QUESTION: Does the limiting of cell phone use to hands free lessen cell phone DISTRACTION while operating a motor vehicle?
ANSWER: “The D Team” suggests the answer is YES. Hands free is safer, but not for the reason most would suspect. There has been many studies that identify communicating on a hands free phone is no less of a DISTRACTION than using a hand held cell phone – it is the attention to the conversation that is the DISTRACTION. In fact, hands free generally requires DISTRACTIONS such as hand dialing. However, hands free would make a major DISTRACTION such as text messaging illegal – a safety factor which can not be ignored. WE REPORT – YOU DECIDE!
The State Of Delaware New Cell Phone Law
Delaware: Cell phone laws, legislation
Last updated: July 6, 2010
Distracted driving update: Delaware has adopted a ban on text messaging and use of handheld cell phones while driving. Fines range from $50 to $200. Gov. Jack Markell signed the bill July 6. The new distracted driving rules for Delaware drivers take effect Jan. 3, 2011.
Enforcement begins Jan. 3, 2010. (Scott, Miro)
HB 298: Would prohibit the use of handheld cell phones by a driver while the vehicle is in motion. Fines $50/$100. (Miro)
2010 legislation notes: Several amendments were added to House Substitute 1 for HB 229 before it was approved May 13 in the House. One allows drivers to use their hands to enter numbers for a phone call or to engage hands-free accessories. The other exempts farm tractors and trucks from the ban on handheld electronics.
Delaware State Police report that cell phones were a factor in 252 traffic accidents in 2008.