Friday, October 23, 2009

Senator Dan Gelber Announces `You Talk, You Walk' Legislation to Ban Use of Cell Phones By Novice Drivers

“You talk, you walk” legislation prohibits the operation of a moving motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device or wireless telephone by any persons under the age of 18

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — State Senator Dan Gelber will seek to ban cell phone use by novice drivers. The proposed legislation comes after the Obama administration announced earlier in the month plans to ban all federal workers from texting while driving.

“Sixteen percent of all fatal crashes in 2008 were linked to cell phone use and it was especially prevalent among younger drivers. Studies have shown that texting while driving is more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. Bottom line is if you’re a new driver and you talk, you walk,” Gelber said.

The legislation would prohibit a person younger than 18 years of age from operating a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device or telephone in any manner. The penalty for violating the proposed legislation would be the assessment of points against the drivers’ license and the added penalty that minors caught on the phone while driving would be subject to “Learner’s License” conditions for at least three months, unless driving to school or work. Under a “Learner’s License” a motorist can only drive during daylight hours, always with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and occupies the front passenger seat.

Gelber added, “Most states already ban or limit cell phone use by novice drivers because it makes sense. Young people learning to drive and new drivers have simply no business on the phone when they should be concentrating on driving safely.”

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