By Rep. Austin Badon
Distracted drivers throughout the country are causing motor vehicle accidents and deaths. Many of these drivers are distracted because of cell phone use. In 2006 and 2007, more than 17 fatalities and nearly 5000 accidents were due to drivers using hand-held cell phones. We have all seen the driver in the wrong lane and the driver going too slow or too fast because they are preoccupied with their cell phone conversations or text messages.
This is why I introduced House Bill 852 which prohibits the use of a cell phone or communication device while driving, unless it has hands-free capabilities. By requiring the use of hands free devices, drivers will be able to put both hands on the wheel and focus their attention on their surroundings and on driving.
Some will argue that there are other things besides cell phones that distract drivers. Yes, there are. However, we have the technology to address the cell phone issue and therefore we should. And this legislation does not prohibit you from talking on your cell phone while driving. It just requires that you use hands-free devices. A small price to pay to save a life.