Friday, September 14, 2007

Cell Phone Bans

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger just signed a bill that will ban cell phone use for sixteen and seventeen year old drivers and older drivers as well. I have to applaud them! For good or bad, California government does not seem afraid of breaking up the status quo.

I am all for the banning of cell phone use by drivers nationwide. A recent study found that cell phone users are as impaired as drunken drivers. The study was performed at our own University of Utah. They found another interesting fact as well. Hands-free phone systems impair drivers as much as having a phone pressed to their ear.

Now California only imposes a $20 fine for the first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. I'm debating whether that is a stiff enough fine. "Daddy's girl (or boy)" would be able to afford that easily. Poor students wouldn't be able to afford it. If such a ban were imposed for adults, the fine should be much much larger. I looked up a list of cell phone bans and laws worldwide. In Poland the fine can be up to US$1,000! Now that is more like it!

Now California has joined fifteen other states and DC with cell phone bans while driving. I was looking through the list of countries and states with these laws. It looks like many of those fifteen states only have partial bans. Weak! But here in the US we are always loathe to enact laws that prohibit every day occurrences. We have the mentality that 'If I want to do it, it shouldn't be illegal' and to hell with the consequences. It's just my opinion, but other countries have a 'the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few' mentality. A more healthy ideal I believe.

Anyway, if it is ever up for a vote (ha!) I encourage you to vote for a driving cell phone ban.

1 comment:

ishtheintrepid said...

LOL, honey, yes, I agree that this should have been done long ago and with Poland-like fines for it. I did, however, have my Greek teacher in 1996 tell me the whole thing about them being equivalent to drunk drivers, so it's not "recent."