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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Kane: ‘A new tool in the shed’

Mike Kane, lobbyist for both the Property and Casualty Insurance Association of America and the Idaho Sheriffs Association, said it's rare that he's on the other side of an issue from the AAA, but his clients are supporting HB 141, the new "lite" version of a texting-while-driving ban. Kane said the idea of limiting the bill to texting raised concerns about other types of distractions, and some thought a misdemeanor penalty for texting was "heavy-handed." Kane said, "Rep. Hagedorn ... has been steadfast in trying to find another way."

Kane said the "due care" standard in the bill makes sense to him as a lawyer. "Due care is essentially the opposite of negligence," Kane told the House Transportation Committee. "That's a term that is used in the law all the time. ... We could've said 'texting is no good,' but there's a lot of other types of devices out there in the world." He said more serious cases that result in accidents could be charged under the inattentive driving law as misdemeanors, as they are now. Said Kane, "It will give a new tool in the shed to law enforcement."

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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