Bikers in California can soon face a ban on using a cell phone while biking

Bikers in California can soon face a ban on using a cell phone while biking
The consensus around using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle is pretty unanimous across the country as there are plenty of local state laws that ban it. Although there are some loopholes around it, one state in particular is looking outside the normal perception of “distracted driving” among drivers which can lead to something fatal. Much like other states, California enacted a law more than one year ago to ban texting while operating a motor vehicle, but it looks like one lawmaker wants to go beyond just that and impose it on cyclists. State Senator Joe Simitian is taking the helm in drafting a new law which would make it illegal to use a cell phone while riding a bicycle. It's becoming apparent that this is causing a commotion among both sides as some find it excessive while others deem it as fitting. Cyclist Jesse Daniel finds it a bit overboard and said, “If you're going to ban it while biking, you might as well ban it while walking.” If this is passed, it could lead to additional states to adopt a similar law to combat the ever growing problem of cell phone distractions that can lead to fatal accidents.

via Switched

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5 Comments

1. shimmyx20

Posts: 280; Member since: Mar 03, 2009

"Cyclist Jesse Daniel finds it a bit overboard and said,'If you're going to ban it while biking, you might as well ban it while walking.' " Eh not really, you need to have a lot more concentration when cycling, especially if you're in one of those areas where they don't allow bikes on the sidewalks. Plus it's much more difficult to do some kind of evasive manuver on a bike if you only have one hand on the handlebars. That being said, on campus, there's been incidents of people both biking and walking into cars or buses while on their cellphones.

5. cellgeek82

Posts: 518; Member since: Dec 20, 2009

If a person commutes on a bike all the time I'd like to think that person has developed good balance skills and wouldn't be hindered from riding a bike and talking. They shouldn't be doing stunts or riding fast but slow riding and talking shouldn't be that hard. And there's always bluetooth. If something life-threatening comes your way like a vehicle or you loose control of your bike, as much as most of us would hate to do this, toss the phone! You can always get a new phone, better to chuck the phone and grab the bars than get hurt or loose your life. A couple of inexperienced riders shouldn't set the standard who ride as a hobby, recreational, or commute. Law makers are playing with a very gray area here, which should be left alone. Besides, there isn't even drivers ed for biking so who's to know what's safe and what's not, it depends on the rider.

2. jskrenes

Posts: 209; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

I work in a cell phone store and am an avid cyclist. I use my Droid to stream music to a stereo system on my luggage rack, and use a few different apps to track my route times. I would never answer a call while riding. On a sidewalk I could run into pedestrians, and on the street, vehicles. And Shimmy's right: performing emergency maneuvers on a bike with one hand is extremely difficult: not only is your turning and stability severely limited, but so is your braking ability. Still, do we really need to legislate common sense? And can't we just count biking while texting part of wreckless endagerment? I don't think we need a law for that stuff.

3. iHateCrapple

Posts: 734; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

Although I do think this is a bit excessive, it may actually be necessary. Think about it... A biker is riding down the street texting and he (not paying attention to the road) swerves into the road and gets struck by an oncoming car and dies......that driver will go to jail for vehicular manslaughter.....because some a**hole wasn't paying attention. With this law if that scenario were to ever play out ( and hopefully it wont) the police might find the bikers phone, see the screen was in mid-text, and an innocent driver gets spared. If the biker doesn't die he would certainly bring a suit against the driver. Subpeona the wireless carrier for texting records and presto! Bikers fault! Stupid bikers need to stick to trails anyway, one of you f*ckers made me fail my road test back in the day!

4. cellgeek82

Posts: 518; Member since: Dec 20, 2009

So much for bicycles being recreational and so much for free country! We're slowly becoming socialist/communitst where you need permission to walk out of your house. Skateboarding is dangerous even without phone use, so what's next are they going to ban skateboarding too? People just need to be careful, there's no need for a ban. It's not like biking and phone use is filling up emergency rooms. Resposibility people! If you have an accident consider why you had an accident, if it's from phone use then don't do it again don't let "big brother" tell you what to do. California needs to stop making rules, they're nothing but liberal and useless. I'm sure I'll get negative feedback on this but that's ok, it's your RIGHT as an American to do so. Freedom baby! (while we still have it)

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