Updated: Jun 30
Here is more freedom for you! I personally hate this law but then again, as with all other statutes, I don't need them and you shouldn't either. It is clear we have a major lack of personal responsibility problem in this state and this is why ISP feels it is necessary. I firmly believe if we didn't have this problem, that ISP would not be as interested in supporting it.
This law is abusive, completely takes away the due process portion of the law, makes the application of the law arbitrary and does more to empower the government than it does to empower the citizen and puts ISP in a position I'll be they may not even support from what I know from many of them but again, it isn't up to them and we need to remember that, I know I need to.
When you look at the details of what this means and how they plan to enforce it, it really seems to allow them to do whatever they want to make that citation.
I think there should be a section in this press release that should include WHAT THE ISP NEEDS TO KNOW or better yet WHAT THE LEGISLATURE NEEDS TO KNOW when it relates to freedom vs security after all, doesn't the IDAHO GOP tout Personal responsibility and self governance in its platform or is that just word salad to make them sound more "conservative" than they really are? As a matter of fact the ID GOP won't even adhere to their own platform and denied a resolution to be forced to but they can impose their will on the ISP and upon us to force us to hold to the arbitrary law they created? Hogwash!
How are they, for example going to determine whether you were hands free? Because they saw you or because they thought they saw you and what it they actually didn't but thought they did?
In other words, with few exceptions, the new hands-free law makes holding a cell phone illegal while operating a vehicle. How will they know if it was in hands free mode or not? Do they get to take your phone upon detainment? Not me they won't. We can't even "touch" the device?" Really? How arbitrary! Can I now not touch my CD, my seat belt, my radio, my child, my wife, my pet or change the channel on the radio or my spilled Big Gulp or even an un-spilled one?
So these guys will now not only be monitoring your speed through radar but eerily watching you through your windows of your car which takes much more time and effort? What about the danger of them taking their eyes off the road for that long insuring that we are in fact breaking the law or will be like the computers they get to use taking their eyes of the road because they were "trained" to do super human feats and are now beyond making mistakes? This clearly does more to empower the government over the citizens and if they can scrutinize you in your own car without proof, you have no freedom.
If this statute bothers you as it does me, remember that your GOP "True conservative" legislature passed this law to burden your ISP to enforce. I can only hope they, the ISP enforce it like they do the minimum speed law they passed last year even though I hate slow people in the fast lane!
I feel bad for our freedoms, I feel bad for the ISP and I feel badly for future generations because totalitarianism is incremental and once we give up small liberties, we never ever get em back. Think about that they next time you support or enforce a law.
Here is the press release:
IDAHO STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: 6/29/2020 12:20 p.m.
Beginning Wednesday, July 1, 2020, drivers throughout Idaho will recommit to safe, responsible driving by following a new law meant to keep drivers engaged while behind the wheel.
The new Idaho State Code 49-1401A requires electronic devices be in hands-free mode while driving, including when stopped at a red light or stop sign.
The new law, HB 614, is intended to "address safety concerns associated with a significant portion of distracted driving crashes."
"Education of motorists is key." Said Col. Kedrick Wills, Director of the Idaho State Police.
"Idahoans want to be responsible and to be good drivers. This law is another way to remind all of us we need to pay attention to the road when we're behind the wheel. As law enforcement, we can remind them with education or enforcement. We're starting with what we prefer, education."
This law applies in every city and county throughout the state. Troopers, officers and deputies will issue warnings from July 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020. Citations can be issued beginning January 1, 2021.
WHAT DRIVERS NEED TO KNOW:
- Drivers can only use electronic devices and mobile phones in hands-free mode;
- Drivers are only permitted to touch devices to activate hands-free mode;
- Drivers are not permitted to hold or support any electronic device/phone;
- Activation of GPS, voice to text, and making or receiving calls is permitted with one-touch or voice command;
- Handheld use is allowed only if the vehicle is both stationary and not located in a public travel lane, or in the event of an emergency;
- Drivers are not allowed to touch a device for texting, emailing, apps, video, or internet use;
- Should a driver receive two distracted driving violations in three years, the new law states insurance companies can consider those violations when establishing insurance rates for a driver.
"We're in this together, every motorist on the road. Our lawmakers have seen the need to give law enforcement in every jurisdiction, cities, counties and the state, a greater tool to ensure traffic safety. But the greatest power lies with each individual motorist who gets behind the wheel who makes the conscious decision to be engaged while driving.
"ISP will do our part to enforce when necessary, but we're asking every Idaho driver to take it upon yourself and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of others around you. Keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road, your mind on driving, and together we'll keep Idaho safe." Said Col. Wills.
1st offense - $75 fine
2nd offense within three years - $150 fine
3rd and subsequent offenses within three years - $300 fine. Three offenses in three years can also lead to a license suspension of up to 90 days.
Idaho drivers are encouraged to SHIFT their behavior and focus on engaged driving. Unfortunately, distracted driving remains a danger and over the past decade has morphed from random incidents to a persistent and dangerous problem.
- 241 people killed in Idaho in crashes attributed to distracted driving between 2014 and 2018.
- In 1 in 5 crashes in Idaho, distracted driving is contributing factor.
"Things can go wrong very quickly when you take your eyes off the road for even a few seconds.
"Sadly, Troopers have come across crashes where the driver's decision to use a mobile device resulted in life or death consequences. Anyone who has seen, been involved in, or is tasked with responding to these crashes understands this law addresses safety for every single person who drives on our roadways." Said Col. Wills.
A STATEWIDE STATUTE:
The new ISC 49-1401A will preempt all local ordinances in cities who already have hands-free ordinances. In 2012, the legislature passed a law that prohibited texting. This statute will be repealed once House Bill 614 takes effect July 1.