Senator John Harms has introduced the Nebraska Roadway Safety Act (LB 807) which is a comprehensive safety bill that includes these provisions:
1) The current Anti texting law says you can’t send/receive/read text messages while driving; however, this is a secondary offense (one of only 4 on the books) meaning you can’t get pulled over for it. LB 807 would correct this and give police the opportunity to pull drivers over and cite them for this incredibly dangerous behavior.
2) The current graduated drivers license provisions (GDL) restrict new drivers, mostly teens, from using a cell phone for any use when driving (talking/texting/web/etc), it also limits the passengers they are allowed (a major crash risk for teens) to 1 under the age of 18; it sets a curfew after midnight (unless for work), and requires seatbelt use. ALL of these are secondarily enforced which means, literally, you can get your license today, load up your car with your friends without seatbelts and text while driving in front of a police officer and not get pulled over. LB 807 seeks to make all of these primary offenses, which they all should be.
3) School bus drivers are currently not restricted by any law from cell phone use while driving kids to school. That means it not illegal for them to talk/text/surf the web on a cell phone while driving children to and from school. LB 807 would make this illegal.
4) Seat belt use in Nebraska is as high as the 80 percentile today. While that may sound like great progress, consider that in 2013 84% of the roadway deaths in Nebraska were people who did not wear their safety restraint. In states where this is a primary enforced law, the percentage of use is much higher and the amount of roadway deaths from disuse is lower, overall. It’s simple; your odds of survival dramatically improve with belt use.
All of these changes would prevent crashes and/or save lives every year in Nebraska if passed. Nebraska is one of only 4 states that have a secondary enforced anti-texting law and our GDL and seatbelt laws are also weak compared to most other states.
You can help. Go to this page and look on the right side of the page for the word “Senators” and hover your pointer over it to either “Find your Senator”, of if you know who your Senator is, go to their webpage (see the picture below).
Now is the time to support these meaningful distracted driving & safety laws in Nebraska. We will be supporting this bill but we need your support by calling/emailing/writing to your State Senator to say that you support LB 807 to make our roadways safer (or speak to the pieces that you do support). Thank you!
For more information on LB 807, please click here