Thursday, February 8, 2007


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.


Women on the Verge said...

We have had cell phone laws here for a long time... know what they accomplished... NOTHING. No one pays any attention. The fines are pretty hefty too. And they do nothing about the people who drive with their knees while eating a bowl of cereal ( yes, I actually saw someone doing that), or putting on their make-up, or brushing their teeth... don't get me wrong, it bugs me to no end to see people multi-tasking while driving, I just don't think we've figured out the best way to prevent it yet.


Catmoves said...

I've seen a man driving at 70 mph, reading a book propped up against the steering wheel. Our law enforcement and the way the idiotic laws are written apparently confuse the few cops who want to enforce the ban. Careless driving is careless driving. Until the citizens decide they are anti "that person is aiming his/her car at me and I want it stopped," nothing real is going to happen.