According to the US Department of Transportation, more than 30 countries around the world have made it illegal for drivers to use handheld devices while driving a vehicle. The punishments from some of these countries which include Sweden, Bermuda and Qatar, range from stiff fines to prison sentences. What all this means is that people all over the world are beginning to act upon the overwhelming evidence that such devices do distract motorists causing death, injury and property damage. In the US, state legislators are also beginning to put their feet down on the problem of distracted driving. Here are just some of the states who have cracked down on texting while driving and other activities that tend to contribute to this worldwide problem.
- Utah: Known as a very conservative state to begin with, Utah is also beginning to be known for being tough on distracted drivers. For example, in Utah texting while driving fines can be as high as $750 per incident. Moreover, if you cause an accident while texting you could actually face jail time (up to 15 years) and a $10,000 fine.
- Wisconsin: In 2010 Wisconsin raised the penalty against motorists who text while driving. For a first time offense motorists can be fined up to $400. Moreover, Wisconsin motorists can rack up four points against their driver’s license for texting while driving.
- California: This state may have a reputation for being easy going in many respects but this is not the case when it comes to distracted drivers. Not only do first-time texting offenders face a fine of $159 per incident, they are also liable to incur fines even if the car is not in motion.
- New York: Way back in 2010, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that put motorists who text while driving on notice. There, first time offenders can receive a fine of $150 and rack up two points against their license.
- Illinois: Distracted driving laws in the Land of Lincoln go as far as to cover instant messaging, email or surfing while driving. Additionally, texting is considered a moving violation. It incurs up a fine of up to $1,000 for the offender.
In addition to the above states, officials from Arkansas, the District of Columbia, North Dakota and Washington have announced that they are increasing fines for drivers who text while driving. This is why it is even more important than ever that your fleet uses distracted driving technology. GPS technology helps improve efficiency, fleet safety and your company’s bottom line.