California Moves To Ban Teen Driver Cellphone Use

A bill banning drivers under 18 from using cellphones passed the California Assembly today. It doesn’t even allow hands-free device use. The Highway Patrol asked for, and got, the offense classified as a secondary infraction, which means you can’t get pulled over simply for breaking this law.

We don’t quite understand this bill because talking on your cellphone is unsafe at any age, even though we all do it. The only thing we can think of is that the bill’s author, Joe Simitian, is on a quest to, piece by piece, effectively outlaw cellphones in cars all together. This July another one of his bills went into effect, which required all California drivers to use hands-free devices when chatting it up on the road.

Assembly OKs teen-driver cell phone ban [Mercury News]
(Photo: Getty Images)


Edit Your Comment

  1. mikecolione says:

    So if you have a bluetooth headset it’s illegal to even use that while driving if your under 18?

    How can they tell if your talking with a headset, or if you just have it in your ear?

  2. Trai_Dep says:

    But how will we know where to score the excellent drugs and great parties?

  3. jwissick says:

    California, the King of the Nanny States, marches on…

    No part of your life may be untouched by legislation.

    If you live out side California, please urge your congress person to help OUST California from the union. They are no longer a free state, but an occupied territory.

  4. hc5duke says:

    Why stop at 18? Hang up and f’ing drive ppl

  5. WindowSeat says:

    Why stop at teenagers?

  6. spinachdip says:

    @jwissick: So you don’t want the state to protect you from dangerous drivers? Good luck with your anarchist paradise.

    There are multiple studies suggesting that talking on your cell phone, hands-free or otherwise, impairs your driving ability as much as, if not more so than, being drunk. I find that hardly surprising, seeing how oblivious cell phone talkers are to their surroundings, even those who complain about other lound talkers.

  7. Kezzerxir says:

    Look, its really about what type of person you are. If the teenie bopper blond is going to crash her car while talking on her cell phone about something that happened in 4th period, then she is going to crash her car while she is changing the radio… Or just crash her car.

  8. Chicago7 says:

    Yeah, that’ll work. We’ve banned cell phones while driving in Chicago and every other car has an idiot driving while on the phone. And they don’t stop at stop signs or stop lights, they are clueless.

    /hands-free is OK, but do these idiots use hands-free? NO! That would require you to spend $1 at the dollar store to get one!

  9. Chicago7 says:


    You obviously don’t walk much. Walk around your neighborhood for a while and see how clueless people are on cellphones.

    /They probably said the same thing about drunk drivers – that dang nanny state is prohibiting me from driving drunk!

  10. synergy says:

    Personally I think it should be illegal for anyone to drive and hold a phone to their head. I see people do some dangerous crazy shit while holding the wheel with one hand and a cell phone with the other. The one I saw the other day had the person holding a cell to their left ear while holding the phone with their right hand and making a wide, too-fast, right-hand turn with their left hand. !!

  11. synergy says:

    Forgot to add, though, that hands-free is relatively better although you can still get caught up in your conversation and not pay attention all the time.

  12. acasto says:

    Too bad we just can’t ban teenagers all together. Or at least make it if they break a traffic law they go back to a restricted permit for six months and keep pushing it back each time until their 18. As for everybody else, I’d love to see people spending a night in jail for running red lights or driving recklessly.

  13. Trai_Dep says:

    Although, I’m ruefully impressed when I saw a cellie driver, smoking while sipping coffee, all at once. Too bad it was a guy or he could have gone for a four-shot: makeup application.

  14. cde says:

    Why don’t we just go ahead and make it illegal to hold a conversation with a passanger while your at it. Oh wait, they already limit how many people a teen can have in the car -_-

    Reverse Agism, the only legal bigotry still left.

  15. chrispiss says:

    I think the point of limiting teens is that they are new at driving and take risks at the same time, so not allowing them to have another distraction is helpful. In Washington, teens are not allowed to have passengers in the car unless it’s a family member over 21 until they are 18. (I think it’s 18…not sure now that I think about it.) After the law went into effect teen driving deaths went way down.

  16. Alvis says:

    What about to talking to a passenger who’s on a cellphone, relay-style?

