Distracted driving injures and kills hundreds of people every year. Now, a proposed bill would ban all hand held cell phone use while behind the wheel… And violations would come with a big hit to your wallet.
We went out on the streets to see for ourselves and in just a matter of minutes we witnessed multiple drivers on their phones at a busy Wichita intersection.
State Bill 441, if passed, would look to end distracted driving in Kansas by getting people to put down their phones. Rick Johnson, the owner of Legacy Driving School in Andover said the law is needed.
"When you're talking, and just even talking on the phone, whether it's handheld or not, your mind is either focused on the communication and the conversation or it's on driving. The brain doesn't multitask very well," said Johnson. “My hope is that it passes, and it cuts down on traffic crashes and fatalities.”
The proposed law would make holding your phone or supporting it with any part of your body illegal while driving, but some people like Kenneth Huskey think it might not be the best solution.
"Banning it all really shouldn't happen, to me,” said Kenneth, a Wichita driver.
The fine for using your phone would start at $60 for the first offense, then $120 for the second, and $250 for each time after that.
Johnson says that while no law will completely prevent distracted driving, he thinks this would be a good start, and even Huskey agrees the most important thing is safety.
"Just be safe. Think of your life before a phone call or text," said Huskey.
The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation on Monday. The next step would be for the committee to schedule a hearing where people impacted by the bill will have a chance to tell lawmakers what they think.