Have you ever been annoyed, or even terrified, by someone yakking on the phone while driving coming at you and not paying attention? If so, there may be progress as the RI Assembly passed, and the Governor signed, a bill to ban using hand-held phones while driving. It has been noted this makes it much easier to enforce the no-texting while driving law. It goes into effect June 1, 2018.
Thanks for passing this law goes first of all to the legislative sponsors, Senator Sue Sosnoswski and Representative Kathleen Fogarty. Sen Sosnoswki deserves much credit for her persistence. She has gotten the bill through the Senate, usually unanimously, many times only to see it die without action in the House. Rep Fogarty also deserves much credit for finally being able to get the bill through the House. In that chamber, most Republicans voted against it. I am trying to find out why.
Other allies include RIDOT, especially Highway Safety chief Gaby Abbate, the AG’s Office, AAA, state and local police, the RIPTA Riders Alliance, and DOTWatch.
With road fatalities, and auto insurance rates, rising there is much more to be done in highway safety – for example calling attention to the new law coming. RIBike members with ideas for promoting safety legislatively or otherwise, as well as other ideas for pro-bike legislation in the next session, please share them! (For example, we may hope for another “Green Economy” bond with a set-aside for bike infrastructure.)