    What about talking to a passenger who’s talking to another passenger?

    What about dictating a letter to a passenger?

    What a rediculous ordinance.

  17. allthatsevil says:

    Personally, I think it would help if they would stop handing out driver’s licenses as prizes in cereal boxes. Considering most people don’t know their state driving laws to begin with, and then don’t pay attention to what’s going on around them on the road, the last thing they need is another distraction – no matter what the age.

    If my phone rings while I’m driving, I will not answer it. If there’s someone with me, I’ll ask them to answer for me and tell the caller that I’ll call them when I arrive at my destination. The only time I’ll use it is if I’m lost, and then I pull over.

    That being said, I was told recently that in Katy, Texas (an outer-lying area of Houston), it is illegal for teens to text while driving. It’s amazing to me that it’s even necessary to make that kind of law. But it wasn’t too long ago that 4 teens were killed in an accident (in Houston) because the girl driving was texting someone and not paying attention to the road.

    The only problem I see with a law like this is, how the hell do you go about enforcing it?

  18. humorbot says:

    There’s been a fair bit of buzz here on LA public radio about this bill (find an interview with the bill’s author here, and while I sincerely doubt Simitian is plotting to ban cell use in cars altogether, I sure as hell wouldn’t mind. And why stop with teens? I’ve seen way too many supposed adults composing emails on their Crackberrys while cruising down the freeway. And I was rear-ended by a woman chatting on her phone.

    PS, fact check: The hands-free requirement goes into effect July of 2008.

  19. MystiMel says:

    Umm… If you can’t be pulled over for it then how will it be enforced?

  20. deserthiker says:

    Please, please, please follow JWISSICK’s advice and petition your state’s politicians to have California kicked out of the Union. We would love it. We have the fifth largest economy in the world so I’m sure we would be OK.

    Without the Red State ball and chain we could really make some progress. The greatest innovations tend to come from California, the best foods on Earth are grown here and the best wines in the world (along with those from OUR friends, the French) come from here. We could legalize medical marijuana (oh wait, we did do that but the Feds keep big Pharma happy by fighting us). Our weather is great, we have mountains, coastline, deserts and the hottest women on the planet earth. And the hot women you do have will end up here anyway. It’s inevitable.

    Don’t think we Californians take the idea of being kicked out of the Union as a threat. You need us WAY more than we need you. But don’t worry: we’ll never leave because unlike our brethren in the southern states we are faithful and would never secede. We know you couldn’t make it without us.

    BTW, banning cellphone use among teenagers is a GREAT idea. It’s about time.

  21. faust1200 says:

    Everybody knows that this is not an age issue whatsoever. The lawmakers just don’t want to inconvenience themselves by making it all ages.

  22. chrispiss says:

    I bet if you look up vehicle related deaths per age group, the teen group is the highest. Thus, they require the shortest leashes.

  23. EtherealStrife says:

    @MystiMel: If you look funny at the cop and he pulls you over, THEN he can bust you for the cellphone. As long as you’re chatting away on your cellphone, staying perfectly centered in the lane, at precisely the proper speed limit, etc etc, you’re fine.

    It means they can’t use that as an excuse for pulling you over. Which doesn’t mean a whole lot. Side effects, such as blindly changing lanes while chatting up your girlfriends on the makeup of the day, will give the cop a reason.

    They really need to bump this up to everyone. As it is we have a distraction fine from the Governator (IIRC) that covers eating, cellphones, and Hellspawn, but I’ve never heard of the cops enforcing it.
    So I guess that makes it:
    0-17: don’t even talk to yourself or you’re risking a fine
    18+: handsfree or fine or *gasp* landline

  24. EtherealStrife says:

    @EtherealStrife: I guess the distraction thing is local (Orange County and possibly Los Angeles County?). All I’m seeing is the July 2008 date, and my PD friend was saying Jan 2007. Hrmm.

  25. homerjay says:

    Okay, so if I crash while not using a cell phone and OnStar calls to check on me, am I still technically ‘driving’ and therefore breaking the law?

    I’m so confused…

  26. s35flyer says:

    Turn off the cell phone and drive.

