Thousands of drivers in NY get tickets for phone-on-ear driving

| Tuesday, August 26, 2003

More than 130,000 drivers have received tickets for driving while on the cell phone in New York state, The Associated Press reported Aug. 25.

The news service said enforcement and ads by telecommunications companies are beginning to get the message out to drivers about the danger of driving and calling.

New York is the only state to ban cell phone use while behind the wheel. Other states are considering proposals, but none have passed yet.

Michigan, for example, is considering SB555, which would increase penalties for drivers who violate traffic laws while chatting on a cell phone. The bill would add a point to a driver’s license if use of the phone contributed to an infraction.

Rhode Island and California considered, then killed bills designed to cut back on cell phone use behind the wheel.

In Rhode Island, H6524 would have prohibited anyone under 18 from chatting on the phone while driving – even if they were using a hands-free device. And in California, AB45 called for violators to be fined $20 if they didn’t use a hands-free device. subsequent offenses would have cost drivers $50 a shot.

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