Print 101 comment(s) - last by Reclaimer77.. on Sep 29 at 6:30 PM

Texting on the road -- it won't "be back"

Everyone knows that text messaging while driving can be dangerously distracting.  A recent study revealed that texting is more dangerous to driving than drugs or alcohol.  Still many are fighting proposed legislation to ban texting while driving, complaining that it violates freedom and would limit options in an emergency.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken a hard stance on texting while driving.  He championed and passed a ban on cell phone texting, which will go into effect January 1.  Offending motorists will pay $20 on their first violation, and $50 for each subsequent violation.  Gov. Schwarzenegger was pleased to push through the bill by California's Tuesday legislative deadline.

He hopes that the new bill will help dissuade drivers from using their cell phones when driving.  He states, "Banning electronic text messaging while driving will keep drivers' hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, making our roadways a safer place for all Californians."

Following the September 12 collision between a Metrolink passenger train and a freight train, which killed 25 people and injured 135, and was possibly caused by railroad engineer texting, the California Public Utilities Commission has banned some railroad workers from texting on the job.

California also passed a ban on holding cell phones while driving, which took effect July 1.  The law only allows drivers to use hands-free headsets while driving.  Insurers, bicyclists and, interestingly, cell phone companies supported both bills.

Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), who wrote the new law, SB 28, and worked closely with Schwarzenegger states, "When somebody's distracted it puts not just the driver at risk but everybody else in the car and everybody else on the highway."

For those who think Gov. Schwarzenegger and California's traffic agency are joking about the ban, they might want to consider the figures on the recent ban on holding cell phones.  According to Tom Marshall, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol, California state officers issued 19,753 citations to motorists.  This is in addition to the thousands more issued by local police departments.  While less drivers are stopped for the offense then speeding, the numbers add up Marshall said.  He states, "Why everybody isn't hands-free now, I have no idea."

Many states are considering similar laws, or already have such laws in place.  However, with the bipartisan leadership of the nation's most populous state taking a high-profile stand against text-and-drive, the new legislation may spread throughout the nation.

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RE: A more common sense approach
By UNHchabo on 9/25/2008 11:33:11 AM , Rating: 0
This is the sort of mindset that got kitchen knives banned in Britain.

"Kitchen knives are useful."
"But if we ban them, we could save at least one life a year!"
"Ok, let's do it!"

RE: A more common sense approach
By codeThug on 9/25/2008 11:47:54 AM , Rating: 2
If you had two teenagers driving you wouldn't think so. It's bad enough when they are screwing around with their mp3 players and the CD changer in the car. But to be mentally and visually distracted by typing text onto a keyboard 1/4 the size of my hand makes so sense whatsoever.

If the conversation is that goddamn important, then pull over and call the person.

RE: A more common sense approach
By mkrech on 9/25/2008 12:32:51 PM , Rating: 2
If you had two teenagers driving you wouldn't think so

It's ironic that the word "Parent" appears so many times on this web page and yet you don't seem to understand what it really means. When my child is a teenager and is faced with these issues it will NOT be a law that ensures that he drives safely. I believe that his safety is my responsibility above all else.

Sorry to be so harsh but laws are not what is needed. Personal responsibility is what is needed. If that was taught by parents in this country once again I would doubt that we would even need a law like this.

RE: A more common sense approach
By FITCamaro on 9/25/2008 3:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
How is people texting while driving useful? Your comparison between the two is not applicable.

If someone needs to send someone a message while driving, they can either call with their hands free set or wait until they get to their destination.

RE: A more common sense approach
By Dasickninja on 9/29/2008 8:34:39 AM , Rating: 2
One would wonder how stuff ever got done before cellphones, the passion that goes into defening it's use while driving.

By Reclaimer77 on 9/29/2008 6:30:07 PM , Rating: 2
One would wonder how stuff ever got done before cellphones, the passion that goes into defening it's use while driving.

Pretty ironic statement made by someone over the Internet using a computer...

By Reclaimer77 on 9/29/2008 6:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
How is people texting while driving useful?

Who are we to ask that question ?

I believe what someone does in their car, within reason, is their business. If you call yourself a conservative, thats really the only way to go.

I have seen drivers horribly distracted by a baby or small child in their cars as well. You wanna ban that too ?

Your argument is shockingly utalitarian man. You can't be for personal liberty, conservatism, and freedom when its convenient then just dismiss those qualities when its something you don't like or don't think is relevant.

This is nothing more than an extreemly liberal and corrupt state with a massively overtaxed budget looking for a new revenue source thats NOT in the form of more taxation. If it was a public safety issue there would be points against your license or other such repremands.

RE: A more common sense approach
By Aloonatic on 9/25/2008 3:56:50 PM , Rating: 2
When did this happen?

If you have proof that kitchen knives are banned it could get me out of all sorts of cooking chores.

It seems that all I am good for is chopping, peeling and slicing :-s

Are you confusing the law about carrying a blade on the street?

3 inches is all you're allowed, which is pretty safe as we are getting quite fat over here so that is not long enough to reach any vital organs and such, should you get stabbed.

Public Place

Source: Criminal Justice Act, 1988. Section 139(1).

Offence: It is an offence for any person, without lawful authority or good reason, to have with him in a public place, any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed except for a folding pocket-knife which has a cutting edge to its blade not exceeding 3 inches.

Powers: Arrestable offence.

It would seem that it is only an offence for Men to carry knives according to this sight however???

RE: A more common sense approach
By Aloonatic on 9/25/2008 4:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
sight = site, I no I no....

Before all the pedants get too excited, sorry.

RE: A more common sense approach
By Amiga500 on 9/26/2008 5:27:57 AM , Rating: 3
Kitchen knives are not banned you tool!

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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