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WA State Hands Free Cell phone law

  • Yes, I agree with this law

    Votes: 33 80.5%
  • No, I do not agree with this law

    Votes: 3 7.3%
  • Other (post)

    Votes: 5 12.2%
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I can't really say that I agree or disagree with it. I don't think it will really make much of a change, especially since it will be a secondary offense.

I've always wondered why people seem to think that cell conversations (even handsfree) are any more distracting than talking to, or especially arguing with/disciplining, another person in the car. I rarely use my phone when driving, but I find it much easier to get distracted by changing CDs, adjusting the radio, or just generally dealing with my ADD than...oh look, something shiny. :rofl:

I still see people texting all of the time, and I'm sure that cellphone usage won't drop significantly because of the new law either.
 

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Do I think think the law will be effective? For some of the reasons given above, perhaps not.

Do I think people behind the wheel should be engaged activities that clearly distract them from the task at hand? No. ;-)

-- Paul
 

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The law may not be effective when it first hits but once they start doing the enforcement runs like they are doing for seat belts and DUIs I hope people get the message.

Additionally it will also add to the infractions if an accident happens making it easier to take the license of a repeat offender.

I was driving down 405 last Friday and saw this lady TEXTING on her freakin Blackberry!! I honked at her and gave her the point at the eyes and point at the road. She looked a bit miffed and went back to texting as she sped off no less.

A mile or so down the road she rammed into a truck. Being an EMT and pretty much first on the scene I stopped and a trooper pulled in just after me. We started getting the scene squared away and the Trooper said to me "looks like she was using her blackberry while driving." I didn't need to say anything, the evidence was literally on her face. That airbag blasted the Blackberry into her face and you could see the imprint of the key pad on her forehead. I learned later that it also fractured her supraorbital process (the bone that forms the eyebrow).

I have to admit I was a bit less compassionate then I would have been had I not seen what she was doing. And she recognized me too.

Oh and on top of all the pain and medical bills she gets to go through she got a $175 ticket on top of the wreckless driving and causing an accident. She may even loose her license all because the damn text message was so important it couldn't wait.

The guy in the truck and the two people in the BMW in front of the truck the truck hit were not injured.

I am absolutely for the hands free cell phone law.

My Kenwood has voice activated bluetooth built in so before you ask - no I do not try to handle a cell phone and certainly do not try to text while driving.
 

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the issue isn't holding a phone it is actually being focus on a conversation. It won't make a difference whether you are holding the phone to your ear or if you have a hands free thing in your ear, there still distracted from driving and a danger to the road.

So I guess I don't agree with the law. I know we in California have this going into effect very soon as well.
 

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The law may not be effective when it first hits but once they start doing the enforcement runs like they are doing for seat belts and DUIs I hope people get the message.

Additionally it will also add to the infractions if an accident happens making it easier to take the license of a repeat offender.

I was driving down 405 last Friday and saw this lady TEXTING on her freakin Blackberry!! I honked at her and gave her the point at the eyes and point at the road. She looked a bit miffed and went back to texting as she sped off no less.

A mile or so down the road she rammed into a truck. Being an EMT and pretty much first on the scene I stopped and a trooper pulled in just after me. We started getting the scene squared away and the Trooper said to me "looks like she was using her blackberry while driving." I didn't need to say anything, the evidence was literally on her face. That airbag blasted the Blackberry into her face and you could see the imprint of the key pad on her forehead. It also fractured her supraorbital process (the bone that forms the eyebrow).

I have to admit I was a bit less compassionate then I would have been had I not seen what she was doing. And she recognized me too.

Oh and on top of all the pain and medical bills she gets to go through she got a $175 ticket on top of the wreckless driving and causing an accident. She may even loose her license all because the damn text message was so important it couldn't wait.

The guy in the truck and the two people in the BMW in front of the truck the truck hit were not injured.

I am absolutely for the hands free cell phone law.

