Thursday, February 8, 2007
CELL PHONE LAWS ARE HERE
Albuquerque has a new ordinance on the books. A city wide rule now bans drivers from using a hand held cell phone while driving. Break the law and get caught: $100 fine, $200 for repeat violations. . The old fogies on our City Council finally recognized that if a driver's attention is diverted from the job of driving, there is likely to be a smash up. It took a couple of them to be involved in near misses to get any kind of action. The problem is that the law is not well thought out. Apparently, they decided that if the cell was not hand held it would not divert a driver's attention. I have no idea who, nor why, this was decided. We need to inform them that the issue is really mental diversion, not hand diversion. There are some exceptions, also. You won't get a fine if: you're a policeman, firefighter, or other "public safety official" if your call is work related. ROFL. Oh, one of the sponsors said that the law "is a message you need to exercise a higher level of attention while driving." And then, "police can use discretion in deciding when to cite people." One of the Councillors pointed out that using a hands free device is no safer than holding the phone to your ear. Apparently her comment was ignored. The British Medical Journal found that it didn't matter which method of communication was used. Drivers using cell phones in any manner were four times more likely to get into a crash that could cause serious injuries to people. A friend suggested that we already have too many people in this country and I should keep my opinions about traffic safety to myself.