SAFE TO DRIVE Act would help states combat distracted driving

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The U.S. Senate recently passed provisions to combat distracted driving as part of the bipartisan infrastructure package.

The States Afforded Funding Extensions to Oppose Driving Recklessly In Vehicular Engagements (SAFE TO DRIVE) Act would change the requirements to qualify for federal funding to enforce distracted driving laws and educate drivers. States would be required to implement laws banning all non-navigational mobile device viewing while driving.

The change would ensure more states can qualify to receive grant funds.

In the United States, eight people die, and more than 1,000 people are injured daily in crashes involving distracted driving, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The use of cell phones has increased the number of distracted drivers.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduced the act.

“When drivers take their eyes off of the road, they endanger themselves, other drivers, and pedestrians,” Klobuchar said.

“As we modernize and improve our infrastructure through this package, we need to do so in a sustainable and safe way,” Krishnamoorthi said. “Through combatting the dangers of distracted driving, we can keep our roads safer for the American families that rely on these transportation systems.”

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI)
cosponsored the bill.