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Distracted Biking? New Legislation Seeks To Prevent Orange County Bicycle Crashes

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James E. Ballidis
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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  Many people are aware of the dangers of distracted driving; what they don't realize is that distracted bicyclists may also cause accidents.  A bicyclist using a hand-held cell phone is less stable on his bike and less likely to pay attention to surrounding traffic.  This can put the bicyclist and others in danger from an Orange County bicycle crash.
Senator Joe Simitian, a Democrat from Palo Alto has authored a bill that he believes will reduce cell-phone related accidents in California.  The bill increases fines for motorists caught using a hand-held cell phone to talk or text while driving.  The bill also makes it illegal for bicyclists to talk on a hand-held cell phone while riding. The first offense ticket would cost a bicyclist $20; the fine would be increased to $50 for additional offenses.
Some bicyclists and bicycling advocates see the bill as an obstacle for those who use their bikes as transportation.  They believe that bicyclists need more rights, not less.  
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 24-12.  It must now pass an Assembly vote in order to become law. 
The Orange County bicycle accident attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie represent victims of bicycle-car accidents in Orange County and throughout California.  While we support the rights of bicyclists, we also suggest pulling into a safe place before using your cell phone.  We have seen too many bicyclists become victims of distracted driving crashes.

Category: Bicycle Accidents

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