Guy In Silicon Valley Buys Billboard Ad Against CA's Hands-Free Mobile Phone Law

from the one-way-to-protest dept

I'm not really sure that this is an effective use of money to protest a law, but one guy, Grant Paulson, has shelled out $10,000 of his own money to buy space on a billboard in Palo Alto to protest California's new requirement for using a hands-free device if you're using a mobile phone while driving. The billboard's message is directed at state Senator Joe Simitian of Palo Alto -- who introduced the legislation in the first place. In part, it reads:
Senator Joe Simitian: Your cell phone law sucks. Amazing how 1 man's bad idea can screw over & inconvenience millions of people in CA. Let's overturn this law in the next election & protect what rights we still have left."
It may be getting attention, but Simitian doesn't seem particularly persuaded by it, saying that it "put a smile on my face" and calling it "a hoot." Also, it looks like most of the people the San Jose Mercury News asked about it weren't impressed by the billboard -- with some noting that they have no problem with the hands-free rule, and others complaining that the billboard itself was distracting because it contained too many words (seriously). Even Simitian noted: "My only concern is that someone might be rear-ended." That seems pretty ridiculous, frankly. Shouldn't drivers know better than to get distracted by a billboard with "too many words."

Hell, perhaps next Simitian will propose a law banning billboard with too many words as a new "driver distraction" that must be stopped. I'm sure I know one guy who would buy a billboard protesting that law...


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    Seer, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 4:18am

    It may seem like overregulation but seriously. People that talk on the phone while driving are _superhazards_. Whether it's someone else I see driving on the phone, or being in the car with someone. There is a significant change when one of your friends gets on the phone in a car. It's freakin' scar.

     

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      DBUTTERS, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 5:20am

      Re: _superhazards_

      If a driver cannot deal with a distraction such a cell phone and maintain safe control over their vehicle at the same time, the problem is not the distraction, the problem is that they are a bad driver.

       

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        Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 5:28am

        Re: Re: _superhazards_

        Study after study confirms what we should know with common sense: talking on the phone while driving leads to illegal driving and accidents. Those same studies have also indicated that hands-free operation does not improve driving behaviors or reduce accidents.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 5:30am

          Re: Re: Re: _superhazards_

          "talking on the phone while driving leads to illegal driving and accidents."

          illegal driving ? In FL we don't have that law yet, what the heck is illegal driving ?

           

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            Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 6:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: _superhazards_

            Illegal Driving:

            - Failure to stop or come to a complete stop at a stop light or stop sign.

            - Failure to signal a turn.

            - Failure to signal a lane change.

            - Failure to operate a vehicle with headlights on during inclement weather or between sunset and sunrise.

            - Driving faster than the posted speed limit.

            - Weaving or swerving in traffic.

            If I have to explain illegal driving to you, then you are obviously not a driver or you have issues.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: _superhazards_

              That or they're able to follow the laws while using a cell phone unlike you.

               

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              cvpunk, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:23am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: _superhazards_

              people do all of those things without cell phones. so what's the point?

               

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              eleete, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 11:09am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: _superhazards_

              Well Well, I knew you would fall right into that Lonnie. Since you did such a great job at listing the many things that are already illegal to do while driving, perhaps now you would care to explain why you feel the need to remove even MORE of our rights.

              If all those things were so easy to list, AND if any cop witnessing these activities already has a law that he can cite, why the need to create yet a NEW law banning the use of a device ?

              By your logic we should ban Ipods and radios in cars, because changing the tune you're listening to (through the stereo, not even headphones) CAN BE a distraction while driving. Yet as you listed out so eliquently, if a cop sees the results of a distracted driver, he has many existing laws to fall back on.

              I do drive, and my issues are with morons who support more government, more laws, and more rights being removed from citizens ; )

              Perhaps you should hop down from your high horse one day and live a day with the rest of reality.

               

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                Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 12:43pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: _superhazards_

                eleete:

                You misunderstand. I have eaten and still do while driving (though I pull over now when the lettuce from a burger falls in my lap instead of trying to clean myself off while driving), I talk to my passengers, I have talked on a cell phone while driving (and have been near to an accident a couple times while doing so; I lived and learned from those mistakes - driving first, cell phone second) and probably everything on the list at one time or another. Some, like reaching for a moving object, I no longer do while driving.