My Kenwood has voice activated bluetooth built in so before you ask - no I do not try to handle a cell phone and certainly do not try to text while driving.
I believe it. Going N on the 605, I passed a lady in the second to fast lane going 55mph and weaving all over. She had a cell phone in one hand and what looked like a handheld GPS in the other and was driving with her right pinky?? I hope they go hard on the enforcement, frigging idiots?
 

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the issue isn't holding a phone it is actually being focus on a conversation. It won't make a difference whether you are holding the phone to your ear or if you have a hands free thing in your ear, there still distracted from driving and a danger to the road.

So I guess I don't agree with the law. I know we in California have this going into effect very soon as well.
Josh- Your kidding right, you and I can drive and converse with the passengers in our cars and do so effectively. How is that so different than a hands free wireless conversation?

There is a whole generation of super texters getting there licenses every month. This law will surely save many lives and probably help with traffic flow and save fuel as well. Not saying I am innocent of ever using a cell phone while driving, but I will obey the law and hope to see it enforced.
 

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What about the people I sometimes pass that have a book or magazine propped up on their steering wheel? Is there any law against that?
 

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What about the people I sometimes pass that have a book or magazine propped up on their steering wheel? Is there any law against that?
Yes, same as eating, drinking, shaving.... all against the law.
 

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Josh- Your kidding right, you and I can drive and converse with the passengers in our cars and do so effectively. How is that so different than a hands free wireless conversation?

There is a whole generation of super texters getting there licenses every month. This law will surely save many lives and probably help with traffic flow and save fuel as well. Not saying I am innocent of ever using a cell phone while driving, but I will obey the law and hope to see it enforced.
No way man, I really think it is people inability to focus on whats more important at the time when I talk to passengers it isn't happening when I am merging on to a freeway or when I decided to go 90+ I talk when I can relax a little, other wise I listen and only half way depending on whats going on in the road.

Texting is a whole diffrent game then talking and shouldn't be done while driving.

The law may help a little/some but I don't think it will be as big as people think.


Latest hands free cell phone
 

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just add it to the plethora of useless laws already on the books. I'd much rather cops were spending their time (ie. our money) on what I feel to be more serious offenses. Read this book:

Official Site | Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children | by David Harsanyi
I agree, there are lots of frivolous laws, I just see way too many young kids driving fast and heavy cars around here texting away like they were in their living room.

Our city has traffic cops. Their job is to enforce traffic law and create revenue for the city which in turn pays for the traffic officers salaries. :) Enforcing traffic laws are their jobs, this leaves the regular officers free to chase the bad guys?
 

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Do you think it's fine for a 16 year old driving a 6000lb. SUV to be texting when they drive?

Our city has traffic cops. Their job is to enforce traffic law and create revenue for the city which in turn pays for the traffic officers salaries. :) Enforcing traffic laws are their jobs, this leaves the regular officers free to chase the bad guys?
I get a little tired of hearing people say how they are fine driving while talking on the cell phone, hands free or not. I spend 500+ miles a week on the nastiest freeways in the country here in SoCal during rush hour to and from work, and 99% of the folks on the phone, regardless of what system they use, are oblivious to spontaneous events on the road. Speed changes, lane drifting, sudden lane changes after missing an exit sign, no one is immune from the distractions talking on the phone create.

And yes, there are similar problems from eating, reading, doing make-up, and just conversing with a passenger, but the phone distraction seems the most obvious when I'm driving. Quite frankly, I'd like to see the law extended to other distractions, too. Use your laptop on the steering wheel while driving - ticket. Make-up application - ticket. Holding your Big-Mac and soda instead of the steering wheel - ticket. Reading today's paper instead of staying aware of traffic situations - ticket.

Unless you've been in a serious accident in an automobile, most people have no clue how dangerous these distractions can become. An for a minor, with very little behind the wheel experience, it could be fatal. I'd rather hear my kids and friends ***** about the inconvenience of the law, then get a call from the morgue to pick them up...
 

