearing for the bill, representatives from many interested groups including automotive insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, roadside assistance providers, and teenage drivers testified in favor of banning texting while driving. The state’s legislature has previously voted on three similar bans in as many years, but none of those received enough votes to make the bill law.
As a Burlingame car accident attorney, I am all too familiar with the pain and damage that can result when drivers take their minds and eyes off the road. If you or someone you know has been hurt in a traffic accident involving a distracted driver, please consider hiring the services of a Burlingame personal injury lawyer.