Will the law make the roads safer? Are drivers ready? Do people
If you're a Californian who is going to roll the dice and keep chatting on a
phone without using a Bluetooth headset or speaker phone, the first offense
will be $100. If you keep on going, the fines can reach $190 for a second
offense, with the fine continuing to increase with each additional violation.
But if you do end up getting a ticket come next week, Headsets.com will
be giving away 730 free Discovery 925 Bluetooth headsets for drivers who
get busted. A law firm in the Bay Area island town of Alameda will hand
out 2,000 Bluetooth headsets to Bay Area residents even if they don't get a
The law does allow users with Sprint Nextel push-to-talk to continue using the
push-to-talk feature without using Bluetooth technology. If you're
content with simply using your phone's speaker phone, you'll also be allowed to
In case you're wondering, it's still going to be legal to send text messages
while driving -- for now. California Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), who
authored the current hands-free law, recently wrote a new bill that will
ban text messaging while driving.
If you're using a Bluetooth headset, please familiarize yourself with it before
getting into the car and learning how to use your new gadget while driving.
Does using a Bluetooth headset actually make driving safer? The jury is
still out on this one, but either way, we still have to deal with it.
Researcher done at the University of Utah indicate drivers using a cell phone
are 5.36 times more likely to get into a traffic accident, which roughly is on
the same level of danger as driving with a .08 blood-alcohol level.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger believes the new law will help keep
drivers safer, but researchers indicate it's more about a driver's attention
and processing capacity instead of whether or not they're holding a cell phone.
A public survey done by Parrot indicates 63 percent of people who drive at
least one hour per day talk on the cell phone for non-urgent matters.
Remember folks, the law officially goes into effect on Tuesday, July 1!