Monday, September 17, 2007

Kids: Don't Talk and Drive

By Kathleen Richards
Mon, Sep 17, 2007 at 12:14 AM

It won't be until July 2008 when all California drivers will be forced to use headsets while driving and talking, but teens won't even be allowed that luxury under a new law just passed by the Governator. And boy, are teens pissed! According to this Chron article, the law came amid the finding that highway crashes are the leading cause of death among 16- to 20-year-olds, and highway accidents cause 44 percent of teen deaths annually in the U.S. Also, research suggests that the brain - the part that evaluates risky behavior -- doesn't fully develop until a person is in their early 20s, which may be a factor in the crash rate. In any case, those under 18 may not have so much to worry about after all. Because though they'll be prohibited from using their cell phone, laptop, PDA, pager, or two-way messaging device while driving, traffic officers can't stop them simply for that offense. Plus, the penalty for the first violation is $20, and each additional will cost $50. That's like a kid's weekly allowance these days.

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