Deleware gets Tough on Distracted Drivers
The state of Delaware has some of the toughest restrictions in the country when it comes to distracted driving.
The ban on text messaging for all drivers now extends to 37 states including the District of Columbia and Guam. Twelve of these laws were enacted in 2010 alone. There are 10 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands that prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving.
The state of Delaware has some of the toughest restrictions in the country when it comes to distracted driving. The laws promise to make it safer for everyone driving in the state.
“This new law is about improving safety for everyone who shares the road. We hope we can reduce the number of drivers who text and e-mail while driving, and therefore, reduce the number of distraction-related crashes. Just as we’re keeping our focus as a state on creating more jobs, we want drivers keeping their focus on the road,” Governor Markell said.
The bill allows a driver to use a headset, speakerphone or other hands-free device to talk on a cell phone while driving. It also permits a driver to punch in a number or activate the hands-free device, but the driver must then put the phone down while talking. Rep. Scott said that the new law takes the phone out of the driver’s hands, eliminating a major distraction
In Delaware, there were 230 crashes in 2009 that involved the use of a cell phone. As of last month, 94 crashes have involved the use of a cell phone and another 17 have involved texting in 2010. Countless others go unreported.
1. Handheld ban for all drivers (primary law)
2. Ban on all cellphone use(handheld and hands-free)for bus drivers (primary law)
3. Ban on all cell phones (handheld and hands-free)for novice drivers (primary law)
4. Ban on texting for all drivers (primary law)
Note: A primary law means that an officer can ticket the driver for the offense without any other traffic violation taking place. A secondary law means an officer can only issue a ticket if a driver has been pulled over for another violation (like speeding).
The first offense is subject a $50 fine, for each additional offense a fine of $100 or more not to exceed $200. No points will be assessed for the violation and the drivers record will not be affected.
The restrictions will not apply to law-enforcement or an emergency vehicle in the performance of official duties. The law will also allow an individual to inform authorities of a potential threat or hazard or medical condition that requires immediate attention. It allows for an individual to report a suspicious driver who may be driving in an unsafe or careless manner or under the influence of a controlled substance.
Having the right auto insurance coverage in Delaware can protect you from drivers that are operating a motor vehicle in an unsafe or reckless manner. Many drivers are uninsured and if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist you may end up footing the bill for any damages caused to you, your passengers and your vehicle.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage is not mandatory in the state of Delaware. Drivers have the right to waive this coverage, but it is highly recommended that you carry it.