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Eye On Boise

AAA: ‘Is this all we can do?’

Dave Carlson, lobbyist for the AAA of Idaho, told the House Transportation Committee that texting "is on its way to becoming the new drunk driving." Distracted driving now is responsible for a quarter of traffic fatalities nationwide, he said. "We've been looking at the legislation in the other 30 states (that have enacted texting bans), and while we know there's no single answer to the problem, as the sponsor suggested, we feel obliged to ask, Is this all we can do?"

He said HB 141 is "overly vague," and, "it does not specifically define texting." That's one of the selling points that sponsor Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, used for the bill; last year, opponents in the House objected to definitions, he said, and others raised issues about other distracting behaviors besides texting.

Carlson also raised concerns about the "due care" standard in HB 141. He said it suggests the involvement of some resulting problem, like an accident, rather than preventively banning texting. "Most Americans ... are very much concerned about the danger of distracted driving, particularly texting and cell phone use," he told the committee.



Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.