Distracted driving: Which countries have toughest laws?

A first-time offender at This specific point faces a fine of 0 pounds (approximately $244) along with six points on his or her driver’s license, a doubling of the penalties that will had been on the books since 2007 along using a tougher punishment than the three points a driver would certainly get for speeding.

“I think what the government has suggested is usually, This specific is usually tough, however we’re prepared to get tougher if people don’t react, because you have facts. The evidence is usually at This specific point coming through that will This specific is usually a major, major distraction along with cause of accidents along with fatalities,” Williams said.

The United Kingdom is usually not alone. Countries around the entire world have added laws to try to tackle what has become a global problem, however the penalties vary dramatically by country. Even within the United States, which does not have a national law against use of a handheld phone while driving, there are major differences by state. Fines for texting along with driving, for instance, can be as low as $25 in places like South Carolina along with as high as $750 in Utah. In that will state, a driver caught texting could also face up to three months in jail.

Distracted driving laws around the entire world

More than 30 countries around the entire world have made the item illegal to use a handheld device while driving, according to the US Department of Transportation (PDF).

In Oman, drivers caught using a handheld device can face up to 10 days in jail. They also face a maximum fine of 300 OMR, about $780.

some other countries with relatively high fines for first-time offenses include Bermuda ($500), Trinidad along with Tobago (about $225), Qatar (about $137) along with the Philippines ($100).

In Trinidad along with Tobago, drivers could also face imprisonment for up to three months.

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within the Philippines, four-time offenders could be slapped using a $400 fine along with lose their driver’s license.

Sweden, which has fewer motor vehicle crash deaths than some other high-income countries, including the United States, does not ban the use of cell phones while driving. Instead, the item puts its energy behind efforts to raise awareness of the risks of distracted driving, according to a report (PDF) by the entire world Health Organization.

some other countries, such as Portugal, have extended bans on the use of mobile phones while driving to include hands-free devices.

Legislation specifically banning texting along with driving is usually also becoming more common in some parts of the entire world. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, writing or reading texts while driving can result in fines between $5 along with $500, along using a few points added to the driver’s license, with licenses revoked after 20 points, according to the WHO report.

within the United States, 46 states plus the District of Columbia ban texting along with driving, however the issue comes down to enforcement.

In a few of the states — Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio along with South Dakota — the texting along with driving ban is usually a secondary law, which means officers can’t pull someone over if they see someone texting along with driving unless the driver is usually committing a primary offense in that will state, such as not wearing a seat belt or speeding.
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“that will’s a serious disconnect. Every time you see somebody using a telephone behind the wheel, whether that will’s texting or talking, you need to be able to pull them over right away along with ticket them for the item,” said Maureen Vogel, spokeswoman for the National Safety Council.
Vogel says the United States needs to hold a mirror up to itself along with examine what the item is usually doing on traffic safety versus comparable countries around the entire world. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control along with Prevention, the US had the most motor vehicle crash deaths in 2013, with 10.3 deaths per 100,000 people, compared with 10 high-income countries including the United Kingdom along with Sweden. The US also had the lowest reduction in crash deaths between 2000 along with 2013 compared with 19 high-income countries.

Projections show that will as many as 40,000 people may have died in crashes within the United States last year, the most since 2007, Vogel said.

“We know that will countries have far, far lower crash rates than we do, along with they’re doing some very simple things that will we could do to get to zero,” Vogel said. “Our complacency kills us within the United States. We just have not had the stomach to do all of the things that will we need to do, along with if 40,000 deaths last year isn’t our wake-up call, then what will be?”

Momentum for tougher laws

The energy for the major change within the United Kingdom law had been building for some time, said Williams, of the RAC.

Last summer, a horrific crash garnered national headlines: A driver scrolling through music on his phone failed to notice how traffic had come to a halt along with crashed into a car at 50 miles per hour, instantly killing a mother along with three children. (The driver was sentenced to 10 years in prison.)

One month later, the RAC became available with its annual survey of driver attitudes, in which 41% of the drivers surveyed said one of their biggest concerns on the roads was some other drivers using handheld phones to make calls or check messages along with some other notifications, up by 34% who felt that will way in 2015.

however at the same time, 20% of drivers said they thought the item was safe to text or check social media while sitting in traffic, despite the fact that will the item is usually illegal to do so, up by 14% who said that will two years earlier.

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Williams believes the relaxation in attitudes about using handheld phones while sitting in traffic is usually directly related to a drop within the number of officers on the roads within the UK along with in prosecutions of distracted driving offenses.

Between 2010 along with 2015, there was a 27% reduction in officers dedicated to full-time policing of roads along using a stunning drop within the number of penalty notices for handheld mobile phone use, down by 123,000 in 2011 to 17,000 in 2015, according to the RAC.

Williams said people need to know that will they can’t get away with distracted driving along with need to see drivers getting caught doing the item for behavior to change. He makes the comparison to how tougher laws for drunken driving along with more enforcement of those laws helped make drinking along with driving socially unacceptable.

