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(June 29) -- New Jersey, starting Thursday, becomes the second state in the nation after New York to ban the use of handheld cell phones while driving.

A similar ban in Washington, D.C., dubbed the "distracted driving act," also goes into effect that day. But the law in the nation's capital has broader restrictions that reflect a growing trend to deal with various activities that can distract a driver. The law not only limits the use of handheld cell phones but also everything from a BlackBerry, a Game Boy or even a calculator while behind the wheel.

When New York state's handheld law went into effect in November 2001, other states were expected to follow what initially seemed like a common-sense response to the explosion of motorists using cell phones. But highway safety groups say no studies so far show that banning handheld cell phones while driving has saved lives or reduced accidents, although more information is being collected.

There is much debate about whether talking on a cell phone is any more distracting than changing a CD, eating a sandwich or quelling the kids in the back seat. There's also disagreement about cell phones and whether the problem is having one hand on the wheel, dialing a number or just the talking itself.

Mantill Williams, spokesman for AAA, says the automotive group opposes bans on handheld cell phones while driving.

"The danger isn't the device itself - it's actually the conversation," he says. Headsets, ear buds or other hands-free equipment frees people to talk longer, so these bans might do more harm than good, he says.

"It's clear the cell phone drew a lot of attention to the distracted-driving issue. But once attention was drawn to it, I think there was a realization by lawmakers that there were other issues in the car that they wanted to address as well," says Matt Sundeen, who specializes in transportation issues for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Jonathan Adkins, a spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association, says there's no indication yet that New York's ban on handheld cell phones has had any impact. "So why would we encourage other states to pursue similar legislation?" he says.

In New York, roughly 270,000 tickets had been issued through the end of April, says Joe Picchi, spokesman for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. "The law is being enforced, and I think our statistics have shown that many accidents are caused by inattention. And improper cell phone usage is one of the forms of inattention," Picchi says.

This year, 33 states have considered 83 bills dealing with distracted driving, Sundeen says. Though 22 of those bills focused on the use of handheld cell phones, others looked at television monitors, DVD players and other car gadgets.

Though cell phones have garnered the most attention, the cellular industry has long contended that motorists need to be aware of all forms of distracted driving. As much as 30% of the 3 million accidents that occur annually may be the result of distracted driving, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says.

Under Washington's new law, motorists can be stopped for using a handheld cell phone and fined $100. The first time they get a ticket, motorists have 30 days to buy a hands-free device. If they send in the receipt along with the citation, the fine will be waived.

In New Jersey, motorists can be cited for using a handheld cell phone only if they are pulled over for another offense. The fine is up to $250.
 

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Posse Pimp Daddy #1
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What a great idea.... I want to get a shirt made for when I ride that says on the back "Hang up your cell phone.... I'd prefer to live"
 

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I remember rolling up to a green light (for me) on my bike, and seeing a car go cruising across the intersection in front of me, right through his red light. I turned and caught up to him, and sure enough, he was on a cell phone. If I was just a few seconds sooner getting to that intersection, I might have been hit.

I'm glad some states are finally realizing the hazards that these things can create. I can't say I have never talked on a cell phone while driving, but I always try to keep the call short and never carry on any extended converstations.
 

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Naughty76 said:
What a great idea.... I want to get a shirt made for when I ride that says on the back "Hang up your cell phone.... I'd prefer to live"

Awesome Idea man!! bike jackets should come with that message printed on the backs as a safety message to irresponsible cagers that are killing us off because they were so concered about that lame ass can of beans they were being told to pick up on the way home.....



I dam near got killed by a phone using nincompoop a few years ago :(
 

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DC just enacted a similar law.
I've seriously seen people try to talk on a cell phone while RIDING A MOTORCYCLE.
I don't mean a hands free helmet mike, I mean holding a phone to their (unlidded) head in traffic!!!!
I once had a bumpersticker that said "Hang up and drive....A$$HOLE!" in big letters. I gave it away, but should have put it on my helmet or something.
 

