FRANKFORT, Ky. — Rep. James Tipton (R, Taylorsville) has filed legislation to stop what he considers a growing problem of distracted driving. 

What You Need To Know

  • Rep. James Tipton has filed House Bill 258

  • Under the bill, drivers could not hold or support a phone or other devices with their body while driving

  • Texting while driving is currently banned in Kentucky

  • Tipton said similar legislation is in place in several surrounding states

Under House Bill 258, drivers could not hold or support a phone and other devices with their body while driving. 

“You can still use Bluetooth technology,” he said. “There are provisions in the bill where you can use one finger to initiate a function of your phone if necessary, but the idea behind this is we’ve seen more and more distracted driving accidents and fatalities and injuries in the last few years.” 

Tipton cited a recent poll he said shows over 80% believe distracted driving has gotten worse.

He brought up the case of Roger Burdette, who is appealing a murder conviction in the 2018 death of Louisville Metro Police Department Detective Deidre Mengedoht. 

According to testimony by an undercover Kentucky State Police detective, forensic software showed Burdette unlocked his phone and it began playing a video, minutes before when authorities say he crashed. 

Tipton said that under Kentucky’s current texting while driving ban, it is hard for law enforcement to tell if someone is texting or using social media. 

“This will make it much easier for law enforcement to enforce this provision and keep us all safer because it will be much easier for them to actually identify where you have a device in your hand,” he said.

Several surrounding states have already passed similar legislation, Tipton said. 

House Bill 258 has not yet been assigned to a committee.