                However, every time I do something that distracts me, I increase the risk that I will get into an accident.

                I am sympathetic to people who want to ban using cell phones while driving because I have seen people totally violate every driving rule imaginable while using one (running red lights, changing lanes with and turning without signaling, speeding, failure to reduce speed in construction and school zones, abrupt lane changes, driving off the edge of the road, and any other conceivable thing you can name).

                In spite of my distaste for people unable to drive while using a cell phone, I think the bigger issue is bad drivers, not cell phone use. I think all drivers with a second moving violation should be required to take a 40 hour driver's education course within six months of the violation. I also am in favor of progressive fines for people violating driving laws.

                Do we need a ban on cell phones? Probably not. We need the police to be more agressive enforcing the laws already on the books.

                 

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                  eleete, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 6:49pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: _superhazards_

                  That's a total about face from when you exclaimed that I have issues. I talk on the cell phone while driving EVERY single day, at least over the past nine years. I've never had an accident, much less one that was my fault. My cell phone is my link to my livelihood. Am I against bad drivers, hell ya, I see them every day, hell some of them are the police themselves. Do we need to begin systematically 'banning' or making 'illegal' these devices. There are enough laws on the books in my state to choke a horse. Banning cell phones just makes for another citation while someone gets pulled over for speeding and reckless driving. IF the cops are astute enough to catch the already illegal activities.

                   

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                    Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 8:21pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: _superhazards_

                    I have to agree with you regarding banning cell phones & enforcement. We are struggling to enforce the laws already on the books. EVERY SINGLE DAY I see at least one, and typically many more, stupid driving moves. This week I saw a guy in a straight only lane turn left. Today I had a driver cut in from of me while making a right turn because the guy he was behind was not going fast. Of course, he did not bother to signal, and then he took off at a speed I would estimate to be 50 or 55 in a 40 zone. With three strikes like that he should have been out.

                    Then there was the lady with all the traffic piled up behind here. When we moved onto a four lane I caught up with her and passed her (it was easy, she was doing 30 in a 40 zone...before the turn she was doing 30 in a 45). She was busy yakking away on a cell phone.

                    Then there was the idiot who kept creeping over into my lane. Big mistake. He was in a car, I was in an F-150. He moved back into his lane really quick when he realized that I was a couple of inches from his car.

                    I have thought about putting a video camera in my car and getting these people in the act and putting them on YouTube, along with their license plate. A little revenge against the idiots.

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 8:21pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: _superhazards_

                    My cell phone is my link to my livelihood.

                    Ahhh, that explains a lot.

                     

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      Chris S, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 7:23am

      Re:

      I take your point, but isn't the driver's _superdangerous_ driving covered under erratic driving laws? Don't create a new law for every little thing, legislate the goal you're working for, not all the means that may lead to it.

       

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      Kyle, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 8:54am

      Re:

      Correction... SOME people that talk on the phone while driving are "superhazards."

      There are plenty of people out there that can handle talking on the phone while driving. Phones are not the problem. The problem is some peoples inability to prioritize what they are doing. Driving vs. Talking on the phone. Driving vs. Talking to thier passenger. Driving vs. Changing the radio station or CD. Hell, some people can't even WALK in a straight line if they look one way or the other. PHONES ARE NOT THE PROBLEM!

       

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    R. Miles, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 4:18am

    It appears you don't drive much.

    Even Simitian noted: "My only concern is that someone might be rear-ended." That seems pretty ridiculous, frankly.
    You're talking about people who effectively create traffic jams when coming upon a fender bender just to see it.

    While it may be rare, the potential is definitely there.

    $10,000. Wasted.

     

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    P Cooper, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 4:46am

    Turn Signals

    Do you realize how many yahoos don't use there turn signal because one hand is on the steering wheel and the other is holding the phone. Also can one react faster to a sudden road hazard with one hand or two hands on the wheel? Be honest and consider all drivers; not just you with your super ability to turn a car 180 degres with one finger.

     

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      Matt, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 5:17am

      Re: Turn Signals

      For those people who obviously don't understand history, most people had to drive on stickshift. Only in america is automatic more common. So, for everyone who knows how to drive, as Europe has better drivers, they typically learn to drive only with one hand on the wheel. It's not limiting in any fashion.

