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Do you agree with Md. ban on driving with handheld devices?

Drivers in Maryland would be required to use hands-free devices to talk on cell phones under legislation that narrowly passed the state Senate Wednesday.

Do you think the new regulation will improve safe driving in Maryland, or is it a step too far? Weigh in below.

By Cameron Smith  |  March 24, 2010; 7:54 PM ET  | Category:  Local Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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One has to believe it WILL make driving safer because two hands on the wheel are better than one. That said, some studies suggest otherwise. I've narrowly avoided drivers slipping out of lane while holding a phone to their ear and I did it while talking with my hands-free device. This is law we need -- now.

Posted by: jimpierobon | March 25, 2010 8:12 AM

unenforceable and virtually worthless. seen it in NJ, didnt amount to jack squat. However, it's always a great card to play during an election year.

next election year: flipping the bird punishable by 3 years in jail (taking hands off the wheel)

earmark for working the radio while driving (2months suspended license)

saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave me Mr. Government!

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | March 25, 2010 8:48 AM

As someone who admittedly uses a hand held device while driving, I can affirm it is a major distraction. I have stopped using while driving. Well, I limit myself to texting only at a complete stop. (thisk lights, stop signs, etc) Multiple studies show that driving and texting impairs your reactive ability at about the same levels or in some cases more than drinking and driving.

The law is not designed to protect you, unlike seat belt laws which I oppose. It IS a good idea to wear your seat belt, but the risk taken is yours and yours alone. Drinking and driving is illegal because you put OTHER people at risk. Texting and driving is exactly the same. You reduce your reaction times allowing even the most skilled driver the opportunity for mistake, endangering the lives of those around them.

I am for laws protecting people from other peoples negligence. I am against laws that protect you from your own. In my book, its an easy line to draw.

Posted by: trident420 | March 25, 2010 9:15 AM

If you haven't personally witnessed cases of drier inattention because of mobile communication devices, you need to pay more attention to the driving situations around you. Otherwise, you're part of the road safety problem.

Dangerously slow driving on the interstates and passing lanes, weaving in and out the proper lane, failure to observe stop lights and other other road signals - they're all out there. In particular, I've noticed a big increase in cases of people involved in rear-ending incidents. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why.

Posted by: st50taw | March 25, 2010 9:16 AM

Remember kids, no holding hands with your companion while driving; don't you dare take a sip of that drink in one of the 11 drink holders in your car that you got from one of the 50 drive-thru’s you pass on your way in; don't pat your kids on the head- make sure they're strapped in with that new 75 point harness that was just legislated and they have their helmets and eye protection on and just like please fix mentioned, turn off that God forsaken radio. You don't need traffic updates- you're in it moron! C'mon! 10 and 2, 10 and 2- just like you learned in Drivers Ed in school. Oh wait- we legislated that away.

Someday soon, we as a collective will want our government to do its job e.g. make our lives better. People of Maryland- my adopted home, don't you think our legislature has better things to do? Crime? Public education? Roads? Social services? I can't see how this is not a colossal waste of your tax dollars. I know, as a collective, we can't remember what happened yesterday but I learned to drive in the 80's. Remember them? I had no problem crashing my car into other people or other things without a cell phone or an iPod or some other inanimate object to blame my troubles on. When are YOU going to take responsibility for your own life and stop looking for someone to legislate it? I think that my tax dollars can be better spent. Not only have they been wasted legislating this idiocy, they'll be wasted enforcing it and adjudicating it. People in cars get hit by trains. Trains! They’re well lit, have very loud horns and YOU KNOW WHERE THEY ARE GOING yet people in cars still get hit by them. How about we all just grow up and realize the bad drivers are still gonna hit you? Isn't this why I'm forced to buy insurance?

Posted by: KERMlNATOR | March 25, 2010 9:19 AM

This is what pisses me off: folks sit in their house all day and dont make phone calls. As soon as they get into their cars, all of a sudden they feel like they need to make a phone call.

What, you can't make the call in the 15 hrs you were at home, you cant make the call before you start your car, you cant wait 5 minutes until getting where you are driving to to return the phone call?

Yeah, because I want to put my life is risk because some stupid b1tch wants to call up her GF's on teh way to the mall?!!!

Posted by: vmrg1974 | March 25, 2010 10:02 AM

Use of a handheld phone can indeed be a serious distraction. I avoid it in urban areas, only using it on the highway.

It seems that the most distracting aspect of using a phone, handheld or not, is not the conversation, but dialing a call or answering a ringing phone.

Using a "hands-free" device will do nothing to address these aspects phone use.

Posted by: FrankIBC | March 25, 2010 10:29 AM

Of course there is also data to suggest that it is the phone conversation, not the handheld phone, that is the major distraction. But I dodged a careless lane change by a driver in the characteristic head-tilt/hand to ear posture yesterday evening, which was only the latest in the series of encounters with drivers who cannot walk and chew gum at the same time.

Last year, my employer banned participation in business calls while driving - we are required to pull off the road before using a cell to handle a business call. I am sure this stems as much from liability concerns (employee answering a call from his manager while driving has accident) as from enlightened civic duty, but it underlines the issue.

Posted by: paulhume | March 25, 2010 10:40 AM

Anyone who tells you that they have no problem holding their cell phone and driving is the person ahead of you who cannot maintain a constant speed and can't seem to stay inside the lines.

Posted by: poppysue85 | March 25, 2010 11:09 AM

I cannot imagine *any* telephone call or text message that can't be returned once one safely pulls off to the side of the road or exits an interstate. Voicemail serves that purpose wonderfully.

Posted by: Rich393 | March 25, 2010 11:25 AM

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