  27. Veeber says:

    I can understand if this applies to all people who are within their probationary period. It seems unfair to say only teenagers. In NY I know plenty of people who don’t get their license until much later, and they’re just as dangerous on the road.

  28. OnceWasCool says:

    OK, I really don’t understand all the cell phone bologna. Back when the first AM radios were starting to be put into cars, the same exact arguments were made then. Yes, there were some that wrecked due to changing radio channels, but the worries were unfounded. Just like cell phone worries will be 50 years from now. This is just P.C. police out of control!!

  29. Maulleigh says:

    yeah, I’m always surprised when my sister calls me from her car in CA. When I see people on the road here in NY on their phone it makes me mad. :(

  30. @Kezzerxir: Maybe that’s why they’ve decided not to pull people over for phone use alone?

    @MystiMel: It gets enforced when the cop has to pull someone over for reckless driving and it turns out to be because they were on a cell phone.

    Personally, I think it would help if they would stop handing out driver’s licenses as prizes in cereal boxes. Considering most people don’t know their state driving laws to begin with…
    @allthatsevil: Exactly! Why aren’t the laws on the test? The only law I can remember that might have been on the driver’s test was that I live in a right on red state.

    Why can’t there just be a law against multi-tasking while driving? Why specify cell phone use as opposed to eating or putting on make-up while driving? All these things distract drivers so why should there have to be a separate law for each?

  31. Onouris says:

    The fact that you’re even on the phone means you’re not concentrating…

    I’m sure the families of people killed by someone on the phone will tell you that.

    The fact that you CAN’T be pulled over for it… just makes it completely pointless

  32. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    No-cell phones while driving has been in effect in NY state for quite some time. It’s good to see some other states are finally catching up.

  33. Whoa says:

    @cde: Really CDE? Have you ever been around a teenage driver? Unlike members of different genders, races, and/or sexual orientations, teenagers have in fact proven themselves to be worse drivers (as a whole). This infringes on my right (and yes, I use that word hesitantly… let’s say privilege instead) to drive in a relatively safe environment. Our existing method of regulating this on a case-by-case basis, i.e. issuing drivers licenses, doesn’t seem to be doing a great job, does it?

    @oncewascool: This is a difference in degree, not kind. Changing a radio station takes five seconds. A phone conversation can last the entire time a driver is in the car. We have precedent for this – blood alcohol limits. And more practically, there are more cars on the road now, and people drive faster

  34. kimsama says:

    @Chicago7: Talking on the a cell while driving is “banned” in D.C. too. Or, well, it’s supposed to be. For about two months, they actually pulled people over for it, but I haven’t heard of someone getting pulled over for about a year now.

    Best part? At least 10% of the time, the person you see driving and chatting on a hand-held cell is a cop. Not sure if they’re allowed for some reason, or if they are just flouting the law because they can!

  35. spinachdip says:

    @oncewascool: “This is just P.C. police out of control!!”

    Ah yes, this is one of my favorite non-arguments, along with “stop being a hater” and “if you hate America so much…”.

    If you can point out a study that shows that using the radio slows down a driver’s reaction time and impairs judgment to a level comparable with drunk driving, then you’d have a point.

  36. Youthier says:

    That’s cool. Now I’ll have a free hand to eat my yogurt…

    I don’t think that outlawing cell phones is going to end cell phone related accidents. I’m not sure it’s even going to decrease them by much. It’s illegal to drink and drive yet I still managed to have two former classmates killed by drunks this year.

  37. kimsama says:

    @spinachdip: Stop being a hater!

    Just kidding ^_^ I tend to agree.

  38. B says:

    You’ll have to pry my cellphone out of my cold, dead hand (after I crash into a tree).

  39. Whoa says:

    @HeyHermano: I don’t think that outlawing cell phones is going to end cell phone related accidents.

    First, my condolences on the loss of your friends. One of mine was also killed by a drunk driver last year. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you meant to say “all cell phone-related accidents.” Is a regulation that ends, say, 50% of them useless then? All legislation is (ideally) based on a balancing of costs and benefits. The bill does not have to be 100% effective for it to be worthwhile.

