April 13th, 2007 | by Paige Richmond News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

To Commuters: Washington State says, "Hang up and drive"

     
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If you make the daily commute either to or from Vancouver, you'd best invest in hands-free headset for your cell phone. Washington State passed on a law on Wednesday that restricts how drivers can talk and drive. The measure, which passed 59-38 in the State House, would require all drivers to use headsets if they make calls from behind the wheel. The bill has already been approved by the Senate, and Governor Christine Gregoire is expected to sign it.

Critics of the bill say it's still easy to be distracted even with a hands-free headset, since drivers still dial the number from their cell. There's also debate over whether the real distraction is the phone itself or the conversation.

Senate Bill 5037, the brainchild of Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, won't go into effect until January 2008, but once it does, drivers caught using their cell phones will be charged a $101 fine. Click here for more information on the bill. A similar bill banning text messaging while driving is currently awaiting Senate approval.

Be wary, Oregonians: This anti-cell phone wind may blow south.


Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 
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