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It appears that the new restrictions on cell phone usage while driving has only taken effect when a police officer is around. When there is not a police officer in sight many Los Angeles residents are still chatting away on their phone up to their ear while driving... even if they have a hands-free device.
Damon Rickenbacker, like many motorists, has ignored the new law.
“I’d say that 90 percent of the time that I am talking I have the phone up to my ear, like the law did not exist,” Rickenbacker said.
Rickenbacker owns a hands-free device, but he still finds it more convenient to hold his phone up to his ear, which is one reason why so many people have ignored the law.
“When I’m driving, especially on the freeway, the sound from the engine and the wind coming through the windows makes it hard to hear the person that I am talking too,” Rickenbacker said. “The other person has a really hard time hearing me because the mic on my blue-tooth is not close to my mouth. People tell me that it sounds like I am far away from my phone.”
It is too early to tell if the streets are safer because of this law, or if this new law will have any effect at all. Many experts will point out that there are a number of distractions inside the car while people are driving. Changing the radio station, eating and drinking, searching for items, and sight seeing, just to name a few.
Some experts go as far as to say that talking with a hands-free device is a distraction. The conversation can cause a driver to lose focus on the road.
This law does not take into account that many people send text messages while driving. Many people are typing away on their phone while their car is in motion. These new smart phones, that have a full keypad, have made it a lot easier to type, making it easy to type and drive. Do not be shocked to see somebody driving with his or her thigh on the steering while typing away.
Unless the police make a major crackdown on drivers talking on their cell phones, not much will change. Most people will still talk away.