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Simitian's new cell-phone law 'will save lives'

Original post made on May 14, 2008

New research indicates that between 300 and 900 lives will be saved each year by a law — SB 1613, effective July 1 — that requires use of hands-free cell-phones by drivers, according to state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto. That's not counting a second law that bans all cell-phone use by drivers under 18. Simitian is the author of both.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 13, 2008, 5:14 PM

Comments (2)

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Posted by Ernestine
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 14, 2008 at 11:41 am

Last week, a friend and I passed up a jeep that was doing 45 mph in a middle lane on 101 as traffic zoomed by. This was during the evening commute.

We looked as we drove by and saw that the jeep driver was busy typing in a text message on his cell phone, oblivious to the fact that he was going at least 20 mph slower than everyone else on the road and creating a huge potential hazard.

Anything that will help keep idiots and their cell phones from endangering the rest of us is a good idea.

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Posted by Grateful
a resident of another community
on May 14, 2008 at 1:52 pm

I commute every day to my Menlo Park job, and a while back I began to play a game while on the freeway. When I observed someone in front of me swerving, or quickly changing multiple lanes at the last minute to exit the freeway, or slowing down then speeding up several times, I'd guess whether that person was on a cell phone (that is, if I was in a position to then determine one way or another).

I usually guessed "yes," and during the course of about two weeks, I won my game by a landslide. Some days I'd be right about the driver being on a phone 100 percent of the time. My worse day was being right only 5 times out of 8. Unfortunately, I didn't keep track of the number of phone gabblers using a handheld phone vs a head set, but my recollection is that some of the bad drivers were on head sets, just not as many.

I'd like to see all cell phone use by drivers banned, but Simitian's law is a good start. Next step, I hope, is making text messaging while driving illegal.

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