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.