Speaking of driving, there’s a very interesting bill that’s going through the California legislature right now:
Senate passes bill seeking penalties for driving while distracted
Tuesday May 18, 2004
SACRAMENTO (AP) Drivers distracted by eating, talking to pets or combing their hair could face new fines under a bill that passed the state Senate on Tuesday.
The Senate voted 22-14 to add “distractions” to a long list of California no-no’s while cruising the state’s roads and freeways. Republicans voted against the bill, with one lawmaker calling it “open season on drivers.”
Drivers who attract police attention by weaving or swerving while pressing radio dials, talking on cellular phones, reading or talking with children can expect $35 fines for a first offense and $150 for a second.
The bill, sponsored by the California State Automobile Association, prohibits police officers from stopping drivers who are noticeably distracted unless they see them drive dangerously.
Supporters cited studies blaming distractions for 25 percent to 30 percent of vehicle crashes.
“We think it’s a modest approach to dealing with a significant problem,” said the bill’s author, Sen. Kevin Murray, D-Culver City.
Not so, said Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Northridge.
“This bill makes it a crime to drive while driving,” he said. “This is a bill the Legislature will rue the day it takes effect.”
The bill goes now to the Assembly for consideration.
Granted, the police won’t intervene unless the drivers are weaving in and out of lanes, but still… wow.