Colorado GOP guts cell phone legislation

fiat to illustrate story on cell phone car bansColorado Republicans put the knife in a hands-free cell phone ban on Monday, reportedly after a long bashing of Sen. Bob Bacon’s bill.

The Senate did pass an amended HB 1094 with a ban on text messaging and a prohibition of cell phone use by drivers under 18.

(Update: The watered-down legislation was signed by Gov. Bill Ritter on June 1, 2009.)

The Colorado Spring Gazette had this choice quote from Sen. Keith King, R-Colorado Springs, who wondered why the “ridiculous” bill only banned handheld cell phones while the vehicle was in motion:

“At every stoplight, watch from now on, if we pass this bill. Everybody’s going to get out and do all their texting at every stoplight,” King said.

Would that be a Colorado fire drill?

Another astute query, this time from Sen. Dave Schultheis, R-Colorado Springs, who wanted to know why police and commercial truck drivers would be exempted from the handheld cell phone ban:

“If a person in a little Fiat is on a cell phone, whose car weighs a couple thousand pounds, somehow that’s supposedly more dangerous than a person with a 10,000-pound vehicle? What’s with that?”

Ummm … because police and truckers are professional drivers who routinely communicate in emergency situations?

At least these Republicans’ arguments are more entertaining than the usual: Why don’t we just ban coffee drinking and petting poodles while driving.

Bacon figures he’ll have a better chance next year, as Colorado’s cell phone-related death count continues.

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  1. Paul Hill says:

    Since the cell phone has the capibility to support “GPS”. Why don’t we get the FCC to force the cell phone service providers to develop the technology thru using the GPS to sense the movement of the cell phone and then turn it off so no moving cell phone can send or receive a call or text. Then when the phone is back at a standstill for say 3 munites turn it back on.

    Then we wouldn’t have any problem with accidents caused by cell phones. I’m sure the folks that provide cell phones have the technical knowhow to make this happen.

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