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GHSA Officials Target Distracted and Drugged Drivers

Officials with the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) are working to get distracted and drugged drivers off of our roadways.

They’re stepping up enforcement and awareness efforts to not only get motorists to be safer behind the wheel, but to get state lawmakers to do more to keep these dangerous drivers off of our roadways.
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During the recent GHSA Annual Meeting, officials decided that they were going to broaden their support for distracted driving legislation. Before, officials were only calling for a ban on text messaging for drivers. Now, they’re pushing for an overall ban on all electronic devices for drivers.

Our Boston car accident lawyers understand that only drivers under the age of 18-years-old are banned from using a hand-held cell phone behind the wheel. All drivers are banned from text messaging, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). GHSA has a big problem with states that have laws like these. Without a total ban on cell phones, officers oftentimes have a tough time figuring out if a driver is dialing a phone number to call, which is legal, or composing a text message, which is illegal.

That’s another reason why officials with GHSA are pushing for an overall ban.

Still, there are thousands who are killed in distracted driving car accidents every year. Drivers polled say that they understand the dangers that are associated with distracted driving, but they continue to fail in making the changes in their driving habits to prevent these kinds of accidents.

Barbara Harsha, Director for GHSA, says that the passage of these kinds of laws will provide states a practical platform for discussing why any phone use while driving is dangerous.

Right now, there are 39 states and Washington D.C. that ban text messaging for drivers. There are only 10 states that ban the use of hand-held cell phones.

For the second year in a row, officials with GHSA are looking to strengthen drugged driving policies. Now, officials are supporting drugged driving per se laws. This law is also known as the zero tolerance law. Under this kind of law, a driver can be charged with drugged driving for just having drugs or alcohol in their system. Right now there are only 17 states that have this kind of law on the books.

In addition, GHSA officials are urging each state to create a tougher penalty for those who are busted behind the wheel while under the influence of multiple drugs.

Every year, about a third of fatal car accidents involve a drunk driver.

Officials would also like state law enforcement to focus on these enforcement efforts during the evening hours. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 20 percent of nighttime drivers who are tested for drugs return positive test results.

If you or someone in your family has been injured or killed in a car accident, contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-877-617-5333 today!

More Blog Entries:

Boston Traffic Safety: Distracted Driving and Unsafe Habits, One in the Same, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, September 9, 2012

Road Rage Getting the Best of Massachusetts Drivers, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, September 6, 2012