  40. killavanilla says:

    Typical nonsensical rap by a California resident who honestly believes the bull squeeze coming out of his/her mouth.
    Yeah. We NEED California more than it needs us.
    Right. The best foods, wine, and *ahem* women come from there.
    I’ve been there twice. Both times, I was bitterly dissapointed by the way people behaved and the low quality of their food.
    But it IS an interesting idea.
    I mean, the US could save billions of dollars in earmarks and budgetary spending usually reserved for California. The remaining 49 states could cut off all ties and destroy the economy of the state. California could finally become the USSC and fulfill the political leaderships dreams of creating a communist state! How wonderful.
    When the movie business drops off because exports are frozen to the remaining United States, the industry will leave like many other industries have left. Music companies would flee the state as would nearly every manufacturer, further damaging the infrastructure of the left coast.
    What a tragedy!
    Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Nicole Ritchie could be the first leaders, teaming with nancy pelosi in ensuring the reeducation camps are successful in furthering the cause of worshipping celebrities.
    Slowly, with the coastline eroding and the frequent earthquakes and wildfires, the state will go bankrupt without the federal government to bail it out. There would be an almost immediate energy crisis (remember a few years ago when you guys went dark?) and without a federal pipeline to the petroleum industry, California would dry up and have to sign exclusive deals with Sean Penn’s best bud Cesar Chavez. Chavez would be more than happy to make an investment in California and then would use his influence to destroy any news operation that dared to criticize his ideas or policies.
    Yeah. We need California more than California needs the rest of the United States.
    Do us all a favor and close your mouth, engage your brain, THEN share your ideas.
    The only food I get from California is Strawberries. But, oddly enough, other places grow them too.
    The only wine I get from California is, well I don’t buy much California wine. Italy, Spain, and Australia get most of that business.
    Um, what do I really have that has anything to do with California? Not much. And I live in Chicago.
    Time to smarten up, youngster. People like you are too immature to realize the impact on your state if you were to no longer to be a part of the US.
    I know, it’s sort of old school to remember history and stuff.
    But at some point, you would thing that you may have heard the old wisdom:
    Together we stand, divided we fall.
    “What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.” ~Hansell B. Duckett

  41. spinachdip says:

    @HeyHermano: Of course it’s not going to end ALL cell phone related accidents. Did you know that we have laws against killing other people, yet people are killed EVERY YEAR? By your logic, we should repeal laws against murder and manslaughter because they don’t work. Utter silliness.

    But cracking down on drunk driving works – between 1982 and 2002, deaths caused by drunk drivers dropped by more than a half.

  42. spinachdip says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: “Why can’t there just be a law against multi-tasking while driving? Why specify cell phone use as opposed to eating or putting on make-up while driving? All these things distract drivers so why should there have to be a separate law for each?”

    If a driver caused an accident though multi-tasking, then that’s not going to be looked kindly upon by authorities. But cell phones are way more interactive and engaging than other distractions, including changing the radio and talking to passengers.

    Well, it is trendy to complain about cell phone users because it is a relatively new phenomenon. But this is one of the rare times the chicken littles are actually right and the cynics are wrong. I don’t think people realize exactly how brain consuming a phone conversation is.

  43. Trai_Dep says:

    @deserthiker: Actually, I third your nomination, come to think. The only question is how we’ll be able to keep the danged illegal immigrants from – well – the Red States – out.

    The great thing is that I’ll bet California, with its wacky, progressive policies, ends up with higher GNP growth rates. We’re wacky, but wacky’s usually good for business longer term. (Shorter term, perhaps no: Enron!)

  44. Trai_Dep says:

    PS: OLD people. For all that’s holy, target OLD drivers. The end. Geezus.

  45. ehrgeiz says:

    I would love to see this in all states and have the cops enforce it. I sit at red lights and watch as almost every person that drives by is talking on a cell phone paying no attention to the road and it drives me nuts.

  46. Jean Naimard says:

    @jwissick: Occupied by whom? “We the people”???

