FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — New legislation aims to crack down on distracted driving.

Rep. James Tipton’s HB 258 would limit how drivers use a cell phone while behind the wheel.

“Too many individuals get seriously hurt because someone takes their eyes off the road,” said Tipton in a news release. “It may seem small, just sending a text or checking social media, but the consequences are real and potentially fatal.”

The measure would only allow for the hands-free use of a personal device while driving. Further, drivers using or holding their devices would be breaking the law, according to the house majority leadership office.

An exception would be made for “single-swipe” actions like navigation programs or answering phone calls.

The new law would apply to paging devices; text-messaging devices; stand-alone computers; tablets; laptops; notebook computers; personal digital assistants; global positioning system receivers; telephone; devices capable of displaying a video, movie, broadcast television image, or visual images; Any substantially similar wireless device that is used to initiate or receive communication, information, or data; and cellular telephones.


KENTUCKY HOUSE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS

Industry leaders and community advocates are praising the proposed law and its impact on roadway safety throughout the Commonwealth.

“Technology can be a very useful tool for drivers, but when it takes a driver’s eyes off the road, it can be deadly. Requiring the hands-free use of a cell phone or other devices while driving is the best way to protect Kentuckians from distracted drivers,” said Mark Treesh, executive director of the Insurance Institute of Kentucky, in a news release. “Many surrounding states have already taken this step or are considering it, and Kentucky should be next. We support the passage of HB 258.”