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Oh, Behave: More States Tighten Seat Belt And Texting Rules

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Texting while driving

Texting while driving

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You should know better by now not to buckle up, buckle up your loved ones, and avoid texting while driving altogether.

But, increasingly, it's also the law. Last week, both Georgia and Vermont joined 26 other states in banning text messaging by all drivers. The Vermont rule went into effect June 1, while the new Georgia rule is effective July 1.

Georgia also recently passed a bill, signed into law last week by Governor Sonny Purdue, to remove an exemption that allowed pickup drivers to avoid buckling up. According to state estimates, at least 100 lives will be saved each year by the new rule.

Just this past week, Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson signed a bill into law that will permit police in the state to stop drivers who aren't wearing a seat belt. Previously, motorists could only be cited if the driver had been stopped for another violation.

A total of 31 states now have primary seat belt laws, while 18 states have secondary ones. New Hampshire stands alone in having no seat belt requirement for adults.

Obese less likely to wear seatbelts

Obese less likely to wear seatbelts

Colorado tightened its occupant restrains laws, too, by requiring that children seven years and younger (as opposed to five years old under the current law) be in a child restraint or booster seat. The new law goes into effect August 1.

For a complete run-down of seat belt laws on a state-by-state basis, visit the these pages from the IIHS or GHSA.

[Governors Highway Safety Association; IIHS]

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Comments (5)
  1. Sadly, are people really this stupid? A law has to be written so folks don't text while driving? I think it is a good idea because texting puts everyone at risk but how much more careless are we going to become? I guess there will always be people who think the world can't live without their communication for 20 minutes.
     
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  2. I'm sure many of us are guilty of texting while driving - I just hope they police it properly. I've never heard of anyone ever being given a ticket for texting and we've had this law for years yet I still see it happen almost daily. As for not wearing a seatbelt, those people deserve to die for being so brainless.
     
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  3. I wonder if there's distinction made between "texting" while driving and reading e-mail, browsing the web, etc.? You never hear about that when this topic comes up.
     
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  4. Well, D'OH ... it used to be legal to drive while drinking, etc. People slowly, painfully, incrementally get smarter. Evolution of the species and all that. Is this the time to bring up The Darwin Awards ???
     
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  5. You can talk evolution evolution of the species, but inevitably the stupid distracted driver is going to take out others in the process...
     
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