      My parents raised me on stick, and I can do more with 1 hand on the wheel than most people can do with two. These laws don't consider all drivers, they punish the good and the bad together. If they considered all drivers, we wouldn't have laws banning mobile phone usage in a car.

      These type of blanket laws are not specific enough; laws are not supposed to pass if they aren't.

       

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        Bulent Akman, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 5:36am

        Re: Re: Turn Signals

        With all due respect to your driving ability, my neighbours and friends who race (street and drag) all agree that the first thing people do in an emergency is put both hands on the wheel,; that 1/100th of a second delay has often been the difference between an accident and a near-miss.

        Living in Poland, all of us drive stick and all of us drive two-handed now because we paid for our one handed bad habits in cash and personal injury. Two handed beats all other styles hands down (excuse the pun). Have you ever driven Warsaw? Granted there are more challenging places to drive however there are no old bad drivers here...Best of luck!

         

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          Kyle, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 9:48am

          Re: Re: Re: Turn Signals

          I don't think the two-handed part is the correct method of limiting collisions. Being aware of your surroundings, whatever they may be, following at a safe distance, and positioning yourself so that you have options (swerve left or right for example), is what prevents collisions. If people followed those 3 guidlines, you would be able to avoid collisions smoothly, probably even with 1 hand on the wheel.

          The problem with this no handheld cell phone usage law, is that it is already covered. If people are driving irratically or dagerously, pull them over and give them a ticket, reguardless of the reason why. Do we need another law to keep people from turning their head to talk to their passenger? Or do we just give them a ticket, when it causes them to veer and create a dangerous situation?

          Yes, some people are incapable of driving safely and talking on the phone at the same time. But others are perfectly capable.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 6:17am

        Re: Re: Turn Signals

        Wow don't break your arm by patting yourself on the back there bub.

         

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      Boost, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 8:21am

      Re: Turn Signals

      If you blanket time to identify a road hazard and time to then react and avoid the hazard, the later of the two is commonly the shorter of the two. Talking on the phone, wether hands free or actually holding the device only decreases the time it takes to avoid the situation, which commonly isn't something most drivers are capable of doing anyway. So if we get people to talk minimally on the phone while driving, we will reduce the occurance of acidents by significantly reducing the time it takes to predict or identify road hazards.

      If you factor in the fact that American drivers education doesn't teach situational awareness or avoidance manuevering with the fact that most drivers identify a hazard much later than they should, you'd realize that puting people on hands free only slightly improves the time that it takes them to drive their car right into the car they were supposed to avoid.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:57am

      Re: Turn Signals

      If two hands on the steering wheel is the issue, do we ban people with only one hand from driving?

       

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    Rick, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 5:18am

    Silly Laws from Silly Legislators

    We have had a law like this in NY for several years. After
    a flurry of initial tickets, basically this law goes
    unenforced as far as anyone can tell. Personally, I believe
    that text while driving is far more dangerous - have
    witnessed a couple accidents where texting driver A
    read ended driver B. I've used a hands-free for years
    now, but the basic overall problem is that some people
    multitask better than others - so even with handsfree, you
    still end up with a distracted driver. Enough states have
    these laws now that you would think that before/after statistics would help guide the law making process. The
    cynical side of me says there is no press release value
    in "Hi, I'm Senator Blowhard, and I just wanted you to know
    that I properly researched my initiative and responsibly
    decided to *NOT* introduce the law I was thinking of
    bellowing about". In these days of downsizing, how come
    no one ever suggested we downsize all the a-hole politicians?

     

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    dd, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 5:21am

    Although I hate the super-nannyfication of America as much as the next guy, I do agree with banning the use of mobile phones while driving. People driving while talking with a cellphone glued to their heads are poorly performing automatons. They swerve. They don't maintain a constant speed. They *are* distracted drivers and a menace on our overcrowded roads. Don't even get me started on people texting while driving....

     

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    eleete, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 5:29am

    Ready for work.

    As noted above, punishing the good and the bad is not good for anyone. When they pass the laws about women putting on makeup in traffic, or men using electric shavers (Both are FAR older 'technologies') I will see the use in this. I live in FL where we have strict seatbelt laws. Yet we removed our helmet laws for motorcyclists. Does that make a lick of sense ? It does if the motive is income for the state, but don't sell it under the guise of 'we're protecting your safety'. I'm far safer unrestrained in a car than I am on a motorcycle with no helmet, so let's get right to the point. This isn't about safety at all, it's about revenue.

