HELLO? Could this be any less effective? What about all the distracted adults who drive while talking on cell phones? How dangerous are they?
We've sent a query to Lehman, asking him why the bill doesn't go further -- banning all cell phone use by anyone driving any moving vehicle would make sense to us -- and will print his response as soon as we hear from him. In the meantime, here's his press release:
Madison – Senator John Lehman (D-Racine) joined Representative Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) and Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) in introducing legislation to restrict cellular phone use by minors who are driving with a probationary license or instructional permit.
“Drivers under the age of 20 account for 7% of the driving population but are involved in 14% of fatal accidents,” Lehman said. “There are enough distractions for inexperienced teen drivers without having phone conversations behind the wheel.”
A study by the New England Journal of Medicine found that the risk of an accident quadruples during a cell phone call. Another study, conducted by the University of Utah, concludes that driving while talking on a cell phone can be as bad as driving drunk.
The legislation (LRB-0978/2) would provide an exemption for emergency calls and would impose a $20 to $40 fine for the first offense. The bill is currently being circulated for cosponsorship.