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.

User Comments: 7

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Rick said:
[quote]Some are still arguing that it is talking in general while driving, not the use of a cell phone, that poses a risk.[/quote]I've read that some studies have shown that having a passenger is infact safer than conversing on the phone. The reason cited is most passengers watch traffic and surroundings, where a person on a cell phone cannot. It may even be SAFER to have a passenger, as indeed an extra pair of eyes can be very useful. So people who claim a passenger is worse than a cell phone are probably wrong. And I can tell you that talking on a cell phone is far more distracting (to me) than talking to a passenger.
blue_dragon said:
finally!!! finally the terminator did something right!!! :DI was discussing this with my frineds last timeI remember this lady talking on the phone at the wXX-marX parking and she almost ran me over..she called me stupid..well I wasnt the one on the phoneI think the law sould be reviewed and bann ALL cellphone use
zephead said:
the university of tennesee did a study in which three equally skilled gropus of drivers went into a state-of-the-art simulators and went through identical scenarios. one group was drunk, one talking on cell phones, and one was the control group. the drivers using cell phones actually did worse than those who were intoxicated, and got in more crashes with a higher fatality rate than the drunk group.i think its a great idea. although illinois has yet to establish such a law, the city of chicago did and enforces it with $100 fines. american roads are unsafe enough as it is...we don't need drivers that are distracted.
nimo333 said:
I think it's a good idea. I mean having a passenger can be actually good to talk to, eventhough he may distract you a little bit in driving, he can also guide and help you into not getting an accident. If he is sitting next to you and since he is most likely watching other cars around you then he can warn you if anything happens wrong on the road!
Julio said:
My car has a hands-free Bluetooth feature which in my opinion work perfectly for avoiding unnecessary distraction while talking and driving.In the other hand, I believe this has also resulted in negative results in studies because people still tend to get distracted. In my case I can drive quite perfectly while using hands-free, though this might not be the case for everyone. After all, there is people out there that drive pretty badly without any distractions, add the cell phone to that, and you get the results.
nimo333 said:
Good point Julio, you are absolutely right. Btw, what kind of car do u have, I've never heard of bluetooth feature in a car!
brianna102 said:
I totally agree with you. It is very much dangerous for a man who using cell phone while driving and also it is not safe for others.
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