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Hang up and ride

Original post made by The Peripatetic Observer, Menlo Park: University Heights, on Feb 15, 2007

Just saw it again: a young kid, maybe 10 or 11, riding his bike on a busy arterial street, helmet on head, and yacking on his hand-held cell phone. Parents around here seem to be religious about making sure their children don't take off on their bikes without a helmet on. But I wonder how many of them realize that their kids are engaged in such a potentially hazardous distraction while at the mercy of speeding drivers -- some equally distracted while yacking on their own cell phones.

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Posted by MPworkingMom
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 16, 2007 at 2:59 pm

This morning, a middle-schoolish looking kid cut across Santa Cruz Avenue in front of a SamTrans bus. Not a super-close call, but the bus had to put on its brakes.

As I drove past the kid (wearing a helmet, of course!) he was obliviously jabbering away on a cell phone.

It's never a good idea to rely on the attentiveness of other drivers to keep yourself from getting killed.

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Posted by Curious Observer
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2007 at 3:52 pm

How can you get children to stop when adults do it too? I've seen more and more people riding bikes while talking on cell phones. How do these people brake? When will the cell phone madness end? What could possibly be so important that you need your cell phone to your ear 24/7? I think people are addicted to cell phones just like people are addicted to nicotine.

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Posted by Update
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2007 at 5:00 pm

State Sen. Joe Simitian has proposed legislation (SB 33) that would make it illegal for drivers under 18 to use cell phones or other wireless devices while driving, even if they use a device's "hands-free'' option. The bill passed the state Senate in April.
Do you think there should be a law prohibiting cell phone use while riding a bike? Should there be a special law for those under 18?

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Posted by MPworkingMom
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 7, 2007 at 12:46 pm

I'd say that someone needs to give these kids a talking-to, but I can't convince my own mother to put down the cell phone while she's on a bike.

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