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WV Distracted Driving - Highway Safety Plan 2015

West Virginia Legislature passed a cell phone/texting ban while driving law in the 2012 Legislative session. The law, which went into effect July 1, 2012, prohibits texting or using a cell phone without the use of hands-free technology while operating a motor vehicle. Operating a motor vehicle while texting or using a cell phone is a primary offense in West Virginia.

Despite these primary laws banning handheld device use and, texting for all drivers, and all cell phone use for novice drivers, distracted driving is still a problem in West Virginia. The Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) conducts surveys of drivers regarding their attitudes and awareness of programs addressing seat belt use, speeding, and impaired driving. Respondents were asked to self-report how often they talk on a cell phone and text when driving their vehicles. Just over 50 percent of the respondents indicated they talk on the cell phone some, most, or all of the time, while 37 – 40 percent reported texting while driving some, most, or all of the time. It should be noted that “some of the time” was by far the most prevalent answer among these three responses.

In the 1990s, West Virginia embraced the community/regional approach to traffic safety and the state continues to believe this is the most efficient approach in dealing with traffic safety problems and issues. The State is divided into eight regions based on geography and demographics.

The Division of Highways provided $1,000,000 to the GHSP for FFY 2015 to provide awareness, education, and enforcement programs which address distracted driving. The Governor’s Highway Safety Program continues to fund traffic safety initiatives throughout the eight Regional Traffic Safety Programs throughout West Virginia covering all 55 counties. These regions are tasked with traffic safety initiatives, including the prevention of cell phone/texting while driving and are tasked with conducting or facilitating at least one activity or media event on distracted driving and cell phone use/texting while driving.

Click here for more information on the GHSP’s Highway Safety Plan for FFY 2015.

 

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Colombo Law Blog | 13th Annual MountainFest Motorcycle Rally This Weekend
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13th Annual MountainFest Motorcycle Rally This Weekend

Many in West Virginia are familiar with MountainFest, the annual motorcycle rally that occurs in Morgantown in July. People from across the state gather in Morgantown to share their passion for motorcycles, see bands perform, check out motorcycle accessories and custom bikes, compete in contests and take part in a parade.

When thousands of motorcyclists congregate in one area, the chance of a motorcycle accident happening increases. 

In an additional attempt to help preserve the safety of motorcyclists on our roadways, the National Transportation Safety Board has added motorcyclists to their "most wanted" list. This list aims to raise awareness about the dangers that surround these drivers. Motorists hold a lot of responsibility in keeping these motorists safe.

From 1997 to 2009, the number of yearly motorcycle deaths doubled from 2,116 to 4,462. It is estimated that about 12 motorcyclists were killed our roadways every day. Even though these motorists only make up about 3 percent of the vehicles on our nation’s roads, they account for nearly 15 percent of highway fatalities. 

We offer these tips to motorists to help keep motorcycle riders safe on our roadways:

  • Don't follow too closely behind a motorcycle. They oftentimes have difficulty stopping on slippery, wet pavement.
  • Allow a motorcycle to occupy the entire lane. Do not share lanes with these motorists.
  • Turn signals on motorcycles are not always self-canceling. Make sure that a motorcyclist's signal is for real.
  • Motorcyclists are likely to slow down their bike by downshifting instead of using the brake. Downshifting does not activate the brake light. Don't follow too closely.
  • Always assume that a motorcyclist is farther away than they actually are.
  • Check and double check your blind spots. Because of their small size, bikes are easily lost in a vehicle's blind spots.

 

If you have been injured contact an experienced motorcycle attorney. Colombo Law been representing accident victims and their families in Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Weston, and throughout West Virginia for years. Call us today to schedule a free and confidential appointment to discuss your case at 1-304-599-4229.

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