  47. Trai_Dep says:

    PPS: LiLo, Paris, and that ilk? Non-Californians. If we were our own country, they’d be your problem. Along with Fredo, Turdblossom and the Chimp. Keep ’em!

    PPPS: Don’t buy our products. Go ahead. Spite your nose. Ha ha ha.

    PPPS: Instant MFN status, insta-visa status for the Blue States (yummy blogger types definately honorary Californians)

    PPPPS: Killa, if you’ve visited California and had crappy food, that merely shows you have no taste. One would have to REALLY go out of your way to find bad food here. That’s a remarkable indictment of what kind of person you are, if so.

  48. Whoa says:


    As a former 26-year resident of CA, I can’t say I agree with everything you said (almost all of the produce there is better than what I get here in New York, and I do have friends there). Regarding the people in general, though, well, lets just say I was blown away by how nice everyone in Chicago was when I visited last year (best example – My cell was dead, and I asked a guy outside Wrigley if I could put his battery in my phone to make a single, quick call – and he offered to trade the batteries for good!). Lastly, Paris isn’t totally ours; NYC is at least partially responsible for that.

  49. B says:

    @trai_dep: Unfortunately, old people vote, in droves, cause they have nothing better to do.

  50. spinachdip says:

    @B: Which is why I wish they’d hold all elections after 7 pm. Or have a Matlock marathon on election days.

  51. catnapped says:

    @B: Plus AARP (and similar groups) would shoot down anything that targets the elderly.

    (some of them definitely do need to be taken off the road)

  52. gibsonic says:

    long list of comments here, but as with all other areas concerning motorized traffic (cars on roads) in this country. Proper and adequate regulation has a bit of a lag time in being addressed and fully implemented from when the technology was initially introduced.

    case in point. seat belts. not so much the legalization of being forced to wear them, but the mandatory inclusion of them in the production process.

    Concerning seatbelts…I always wear mine and my kids are ALWAYS in the proper seat and fully buckled before moving an inch. However, I completely disagree with having a law requiring seatbelts, at least for non-minors. Require people to care for their minors, ok, fine. However anyone old enough to vote or die for this country is old enough to decide for themselves if they want to kill themselves by not wearing seat belts.

    The cell phone thing…don’t get me started. As previously mentioned…HANG UP AND DRIVE!

    I’ve seen drunk teenage girls drive better than a 50 year old man using a cell phone.

  53. gibsonic says:


    had this conversation with a co-worker just yesterday. I’m not all about nanny state, but really, old people just don’t always realize what a danger they are to themselves and other drivers on the road…the latter being of my most concern.

    i think that as soon as someone retires to drawn on social security benefits and/or is above age 65 they should be required to pass a vision and driving test every year. I think with this program it should be offered at a reduced cost or no-cost to the elderly(which are often on fixed income/poor). Elderly people’s condition can dramatically degrade in short amounts of time and can pose a pretty serious risk to other drivers on the road. reduced cost public transportation services should be offered on an as needed basis.

  54. Youthier says:

    @spinachdip: @Whoa: I was still waking up when I posted so I could have been more thorough. Yes, spinachdip, I definately think we should stop prosecuting serial killers.

    Obviously, I realize this could prevent some accidents but it seems like there is less of a stigma to driving with a cell phone as opposed to driving drunk (or even alcohol in general).

    There’s a pretty good number of people who get in a car and think, “But I can drive fine with a buzz so that law doesn’t apply to me.” I have to guess the number of people who think “But I can drive fine while talking” is at least double, if not triple that.

    I understand why the motives behind it but I guess I just sort of roll my eyes at the cost and effort that go into it because I don’t see it making a significant impact on accidents. Hopefully, I’m wrong.

  55. acambras says:


    Seeing as how Cesar Chavez, co-founder and leader of the United Farm Workers, has been dead for almost 15 years, I don’t think he’s looking to take over California and crush his critics in the media.

    Could you be thinking of HUGO Chavez?

  56. spinachdip says:

    “There’s a pretty good number of people who get in a car and think, “But I can drive fine with a buzz so that law doesn’t apply to me.” I have to guess the number of people who think “But I can drive fine while talking” is at least double, if not triple that.”

