WEATHER »

Hands Free Texting

Thtz awsum dude: Everyone knows by now that, as of next Tuesday, it becomes illegal in California to chat on a cell phone while driving. What's less well-known is that iphone and BlackBerry junkies will still be free to put all our lives at risk by text messaging while going 90 mph on the 101.

In a clear case of technology moving faster than politics, the new cell phone [moving violation law][1] does not outlaw texting while driving. The author of the cell phone ban, state senator Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, began trying to pass his cell measure in 2000, when texting was far less cool than it is today. Thanks to the power and influence of the cellular industry, it took him six years to pass the bill, signed into law by Gov. Terminator in September 2006.

Text messaging "came up as a 12th hour item, and I just didn't want to risk" losing the cell phone legislation to last minute mischief by changing it during the final innings of passage, the Sacramento solon said in a recent interview. So Simitian is now pushing a new measure,[ Senate Bill 28,][2] that would specifically prohibit text messaging while motoring.

The cell phone companies appear to be giving this one a pass, perhaps because driving under the influence of texting is an all but impossible practice to defend, as shown here, here and here.
Given the positive reviews Simitian's cell phone legislation has received throughout the state, the odds of him passing his new bill seem excellent. Even at that, however, the earliest a texting ban could take effect would be Jan. 1. So B crful of knklhdz dude.

[1]: http:// www.dailynexus.com/article.php?a=17064 [2]: http:// www.senatorsimitian.com/news/entry/legislation_outlaws_text_messaging_while_driving/

event calendar sponsored by: