Laws that prohibit specific actions like talking on cell phones while driving and texting while driving have proliferated in recent years. Laws that ban distracted driving all together?
Those are more uncommon.

The city council in Bowling Green, Ohio, has proposed a law that would outlaw any type of driver distraction. Some council members told a local news outlet they initially welcomed the legislation, but its vague language has tempered their enthusiasm. Some people wonder if something as simple as changing the radio station counts as a violation.

Some are skeptical police could enforce the law.

"It's a preemptive traffic stop for something as basic as holding a cell phone," resident Nathan Eberly told The BG News. "It adds risk for people, because now they have to hide what they are doing."

Eberly suggested the law – which calls for a $25 fine and no points against a license – to be revised. Rather than police pulling over for any distraction, he says they should wait until a violation, i.e., speeding, failure to hold a lane, etc., has been committed. Per city rules, the legislation needs two more readings before a vote can be taken.

It may not happen in time to affect this particular proposal, but automakers are working on something that may help -- collision-avoidance technology that is the next frontier in passenger-car safety.

Here's a look at how motorists could one day receive help from their vehicles in avoiding car accidents, such as the ones caused by distracted driving.



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  • 402 Comments
      hhijena
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about a woman holding her dog, talking on the phone and smoking a cigarette while driving. That's a distraction to those watching her.
      LL
      • 3 Years Ago
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      kevin
      • 3 Years Ago
      HORRIBLE law!!! Cops should NEVER have the discression on things like that! They should just uphold the law the way it is WRITTEN! Whoever wrote it should be releived of duty.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's good to legislate such proposals to avoid accidents. However, I wonder there are some against the taken decision and say it leads to worse things. Stop being stubborn.
      Rick Schoenherr
      • 3 Years Ago
      When will government learn you can't legislate everything. Crap happens
      barryaclarke
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Some people wonder if something as simple as changing the radio station counts as a violation". Yes. I worked with a man who drove into a tree at 45 mph while distracted changing the radio station. But, at the time, this was not against the law..........
        rocco4469
        • 3 Years Ago
        @barryaclarke
        If your friend cant drive and change a radio station at the same time, maybe he shouldn't be driving.
      • 3 Years Ago
      My kids are my biggest distracton when driving.....will I be arrested dropping them off to school? Just ridiculous!
      raidrmik67
      • 3 Years Ago
      You can get pulled over for pretty much no reason whatsoever and be accused of a number of "infractions" including something as vague as distracted driving. I'm not sure why this particular city felt the need to put this verbiage into law since it already pretty much is a cops discretion to determine a person to be distracted for whatever reason the may distract a driver from their primary responsiblity.
      slvtree
      • 3 Years Ago
      A pretty young lady in a skimpy bikini driving down the hi way in a low convertable with the top dow Would that be concidered a distraction
      jerry ueltzen
      • 3 Years Ago
      scew the cops
      Plastic Experts
      • 3 Years Ago
      Been driving for many, many years, and have watched with some amusement as cars have transitioned from transportation from point to point into rolling entertainment centers with multimedia capabilities, built in sound systems large enough to "entertain" anyone within 100 yards, and equipped with LCD TVs for the rear seat passengers besides. "Distracted Driving" in my State now includes texting and cell phone use, and will likely expand to use of GPS, which is REALLY distracting if you fail to obey the little NavNazi and start getting all those "When possible, make a legal U-turn to correct your course." audible and distracting notifications. Bottom line is that there are people who have the mental power and emotional control to drive a car safely with a reasonable level of distraction, and others who will routinely crash because they spin 180 degrees in their seat staring at a pretty girl or pretty boy, or because their brain is wired like my dog's, whose thinking goes like this: "Walking, walking, walking walking, CAT!!!!! RUN!!!! CHASE!!!......WOW that choker collar takes your breath away!!!! walking, walking..." I agree that texting and cell phone use (Especially the Smart? phones with the web cams) is distracting and has no place in a moving car if you are driving it and only have two hands. However, I'm willing to bet that if accident reports had the option to enter "Acting like an idiot" as a cause, that would account for a much higher percentage of accidents than "Texting with two hands and steering with knees" even though I've seen lots of that going on, and used to see at least as much playing of two handed portable video games, before the need to text every minute took over the tiniest of the minds involved in stupidity with mobility. Problem with all of this is simply what my Grandfather warned me about when I was about to start my first job, when he said "When you start dealing with lots of people in the public, you have to remember that fully one half of them are going to be below average, and half of those are going to be pure-dee stupid."
      • 3 Years Ago
      I ALSO GET DISTRACTED WHEN A COP IS BEHIND ME AND I SEE HIM IN MY REAR VIEW MIRROR I KNOW I HAVENT DONE ANYTHING WRONG ..I'M CLEAN AND ALL THE PAPERS & STICKERS ARE UP TO DATE AND .DRIVING WITHIN THE SPEED LIMIT..AND YET I FEEL GUILTY FOR NO REASON AS IF I DID SOMETHING WRONG AND I FEEL MY HEART BEATING IN MY HANDS ON THE WHEEL.WISHING THE COP TO PLEASE, PLEASE SWITCH LANES AND STOP STARING AT MY CAR'S ASS YA 'KNO THE FEELING
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