Breaking News
More () »

'Buckle up, phones down': Kentucky lawmaker refiles bill to strengthen distracted driving laws

A bill designed to force drivers to get their eyes off their phones and on the roadways has been reintroduced in Frankfort. Will it move forward?

FRANKFORT, Ky. — “Buckle Up, Phones Down” may not just be an electronic billboard message on roadways in Kentucky soon.

It could become law with House Bill 258.

State Rep. James Tipton, (R) District 53, filed the bill.

“Most likely it will go to the House Transportation Committee,” he said.

Rep. Tipton filed a similar bill a couple years ago, but it never made it out of committee.

H.B. 258 would essentially make Kentucky hands-free, like 5 of its 7 neighboring states -- West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana.

Even though it’s already illegal in the commonwealth to text and drive, the bill would also make it illegal to hold a phone or another electronic device while driving, including when stopped in traffic or at a stop light.

RELATED: 'Guilty as charged.' Kentucky legislator admits violating proposed distracted driving law she sponsored

That means no more surfing the internet, reading and sending emails, posting on social media, and even talking on the phone without a hands-free device.

Tipton says the proposed law would take the guesswork out for law enforcement.

A FOCUS investigation found that in the 11 years since the texting and driving law has been in place, only 10,139 tickets had been issued as of last September.

Tipton says he now has more support from statewide and national organizations for the bill, which helps give it a better chance of moving it into the “passing lane” at the legislature.

“It’s just a matter of gaining the attention of the right people in the general assembly that hey, this is something we need to take a look at.”

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.  

Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed 


Before You Leave, Check This Out