     

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    Heh, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 6:13am

    eyes free billboords

    "Hell, perhaps next Simitian will propose a law banning billboard with too many words as a new "driver distraction" that must be stopped."

    That's funny.

    And there should be a law that dictates eyes free billboords. This will allow the driver to not be distracted while tailgating, eating, changing radio stations, and everything else that is potentailly hazardous.

     

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    Brian Flowers, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 6:42am

    It's a good law, but doesn't go far enough

    The problem with talking on the phone while driving isn't about holding the phone, it's about being distracted by the conversation. Tests have shown that, depending on the topic of conversation, driving while on the phone can be more impairing than driving while drunk. You're focusing on what the other person is saying, rather than what's going on in the road ahead.

     

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      Spork, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 8:10am

      Re: It's a good law, but doesn't go far enough

      That's a good point Brian, but where does it end? Ban passengers in cars, because they may talk and distract the driver? Ban radios because the driver may be distracted by a song. Ever thought about work, school, or possibly a personal issue while driving? I'm sure that could be considered a distraction, because you're for sure not focused 100% on the road. My point is yes...all of those things can be considered distractions, and granted some of the examples may sound silly...but where do we draw the line at banning tihngs, and instead focus on teaching the drivers to drive?

       

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        Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 8:21am

        Re: Re: It's a good law, but doesn't go far enough

        Lovely hyperbole. However, the fact is that statistically the car radio is a minimal distraction, and for some reason talking with passengers is only a minor distraction as well (unless you are a teenager). However, making love, talking on a cell phone, reading, texting, putting on makeup, and shaving all seem to have a statistical correlation to a higher accident rate.

         

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          cvpunk, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:34am

          Re: Re: Re: It's a good law, but doesn't go far enough

          sources please?

           

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            Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It's a good law, but doesn't go far enough

            http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/drived.html

            http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/DOT/NHTSA/ NRD/Multimedia/PDFs/Crash%20Avoidance/2008/DOT-HS-810-704.pdf

            However, I missed on the other passenger part. Here are the leading causes of distraction leading to an accident:

            23.7% Outside object/person/event
            20.8% Another vehicle occupant
            5.2% Using, reaching for an object
            3.7% An object moving inside the vehicle
            3.6% Using a cell phone
            2.9% Adjusting a radio, cassette or CD player (but not listening)
            2.8% Eating or drinking
            1.5% Adjusting a climate control

            However, these factors are frequently environmentally important. Crashes associated with adjusting audio devices are more likely to occur at night. Moving objects inside the vehicle occur more frequently on non-level grades (who woulda thunk it?). Distractions leading to accidents involving other car occupants occur more frequently at intersections.

            Further, drivers under the age of 20 and over the age of 70 were more likely to have been distracted at the time of the accident (12 to 14% versus 6 to 9%).

            Distracted drivers are 50% more likely to have been seriously injured or killed in their crashes relative to attentive drivers. Distracted drivers were much more likely than attentive drivers to have been involved in single-vehicle and read-end crashes. Approximately 70% of distracted driver accidents involved one of these two events.

            However, on page 13 of the study, the results of a 2006 study by McCartt et al. presents evidence that phone conversations are more disruptive than conversations with passengers or manipulating a radio, CD or cassett player.

            There is a further caution in 4.1.1 of this study that points out that cell phones are being used for more purposes and by more people, and that younger people tend to be early adopters and are more susceptible to distraction and accidents.










            1.0% Smoking

             

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    Chris, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 7:25am

    MATH!

    CA has approx 33million people last I checked, and its a good estimate at least 80% own a cell phone. So if you force 25million people to buy a wireless headset around $20 there's half a billion dollars with 7.75% going to the state. Now-a-days everyone just has to be cool, so its not far fetched to assume some idiots are going to shell out $200 for some "super badass" headset and a new phone to go with it. Hell, a new iPhone with headset, car dock, charger, etc... would easily run close to $500. Factor in the revenue for ticking non-compliance and the state gets an easy couple $100million. Point being passing this law means money for the state, which is the only motivational factor behind most of the California Senate's decisions. You would be surprised how many politicians are ceo's exec's and other top brass businessmen, so it comes as no surprise they run the state more like a business than a government (I mean come on.. you have a fucking bodybuilder actor as your governor, who could be more arrogant?).

