California Assembly Transportation Committee has voted in favor
of a bill that would require anyone who uses a cell phone while
driving to have a hands-free device.
panel voted 14-5 in favor of AB45, which was introduced by California
Assemblyman Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto.
bill would set the fines for not having one of the devices at $20
for the first offense and $50 for every subsequent offense. Like
many other cell phone proposals across the country, it makes an
exception for people using the phones to make an emergency call.
to a report by The Los Angeles Times March 4, wireless companies
that opposed the bill had asked for a more general measure banning
“inattentive driving,” which would include not only cell phones,
but also distractions from pets, children, radios, food or conversation.
recent study by the California Highway Patrol of more than 491,000
accidents indicated 5,600 were caused by distracted drivers. Of
those, more than 600 were the result of cell phone use.
next stop in the legislative process is the Assembly Appropriations