Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

Get off the phone and drive!

Post by Cheryl Tucker on Jan. 5, 2010 at 3:12 pm with No Comments »
January 5, 2010 3:20 pm

I’m working on an editorial in support of making it a primary offense to talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving except for emergency purposes. (And yes, I know columnist Peter Callaghan thinks hands-free devices are just as unsafe. I disagree, figuring at least they allow drivers to keep both hands on the wheel. The research is also conflicted on whether hands-free is as dangerous as hand-held.)

In my research, I came across the latest roundup of where the different states stand on cell phone use by drivers. It’s only a secondary offense here, meaning police need to catch drivers doing something else, like speeding. But it’s a primary offense in Oregon ($142 ticket!), California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

It took state Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, a few years just to get the secondary offense on the books. She’ll be trying to make it a primary offense when the Legislature goes back in session Monday. We wish her good luck. It’s pretty obvious that the secondary offense is having little effect on driver behavior; it’s time to get tougher.

Leave a comment Comments
*
We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0