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State Rep. Hornstein supports call for ban on drivers’ cell phone use

While many Minnesota politicians were quick to pooh-pooh a proposal by the National Transportation Safety Board to ban all texting and cell phone use while driving, state Rep. Frank Hornstein thinks it’s a great idea.

Hornstein, a DFLer from Minneapolis, was author of the existing state law banning texting. He’d like to see it go even further, noting in a statement:

 “A study released just last week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that at any given moment approximately 13.5 million people are using their cell phones while driving. With nearly 6,000 deaths and a half a million injuries caused by distracted drivers every year, this is simply unacceptable.

Outlawing the use of cell phones while driving is a common sense solution in reducing traffic accidents. Studies show that using cell phones while driving can have the same impact of driving while intoxicated. I’m happy to see the NTSB make positive steps towards making our roads safer for all who use them.”

Republican legislative leaders, though, don’t like the proposed ban, and Mark Dayton doesn’t think it will work, according to a MinnPost story Tuesday.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by J'M S on 12/14/2011 - 12:45 pm.

    Governor Dayton “Doesn’t think it will work!?!” If it’s the law and it has TEETH in it, it will work. This kind of half-assed support amid cries about the death tolls on highways is outrageous. Have we lost, or given up, our ability to enforce the law? What is this? Who’s running things? Come on! Get realistic and make this interference with safe driving UNLAWFUL! Every time I go out on errands I am almost hit at leat once per time by some idiot on their cell phone! Make them pull over amid that all-important call and handle it at their own risk.

  2. Submitted by Ross Williams on 12/14/2011 - 02:41 pm.

    Enforcement would be easy once you simply make it illegal. For one thing, you could ban hands-free cell phones in cars as serving no purpose other than to evade enforcement. If you set the penalties similar to drunk driving, people would be very reluctant to take the chance on getting caught. And if they got in an accident, they would be liable for the damage done.

    It wouldn’t work because legislators are not going to peel their own ears from the phone while they are driving.

  3. Submitted by Virginia Martin on 12/14/2011 - 03:41 pm.

    It could be done, if local police and sheriffs would pick a couple of days and flood the roads looking for cell phone users. And ticket them (or more). Word would pass quickly, believe me.
    I saw a couple of days ago someone on a cell phone make a U-turn at a busy intersection. She was oblivious to most of us, but we all survived her obliviousness.
    From another perspective, my dog and I walk a lot in my neighborhood, and always I see people on their cell phones, and most of them can’t see me because their hand and their phone are in the way. I see many people get into their cars, turn on the motor, and pick up their cell phones. They could wait to start the car, make the call, and then go.
    I’ve been trying to figure out for years how to get their attention. I’ve thought about grabbing some school patrolkid’s flag for stopping traffic when school lets out, but that would endanger the kids, or creating my own red flag, or doing something more outrageous and visible. For a while there were holders for bright green flags at some intersections. The pedestrians could grab one, cross the street, and deposit it in the can on the other side. Apparently it didn’t work because it ended.
    I think we should nail ’em.

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