California Planning to Increase Distracted Driving Fines

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February 14, 2019
Edward Smith

California Planning to Increase Distracted Driving Fines

According to reports, there is a new effort in the California legislature to crack down on a common problem — drivers operating their vehicles while using a mobile phone to text or talk. A group of California lawmakers is now insisting that it is time to drastically increase the current penalties for distracted driving in order to make roadways safer. Currently, the base fine for texting and driving across the state is set at 20 dollars for first offenses and 50 dollars for the second. There is also possible additional penalties for further offenses. However, the proposed legislation would make getting a distracted driving ticket much more expensive.

About the Bill

The proposed bill, Assembly Bill 47, would not only increase fines but also proposes to add a point to the driving record of people caught texting and driving. Jim Frazier, a California Assembly member, is the author of the bill. Frazier told reporters that his motivation for writing the bill came from the sudden loss of his daughter.

Frazier’s daughter lost her life in an accident on Highway 50. A driver traveled over a patch of black ice and veered into oncoming traffic, striking Frazier’s vehicle. Both of his children were in the car, and his oldest daughter tragically suffered fatal trauma. While the accident was not caused by distracted driving, Frazier said that the event inspired him to make California’s roads safer.

Supporters of the bill say that the point against driving records will be a “strong deterrent” and cited the fact that most insurance policies increase in cost by 20 percent when there two or more points on a record.

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Driving while texting may not seem like such a big deal and many people don’t think much about checking a text while on the freeway. However, taking your eyes off the road at freeway speeds for only 5 seconds means traveling the length of a football field while essentially blind. Distracted driving is a difficult factor to track, and there is no completely accurate estimate for how many collisions are caused by distracted driving every year. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that well over 3,000 people die in United States accidents caused by distracted driving annually.

Reckless Driving and Liability

When drivers are found to be operating their vehicles while using a phone, they are considered to be driving recklessly. This means that, in the event of a crash, these drivers can usually be held responsible for damages caused by the collision. Because injuries are costly and affect lives in various ways, many different types of losses can be recovered after a reckless driver causes a crash.

Some of the most common expenses that injured parties are able to recover include medical bills for hospital stays, surgeries, and other procedures, money lost due to time taken off work, and losses related to quality of life. To learn more about personal injury damages, you can watch the below video:

More blogs by Ed Smith, Fairfield Personal Injury Lawyer

Fairfield Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Fairfield personal injury lawyer. Injuries suffered during car accidents can be severe. If you were hurt in a crash, call me at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400 so I can help you with free, friendly advice.

My firm has helped Fairfield residents claim fair personal injury and wrongful death repayments for 37 years. You can see a list of the settlements and case verdicts my clients have obtained here. Take a look at the ratings and reviews I’ve received on:

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