Cell phones are the current political hot button. Some states are working with law enforcement to enact an all-out ban on the use of handheld devices while driving.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently noted their recommendation that cellphones be banned nationally, both handheld and hands-free, while driving. This includes the use of any text messaging devices.
The report goes on to say that at any time during the day, over 13.5 million drivers are using a handheld device while driving. At the bare minimum, in 2010, over 3,000 fatalities were reported due to distracted driving with cellphones and texting cited as the cause.
Many state and local municipalities have been working to enact some sort of laws to outlaw the use of cellphones. Most of these laws have come under fire for invasion of privacy and other civil rights violations. The criticism has not stopped local law enforcement from pushing forward to outlaw cellphones.
In many places, the consequences of driving while using a cellphone have resulted in civil citations, which do not affect your driver’s license in the way of points against your driving record. The civil citations are generally a monetary punishment.
The cost of a cellphone ticket in the recently enacted ban in the city of Bozeman, Montana, is strictly a warning for the first 30 days followed by a $100 fine for talking or texting. This ticket is a civil ticket, which will not affect a driver’s license.
Currently, the insurance company is not raising rates for those who have received tickets for cellphone violations, regardless of whether it is a civil or a moving violation. The insurance company has taken a stand that this is a minor violation.
This may change as more states and local areas start enacting more laws regarding the use of cellphones. Distracted driving is the number one cause of accidents in the United States, surpassing drunk driving.
While you may not need to worry about that cellphone violation as you compare auto insurance quotes now, there may come a time when the auto insurance industry starts to count these violations against you. It may become more difficult to keep a cheap car insurance premium with tickets like this.
Comparing auto insurance quotes may require you to disclose a ticket for cellphone use. For now, you may not be penalized when you do your auto insurance comparison, but too many tickets will cause your rates to go up.