Last month, North Dakota became the 31st state to ban texting while driving, which presents major risks to motorcyclists.
Following this safety trend, Indiana has also banned texting while driving, it was reported Wednesday by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
After the ban was reported, the GHSA congratulated Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, the State Legislature and GHSA’s member, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.
The new law is primary enforcement – meaning law enforcement officers can ticket a driver solely on the basis of texting while driving. The law becomes effective July 1 and includes a fine of up to $500 on drivers caught texting.
Upon hearing the news last month about the North Dakota texting ban, the American Motorcycle Association responded.
Peter terHorst (AMA Spokesman) says: “The American Motorcyclist Association is encouraged by the number of states taking action to penalize distracted driving activities such as texting while operating a motor vehicle.
“Distracted or inattentive driving has become a major concern to the motorcycling community. Motor vehicle operators engaged in these behaviors are not just a danger to motorcyclists – they endanger pedestrians, bicyclists, roadside assistance and emergency medical personnel, highway construction workers, and law enforcement personnel. The AMA acknowledges that motorcyclists share this responsibility as well.
“The AMA supports legislation that includes enhanced penalty options to be determined by the courts. Examples include enhanced fines, operator’s license suspension, points assessed on an operator’s record, community service, and imprisonment.”
The first state to make the roads a bit safer for motorcyclists was Washington, which signed the texting ban into law in May, 2007. Since then, many states jumped on the safety trend.
But there are still 18 states to go. If you’re a motorcyclist in one of these 19 states, there are ways to be heard. Log onto the rights’ section of the AMA website to become active in ensuring not only your own safety, but the safety of every motorcycist riding in your state.
Following is a list of states where Texting While Driving is Illegal:
- Indiana (8/1/11)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota (8/1/11)
- Rhode Island
*D.C., Guam are also included in the texting ban