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Discussion Starter #1
Well, it's finally here! The new cell phone law is going into effect in Texas as of Sept. 1, 2003.

In a nutshell:

Texas House Bill 281 - cell phone use in cars - effective 9/1/03

Sec. 545.425. USE OF TELEPHONE; OFFENSE. (a) An operator may not use a telephone while operating a motor vehicle unless:
(1) the vehicle is stopped; or
(2) the telephone is used without use of either of the operator's hands.
(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $100.

Here's what I think about it:

The law lacks definition. How the hell do you dial or answer if you can't touch the thing?

If the law's definition of "hands free" refers to only the point in which you are talking on it, then it's the government's typical inadequate solution to a problem.

Most of the time, accidents occur while the user was fumbling to find the phone, looking through his/her binder for phone numbers, dialing, or writing something down! How often have you been cruising behind a vehicle going the posted speed and all of a sudden, it slows to 10-20 mph below the speed limit because the driver takes a nose dive into the passenger floor board to dig in his/her bag/purse to find a phone number. The other day I was sitting at a light that had just turned green and was getting ready to go through it and had to slam on my brakes because here comes an idiot through the light holding his phone out in front of him. It was evident he was scrolling for a number completely oblivious to the three lanes of traffic shooting him the finger!

What about the lack of concentration on the task at hand "DRIVING" while talking on a cell phone. I am certain that all of us have done the old, "Oh [censored], was that light green?" routine because you were too engulfed in the daily gossip!

Essentially the law is preventing accidents caused by holding a cell phone to your ear, not the ones caused by dialing, looking for numbers, writing things down, concentrating on the conversation instead of the driving and just plain being a dumb @$$!

I hate bureaucracies!


What's your take on it?
 

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This is going to be boring, but . . .

This bill was left pending in Committee so it will not go into effect September 1 unless it is revived during the special session.

Check the Texas Legislature Online
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the update.... maybe when they get around to approving the bill, if it ever is, they will address the problem with a complete solution!

I like your signature quote... I feel the same way on occassion, especially when I'm hungover!
 

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Since you asked, my take is that it is a good idea. No one will ever convince me that their thinking/reaction time is not impaired while on the phone. How many times have you been behind someone at a light talking on the phone, and they don't move when the light changes, or the fact of holding a phone will affect lane travel(similar to when people look left while driving, they drift right)However I disagree that a hands free system with voice activated dialing is any better. Just my .000000000002
blkstlln
 

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Obviously, you have to touch a button.....


Beyond that, if the phone can be used in a speakerphone fashion and thus not in contact with the driver, I think it's the same as holding a conversation with a passenger.

I'm all for fining drivers who cant follow such regulations.
 

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Heres something to put a bee in everyone's bonnet.

Laws that cater to the lowest common denomonator - seat belt, cell phone, helmet (just to name a few) will eventually lead to the extinction of the human race as we strive to cater to those inadaquate to remain alive on their own.....

I forsee deletion of this thread.... ;)
 

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I don't use the feature, but my cell phone has auto answer. It rings, you say "hi". No fingers needed.
There are other phones that dial by voice and head sets are readily available. So what they are passing or have passed, is possible. It will cost the users a few $ in upgrades, but if it makes the knuckle heads stay on the road and in one lane, I'm all for it. I can't see pulling over to take/make a call though.
 

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Laws that cater to the lowest common denomonator - seat belt, cell phone, helmet (just to name a few) will eventually lead to the extinction of the human race as we strive to cater to those inadaquate to remain alive on their own.....
I like that... ::
 

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I can't the cell if it rang because of my loud exhaust! I have it in the car only to call the AAA or Highway Patrol.
 

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As long as the cell phone use is totaly hands free, I feel that it is no different than having a conversation with another in the vehicle. As this law was brought about because statistics show that cell phone users are as dangerous on the road as drunk drivers, I can understand this, as those who do not use hands free are not just endangering themselves, but my wife, my son, my daughter, me...and YOU!.....they have no right!. So make this reasonable, make it hands free ( totaly, like voice activated driving) and I can live without the law, or modify the law to take this into consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Some people have a hard enought time driving with no distractions whatsoever, let alone while talking on a phone!

I've already found a loophole! I'll just use my feet! Probably still drive better than some of these yahoo's here in Houston!

By the way blkstlln, is your corral really lit up?
 

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Those who support this bill must also support the ban of eating while driving too. I agree also with what was said about ignorant people being saved from themselves, but the sad fact is the ignorants are taking out the innocent. I think it's sad these type of laws are even needed...
 

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I'm all for it too. I'm tired of being stuck behind some bozo in the morning that chattin' away in his cell phone and is putting everybody else's life in danger. I like my brother's cell phone headset. You press a button on the wire for the headset, say the name of the person you want to call, and it dials it. If someone calls him, he just presses that same button and he can being having his conversation with whoever.

To make it short, I agree with this law. But, thats just my .02¢
 

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I can't count the number of times idiots drive and make turns one handed almost causing accidents. All while talking on the blessed phone.
 

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What everyone else said. I think......I dunno what i think.

Blkslln(is that right?): I like your lighted grille horse. It looks sweet.
 

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We've had that law in New York for over a year now.
Don't know if the accident rate has gone down but I seem to be less agravated. ::
You can dial and hold the phone though but not put it up to your ear. I hold it out in front of me like a CB mike.It's the only way to hear it in the Mustangs

It would seem that holding a CB mike in Texas would be illegal now also or tuning your radio or changing a CD or eating a Big Mac or having a dog on your lap or.....The insurance companies are lobbying so that if you are in an accident while "being distracted", you won't be covered.
Define "Distracted" - What a can of legal worms...

HEY, We've invadeded your privacy in your car. Next we'll come into you're house and tell you what to do there. Where does it stop ?
 

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There was only one version of the law introduced, so I suspect there was not much discussion about this bill. Normally it will be amended several times to make various legislators happy, and there are generally several comments.

If your interested (and not to sound like the biggest poli-geek in the world) the Texas Legislature Website is very comprehensive and easy to get around. It hasall of the bill texts and histories for each of the sessions and special sessions. This is especially helpful when the legislature is in session.

(Obviously this is somehting I am familiar with trhough my work).
 

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As this law was brought about because statistics show that cell phone users are as dangerous on the road as drunk drivers,
Huh????????? What is THAT??? Who says THAT??? Typical MIS-information provided by the same people who bring the laws to you. How UNTRUE that is......

Let me get this straight.....
Cell phone users are as dangerous as DRUNK Drivers??????
Get real, and get your facts straight! That isn't even close to being correct.

I guess the next item on the hitlist is that you can't drink coffee or pop in your car? Since that requires a hand, obviously people can't do 2 things at once. This information is brought to you by the state who until recently ALLOWED people to drink in their cars.

For what it is worth, I don't own a cell phone, but I don't drink either......

Gary......::
 

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"HEY, We've invadeded your privacy in your car. Next we'll come into you're house and tell you what to do there. Where does it stop ? "

We live in a civilized society with many, many rules already. When idiots are brain dead we need to add one more rule. I can't burn tires in my backyard. There is a law against it. That doesn't upset me. I can't pour oil down the sewer either.
 
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