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Delaware Bans Hand-Held Cell Phone Use While Driving

DOVER, Del. (CBS/AP) – A ban on hand-held cell phone use while driving is taking effect in Delaware.

Beginning Sunday, drivers will have to carry on their cell phone conversations using hands-free devices. The law also bans texting while driving, and drivers cannot use pagers, Blackberrys, PDAs, laptops, games or any other electronic devices.

Police can pull over a driver observed talking on a hand-held device and issue a fine of $50 for a first offense. Repeat offenses increase to $100 and can go as high as $200. Violations do not incur points on a driver’s license.

The new law includes exemptions for police, firefighters and other emergency personnel.

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(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Erik Wood

    I think we live in a culture where business people need to ‘hit the ball over the net’. Teens consider it rude not to reply immediately to texts. Home schedules would grind to a halt without immediate communication. We are conditioned to pursue this level of efficiency but we are all supposed cease this behavior once we sit in our respective 5,000 pound pieces of steel and glass. Anyone can win an argument in a forum like this by saying “Just put the phone away” – but we can see its just not happening.

    I just read that 72% of teens text daily – many text more 4000 times a month. New college students no longer have email addresses! They use texting and Facebook – even with their professors. This text and drive issue is in its infancy and I think we need to do more than legislate.

    I decided to do something about distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user (especially teens) I built a tool called OTTER that is a simple GPS based texting auto reply app for smartphones. It also silences call ringtones while driving unless you have a bluetooth enabled. I think if we can empower the individual then change will come to our highways now and not just our laws.

    Erik Wood, owner
    OTTER app

  • MrMike

    Another thing is that the ban should also apply to hands free devices. The issue isn’t that your hands are occupied, it’s that your mind is distracted.

  • MrMike

    We’ve had this law in NJ for a couple of years. It doesn’t work and we have $250 fines. The penalties should be way higher and the law needs to be ENFORCED.

  • grumpy

    I also see a lot of drivers fiddling with their GPS monitors.

  • dee

    i agree that cell phone use is dangerous while driving, however, i also see smokers that are reckless trying to light their cigarette or dropping the light off of the cigarette and trying to put it out.

  • J Dodge

    I wish Virginia would do the same

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