State Senator seeks to clarify distracted driving laws

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - An Arkansas state senator is sponsoring a bill to clarify a law concerning a violation for distracted driving, and to make a violation for distracted driving a secondary offense.

If approved, Senate Bill 66 would permit those between ages 18-21 to use their cell phone to make calls while only using a hands-free device.

For those under age 18, the law restricts any use of a cellular device while driving a motor vehicle, unless under emergency situations.

Sen. Alan Clark, R-Lonsdale, said people are getting tickets for having a cell phone in their hand who are not texting.

“In fact, I’ve been told by law enforcement and I’ve been told by insurance folks that if you actually go to court, they can’t prove you were texting,” Clark said. "I doubt if you go to some judge’s court that they are not going to find you guilty when you show up, but since they can’t prove you weren’t texting, you should be found not guilty.”

The bill was filed in January, and was referred to the Senate Transportation, Technology & Legislative Affairs Committee.

Clark said that texting while driving and talking on the phone are both dangerous, seeing a phone in a hand is not a reason to pull someone over.

Sen. Alan Clark, R-Lonsdale is sponsoring a bill dealing with distracted driving and the use of cell phones.
Sen. Alan Clark, R-Lonsdale is sponsoring a bill dealing with distracted driving and the use of cell phones. (Source: KAIT-TV)

Clark said he believes we have a responsibility when freedom and safety collide to do things in the least restrictive way possible.

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