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Our View: Cell phone ban needed

New York state recently banned the use of cell phones while driving.

California needs to be next in this movement, and help alleviate the danger of clueless drivers who aren’t devoting their full attention to the road.

In Truckee last week, which was filled to the brim with visitors, more unsafe cell phone drivers could be seen than usual – steering with one hand down Northwoods Boulevard or Glenshire Drive, weaving all over the road, running stop signs and just waiting for a major accident to happen.

New York’s law is sensible without being draconian. A fine of up to $100 could be imposed if you break the new law there -not an unreasonable amount.

Two dozen other states are considering similar measures and federal legislation is pending as well.

A bill has actually been introduced in the California Legislature regarding cell phone use. AB 911, introduced by Assemblyman Simitian in February, would add to the vehicle code a prohibition on using “a cellular telephone while driving unless that telephone is specifically designed and used in a manner to allow hands-free operation.” The use of cell phones while driving would still be permitted in case of emergency.

AB 911 has yet to be voted on, but clearly, the momentum for passage exists.

Not all problems can be solved by legislation, but making it a crime to endanger others because you’re too impatient to wait until you’re not driving to use your phone is a step in the right direction.

A ban on cell phones would improve life on the road not only in Truckee, but everywhere the law is in effect.


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