Legislature Asked To Revise Driving-Texting Law

Texting while driving and other forms of “distracted-driving” is a national issue. An estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in 2012 alone. This is according to the Distraction.gov, a PSA website to inform drivers.

Yet, states are slow to revise their laws to prohibit driving-texting laws because of the difficulty in drafting language and enforcement. As Washington’s law is written now, an officer would typically need to visibly see a driver manipulating their device. Yet, according to a recent article in The Olympian, Washington Traffic Safety Commission has sought stricter language to the law from the state legislature.

Due to the difficulty in enforcing these laws, the responsibility rests on the driver. This is the message and theme of Werner Herzog’s recent documentary on the aftermath of distracted driving accidents. The film is a notable departure from more “shock PSA’s.”

Philadelphia trial lawyer, Joel Feldman sadly knows the grim reality of distracted driving, having lost his daughter to a distracted driver. Below is a presentation he gave to high school students on the three types of distracted driving; manual, visual, and cognitive.

New House Bill Aimed at Protecting Workers Against Wage Theft

Yesterday, advocates for labor groups testified before the Washington State Legislature offering a proposal to triple the amount of damages for employers violating wage and hour laws.

Dubbed “Wage Theft” by advocates, the denial of rest breaks, the withholding of pay, and unlawful deductions have increased legal attention for low-income workers.

Currently, the amount of damages a worker is owed may be double under federal law for the amount of the violation.  However, the new State bill HB2332 would increase damages to “plus twice” the amount of “wages unlawfully rebated…” under State law.

These bills and others throughout the United States mark a growing effort by labor groups to protect workers rights and fair wages.