DOT drafts sample bill to guide state TWD bans

February 25, 2010

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood on Feb. 22 announced sample legislation (.pdf file) designed to guide states in crafting laws that would ban texting while driving.

The sample bill includes suggestions for application of the law, exemptions and a minimum $75 fine. It also outlines potential penalties for violations, such as a penalty for death or serious injury caused by a driver who was texting, and suggests states consider other ways to address distracted driving. Among them:

  • Enhanced public awareness and law enforcement programs
  • Improved police crash reports to document specific distractions involved in crashes
  • Specific consequences for novice drivers under graduated driver licensing laws
According to a press release, the sample state law is patterned after the Executive Order issued in October by President Barack Obama directing federal employees not to engage in text messaging while driving government-owned vehicles or with government-owned equipment.