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Gov. Says Hang Up and Drive

Schwarzenegger signals support for long-stalled legislation banning drivers' use of hand-held cellphones. The practice is `inexcusable,' he says.

July 13, 2006|Jordan Rau | Times Staff Writer

In his Internet comments, Schwarzenegger said he had not yet reviewed Simitian's bill. But he spoke emphatically about the subject, saying his concerns have increased since his eldest child began driving.

"I told her, I have had many, many conversations with her that if I ever catch her making a phone call while she is driving -- and I sometimes follow her to make sure that she doesn't make that mistake -- [that] I will take the car away from her and she can drive the bus because it's inexcusable."

The governor continued: "You're absolutely correct that more people get injured or die because of being on the phone or pressing all the sophisticated buttons in the car, because now every car comes with 100 buttons. So people look to the side and they miss what is going in the front or with the cellphone, it's the same thing. These are terrible things and I think we have to do everything we can to stop that."

Schwarzenegger, who helped popularize the Hummer, almost never drives anymore; for security reasons, the California Highway Patrol ferries him around in a fleet of black SUVs. He does occasionally drive a Mercedes G-wagen and a motorcycle on weekends with his friends. He recently received his motorcycle license after an accident revealed he had been driving without one.

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Times staff writers Stuart Silverstein and Robert Salladay contributed to this report.

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