Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Raise your hands if you're a communicating California driver

Franklin Avenue linked to a Los Angeles Times article:

On July 1, after a nearly two-year grace period, a new era begins in California: holding a cellphone to your ear and jabbering away while driving will be illegal unless it's an emergency.

In most cases, you will still be able to talk-and-drive, but you will need a hands-free device....

[Y]ou are allowed to touch the phone to make a call or take one, said Mike Marando, a spokesman for the state Department of Motor Vehicles. "As long as you don't hold the phone to carry the conversation," he added....

State Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), who wrote the bills that resulted in the hand-held phone ban, said he didn't include a text messaging ban because it was difficult enough to get the hands-free laws passed by the Legislature. He succeeded only after five years of trying.

"I didn't want to risk the whole bill by pushing one step too far," Simitian said in an interview.

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