Calling all cell phone users: Should the use of cell phones be illegal while driving? February 12, 2004

AB 45 (Simitain) would create an infraction for driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless phone, unless it can be used hands-free, and is used in that manner while driving. The offense would be punishable by a fine of not more than $20 for a first offense and not more than $50 for each subsequent offense, including all assessments and court costs, unless a cell phone is being used to contact a law enforcement agency for emergency purposes.

Is the cell phone user any more dangerous than a driver changing a radio station, a teen transporting four noisy friends with the radio blaring, or someone reading the newspaper while driving? Would fines up to $50 deter people from using their phones while driving? Should the government legislate when individuals can and cannot talk on the phone?