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Many Rhode Island residents ignoring new hands-free laws

As a Rhode Island resident and motorist, you may be well aware that a new law took effect in June that requires hands-free cellphone use for all drivers within state lines. While the new law seeks to improve safety for everyone on the roadway by reducing distracted driving-related accidents, it can only do so if drivers follow it – which many of them are failing to do. At Karns Law Group, we recognize that serious repercussions can result when motorists use handheld phones while behind the wheel, and we have helped many people involved in accidents with such drivers pursue appropriate recourse.

Per NBC 10, Rhode Island’s law enforcement officials handed down more than 650 citations against drivers for using handheld cellphones within the first month or so the new law took effect. Authorities issued about 20 percent of those citations during the first five days following the law change, suggesting that a lack of knowledge about the change may have played a role in at least some of the citations.

The dangers of using a handheld cellphone behind the wheel are well-documented, but that does not seem to be stopping those who rely on them regularly for work, directions and the like. Using cellphones while driving is one of the most common forms of driver distraction affecting today’s motoring public, however, with handheld phones playing a key role in numerous accidents across Rhode Island and the nation every year.

Authorities across the state are increasing their efforts to identify and penalize motorists who continue to ignore the state’s hands-free cellphone laws. For the time being, however, some drivers cited for using handheld phones can seek a dismissal, provided they furnish proof of purchasing a hands-free device in an effort to reduce future accidents. You can find more about Rhode Island car accidents on our webpage.

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