Senate Bill 28
Thread started by outerspace
at 09.8.11 - 6:53 pm
Read the CBC's article about Gov Brown rejecting new provisions in Senate Bill 28 to increase penalties for texting behind the wheel.
I am a supporter of the California Bicycle Coalition, and I read recently in a report from the CBC that provisions to Senate Bill 28 to increase the penalties for driving while distracted by texting was vetoed.
In the most recent figures I was able to find, over FIVE THOUSAND deaths and one point five MILLION injuries resulted from accidents found to be caused by distracted drivers in just one year's time (NHTSA study, 2009).
1.5 MILLION!! Over five thousand DEAD!!
In light of these figures, and accompanying statistics by the NHTSA showing a marked INCREASE in texting behind the wheel in California even since the original bill was passed making texting explicitly an offense, I am very curious to know what reasoning led the Governor to the conclusion that existing penalties of $20 are sufficient, in comparison to fines of hundreds of dollars for improperly using the carpool lane - an offense with no safety ramifications whatsoever.
$20 is equivalent to 5 gallons of gas or a nice dinner. As the law stands, drivers are allowed to put life, limb and property in danger for the price of a nice dinner.
My mother and several of my friends have all been injured on separate occasions by drivers who admitted to texting behind the wheel. Since these drivers were obviously unconcerned with the effects of their unsafe driving on others, perhaps the risk to themselves of a greater penalty when caught texting would have been enough deterrent to prevent them from sending my loved ones to the hospital.
The Governor's rejection of this bill sends a message of antipathy to the safety of road users, and is very disappointing. If there is a good explanation for it, I would like to have it so that I will feel less disappointed in this result.
Thank you for your time.
I know it's minor compared to our other issues but I felt like sharing.
Well, don't forget, all ticket prices, like the $20 you mention, end up being 4 to 5 times that amount when the person finally pays. The city is required to add fees and penalties. Right now, if you get a texting/talking ticket, you will pay approx. $160.00 when all is said and done.
The bigger issue here is whether the ticket will really be a deterrent for the types of bad behavior that lead to pedestrian deaths and accidents, or if it's yet another way for California to balance it's books on the backs of average citizens.
THINK ABOUT IT
09.9.11 - 10:31 am