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Quote of the Day - It is hard to find a stylish yet functional cell phone case. I have designed a line that will accessorize any outfit, whether casual or dressy. Some of the cases can be used as a small purse, and have delicate embellishments inspired by my Celtic collection. - Nicole Miller

Driving While Talking: California's Newest Crime

Come July 1, 2008, Californians won't be able to be so talkative while driving a car or truck.  That's because a new law requires drivers to use a hands-free device for talking on their cell phones.  No more driving with one hand on the wheel, one hand on the cell phone and your mind somewhere else. 

Well, you'll still be able to have your mind somewhere else, just not with one hand on the cell phone.

Other drivers across the state are rejoicing, calling the new law an important step for safety.  "Hang up and drive," one Californian was heard to shout at another driver, while honking his horn. 

Essentially, if you make or receive phone calls other than emergencies, then you must have a hands-free way of talking.  Motorists who don't can be pulled over and cited, $20 for the first offense and $50 for subsequent violations.  If you're under 18 and driving, you can't use any type of wireless device to communicate, regardless whether you have a hands-free phone.

The CHP offers these tips for your safety. 

Posted by J. Craig Williams on 6/11/2008 at 23:54 Comments (2)

 

Comments

Comments by David Giacalone from United States on Friday, June 27, 2008 at 00:22

Craig, it's been almost four years since I wondered at my weblog whether you were "soft on DWP" (Driving While Phoning). It is disappointing to see that California has adopted the unprincipled compromise of allowing hands-free phoning (in order to make believe the politicians are serous about safety), when so many studies have shown that the risk-causing distraction is the same as with hand-held phones. Indeed, allowing hands-free DWP merely makes it possible for irresponsible drivers to find something else to do with the extra hand.
As I wrote in 2003, what we need are strong laws to prohibit DWP in its hand-held and hands-free forms, backed up by strong enforcement, and even some social stigma. What we also need is a strong financial disincentive to engage in DWP. Naturally, thatís where the tort law and insurance premiums can play a very big role, especially in stopping business-related phone calls.
JT is right about needing immediate, tough enforcement. Eight years after the ban on hand-held cells phones started in New York, scofflaws are everywhere; and some pollyanas are silly enough to think that compliance will improve over time, as opposed to the law becoming harder and harder to enforce, by generations who believe DWP is an entitlement.

 

Comments by JT from United States on Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 10:30

Whether or not this law works will depend solely upon how the CHP and LAPD enforce it. Honestly, on Wilshire Blvd or Sunset Blvd, there could be fifty police officers with thousands of ticket books and there still would be countless drivers breaking this law. Watch out for swift enforcement early on to combat violators.

 

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