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Driving while talking on hand-held cellphones

July 17, 2006

Re "Gov. Says Hang Up and Drive," July 13

I read with utter disbelief about the governor's support for a ban on hand-held cellphones. The proposed legislation proposes a fine of $20 for the first offense and $50 for subsequent offenses. This has to be a joke, when driving illegally in the diamond lane draws fines in the neighborhood of $270.

The fines should be large enough to make people think twice about using their cellphones while driving.

EDWARD SARAFFIAN

Los Angeles

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The mistake of failing to pay attention cannot be corrected by laws. Despite driving laws that respect pedestrians, I've seen people nearly get run over as they talk on a cellphone while crossing the street. Will the Legislature eventually make laws against talking on a phone while in a crosswalk?

The solution to reducing accidents is not wasting time creating more laws but instead in making regular public service announcements and doing what the governor does in his family: Be firm with new drivers about the risks of driving while talking on the phone.

LEN NAPOLITANO

Templeton, Calif.

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