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Rep. Les Gara

NEWS: Appeals Court: Old Texting While Driving Law Not Enough

2012 Gara-Thomas legislation prevents Alaska from being one of few states without prohibition

Alaska’s old law prohibiting the use of certain visual display screen devices while driving did not prohibit texting while driving, according to an Alaska Court of Appeals decision issued this week. The decision upholds Kenai Peninsula Magistrate Jennifer K. Wells’ action that called the law into question and inspired Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and former Representative Bill Thomas (R-Haines) to pass a law specifically outlawing texting while driving in Alaska.

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Rep. Tuck’s Community Connection: Texting While Driving Banned Again and Info on Traffic Delays

As you prepare to start your weekend here are a few things to help make your travel safe and hassle free.

First, texting while driving became illegal again starting today. A previous law had not withstood court challenges, so the legislature rewrote the law this year and the governor signed it into law yesterday. From now on, reading or typing a message on a screened device while driving a moving vehicle is against the law.

Second, with the start of the summer construction season, traffic delays and road closures are going to increase. You can get information about which areas to avoid and alternate routes at the following link: Road Project Traffic Delays

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NEWS: It’s Official: Texting While Driving Is Illegal in Alaska

Ban Signed Into Law Today

Today, thanks to legislation led by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Representative Bill Thomas (R-Haines), Alaska’s strong anti-texting law is officially back on the books. Last year, a number of judges questioned whether the law at the time covered texting while driving, but the new law is clear—it is illegal to text while driving in Alaska.

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NEWS: Legislature Reinstates Texting While Driving Ban

Bi-partisan Bill Will Prevent Deadly Practice

Today, the Legislature passed bi-partisan legislation led by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Representative Bill Thomas (R-Haines) to put Alaska’s strong anti-texting law back on the books. Last year, a number of judges questioned whether the existing law covers texting while driving.

“The Legislature intended to ban dangerous conduct like texting while driving. Rather than wait for appeals, we’re sending a clear message to the public, now, that texting, and typing on personal and computer devices can cause death and serious injury. In an average text you drive the length of a football field before paying attention to driving. We don’t want cars to be moving weapons,” said Rep. Gara.

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Rep. Kerttula’s Juneau Newsletter: Budget, Texting and Girl Scouts

There are nine days left in the 90-day legislative session. In this newsletter, I’ll give you an update on the budget and some information about a great bill banning texting while driving. I’ll also share my thoughts on some unfounded concerns about the Girl Scouts.

Thank you for reading my newsletter. I appreciate hearing from you, so please stop by my office, call, write or email.

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Contact Info:
Graham Judson Press Secretary
(907) 465-5284
120 4th St, Juneau, AK 99801