backtop


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.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Hands Free MORE distracting
By Alphafox78 on 9/25/2008 5:06:31 PM , Rating: 2
I understand the idea behind hands free, but it takes so much more time and distraction to take out your phone, turn on your bluetooth, enable it on your phone (I leave it disabled as it kills my battery) then look for the contact and dial... then the volume is low, or the battery in the bluetooth is dead, or people complain they cant hear you. I dont even care any more, I just use it as a phone. its not illegal here (yet) but in a state next to me it is. I see people holding phones all the time there.
The conversation is more distracting than holding the phone anyways.. if your going to make it illegal to hold a phone then you should make stick shifts illegal as you have to have your hand on them all the time.




RE: Hands Free MORE distracting
By Davelo on 9/25/2008 7:00:25 PM , Rating: 2
Hands-free mode automatically engages when I turn on my bluetooth earphone, which I can do without looking at it. I can feel for the button that turns it on. Now dialing the phone is a different story. Still trying to master dialing without looking at it. It should be like typing on a PC keyboard.


"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki