Use Cell Phone at Red Light? CA Court Says Don't Do It
Late last year, a California appeals court spoke out against cell phone use while driving. Yes, that means even when you've stopped at a red light.
Like in WA, CA drivers cannot talk on a non hands free phone when driving. Mr. Nelson was sitting at a stop light and flipped open his cell phone to make a call. Little did he realize that a cop had pulled up right next to him. As soon as Mr. Nelson realized this, he put the phone down. Ultimately, the cop ticketed Mr. Nelson. But Nelson argued that he shouldn't have gotten the ticket since the light hadn't even turned green before he stopped using his phone. The CA appellate court says, sorry Nelson, you lose. You can't hold a phone even when the light is red.
Starting last June in Washington State, police could pull over drivers just for holding a wireless devise while driving. New drivers with instruction permits or intermediate licenses aren't even allowed to use wireless devices at all, except in emergencies.
As mentioned on the WA DOL website, if you're driving on the freeway, you can travel more than the length of a football field in the time it takes to read a short text messgae or dial a number.
Some quick facts about cell phone use while driving.
- 6,000 people -- equal to the total citizens of Pierce County's City of Steilacoom, were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2008.
- 500,000 people were injured in 2008 because of distracted driving.
- A driver talking on a cell phone is as impaired as a driver with a 0.08 blood alcohol level.
- A driver texting is as impaired as a driver with a 0.16 blood-alcohol level. That's twice the legal limit.
- Drivers talking on cell phones are half a second slower to hit the brakes in emergencies and miss more than half the visual cues seen by attentive drivers.
Make it a policy to just keep your hands off your phone when you're in the car. Please don't be tempted to text/call someone on your cell while driving. You might just prevent a serious car accident/injury.