Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel (and off your cell phones)

July 1, 2009

If people keep neglecting state cell phone regulations, expect this to happen soon.

If people keep neglecting state cell phone regulations, expect this to happen soon.

Happy Fourth of July weekend! If you’re calling someone on your cell phone to bestow the summertime holiday cheer, you’re most likely still doing it behind the wheel, according to local cops who say people are still ignoring cell phone laws set into place a year ago today.

That’s right, on July 1, 2008, California enacted two ordinances, one barring any motorist over 18 to drive a car while holding a cell phone; and the second barring anyone under 18 from using a cell phone at all when driving. Hands-free devices are allowed.

But it hasn’t made much of a difference, or so we hear from police. They say last July they issued over 700 citations to people violating the law, and that number steadily dropped over the rest of the year. But for some bold reason, since the turn of 2009, those numbers have gone up again, and, according to reports, in March drivers along the Central Coast racked up over 900 citations.

People, we’re hanging up on the law by picking up our phones!

What I didn’t realize was the paltry fee tacked onto a cell phone-while-driving offense. Twenty bucks is hardly anything to bat an eyelash at. Even with other procedural and administrative court costs, a speeding ticket still tends to set one back a bit more. I suggest raising the price tag on the cell phone infraction to deter people from yakking away at the wheel.

The consequences are heavier than just a ticket, too. Drop your phone, take your eyes off the road to scamper around your sedan’s interior, and you end up worse than Albert Brooks did in Defending Your Life.

If the two laws were gift horses, and we’re looking them square in the mouth, could legislators someday enact a total ban on cell phones while driving? It would set back technological advancement in California, for certain.

Less dialing, more driving!

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One Response to “Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel (and off your cell phones)”


  1. great article to remind to keep folks focused on the road…you should also check out http://www.zoomosafer.com – a new solution to help prevent distracted driving – by making safe driving fun and still allowing folks to be connected to their friends, family and social networks, hopefully they will use it b/c they want to (not b/c they have to)…

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