    You make a good point, there is a stigma attached to drunk driving. But keep in mind, that stigma wasn’t always there. “One for the road” was an acceptable concept and there was no such thing as a designated drive. It took decade for the perception of drunk driving to go from “stupid” to “criminal”.

  57. Morgan says:

    @killavanilla: “I mean, the US could save billions of dollars in earmarks and budgetary spending usually reserved for California.”

    You do realize that California pays vastly more in Federal taxes than we get back? We put in billions more than is spent on us. We make money for the rest of the states to spend. Illinois is in the same boat, but don’t pretend that the budget we receive is somehow costing the rest of you money; if we left, we’d have more money to spend on ourselves and the rest of the US would have left for their budgetary earmarks.

  58. gibsonic says:


    though very true, most of the rest of the country does wish california would break off into the ocean and float away.

  59. Trai_Dep says:

    @acambras: Wow. I missed that (I tend to tune out spittle-flecked ranting after the first couple of lines). Tho I like the idea of a zombified Cesar Chavez arising and eating the brains of agribiz execs, how mortifying (to KillerVaniller) to not know the difference btn Hugo & Cesar. Good catch!

  60. SaraAB87 says:

    Considering in NY state we just had 5 teens killed in a car because the driver recieved a text message and was reaching for her phone to answer it this is a good law and should be passed, what sucks is even though it will probably be passed it won’t actually be enforced, NY state supposedly has a ban on cell phones while driving too but it seems every other soccer mom with a van of kids is always talking on their phone no matter what.

  61. flatlinebb says:

    I still wonder about the cops that talk on cell phones while driving. They must be specially trained.

  62. Trai_Dep says:

    @Morgan: How about the Red States? Surely such paragons of self-reliance, small government, lower taxes, anti-nanny-state Republican residents such as them must contribute more to Washington than they take back. I mean, if they didn’t, wouldn’t that make them hypocritical welfare queens?

  63. WhatsMyNameAgain says:

    Why stop at cell phones?

  64. Voyou_Charmant says:

    What does this have to do with the China and/or poisoned food/toys/tires/clothing/freedom/labor/water/trade agreements?

    I blame rap music for what ever this story is about.

  65. Morgan says:

    @trai_dep: I’m glad you asked that, Jimmy! On average, Red States do take back more money than they pay in.

    @gibsonic: I’ll keep that in mind next time I hear someone from out of state complain that foreign countries hate America even though we give them so much aid. Then they can explain why they hate California even though we pay for so much in their states, and the mystery will be solved.

  66. jmschn says:

    Yay for California! I love living in this state..seriously!

  67. Chicago7 says:


    Having a conversation with somebody in the car isn’t exactly the same as using one hand to hold a phone to your ear while trying to drive a car, use the turn signals, etc.

  68. gibsonic says:


    sometimes…just sometimes…we could care less about your money. :)

  69. adamwade says:

    Cell phone usage in cars should be banned, period, unless one is using a headset.

    I am constantly shocked when 70-80% of the people that I pass by on a given day have their damned phone glued to their ear. It’s just…insane. People are so flippant about it, and it’s just as bad as drunk driving. Worse because it’s just so accepted. I guess these people are addicted to phones like drunks are to alcohol?

    There is simply, absolutely, no excuse. Period.

  70. spinachdip says:

    @Chicago7: Not only that, talking to someone who’s in the car requires less attention than talking to someone on the phone. Not to mention that a passenger would have at least some awareness of the surroundings. Your mom in Wisconsin won’t be able to tell you, “Hey, watch out for the tree!”

  71. Morgan says:

    @gibsonic: The mystery is solved! :)

  72. spinachdip says:

    Oh, and I realize anti-cell phone laws are hard to enforce, but if they find that a driver was on the phone at the time of a fatal accident (shouldn’t be hard to check, call records and all), I hope a prosecutor has the balls to charge the driver with vehicular manslaughter.

  73. Trai_Dep says:

    @gibsonic: Sure you say that NOW, but who’s going to pay for your $half-billion Bridges to Nowhere or for protecting your annual Soy Bean Parade from the Jihadis?

