A Better Region 8: Arkansas' new texting and driving penalties

We've talked a lot on A Better Region 8 about the dangers of texting and driving.  This week, the Arkansas legislature put some teeth into the penalties for texting and driving.

Under Senate Bill 374, the current law is amended to show that a person who is caught texting and driving can face a $250 fine for the first offense and up to a $500 fine for each additional offense. It also expands the law from just texting and email to include social media and gives a more comprehensive definition to the devices included in the law.

The original law is called "Paul's Law," in honor of Paul Davidson.  Davidson was killed in a head-on crash with a driver who was allegedly writing a text message. Paul Davidson was a father of three and was planning his wedding when the tragedy occurred.

It's sad that we have to impact people in the wallet to get their attention.  A $250 fine doesn't even begin to compare with the loss of human life and the immense pain felt to this day by two Region 8 families.

But this is a step in the right direction and I'm glad the Arkansas state legislature stepped up and passed this new bill.

Don't put people's lives in danger. Putting the phone down while driving can save lives and will make this A Better Region 8.

- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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