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An for a minor, with very little behind the wheel experience, it could be fatal. I'd rather hear my kids and friends ***** about the inconvenience of the law, then get a call from the morgue to pick them up...
So true...a parents worst nightmare.
 

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I get a little tired of hearing people say how they are fine driving while talking on the cell phone, hands free or not. I spend 500+ miles a week on the nastiest freeways in the country here in SoCal during rush hour to and from work, and 99% of the folks on the phone, regardless of what system they use, are oblivious to spontaneous events on the road. Speed changes, lane drifting, sudden lane changes after missing an exit sign, no one is immune from the distractions talking on the phone create.

And yes, there are similar problems from eating, reading, doing make-up, and just conversing with a passenger, but the phone distraction seems the most obvious when I'm driving. Quite frankly, I'd like to see the law extended to other distractions, too. Use your laptop on the steering wheel while driving - ticket. Make-up application - ticket. Holding your Big-Mac and soda instead of the steering wheel - ticket. Reading today's paper instead of staying aware of traffic situations - ticket.

Unless you've been in a serious accident in an automobile, most people have no clue how dangerous these distractions can become. An for a minor, with very little behind the wheel experience, it could be fatal. I'd rather hear my kids and friends ***** about the inconvenience of the law, then get a call from the morgue to pick them up...
and yes you left out eating yogurt with a spoon ... i am with you Larry.. some people are so possesed with texting and talking on the phone.Ialso think that some become so insecure without having in their ear for what ever reason... dangerous imo. and i have to talk to many people on it throughout the day but i try to find a spot and park before getting into any serious talks...when i retire the first thing i will do is crush mine
:lol:
 

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I fully agree with it, if it saves lives then it is worth it. People hated the seatbelt law when it came out but now it's mostly second nature for most, even youger folks. Californias begins on the same day.
heres the specifics, teenagers aren't even allowed to use hands free.

New Cellular Phone Laws that Go Into Effect July 1, 2008
Minors (under 18 years of age)
VC §23124 Drivers 18 years of age or older
VC §23123
are prohibited from driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone, including a hands-free device, and/or a mobile service device (pagers, texting devices, laptops, etc). are prohibited from driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless a hands-free device is used.
Exceptions:
• emergency situations, for example: calls to law enforcement, health care provider, fire department, etc.

• while operating a vehicle on private property. Exceptions:
• emergency situations, for example: calls to law enforcement, health care provider, fire department, etc.
• emergency service providers operating an authorized emergency vehicle during the course of employment.
• while operating a vehicle on private property.
• a person operating a commercial motor truck or truck tractor (excluding pickups), implements of husbandry, farm vehicle, school bus, transit vehicle, or tow truck, if using a two-way radio operated by a “push-to-talk” feature that does not require the device to be close to the ear.
The fines for both laws are:
• $20, first offense plus administrative fees.
• $50, second or subsequent offenses plus administrative fees.
Cellular Phone Law FAQ’s
Drivers 18 Years and Older
Q: When do the new cellular phone laws take effect?
A: The new laws take effect July 1, 2008.
Q: What if I need to use my phone during an emergency and I do not have a hands-free device?
A: The law allows a driver using a wireless telephone to make emergency calls, including, but not limited to, calls to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services agency.
Q: What are the fine(s) if I am convicted?
A: The base fine for a first offense is $20, and $50 for each subsequent conviction. The courts will impose additional administrative fees.
Q: Will I receive a point on my driving record if I am convicted for a violation of the cellular phone law?
A: No. The violation is a reportable offense; however, DMV will not assign a violation point.
Q: Will a conviction appear on my driving record?
A: Yes, but a violation point will not be added.
Q: I drive a commercial vehicle and my phone has a “push-to-talk” feature that does not require me to place the phone to my ear, will I still be required to use a hands-free device?
A: No, only class “A” or “B” licensees operating a truck tractor as defined in Vehicle Code (VC) §655 or a motor truck as defined in VC §410 are allowed to use a “push-to-talk” feature.
Q: I drive a commercial pickup truck, may I use a two-way radio while driving?
A: No. The exemption does not apply to drivers of pickup trucks with commercial plates, even if the pickup truck is used for commercial purposes, for example, a contractor, landscaper, or other business.
Q: May I use a speaker-phone feature and hold the phone in my hand, but not next to my ear?
A: No. The law requires you use a hands-free device with your phone, a “push-to-talk" feature is not allowed.

