Governor Schwarzenegger has signed legislation that bans drivers from using a hand-held cell phone…..unless they’re in an emergency situation. Instead, they must use hands-free devices, like a headset or speaker phone. California Highway Patrol Spokesman Tom Marshall says it may help to prevent accidents by eliminating a common distraction:
“We know that a lot of our crashes are caused by cell phones. We had over 1,000 of them last year due to hand-held cell phone alone.”
Opponents of the law include Sprint-Nextel. The company argues it’s unfair to single out cell phones when there are many other driving distractions like eating, or fiddling with the radio. The law goes into effect in July of 2008. It’s a 20 dollar fine for the first offense and 50 dollars thereafter.