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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: Good.
By tastyratz on 9/26/2008 9:36:24 AM , Rating: 3
Here in the USA They require people attend a drivers education course when they are under a certain age. They then get a permit to drive with someone else for the first 6 months and then they can take a license test. After that its just money in the mail from time to time.
The course is not required and neither is the permit if you wait to get your license for a few years. Did I miss the boat where people learn to drive through osmosis if they are older?

We coddle our people too much because its more "inconvenient" for someone to not have a license when they are older.

The drivers education course we have now for students is a joke. You learn what color a stop sign is and that drugs are bad - other than that your not really prepared.

What we NEED are REAL experience requirements for drivers who first get their license... at ANY age. New drivers should absolutely be required to take an extreme course - One where they learn how to handle a car in emergency situations as accident avoidance. Any dummy can learn how to drive in a straight line or use their blinker... Its experience and knowhow at the edge that can determine life or death in a situation.

I live in New England where we can get some nasty snowstorms in the winter - the smartest thing I ever did was start going to blow donuts in a parking lot every first snowfall. It teaches excellent low traction car control.


RE: Good.
By Spivonious on 9/26/2008 9:58:09 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Here in the USA They require people attend a drivers education course when they are under a certain age. They then get a permit to drive with someone else for the first 6 months and then they can take a license test. After that its just money in the mail from time to time.


Each state does it differently. In PA, there's short written test and an eye exam to get a permit. This permit is good for a year. You must have 50 hours of driving time signed off on by a parent before you can take your road exam. The road exam consists of driving around the block and parallel parking. If you pass, then you get your junior license. This lets you drive alone between the hours of 6AM and 10PM. Once you turn 18, you can get a full license which has no restrictions. They expire every 5 years, at which time it is simply sending money and getting a photo taken to renew.


RE: Good.
By rbfowler9lfc on 9/26/2008 12:15:34 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I live in New England where we can get some nasty snowstorms in the winter - the smartest thing I ever did was start going to blow donuts in a parking lot every first snowfall. It teaches excellent low traction car control.

Yes, absolutely correct, practice makes perfect.

Can you trust someone with only 15hrs driving experience to be a full-blown driver? With no road driving experience?

Something is very, very wrong with the Brazilian driving license system. That's the reason Brazil spots more deaths/yr than USA, despite having 1/10th of the US' fleet size.


"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan














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