    Just another classic example of how the government gets to infringe upon our rights as individuals and consumers by forcing us to comply to a meaningless law under the guise of safety. TALKING, yes TALKING while driving is distracting, whether it be holding a cell phone, yelling at your kids in the back seat, or any other scenario where your brain is focusing more on the conversation than trying to navigate the road is what's dangerous. Shut the fuck up and keep your eyes on the road and that's what will keep you safe, not some dumbass law.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 7:30am

      Re: MATH!

      "Factor in the revenue for ticketing non-compliance..."

       

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      Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 7:40am

      Re: MATH!

      For reasons that I will not pretend to understand, talking to other people in the car is less distracting than talking on the cell phone, shaving, putting on makeup, making love, or reading.

      What is really sad is that recently there have been a spate of single car accidents involving teenagers in Indiana getting killed where the teenager was either talking on the cell phone or texting either during the accident or just before the accident.

       

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        cvpunk, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:41am

        Re: Re: MATH!

        OOOH... I see... we are protecting the children by treating everybody LIKE one? Just because some dumb-ass kid who just got his/her learners permit does something stupid... all the adults now have to be treated like children?

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 8:03am

    Why stop there?

    Semi trucks seem pretty dangerous to me. They're huge and have could possibly have radio communication devices in them. They definitely need to be banned.

    Hummers and F-350s...any type of large truck is a hazard. You can't see around them what so ever and if they hit a compact car the damage to that car and it's occupants could be devastating. This goes for any type of work vehicle carrying a large amount of tools also, the extra weight means less stopping ability and more potential damage if they hit someone. That is just plain physics. Plus, since they ride higher than most other vehicles they pose an extreme risk at night since their headlights shine right into the rear view mirror, forcing the other driver to remove their hand from the steering wheel, take their eyes off the road and adjust the mirror. They definitely need to be banned.

    We need to remove the radios from cars and especially DVD/TV's. Though I guess the TV won't matter much once we eliminate the ability to have passengers in the vehicles too.

    We should lower the speed limit to 25 on every drivable road, be it highway or not. That will definitely make things a lot safer for everyone.

    Restaurants should no longer be able to serve take out food to someone unless the customer fills out and signs a form stating that they will not attempt to consume the food in a vehicle.

    Obviously make up needs to be banned to. I'm tempted to say we shouldn't even allow women to drive. They should probably have to register their menstrual cycle with the DMV at the very least and be prohibited from driving on those days. Or we could install a Tampon-lizer in all of their cars that they have to use before the car will start, just like a breathalizer. Yes, I am patenting that.

     

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    THE MAN, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 8:32am

    Stupid Law -- Non-Violent Obstruction Idea

    this is a stupid law. Talking on the phone period causes the problem, not holding the phone in your hand. They should ban one handed driving if they think that is the problem.

    This is how we Californians end it. Everyone go to a minit-mart gas station store. By those stupid candy cell phone with the junk candy in them that kids love to waste money on. Everytime you see a cop, hold the toy cell phone to your ear like you are talking on it. When you get stopped, show you are just eating candy. No law against that. Cops will have to stop pulling people over and just ingore it after awhile.

    This is coming for an ex-cop. it will work and it is a cheap solution.

    This will be a bloodless and fairly comical revolution.

     

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    ImpatientGirl, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 9:03am

    Srsly

    If they can't hold a phone and drive at the same time, they can't do many other things and drive at the same time and just shouldn't have a license. Period. Phones are not the problem. Idiots with a license are the problem.

     

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    jonnyq, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 9:08am

    I think it's funny that the random person they found for the "other side" was "Micki Miller," a 62-year old computer science teacher.

    Because 62 year old female members of the teachers union are *always* at the front line when defending personal freedoms. *Always*, I say.

     

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    Joe Krahn (profile), Feb 19th, 2009 @ 9:25am

    We already have laws for inattentive driving, right?

    It is a waste of the legal system to define specific types of inattentive driving. Do we need a law about driving with your eyes closed? Changing radio channels can be a distraction.

    If your behavior shows inattention and therefore unsafe driving, you should get pulled off the road and ticketed. If you can do 5 other tasks and still drive well (i.e. because you are a helicopter pilot and cars are simple) then it should not be a problem.

