ASA Insurance Discusses Findings For Laws Against Cell Phone Use While Driving in Utah

Representative Carol Spackman-Moss, D-Holladay wants drivers to be fined for holding their cell phones while driving.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, UNITED STATES, May 11, 2018 / -- Representative Carol Spackman-Moss, D-Holladay wants drivers to be fined for holding their cell phones while driving. The Utah legislator has created a bill which would allow police to find a driver $100 if they are caught with the device in their hand.

The piece of legislation, known as House Bill 64, would require all drivers to put the phone down. It wouldn’t matter whether the phone was connected via speaker or Bluetooth, they would not be allowed to hold it. According to Spackman-Moss, she believes that keeping “two hands on the wheel, both eyes on the road, that’s the ideal for safe driving.” She says she isn’t trying to stop talking and driving completely even though she feels it is the safest option. While it would be ideal to have all drivers pull over and talk on the phone, she knows it is not going to happen. However, it is already illegal in Utah to use a smartphone while driving, but new legislation would enable police officers to pull over drivers just for the one violation.

A study was conducted by the University of Utah on in-car technology for AAA. The results showed that even hands-free technology does not prevent drivers from taking their attention from the road. In fact, the study showed that they would divert their attention for over 24 seconds. However, experts believe it is still not as distracting as actually using the phone with one’s hands. The bill is set to be voted on in February and the hope is that it will pass since it is a nonpartisan piece of legislation.

ASA Insurance, a car insurance company in Salt Lake City, UT believes the law is a step in the right direction. “People’s lives are at stake,” says Creed Anderson of ASA Insurance. “Being distracted can result in a major accident.” In addition to that serious consequence, these accidents also impact affordable car insurance rates in Utah. With an increase in the number of accidents, the cost of claims force insurance rates to go up. If a driver has one or two accidents on their driving history, it will cost them when they pay the premiums. It becomes even more difficult for drivers to afford the amount of coverage they need.

Texting while driving is already illegal in Utah and many other states. However, legislators and insurance agencies believe that more needs to be done to make people aware of the dangers of talking and driving. There has already been a lot of positive response to House Bill 64, which could make the roads safer for everyone. As Anderson says, “You see it all the time; people looking at their phones even if they are talking through Bluetooth. They don’t even have to be texting to get distracted by the device.”

It is the hope that the steeper fines will discourage people from picking up their phones at all as long as they are behind the wheel.

Creed Anderson
ASA Insurance
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