Cell phone laws
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Posted 7/2/08
http://cbs5.com/local/phone.law.tickets.2.761646.html

California Hands-Free Cell Law Goes Into Effect
ConsumerWatch: Best Hands-Free Cell Phone Devices
LOS ANGELES (AP) ― Millions of California motorists had to put down their cell phones or risk a ticket Tuesday as a new law took effect requiring hands-free devices for those behind the wheel.

Police in San Diego and in Oceanside were giving motorists a one-month grace period before beginning to issue citations but the California Highway Patrol and other agencies were ready to write tickets.

"No grace period. The law was passed a year-and-a-half ago," said CHP Officer Heather Hoglund, a spokeswoman in suburban Glendale. "There should be no reason why somebody didn't know that today was the day that they needed to be hands-free."

Electronic information signs along freeways had been warning drivers for weeks.

Officers of the CHP's Sacramento Valley Division patrolling in Auburn witnessed 47 cell phone violations between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. They issued 20 citations and let the others go with warnings so as not to further clog traffic.

CHP Officer Tammy DuTemple said some violators had hands-free devices but had not yet charged or figured our how to use them.

"People know about the law, but just like everything else, they wait until the last minute," she said.

In East Los Angeles, deputies weren't actively seeking cell phone violators, said sheriff's Lt. John Rueff.

"It's like any new law ... it's going to be discretionary," he said.

Still, Hoglund said she noticed a difference in motorists' behavior Tuesday. "I did not see one person holding the phone," she said.

Lt. Rick Handfield, a spokesman for Irvine police, said even he had to adjust to the new law as someone who uses his cell phone constantly.

His phone rang as he was driving Tuesday and his Bluetooth headset was in his office charging.

"I had to think, 'What am I going to do with this call?"' he said. "I think I did the right thing by sending it to voicemail, but I think there will be a learning curve. I do think it'll be a paradigm shift."

Motorists also were rushing to purchase hands-free devices.

Dewey Oates, who owns two Los Angeles roadside stands that sell
phone accessories, said for the past week he has sold 50 to 75 Bluetooth wireless headsets a day—as many of the $40 devices as he usually sells in a year, not to mention hundreds of cheaper, plug-in devices.

"The first thing that they ask (is), 'I need something that's gonna help me abide by the law,"' he said.

"From a business point of view, yes, and from a safety point of view, we enjoy it," Oates said.

The law requires use of a hands-free device by drivers over 18 except in a medical or traffic emergency. Text-messaging is not specifically banned for adults, but the California Highway Patrol said they can be cited for negligence under existing laws.

A second law that took effect Tuesday bars drivers under age 18 from using a wireless telephone, pager, laptop or any other electronic communication or mobile service device while driving. The ban extends to hands-free usage and text-messaging.

The laws carry a minimum fine of $20 for the first ticket and $50 for subsequent ones but with court fees tacked on the real cost in Los Angeles County will run about $93 for the first ticket and $201 for the next, according to Superior Court calculations.

While five other states and Washington, D.C., have adopted hands-free laws, the law in California could put a dent in the state's image as the capital of car-crazy narcissism. California has nearly 22.9 million licensed drivers, far more than any other state, according to 2005 statistics from the Federal Highway Administration.

The other states are Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Washington. New Jersey and Washington also ban text-messaging in cars.

Authorities hope it also will reduce traffic accidents. Several studies have shown that using cell phones distract drivers and may increase accidents, although there is scant evidence that using a hands-free device mitigates the problem.

New York, the first state to enact a hands-free law in 2001, reported 1,170 crashes from 2001 through 2006 where handheld cell phones were considered a factor, versus 214 involving hands-free devices, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

Hoglund, of the CHP, has seen people weaving in lanes, speeding or suddenly slowing and thought they were drunk. But when she pulled them over, the drivers acknowledged they were on cell phones, she said.

Forcing motorists to use hands-free devices won't eliminate the distraction of an engrossing conversation or heated argument but it might reduce fender-benders by forcing drivers to keep at least one hand on the wheel, she said.

At least with a hands-free cell phone, "when you're drinking your coffee and on the phone and smoking a cigarette, you're not driving with your knee any more," she said.

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26 / M / USA
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Posted 7/2/08
...
theres a law like that in NJ where i live
no cell phones period, unless its handsfree and you have to be over 21
under 21... no cell phones
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Posted 7/2/08
damn yours is stricter then cali and IT JUST got put in motion yestarday. Has it statistically shown a lower accident rate? or do you personally notice you or anyone you know drive in a better manner lol
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27 / M / Chicago
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Posted 7/2/08
In chicago, there's a law like that but you'll only get caught if the cop is in a pissy mood.
Posted 7/2/08 , edited 7/2/08

YagamiLight wrote:

damn yours is stricter then cali and IT JUST got put in motion yestarday. Has it statistically shown a lower accident rate? or do you personally notice you or anyone you know drive in a better manner lol


Iduno about stastistic wise, but i can tell when i used to do it, even if my eyes where on the road, it was like my mind would multitask. Quarter of brain for thinking about what to say, Quarter for listening, Quarter for driving with 1 wrist, and Quarter for paying attention to road, When you drive like that you end up being completely oblivious to little things besides the pavement and cars, like hidden pedestrians/ other small things that can get people killed. But as long as it is hands free, that law wont stop me from putting some elastic wrap around my cell and wearing it like a headband
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28 / M
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Posted 7/2/08
^ hah i dunno, straight thru radiation to your brain
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Posted 7/2/08
I got a bluetooth headset for my phone a couple months back, primarily because of this law, and somehow lost the charger. I lost a suitcase while on a trip not long after, I'm not sure if the charger was in there or if it just disappeared into some dark corner of my house...
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Posted 7/4/08 , edited 7/4/08
http://www.break.com/index/hands-free-safe-drivers.html


Yea you people think that having a hands free cellphone law fixes thing?
Posted 7/4/08
i doubt it will help/helps much but whatever, doesn't hurt.
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29 / M
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Posted 7/5/08
Well, either way.. blue tooth technology or hands free or speaker phone while driving can still get people into accidents.. Holding onto the cellphone while talking is the same but I guess the law wants the driver to keep both hands on the steering wheel. No difference at all b/c even talking on the phone hands or hands free still can cause accidents..
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31 / M / CA
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Posted 7/6/08

veyron1001 wrote:

http://www.break.com/index/hands-free-safe-drivers.html


Yea you people think that having a hands free cellphone law fixes thing?


That's funny. Btw I do eat/drink while driving still but not too often. And its a little harder because I have to shift gears once in a while. But, about the law on hands free, I seem to notice a little improvement but well see how it turns out to be. Of course I think there are some people that will still talk on the phone/text regardless the law already been put to action.

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29 / M / California
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Posted 7/6/08
The law helps, but i still see people on cell phones anyway. It doesn't matter to a lot of people. they simply just don't give a shit.

as far as how this affects me personally, it honestly doesn't do much. My interior is gutted except for FIA-approved seats and harnesses, gauges and usual necessities, and a GPS. no stereo, no speakers, no cupholders, and cell is off when in car.

But honestly all that above doesn't do jack shit when the person next to you swerves into your lane and swipes your car due to the other person's multitasking.
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28 / M / Oklahoma
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Posted 7/6/08
Rosso, as someone once said

"You don't get into accidents because you're a bad driver, you get into accidents because everyone else is a bad driver"
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Posted 12/11/08
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