Town Square

Ring in new year with new laws

Original post made on Dec 28, 2008

With the new year just days away, the California Highway Patrol is reminding motorists of a handful of new laws passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger that go into effect in Jan. 1.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 25, 2008, 11:02 AM


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Posted by OSL Community
a resident of Happy Valley
on Dec 28, 2008 at 3:55 am

Thoughts on the new texting law:
1. Is not necessary.
The drivers I know and observe are generally quite capable and skilled at safely multi-tasking while driving. As you know, many drivers frequently perform other tasks besides driving such as changing their radio stations, changing Ipod songs, adjusting their climate control settings, turning on interior lights, switching CD's, drinking beverages, eating snacks, sneezing, talking on the phone(the list goes on) all done while driving safely. If the driver get's in an auto accident and it's their fault, it is their fault (emphasis). Whatever the driver was doing before he/she hit your rear bumper seems inconsequential. As long as they have insurance, things should work out.
2. New law could actually be counterproductive.
Texting's proliferation is obviously undeniable and commonplace in our society. It is so integral that I feel many people will continue to text while driving. (Not me, of course.) On top of all the activities described above, the many drivers who are willing to risk texting infraction fines will have to add an additional task to the above list, which is looking out for the texting police. This would increase driving distractions and could cause additional accidents.
3. To much regulation already exists.
People now must fumble putting on their hands-free devices before they talk on their phone. Many people do this while driving. This is an unnecessary distraction which could lead to an accident.

With all the new driving laws such as the prior hands-free requirement and this new texting ban, I fear that the legislators will eventually ban individuals from driving their cars all together, as individuals will be deemed unsafe to drive because they are considered incapable of making appropriate ans safe driving decisions. What do you think?

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Posted by forgetboutit
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2008 at 12:39 pm

How can the police tell the difference if I'm texting or changing songs on my Ipod? Selecting my songs isn't against the law yet, right?

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 28, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Support your local police, sheriff and highway patrol! VIVA!!!

Laws help protect us. If you don't like it, do something to change the law. Otherwise, shut up!

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Posted by Ron Mexico
a resident of Parkside
on Dec 28, 2008 at 10:27 pm

In response to OSL's argument that the new texting law "is not necessary," this law is implimented to protect not only the driver, but more importantly other people on and off the road. Claiming that as long as the victim of a fender bender has insurance, it will all work out is certainly naive. This law was not passed to prevent minor accidents, its greater intention serves to save lives. Texting while driving is not a huge killer, but this law is a step in the right direction in curing people of habits like this which endanger OTHERS.

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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2008 at 10:40 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

I think it's comical that someone would oppose the new law on text messaging. I think we've all seen drivers who sit at red lights, swerve, or cause distractions to other drivers while using a cell phone. The other movements stated by the first poster are dangerous but take a fraction of a second people spend while texting messaging. Just to point out, there's no such thing as "mutli-tasking." Our brains do not do twenty things all at the same time; our brains have the capability to switch instantly from one task the next with minimal interuption. From what I have, and again what other's probably have seen too, people who text message seem to be more worried about "chatting it up" than paying attention to the road. My own sister has texted messaged through a whole road trip from South Lake Tahoe down to the Pleasanton. The law is intended to prevent injuries and fatalities for the driver as well as others.