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Stiffer fines proposed for cell phone violators

Original post made on Mar 2, 2010

State Sen. Joe Simitian's latest "distracted-driving" bill would sharply increase penalties for improper cell phone use and extend the hands-free, no-texting laws to bicyclists.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 2, 2010, 11:27 AM

Comments (10)

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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm

The penalty ought to be as severe as that for drunk driving. All studies indicate that it is every bit as dangerous.


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Posted by Big Al
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I agree. I have had MANY more close calls with bad drivers who I can see flapping on their phones at all times of day than I have encountered those swerving all over the road like a drunk.


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Posted by EllyA
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 2, 2010 at 3:24 pm

"The good news is that recently released collision and fatality data from the California Highway Patrol confirms that California's streets and highways are safer following the implementation of California's 'hands-free' cell-phone law," Simitian said.



But other studies DON'T show that to be the case, and a lot of experts think that just going "hands-free" isn't enough -- talking on the phone is the problem. I rarely use my cell phone while driving, but when I do, I don't bother hooking up and unhooking the hands-free thing -- I just talk for a short period of time and hang up or else pull over.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 2, 2010 at 4:09 pm

The real problem is not the use of the cell phone, it is having conversations while driving. So making it illegal to use a cell phone is missing the mark. The is backed up definitively with Human Factors research.

Personally, I am more of a hazard on the road when I have to hook up my hands free device while driving... I now have it automated, but for many people, they have to put on a blue tooth device and/or head phones. Doing that is so much worse than glancing at my radio, or lifting my cell phone to my head, which I can do without diverting my attention.

So it's an ugly problem, but the solution is not to require hands free devices.

No texting? Absolutely. There is no question about that.

Honestly, the real solution is make phone use in the car illegal. It's the having the conversation that makes you drunk, not the holding of your cell phone.

-shh


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 2, 2010 at 4:58 pm

The empirical evidence doesnt support Joe, so he recommends stiffer penalties. Say it aint so JOE. A guy who never met a regulation he didnt like. Term limits couldnt come soon enough for this guy


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Posted by Greg
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 2, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Steve said, "The real problem is not the use of the cell phone, it is having conversations while driving."

If that's true, then not only should cell phones be outlawed, but so should having ANY conversations. That means, no passengers.

Either we put up with some increased risk, or get really silly (and wasteful) with our laws. Neither is a particularly attractive option.

Steve went on, "Personally, I am more of a hazard on the road when I have to hook up my hands free device while driving..."

How about making a choice: either ignore your phone when you're driving or hook up your hands-free device PRIOR to starting to drive. And then, if you have to make a call, either assure you can do it using a voice-activated system or stop driving before making the call.

A little common sense goes a LONG way to keeping yourself and others safer.


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Posted by QM
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 2, 2010 at 6:45 pm


If you have not viewed this phone/texting PSA from the United Kingdom, check it out. It may change your mind. Link below.

Web Link


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Posted by Alan R
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 2, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I see a lot of bad drivers on the road who are yelling at their kids. Perhaps we should ban children under the age of 12 from being in a car.

Regarding the hands free headsets, I don't think they make things any safer. The problem is often the content of the conversations.


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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 2, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Cell phone addicts epitomize denial. I really hope those things cause cancer.


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Posted by the299crew
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 3, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Joe, you have got to go. You strap us with laws that try to be a solution where there is no problem. You strap us with laws that the people really do not want or need. You strap us with laws in an effort to make a name for yourself. Why don't you spend this much effort undoing some of our burdensome laws and regulations and make California a nice place to live and raise a family again.


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