Last month, the D.C. council voted on a bill that would become the toughest distracted driving law in the U.S. if it passed. The Three Strikes Bill, as it has become known as, would create new penalties for distracted driving, including:
There’s one big problem with this bill. Currently, the D.C. Police Department has no technology that will be able to track the number of distracted driving violations each driver has. According to D.C.’s chief financial officer, there won’t be enough money available in the budget to implement this bill until after the 2020 fiscal year.
Moreover, the bill still does not address other forms of distracted driving, including hands-free devices, in-car devices or earbuds. Additionally, there’s the question of what the District could realistically do to enforce this potential new law if violators have out-of-state driver’s licenses.
According to AAA, eight out of every 10 car crashes in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas is connected to distracted driving. Within the District alone, more than 1,000,000 distracted driving citations were issued between 2004 and 2014. It is clear something needs to be done about this dangerous driving habit. While the Three Strikes Bill is a good step towards decreasing the number of distracted driving on the road in theory, we need lawmakers to create a solution that is applicable in practice.
Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P. is a personal injury law firm that works to help those injured in car accidents in the Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland areas. We offer free consultations, call us today to speak to one of our attorneys.