Q: My car has a built-in hands-free mobile phone feature. Is this adequate or do I have to buy additional equipment?
A: No. You do not need to purchase additional equipment. You may use your vehicle’s hands-free mobile phone feature.
Q: Can I send a text message on my phone or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) while driving?
A: No.
Q: Are passengers covered by this law?
A: No, this law applies to the persons driving a motor vehicle.
________________________________________
Minors (Under 18 years of age)
Q: May I use a cellular phone with a hands-free device if I am under 18?
A: No. You cannot use a wireless telephone to speak or text, even if it is equipped with a hands-free device or speaker-phone feature if you are under the age of 18. You are also prohibited from using any other type of mobile service devices, for example, specialized mobile radios, broadband personal communication devices, handheld devices or laptop computers, pagers, or two-way messaging, and texting devices. Exception: Permitted in emergency situations.
Q: If I am under 18, can a peace officer stop me if he/she suspects I am using a cellular phone or other mobile service device?
A: A law enforcement officer may pull you over if he/she observes or determines you are using a cellular phone.
Q: Why is the law stricter for provisional drivers?
A: Statistics show that teen drivers are more likely than older drivers to be involved in accidents because they lack driving experience and tend to take greater risks. Distractions, such as talking with passengers, eating or drinking, and talking on cellular phones or texting increase the chance you will be involved in a serious accident.
Q: Can my parents give me permission to allow me to use my cellular phone when driving?
A: No. The only exception is an emergency situation that requires you to call a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department or other emergency entity.

Q: If I am emancipated, does the restriction apply to me?
A: Yes, the restriction applies to all holders of an instruction permit and all licensed drivers under age 18.
Q: If I have my parent(s) or someone age 25 years or older in the car with me, may I use my cellular phone while driving?
A: No. You may only use a cellular phone or mobile service device in an emergency situation.
Q: Will the restriction appear on my provisional license?
A: No.
Q: If my car has a built in hands-free phone feature, may I use it while driving?
A: No. The law prohibits anyone under 18 years old from using any type of wireless device while driving, except in certain emergency situations.
 

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I don't care for freedom reducing laws (aren't they all to some extent? Hmmm...). Can't murder someone...that's a good law. This one...not so sure. I will admit that when I pass someone who has just pulled an idiotic driving maneuver, usually there is a very oblivious individual happily chatting on a cell phone. I think cell phones are much more distracting than anything else...and here's why: You have to hold it (in most cases...which leads to more concentration on phone rather than the road), You can't hear as well (increased concentration on the phone...and not the road), Dialing or turning up the volume requires you to concentrate on a small object with tiny fussy buttons. Bluetooth is probably marginally better...maybe on par with eating while driving. And, I can't even believe that someone would be stupid enough to text while driving...seriously. Of course, I've seen people reading books while driving. WTF!?

I find it hard to believe that someone is sooo important that they need to chitty chat on the phone while driving. YOU ARE NOT THAT COOL! :)

Well, my intented short little post turned into a rant. At least I saved time by texting this while driving down the freeway. ;)
 

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The way I see how things have progressed/are progressing in WA we will soon have RFID tags in our cars to regulate our speed (automatic ticketing doens't seem such a stretch of the imagination now that they have most high traffic light cameras, etc...), but still think the whole bicycle helmet law is stupid.

We are all for laws that protect us, but IMO it will only take one idiot in office to really **** things up, and the next thing you know we will be prisoners of the system we created to keep us safe.



just a thought.
 
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