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Legal Restrictions on Cellphone Use Gain Traction 526

Carl Bialik writes "The Wall Street Journal is reporting that States are scrambling to impose tougher restrictions on cell phone use by drivers, addressing what safety experts say can be a deadly distraction. From the article: 'Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia have written legislation on the issue, mostly since 2003, [...] This year, other legislatures are tackling the subject, and two states have passed laws on it. [...] While no state has banned talking on a cell phone while driving, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C., have the most restrictive laws: Except in emergencies, motorists in those states can use cell phones only with hands-free devices, such as earpieces. Restrictions vary across other states. Some prohibit teenagers, bus drivers and drivers with learning permits from using cell phones -- even with earpieces.'"
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Legal Restrictions on Cellphone Use Gain Traction

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @07:48AM (#15147708)
    "The cellphone, like eating a hamburger, putting on makeup or talking to your friend in the back seat is a distraction," says William Cataldo, Macomb County chief of homicide and assistant prosecutor, who is handling the case.

    I ctually saw thing dingbat once driving her gigantic SUV, putting makeup on, and talking on her cellphone. I was running beside the road and she swerved, almost hitting me!

    90% of the time when I see someone doign something REALLY stupid on the road, they're on the cell!

  • The penalty... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gedeco ( 696368 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @08:02AM (#15147762)
    In my country:
    The penalty for using a cell phone while driving is worse then the cost of a hands free set.

    Pick you're choice.
  • by ettlz ( 639203 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @08:02AM (#15147763) Journal
    90% of the time when I see someone doign something REALLY stupid on the road, they're on the cell!
    I agree. Most times when I've been cut up or another driver has made a major foul-up, they're chin-wagging down a mobile. Talking on a phone not only distracts you from keeping track of hazards, it compromises control of the vehicle something rotten. One wonders how some of these characters are deemed fit to roam free with such a cavalier attitude, let alone take charge of a motor vehicle.
  • Why bother? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jeian ( 409916 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @08:15AM (#15147803)
    It's also illegal to drink and drive, and we all know how effective *those* laws are.
  • Frankly I'm for mandatory re-testing every 5-10 years. You get one chance to pass and if you fail you have to take a weekend or two of drivers ed and retest. Fail again and you go back in the learner permit category.

    That would sufficiently piss off and scare people into ... KNOWING WHAT THE FUCK THEY ARE DOING.

    I swear half of the errors I see drivers make is simply because they forgot the lessons taught in drivers ed. Like checking before switching lanes, turning into the proper lane from a turning lane, not speeding, not tailgating, etc...

    Driving isn't hard once you get the feel for the wheel. It just takes vigilence to actually keep up on "10 and 2", checking the blind spots, etc, etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @08:50AM (#15147949)
    As someone who rides a motorcycle and / or a bicycle when it's nice I've been nearly killed by many people. You know what people who violate traffic rules and nearly kill are often doing (in order):

    1) Yakking like idiots on a cell phone. (Yes this really is #1)
    2) Screaming at their kids
    3) Stuffing their fat faces
    4) Putting on makeup
    5) "Rocking / Jamming / whatever" out (mostly younger drivers)

    You'd be suprised at the attention you can gather with a 120 decibel European Hi/Lo horn. Funny thing is then they act like you invaded their lane space. Cycles (motorized or not) have equal rights folks, please make sure you're looking.
  • Re:try children (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Archangel_Azazel ( 707030 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @12:50PM (#15150413) Homepage Journal
    Do you even have kids? Crying is a child's way of communicating *everything* up until a certain age. At times though, this is merely attention getting behaviour. After a certain point, you're actually TRAINING your kid to whine and cry even more by giving them positive feedback.

    --"Maybe someone should commission a report into the effects of a parent facing away from and ignoring a child for long periods in a car."--

    A few things:

    To a 6 month old... 2 minutes is a REALLY LONG TIME. Our sense of time is revelant to how old we are.

    Also, almost no parent worth their salt does not have a way to monitor their kid. Most people put their child in the opposite back seat -eg. the passenger side back seat- that way, at stop lights or when you get a quick moment, you can look back and see that they're just fine.

    Not meaning to offend, just pointing out a few things. Kids are pretty resiliant when it comes to not being paid attention to every 4 seconds. I'm not advising that we ignore our children a lot, or that we shouldn't pay some attention to them, but from a LOT of the posts above this one, all I seem to be hearing is "'re not watching your child every SECOND?!?!?!!!!!!" Ya don't have to....

    And doesn't really matter where they are sitting in relation to you...they're still gonna scream. TRUST ME... *shudders*

    My 2cents

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk