LAB Comments on U.S.DOT Notice of Proposed Law
LAB Comments on Distracted Driving
U.S.DOT notice of proposed rulemaking
LAB would like to take this opportunity to inform you that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking Limiting the Use of Wireless Communication Devices. Comment period concludes on May 3, 2010 – LAB
League of American Bicyclists Comments to FMCSA
The League of American Bicyclists is pleased to have the opportunity to comment on the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) notice of proposed rulemaking
to limit the use of wireless communication devices.
Safe, responsible driving requires concentration. While there have always been many
distractions on the road, technology and hundreds of new gadgets have given drivers
many more distractions. The proliferations of technologies designed for and available to
drivers have currently overtaken the ability of state and local laws to monitor and regulate
usage. Roads in the United States are getting more dangerous.
In 2008, there were 5.8 million crashes reported to the police, causing 2.3 million injuries
and nearly forty thousand deaths. The estimated annual cost, in adjusted 2010 dollars, of
all crashes is $296.8 billion.
We understand that FMCSA’s rulemaking will impose sanctions, including civil penalties
and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle, including school buses.
We would strongly urge the FMCSA to consider that any revenue from distracted driving
fines should go to safety programs. The income from all fines for distracted driving
should be put toward awareness programs and marketing campaigns, street safety and
targeted traffic enforcement (assistance for police department to do explicit traffic stops
and ticketing for distracted driving). These efforts should emphasize safety for all road
users, including the most vulnerable, such as children, cyclists and pedestrians.
Furthermore, fines in school zones, or from school bus driver infractions should be
doubled, and the money should go to a School Zone Safety Fund to support Safe Routes
to Schools and infrastructure upgrades to increase safety for children. Several states have
passed similar laws to send fines from school zone infractions to such a fund.
Thanks again for the opportunity to comment on this very important issue. – LAB