Taking it to a whole new level of dumb.
California Cyclists Split On Two-Wheel Texting Ban
California is one of 23 states that have made it illegal to text while driving. Now a state lawmaker wants to take it one step further — and ban texting while riding bicycles.
In San Francisco, where cyclists clog the bike lanes and smart phones are all the rage, some question whether the proposed law is really necessary, while others welcome it.
Read more: npr.org.
I have to admit, I have used my cell phone camera to take a photograph while I was coasting along on a bicycle. I have also used a film and digital camera to capture similar images. I will, in all likelihood, continue to do so.
But, conducting a text-based conversation while astride a bicycle? That I have not done. I’m not sure it has ever crossed my mind.
From the article:
State Sen. Joe Simitian drafted the proposed law, which is now making its way through the Senate. He says cyclists should have been included in the ban on texting and using hand-held cell phones all along.
“As it happens, in this case there was an oversight when we passed our hands-free law some years ago, and cyclists were inadvertently omitted,” he says.
But Simitian has gotten a mixed reaction.
“There are some folks who say, ‘I’m not sure I want to be liable for a fine if I’m violating the hands-free law.’ Others say, ‘You know what? We want to be taken seriously as part of the transportation system. If we’ve got a right to share the road, then we also have a responsibility to follow the laws and the rules of the road that apply to everybody else.’ ”
More reading, in no particular order as follows:
SFGate article: Simitian wants hands-free law to cover cyclists.
Santa Cruz Sentinel piece: Hands-free law proposed for bicyclists.
Overview of California “hands-free” law: What might the hands-free law accomplish?
State by state breakdown of Cell Phone and Texting Laws.
I’m not sure where I stand on this one. I can certainly see the public policy concerns behind attaching liability to a cyclist involved in an accident whose texting-while-cycling contributed to the accident. But, that is a rather extreme example. Is there a serious issue of text-based distractions causing bicycle related accidents on the nations roadways?by