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Cell Phone Ban For Cyclists?

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cyclist-texting-while-ridingA California state senator is proposing a statewide bill that would include cyclists in California’s cell phone ban already in effect for motorists. State Senator Joe Simitian introduced Senate bill 1475, which doubles fines for using a cell phone to text while driving, while also extending the ban (and fines) to cyclists on any public roads.

The bill reads,  “A person shall not ride a bicycle or drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.

The bill would also “increase the base fine for driving while using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication from $20 to $100 for a first offense and from $50 to $100 for each subsequent offense.” The proposed legislation also includes a provision which would require drivers to pass a test proving their understanding of the risks and dangers of distracted driving before getting a license, which could be a huge plus for cyclists.

A hearing on the proposed legislation is set for April 6th. You can read the full text of the bill here. What do you think? Should cyclists be subjected the the same phone ban as motorists while on the roads? Can you safely talk or text and ride?

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