Saturday, August 29, 2009

Utah Passes Tough New Law On Texting and Driving

Utah's bike riders are a little safer today, thanks to a new law - the nation's toughest - cracking down on texting and driving. Offenders now face up to 15 years in prison.

According to the New York Times,
"The new law, which took effect in May, penalizes a texting driver who causes a fatality as harshly as a drunken driver who kills someone. In effect, a crash caused by such a multitasking motorist is no longer considered an “accident” like one caused by a driver who, say, runs into another car because he nodded off at the wheel. Instead, such a crash would now be considered inherently reckless. (emphasis mine.)
“'It’s a willful act,” said Lyle Hillyard, a Republican state senator and a big supporter of the new measure. “If you choose to drink and drive or if you choose to text and drive, you’re assuming the same risk.”'
The deaths of two promising scientists forced the issue onto Utah's legislative agenda - further proof, I guess, that tragedy is a depressingly frequent precursor to sensible action.

(Photo: Sanpete Classic Bike Race)

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