In a survey, many Californians admitted that the most distracting factors while driving on the road include talking on the phone, texting, kids in the car, other drivers and usage of other electronic devices. BMR Insurance held our own survey in this month’s email newsletter, and true enough, a whopping 60% of our readers claimed the same thing– texting while driving is the biggest distraction while driving!
The initial bill that banned cell phone usage while driving charges a base ticket fee of $20 for the first offense, with various additional fees driving the final ticket price up to $208. However, in the last month the California state Senate recently approved another bill that would stack on additional fines for using a cell phone while driving; the bill would increase the base fine of the ticket to $50, which could end up costing drivers almost $328 after the final fees.
After the original bill took effect in July 2008, statistics showed that it deterred up to 70% of drivers from using their handheld cell phone devices while on the road. California Highway Patrol reports that there has been a 20% decrease in car accidents in the first year after the bill took effect. However, even though it has been nearly three years since California banned the use of handheld cell phone devices while driving, the statistics prove to be far worse than we had imagined; the number of accidents caused by texting while driving has nearly doubled than before the bill had passed.
Aside from being absolutely dangerous, texting and driving can also hurt your insurance record! Repeat offenders will be fined up to $528, and any subsequent violations will count towards one point on the driver’s record, which could consequently increase insurance premium prices. BMR Insurance promotes safe driving and encourages all of our readers to put their phones down while behind on the wheel, or to safely pull over on the side of the road if they feel they must take the call. Remember, by using your cell phone while driving you are not only putting your life at risk but are also endangering the lives of others.
For more information about the new bill to increase fines for cell phone usage while driving offenses, or if you would like a free insurance policy review, please contact BMR Insurance today at (714)838-1911 or visit our website at bmrins.com.