Cellphone use while driving banned in California

By Justin Mann on September 15, 2006, 7:07 PM
While not exactly tech related, the increasing pressure on police forces in many countries to stop drivers from using cell phones has captivated my interest. Most recently, the state of California become one in a small, but growing, number of countries and states that are banning cellphone use while driving due to the dangers it causes. Just about everyone has a cell phone these days, and tech heads, especially those with technical jobs, are pretty much guaranteed to be carrying one with them at all times. Citing the loss of concentration and risk of accidents, the law makes it a crime with a minimum fine of $20 for anyone caught using a phone without a headset in a car:

"Public safety is the governor's No. 1 priority," said Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson, "and this bill will make the streets and highways of California safer by ensuring that drivers have both hands available for driving."
Drivers experiencing an emergency would be exempt from the fine, though I imagine someone in an emergency would be looking forward to police assistance rather than worrying about getting pulled over.

Some are still arguing that it is talking in general while driving, not the use of a cell phone, that poses a risk. By that same token, merely having someone in the car with you and talking to you could be considered a crime, which I see as extreme.

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