    You don’t care about Blue State money, call your congressman NOW. Demand your state lives within its means and stop being a nelly welfare queen.

  74. gte910h says:

    Handfree devices do *not* lessen the chance you will get in an accident. It is the conversation on the cell phone, not the fiddling with the device that has been shown to cause loss of awareness of the road and accidents.

  75. EtherealStrife says:

    @trai_dep: Agreed. Minnesota: suck it up and pay for your own damned bridge. Alaska: don’t even think about it.

    Hate sending your firefighters off to California during the summer? Move out of the path of tornadoes and hurricanes, and ABOVE FREAKING SEA LEVEL (I’m looking at you, New Orleans). Murdering foreigners by the hundreds of thousands and some of the relatives decides to take revenge? Uh, sorry, no California greenbacks for you. And don’t forget the California Armed Forces. GL carrying on the Crusades without California $$, without our ports (goodbye US Navy), etc.

    Familiarize yourself with the words of the founding fathers. Washington had some interesting things to say about foreign affairs, geographical distinction, and partisan politics.
    It’s disgusting how divided the nation has become.

  76. killavanilla says:

    Sometimes I’m a monkey….

  77. adamwade says:

    @spinachdip: Anti-cell phone laws aren’t hard to enforce; no more than seat-belts. In my state just not visibly wearing a seat-belt is enough to get you pulled over. And it’s a hell of a lot more obvious when you are driving down the road who has a cell in their hands. I’m paying attention to the road, but it’s hard not to notice when only every fifth driver DOESN’T have a little machine held up to the side of their heads.

  78. spinachdip says:

    @adamwade: True, though what I meant to say was that all cell phone use while driving should be banned, but those Bluetooth thingies are hard to spot.

  79. deserthiker says:


    I was not the on who suggested California be voted out of the Union but I don’t think it would hurt us. Seriously. You don’t think you need us? The food here is no good? And the entertainment industry is going to flee? Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

    Every heard of Silicon Valley? California tech innovation continues to make YOUR life better.

    Ever hear of the San Joaquin Valley? The Imperial Valley? The Coachella Valley? The California agricultural industry is worth over 32 billion dollars. Where do you think that produce you enjoy all winter comes from? Citrus. Table grapes. Table Vegetables. Almonds. Walnuts. Pistachios. (Yes, we have some nuts in California) Flowers-to wear in your hair. We make more cheese than Wisconsin. We grow decidedly more than strawberries here. And while I also appreciate the wines of Chile, New Zealand and Australia, (as well as Washington and Oregon, both blue states, thank you) the wines of California tend to be superior if more expensive.

    How about Yosemite Valley? California tourism is a 75 billion dollar industry and do you know why? We have things to see and do here. We have GREAT people. I work in the hotel industry and am told frequently how nice the people are. I also LOVE the fact that I don’t have to smell cigarette smoke EVER when I go to a restaurant.

    As for our politics, we gave you Reagan AND Pelosi. We’ve had Jerry Brown and Arnold as governor. We are not stuck on one political party or philosophy but care about ideas and results. We cross party lines when necessary and tend to believe in progress and having government do the will of the people. ALL the people.

    As for being an ignorant youngster, I am neither. I am probably old enough to be your dad. Has your mom ever been here?

    I really don’t mind if you don’t ever want to come here again. It will be one less Midwesterner taking our tee times in February in Palm Springs. Enjoy the sub-zero temps this winter. I’ll be having fun in the sun…with the rest of the Golden State.

    And I won’t have to worry about getting slammed by some teenager talking on their cellphone while I’m driving.

  80. deserthiker says:

    Oh yeah, one more thing. There was a Chicago native who left the midwest to move to California for the women. He’s somewhat of an expert on the subject of beautiful women.

    Maybe you’ve heard of him.

    His name is Hugh Hefner.

  81. Mr. Gunn says:

    California wants to ban everything. You can’t even drink beer on the freaking beach! Regarding California women, you guys can keep your plastic, if that’s what you like. I like women who can talk without drooling.

