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November 12, 2012
Governors strengthen policy on drugged and distracted driving

Members of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) have strengthened their policy positions regarding drugged and distracted driving. The new policy broadens GHSA’s support of distracted driving legislation by calling for a ban on hand-held devices by all drivers.

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Previously, the Association supported a ban on texting for all drivers and a total ban on electronic devices for new drivers and school bus drivers. The group notes that texting bans are hard to enforce because some drivers may claim they were dialing when stopped for texting.

The GHSA has also broadened its drugged driving policy by supporting zero-tolerance laws. This means a driver can be charged with impaired driving solely for having a drug in his or her system. Seventeen states currently have such laws on the books.

The Association is encouraging states to adopt a stricter penalty for driving under the influence of multiple drugs, such as a combination of alcohol and another drug, or a mix of drugs other than alcohol.

The GHSA is a nonprofit group representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

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