Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Who actually receives cell phone use while driving citations and how much are these laws enforced among states? A descriptive, cross-sectional study
  1. Toni M Rudisill1,
  2. Motao Zhu1,2
  1. 1Injury Control Research Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Motao Zhu; mozhu{at}hsc.wvu.edu

Abstract

Objectives While numerous cell phone use while driving laws have been passed among states, little information exists regarding who gets cited for these traffic infractions and how much these laws are enforced at the state-level within the USA.

Design Cross-sectional, descriptive study.

Setting 14 states and the District of Columbia.

Participants Those receiving cell phone use while driving citations within included states from 2007 to 2013.

Primary outcome Demographic characteristics of cited drivers were assessed. Rates of infractions per 100 000 licensed in-state drivers per year for various cell phone use while driving violations were calculated.

Results Drivers were cited for hand-held use violations (n=2.5 million) more than texting (n=14 682) or young driver all cell phone bans (n=342). Among states that provided data for all traffic violations, cell phone use while driving citations comprised 1% of all written citations. Regardless of ban type, males (68.2%) were cited more frequently than females. Drivers 25–64 years of age (90.8%) were more likely to be cited for hand-held phone use. The average yearly rate of infractions per 100 000 licensed in-state drivers from 2010–2013 was 5.8 for texting bans, 2607 for hand-held bans, and 9954 for any traffic violation.

Conclusions Among cited drivers, age and sex differences existed by the type of ban violated. State-level enforcement appeared sparse. Due to the potential serious consequences of cell phone use while driving in the USA, more enforcement and targeted public safety campaigns are likely needed.

  • ACCIDENT & EMERGENCY MEDICINE
  • LAW (see Medical Law)
  • PUBLIC HEALTH

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.