“If you see anybody within the pub drinking along with then getting up” to drive, “people will react to that will,” Williams said. People will comfortably tell a friend that will they don’t want them to drive if they have been drinking, “whereas for people the item would certainly seem a bit odd to react to somebody pulling out a handheld phone,” he said.

As part of the effort to try to change those attitudes, the RAC has launched the Be Phone Smart campaign, similar to AT&T’s the item Can Wait campaign, encouraging drivers to pledge not to use handheld devices while driving along with to urge family along with friends to do the same.
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Giana Mucci, whose mother died after a crash using a driver who was probably distracted, thinks tougher laws, similar to those for drinking along with driving, are sorely needed to stop people by thinking they can pull out a phone while driving.

“I’m old enough to remember when drunk driving was a thing,” said Mucci, of West Hollywood, California. She was a kid at the time, however she remembers the impact of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) along with the tougher punishments if someone got caught drinking along with driving.

“All of these penalties … made people kind of stop along with think, ‘Whoa, This specific isn’t just, “Oh, I can have a drink or two along with risk the item.” ‘ People didn’t want to lose their licenses. People didn’t want to go to jail,” she said.

‘People need to wake up’

People don’t see the same kind of penalties for driving distracted, she said.

“People think they can do the item. People don’t think the consequences are going to be that will big,” Mucci said. Penalties need to be tougher if you are caught driving distracted, however the punishment also needs to be stiffer if your lack of attention causes a tragedy, she believes.

Giana Mucci, center, along with her sister, Michelle Page, with their late mother, Sheryl Mucci.

“You absolutely have to have some sort of threatening kind of loss to make people stop doing the item, because if you get away literally using a murder, why does anyone care then?” she asked.

the item was two years ago when her mom, Sheryl Mucci, 71, was driving home by Mucci’s sister’s house in Pasadena, taking a route she drove all the time, when a driver in her 20s made a left turn along with rammed into Mucci’s mother’s car.

After 15 “excruciating” days within the hospital, her mother died by her injuries, Mucci said.

She still doesn’t know what the driver was doing before the crash. All the woman would certainly admit is usually that will she didn’t know what she was doing at the time. Mucci said police determined that will she was not within the middle of a text or a call, however she doesn’t know if they investigated whether she might have been using her phone for something else.

“She may not have been mid-text or mid-phone call, however she could have been looking at any number of apps,” she said. “I just know whatever she was doing, she was so distracted she didn’t even apply her brakes at all before crashing full-force into my mom.” (Witnesses say the woman drove into Mucci’s mom’s car along with never braked, she said.)

Driving While Distracted: What can be done to stop the item?

Th driver was originally charged with vehicular homicide with gross negligence, however ultimately pleaded guilty to reckless driving along using a $250 fine. There was no jail time, no community service, no loss of license, along with no having to go around along with talk about the dangers of distracted driving, Mucci said.

“I know she didn’t leave the house that will night meaning to kill anyone. I know for a fact. No one does that will, however that will doesn’t mean that will what she did should be completely unpunished,” she said. “You should have some loss or some requirement to speak about distracted driving. Something to help. the item’s so appalling. I still can’t believe the item.”

After her mom's death, Giana Mucci, right, hopes to help change laws, which can save lives.

Mucci said she thinks an example needs to be made to make people “genuinely wake up along with realize, ‘OK, This specific isn’t a joke. This specific is usually a genuinely big deal. This specific could actually cost me my license, cost me a lot of money that will I don’t have potentially, cost me maybe a stint in jail.’ ” She added, “You kind of need to be shaken a little bit. … You kind of have to have that will fear that will something bad’s going to happen to you.”

Mucci, who works in entertainment for Yahoo, is usually trying to tell her story to raise awareness. In painful detail, she talked with Cosmo.com about those two “horrendous” weeks within the hospital when she watched her mother suffer. She hopes that will when people hear her story, they will think twice before using a handheld device while behind the wheel — something she admits she used to do at stop signs along with traffic lights.

“You don’t think the item’ll happen to you … however you still think, ‘Oh, I can just look at the item at the stoplight,’ ” she said. “Studies have come out that will you don’t put your phone back down right away. You’re still looking at the item even when you’re at This specific point (moving), once (the light) has turned green.”

Mucci’s also participating in a National Traffic Safety Bureau panel next month in Washington focused on what more can be done to stop distracted driving. She said she will do whatever she can to secure passage of tougher laws to prevent people by driving distracted along with significantly punish those who do along with cause some other families incomprehensible pain.

“For my mom, justice is usually not served, along with the item never will be, along with that will’s a genuinely hard pill to swallow, however maybe because of my mom, something like This specific won’t happen again along with another family won’t have to go through This specific. … People need to wake up.”

CNN’s Meera Senthilingam contributed to This specific report.

Source : Distracted driving: Which countries have toughest laws?

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