The Vermont House Judiciary and Transportation committees are considering a few different bills, all of which address distracted driving in one form or another. One of the bills would make it illegal for drivers to use a cell phone in highway construction zones. Another proposed bill being considered would increase the fine for a first offense of texting while driving from $100 to $250, and double the fine on subsequent offenses from $250 to $500.
The current ban on texting while driving in Vermont was passed in 2010, but in the past three years public safety advocates claim the situation has only gotten worse. Some traffic safety experts say the law has not been effect long enough for anyone to know whether or not it will have an impact, while many others say the law clearly is not working as intended. Vermont lawmakers seem to agree with the latter point of view, and are looking to make some changes to these existing laws to fortify their stance against the dangers of distracted driving.
For his part, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has said he expects motorists to do the right thing when it comes to public safety, but has also said he felt perhaps it was a good idea to provide a suitable punishment when they don’t.