first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! More than half of 16- and 17-year-old drivers regularly talk on their cell phones while driving, according to a survey by ? Seventeen magazine. Nearly as many admit to sending text messages while behind the wheel. Soon neither will be legal in California, thanks to a bill signed into law ? by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. SB 33 by state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from talking on the cell phone or sending text messages. But the law has two shortcomings. First, it is a “secondary offense law,” meaning teens can only be cited if they’re pulled over for another offense, such as speeding or driving erratically. Second, the law doesn’t go far enough. While it’s wise to start with young drivers, the law should be expanded to include everyone else. Nobody should be texting while operating a moving vehicle. Suggesting otherwise would be sending teen drivers a mixed message. – Santa Rosa Press Democrat last_img

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