  82. EtherealStrife says:

    @Mr. Gunn: Your vast knowledge of our women is impressive. I assume you’ve sampled, otherwise you’d just be talking out of your rear.
    And the alcohol! How can you possibly have a good time in public without the consumption of alcohol? How will you organize a beach bum fight without winos? How will you get in the sack with some of our made-in-china women without some liquoring up? This is madness!


  83. zumdish says:

    Handheld bans do more harm than good. As has been mentioned, it’s the conversation that causes the cognitive distraction. Yet when the government bans handheld use, but allows headset use, it leaves people with the mistaken impression that they are “safe” because they are using a headset.

    It’s a neat solution for politicians, because it allows them to be seen as “doing something” by going after that image we all love to hate – the person who just cut you off while obviously holding a phone – without upsetting the powerful cellular lobby.

  84. jwissick says:

    @spinachdip: It is already illegal to drive while distracted. Studies are UNCLEAR as to talking on a phone is as dangerous as driving while messing with a GPS, or talking with a passenger, dealing with kids, changing CDs, searching for a tune on your MP3 player.

    My point is that you can’t outlaw stupidity. And it does effect the people who CAN talk and drive safely… And they do exist. I have been accident and ticket free for 18 years. I talk on my HAM radio when driving all the time. Truckers do the same thing all the time too.

    Why not outlaw something that makes a difference like outlaw police from using their MDT terminals while they drive. My local police wrecks 3 cars a month because some dip-shit cop was on the computer while driving.

    Do we need every single area of our lives legislated? Why stop there? Let’s make 9pm bed times mandatory for everyone! Let’s make all kids go to the dentist.. oh they already did that. Let’s mandate annual hearing tests for all kids… opps they did that too. Let’s outlaw Foir Grois (sp)… oops did that too. Let’s pass law that all new state buildings have to be up to Fung Shui standards… Fuck they did that too!!

  85. Trai_Dep says:

    @Mr. Gunn: “You can’t even drink beer on the freaking beach!”

    Tee hee. At least we have a beach.

  86. RvLeshrac says:


    Moreso since Chavez hasn’t seemed interested in “investment” in the US.

    He offered us several billion barrels of oil for free to distribute to the poor, after all. Of course, we rejected it. And millions of fixed and lower-income people were unable to pay their $300+ fuel bills in the past several winters.

  87. RvLeshrac says:


    Err… that should be *monthly* fuel bills.

  88. Chicago7 says:


    I don’t think these laws would be that hard to enforce. Just post a cop on almost any busy street and start writing tickets. It’s every 5th car!

    100 people or so get a ticket and word would get out, and people would get hands-free phones.

  89. spinachdip says:

    @Chicago7: Yeah, but my point, which I didn’t make very clear, was that ALL cell phone use should be banned, since using a hands-free device doesn’t make dialing and driving significantly safer.

  90. spinachdip says:

    @jwissick: Actually, studies have generally been pretty clear that cell phone’s effect on driving is as bad as, if not worse than drinking. And based on your response, it would logically follow that you would be against laws against drinking and driving as well. If that’s the case, then theres not much point in continuing this discussion, of course.

    But of course, cell phone conversations do require more attention from the brain than talking to another passenger, changing the radio, talking on CB radio, or trying to calm the kids.

    You’re right, you can’t legislate against people’s stupidity and you can’t protect people from their own stupidity. But I’ll be damned if we didn’t protect ourselves from other people’s stupidity.

    But really, it has to be nice not having to come up with cogent points when you can just spout liberal-panic talking points and substitute logic with strawmen and imaginary slippery slopes.

  91. skrom says:

    They should ban all cell phones all of the time unless you are using them in your own home. They are a nuisance to everyone around the person using it.

  92. skrom says:

    Or they could just pass a law that states if you cause an accident you lose your license for 10 years. I bet a lot of people would stop doing things that are distracting. Ive been driving 20 years and NEVER caused an accident because I PAY ATTENTION when I drive

  93. TooMuchGovernment says:

    Ban everything! Why not? Make murder against the law and that will stop it, right? All we do is ban, ban, ban… The GPS in a car is more distracting than a cell phone, lets ban that…

    Keep putting up fences, banning, regulating and make everything a felony. That will fix everything including our liberty…