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Most states miss out on anti-distracted driving funds

Government plays a significant role in creating safer roads in Pennsylvania as well as in other states. Without government funding, various safety efforts would never get started that serve the best interests of their communities. Drunk driving prevention is just one example of how funding is used to implement traffic safety programs.

While drunk driving is certainly not a problem of the past, there is a newer and equally dangerous driving behavior that communities in Pennsylvania have been trying to fight against. Texting and driving and other cellphone activity behind the wheel is dangerous, so much so that the federal government offered money to states if they took proactive efforts to prevent distracted driving and related traffic accidents.

USA Today reports, however, that maybe the federal government should have been more specific about what it wanted states to do. Thirty eight states reportedly applied for grant money to help implement their distracted driving laws of choice, but very few of those applicants were granted funds in the end. Apparently, the states' laws weren't clear or strict enough.

Of the 38 states that applied for government funding, only eight actually secured grants. Combined, the grant money totals $5.6 million among the eight places: Arkansas, Georgia, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Guam. As you can see, Pennsylvania is not part of the pack.

Even though Pennsylvania isn't in that list, there are still distracted driving laws on the books here. Texting while driving is against the law, and in some cities using a handheld device while driving is against the law. Illegal or not, distracted driving behavior that leads to an accident is still key to a plaintiff's personal injury case. A motor vehicle accident attorney could use evidence of cellphone use to help hold a negligent party accountable for a victim's injuries.

 

 

Source: USA Today, "States lose out on federal distracted-driving grants," Larry Copeland, Sep. 10, 2013

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