Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (11/30/2010)

Distracted Driving Prevention Act of 2010 - (Sec. 2) Directs the Secretary of Transportation to make grants beginning FY2011 to states that enact laws that prohibit, with certain exceptions, and establish fines for texting and/or handheld cellphone use while driving.

Requires a state that receives a grant to allocate: (1) at least 50% to educate and advertise to the public about the dangers of texting or using a cellphone while driving as well as enforce the distracted driving law; and (2) up to 50% for other traffic safety improvement projects.

(Sec. 3) Directs the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to administer a distracted driving national education program with at least two high-visibility education and advertising campaigns for FY2011 and FY2012.

(Sec. 4) Revises requirements directing states and local governments that receive NHTSA grants to collect certain data elements regarding vehicle crash causation. Requires such governments to: (1) require the recording in official vehicle accident investigation reports of whether a personal wireless communications device was in use at the time of an accident, (2) require that all law enforcement officers inquire about and record the use of such a device, and (3) incorporate the information into its traffic safety information system.

(Sec. 5) Requires the Secretary to establish a research program to study distracted driving by passenger and commercial vehicle drivers. Authorizes the Secretary to grant research contracts for this purpose to nongovernmental entities.

(Sec. 6) Directs the the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to report to Congress on existing and developing wireless communications technology that may be used to reduce problems associated with distracted driving.

(Sec. 7) Makes an exception to the prohibition against lobbying by NHTSA of state or local legislators to allow NHTSA to provide states with government-sponsored research and highway safety data or technical assistance relating to legislative proposals addressing the potential dangers of texting and cell phone use.

(Sec. 8) Requires the Secretary to: (1) prescribe regulations on the use of electronic or wireless devices, including cell phones and other distracting devices, by operators of commercial motor vehicles and school buses; and (2) prohibit their use in circumstances where it interferes with the driver's safe operation of the vehicles.

(Sec. 9) Amends the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) to earmark for the distracted driving national education program $7.5 million from unused FY2010 funds for safety belt performance grants to states.

(Sec. 10) Directs the Secretary to initiate a rulemaking proceeding to prescribe a federal motor vehicle safety standard to prohibit electronic screens in cars from displaying visual entertainment that is visible to the driver while driving. Allows, however, electronic screens that display information or images regarding vehicle operation, vehicle surroundings, communications systems, and navigation systems.