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Justin726 said:
I remember rolling up to a green light (for me) on my bike, and seeing a car go cruising across the intersection in front of me, right through his red light. I turned and caught up to him, and sure enough, he was on a cell phone. If I was just a few seconds sooner getting to that intersection, I might have been hit.


One night I was stopping at a intersection behind a fullsize Buick and luckily looked in my mirror and saw a pair of headlights coming up fast... Thought this fuka ain't gonna stop and pulled out off to the side only to have a Lincon stretch limo go wizzzing past my leg and slam right into the Buick at about 50mph sending it into next week! That was some scary ass shit! :eek:

One reason I watch my back until several cars have stopped behind me at any stop, ALWAYS leave my bike in gear and also be sure I don't be a "bumper hugger" and have enough room to pull out..... something I learned not from MSF but from my Dad, about 20 years before anyone heard of MSF. Pop was a pretty smart guy. :)
 

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Valiant Poultry
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Hahahaha...the East Coast sucks.
The West Coast sucks too...

Whaddup to Middle America!!!
 

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I will agree that most ppl who talk and drive do cause accidents. But if this law passes in soem of the states I work in, it'll kill me. If I had to pull over to make a call, I'd never make it to appointments, and hands free talking sucks. You hear backround noise, and you cant hear the person, nor can they hear you. A call phone will make or break my business.
 

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TheSollyLama said:
DC just enacted a similar law.
I've seriously seen people try to talk on a cell phone while RIDING A MOTORCYCLE.
I don't mean a hands free helmet mike, I mean holding a phone to their (unlidded) head in traffic!!!!
I once had a bumpersticker that said "Hang up and drive....A$$HOLE!" in big letters. I gave it away, but should have put it on my helmet or something.

some people can handle doing 2 things at once.... My friend Phill Oveland once answered his cell phone while leading a local moto x race :D he still managed to keep his lead and talk to the wifey!! How he could even hear her was amazing. Then again he amazes me the way he rides.... :eek: He recently set a new world record in 24 hour off road racing. That guy can ride.
 

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Naughty76 said:
What a great idea.... I want to get a shirt made for when I ride that says on the back "Hang up your cell phone.... I'd prefer to live"
Bwahahaha! That kicks ass. I would wear it and ride around with it. I usually get on the side of people on phones, and make the phone sign with my hand...place it near my helmet, then do a hang it up motion, when they look at me like i got 5 heads and there is no chance in hell they hang up, i flip em off and take off. People have enough problems just driving, nevermind trying to talk and drive.

Just the other day i had some young chick on a cell phone blow right through a yield sign and almost hit me. She didn't even friggin look, but i noticed she was on her phone. And her face at so much concentration on it....taking the turn going pretty fast...totally missing the yield sign....just looking in front of her.....pretty much saying screw the rest of you im first! Damn....people in cages piss me off. :mad:
 

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Capo di tuti Capi
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It's a f*ckin' joke, this state. This bullshit law is just another revenue-generating scam. Just another way for the governor to say, "I didn't raise taxes". Nope, he just raised the fees for EVERYTHING else in the state. I think tickets are going up to $250 now too. Plus cigarette taxes are $2.50 per pack after tomorrow. Poor smokers.....

*YEAH*, it is for 'safety' reasons. Bull. Than ban radios, eating in cars, putting on make-up, reading, etc. Those all cause more accidents.

Oh, by the way cops are not counted under the new law. They are "allowed" to use their cell phones, but for "official" business only. Ha! Just like the never speed either.......

I hate New Jersey! :mad:


Stone
 

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I agree, i hate new jersey, but I love it at the same time. This law is just another BS thing to give you a ticket on. I mean by all means you shouldn't be driving and holding a cellphone chitchatting to husband. But they cannot do shit unless they pull you over for something else besides the cellphone. So you must be speeding or doing something else before they can slap you with the cell phone ticket. Not to mention those stupid fucking new safety zones on some major roadways doubling all fines due to "high accident probabilty" F-new jersey and their laws (insert big wave FU smilie)
 
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