Federal Lawmakers to Consider Distracted Driving Law

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Chances are you've seen drivers use their cell phone on the road.

"I see them talking on the cell phone. I also see them texting.”

"You see it every day just driving down the road - people on their phones texting."

But for others like Melissa Rodriguez, the issue of distracted driving is more personal. She says her daughter Kc was severely injured after a crash four years ago. She says the driver was on the phone.

"She was supposed to be a paraplegic. She was for about three months. But, she remembers seeing him on a cell phone," Rodriguez said.

Federal lawmakers want to prevent these scenarios from happening. They're considering whether to ban the use of hand-held mobile devices through the Safe Drivers Act of 2011. It also means every state would follow the same rules.

The proposed law has two parts. One - it directs the Secretary of Transportation to establish minimum regulations that ban the use of hand-held mobile devices. The second - requires the DOT to do a study on distracted driving with a focus on young inexperienced drivers.

"I think it's a great idea and they should have done it a lot sooner," Rodriguez said.

There are some exceptions. Phones can be used in an emergency. Drivers can also use hands-free devices.

We polled about 15 to 20 people around the city today. They tell me while they like the convenience of a quick call on the road, they support the bill since it's for safety. Some also argue cell phone's are just one distraction among a few others while driving.

Only eight states in the u-s have laws barring the use of cell phones while driving.

The law was proposed June 23, 2011 by Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy of New York.


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