    Personally, I think cell phones should be hands-free, because you should always drive with both hands on the wheel. You have much better control in case of an emergency. But, drivers licenses are so easy to get in the USA that overall poor driving skills are a much bigger problem.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 9:46am

    They should outlaw drive-thrus and cup holders

    It is a stupid law. How is talking on the cell phone any different than eating in the car messing with the radio/navigation etc. Where is the line drawn? Not having a free hand, or holding a conversation? Both? Better not have a stick shift and another person in the car.

    In any case many I see that are "obeying" the law still have a hand occupied. How many times have you seen someone holding the mic/phone to their mouth instead of their ear?

     

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    Matt, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:01am

    The way I see it you are operating a 2000lb tool of potential death and destruction. Is it too much to ask people to hold off on their little conversation until they get home?

    I really wish we didn't need to do this to make people stay off the phone while driving. But after being cut off by some a-hole on a cell phone almost every day I think we need to. Why can't people just shut up and pay attention?

     

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    susan, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:47am

    Cell Phone Legislation

    Please Grant Paulsen, ask Joe Simitian to give you all the files of evidence supporting the cell phone legislation that took months to pass, in all of our best interests.

    Please take down the $10,000 poster.

     

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    cvpunk, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:52am

    cell phone or not....

    people are going to be distracted whether they are on a cell phone or not.
    For example... the last 3 accidents I was in were all from different forms of distractions.
    1. I was at a 4 way stop, waited for the car coming from my right to come to a complete stop. Once she stopped I proceeded through the intersection. The lady (distracted by issues at home with her husband) came right at me and t-boned my car when I was more than half way through the intersection. She told the police she was distracted by family issues and she didn't see me.

    2. On the freeway in the "slow lane" to exit the freeway. There was an earlier accident being cleared up in the center divide so of course people had to slow down and look. Except of course for the guy in the F-350 dually behind me who was too busy looking at the accident to notice everyone in front of him braking.

    3. On the freeway in the slow lane (again). It had rained the night before and the road was slick. Girl a little bit ahead of me in the middle lane was distracted apparently searching for something in her car. Swerved for a dead cat into the fast lane where she noticed there were cars, over corrected and came into my lane.

    None of these people were on cell phones (and neither was I). So sight these sources for your "statistics" please. I would like to take a look at them.

     

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    Sam Anwar, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 11:04am

    Driving with one hand

    I disagree with all the ones saying that driving with two hands is better or safer. It may be for some, but I think it's a matter of preference.

    I've been driving with one hand on the steering wheel for more than 20 years, wheter I am using the phone, drinking my coffee, eating a snack, or doing whatever else you can do with one hand! Never had an accident.

    I also find it faster to steer with one hand in response to a road situation, I am actually not sure how to do it with two as I was never used to steer using two hands, I find it awkward and it won't work for me as I am sure it's also the case for many others.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 6:32pm

      Re: Driving with one hand

      I disagree with all the ones saying that driving sober is better or safer. It may be for some, but I think it's a matter of preference.

      I've been drinking and driving for more than 20 years, wheter I am using the phone, drinking my coffee, eating a snack, or doing whatever else you can do sober! Never had an accident.

      I also find it better to drink in response to a road situation, I am actually not sure how to do it sober as I was never used to driving sober, I find it awkward and it won't work for me as I am sure it's also the case for many others.

       

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    James Keegan, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 11:47am

    Money

    Funny, nobody is arguing or debating the post about this law being an issue of money. Considering the post was dead on, we can make the assumption that this is a law of greed. So why bother to discuss anything else? Maybe to avoid the actual problem. I'm sure Plantronics was happy to hear about this law.

     

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    batch, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 12:36pm

    it may be inconvenient

    not being able to answer a phone call, legally anyway, while driving, but too many people seem to just want to talk on the phone because driving is something not worthy of their attention. Sure, driving is boring, especially during stop and go rush hour, but I'd rather not have an accident because I was distracted by a phone conversation. That's expensive, for all parties involved.

    Although Police have much more important things to do than enforce yet another traffic law. They've got their hands full trying to stop you from going 5mph too fast, you Criminal!!! (our tax dollars at work)

     

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    cell phone morons, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 4:36pm

    I hate cell phone morons. There is always some moron going 30 MPH in the center lane weaving all over the place trying to dial someone or talk on the phone.

    Half the people out there can handle it and half cant. So as usual we have to stop the half that cant from killing thr rest of us. There is nothing wrong with a handfree law. Its a good thing. In fact, after a while you wont want to use anything else. Try getting a speakerphone frokm Jabra. Clips to your sun visor battery lasts forever and it sounds great. you can even make it come through your car speakers. I love it. Here it CT we have a law that goes even further. Basically its a no distraction while driving law. That means no handheld devices (whether it be cell phones, PDA's, Playstations, Shavers, etc) It also menas no eating your lunch while driving (which is very dangerous) and no putting on makeup either. As I said some people can handle this multitasking but others cant and they will kill someone or a whole family.So we need laws to protect us from morons. I swear one morning I was next to a guy on the highway who was eating breakfast, shaving and reading the paper while he was driving. Complete idiot.

     

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    Pat, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 8:54pm

    Silly people

    Love all these silly examples that start off with "I have been doing xxx for years and nothing has happened to me."

    Lets get this straight people -- we are talking *statistics* here. Individual experience is statistically meaningless. Please go back to college are retake that statistics course that you obviously failed.

    Re: billboard -- So that's what it said. I could never read it. Too many words and too small!

     

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    Grant Paulson, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 7:09pm

    Billboard

    I put the billboard up to fight for the rights that seem to be taken away every year by our dear government. Over 700 laws proposed last year. They need to stop somewhere. I am not advocating cell phone use, just the right to use a hand held one because I think for one they look incredibly stupid and the sound quality is very poor. I'm willing to fight for my freedoms. If your against using a cell phone while driving then please lead by example and leave yours at home. Also you should not eat, drink, talk, drive a stick, talk to someone in your while driving or listen to the radio because these are all "distractions" and make driving more dangerous. Sincerely, Grant Paulson

     

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    Cathi, Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 8:44am

    What about the PASSENGERS???

    I agree that driving and texting is definitely dumb but saying that a cell CONVERSATION causes problems is perhaps going a bit too far. What about conversations with other passengers in the vehicle? They can be just as distracting. Even more so if the passengers are your kids and they are whining and hitting each other...

    I have made stupid mistakes while driving a car. Most of them because of distraction of one sort or another including passengers, radios, personal problem solving sessions in my head and yes, even cell phones. Not all of these mistakes have resulted in my causing an accident though I suspect that I am pretty lucky in that regard. But I own up to my stupidity and I do try to minimize my distractions while driving. It is called personal responsibility. When we dumb down our laws to deal with those who refuse to be personally responsible for their own behaviors everyone loses.

    Who cares WHY I drove through a red light? I should get the ticket for *driving thru the red light*. And if I injure or kill someone because I drove through the red light, I should be punished accordingly, regardless of WHY I ran the red light (sudden medical issues like heart attacks excepted for those of yo

     

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    Cathi, Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 8:47am

    What about the PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY???

    I agree that driving and texting is definitely dumb but saying that a cell CONVERSATION causes problems is perhaps going a bit too far. What about conversations with other passengers in the vehicle? They can be just as distracting. Even more so if the passengers are your kids and they are whining and hitting each other...

    I have made stupid mistakes while driving a car. Most of them because of distraction of one sort or another including passengers, radios, personal problem solving sessions in my head and yes, even cell phones. Not all of these mistakes have resulted in my causing an accident though I suspect that I am pretty lucky in that regard. But I own up to my stupidity and I do try to minimize my distractions while driving. It is called personal responsibility. When we dumb down our laws to deal with those who refuse to be personally responsible for their own behaviors everyone loses.

    Who cares WHY I drove through a red light? I should get the ticket for *driving thru the red light*. And if I injure or kill someone because I drove through the red light, I should be punished accordingly, regardless of WHY I ran the red light (sudden medical issues like heart attacks excepted for those of you who would like to argue that point).

    As for the statement that "statistics don't lie" as an argument to enact a nanny law, well, that doesn't fly either. These can be interpretted many ways depending on what the focus or desired outcome is. If you are *looking* for a particular outcome, you can usually find a way to spin it that direction. In fact, politicians and the companies that pay for them spend a lot of money to hire a lot of really smart people to do exactly that.

     

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    Max, May 27th, 2009 @ 2:25pm

    Donate to Grant Paulson

    Any Place where I can donate to Grant Paulson for a new billboard?

     

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