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LABJ FORUM: Cell Phones v Let the Driver Beware

LABJ FORUM: Cell Phones Let the Driver Beware

New York passed a law last year requiring drivers to use hands-free cell phones and California might be next. State legislators are expected to consider a bill next month to ban hand-held cell phones that the California Highway Patrol supports, based on accident data it is in the process of compiling. So the Business Journal asks: Do you think the use of hand-held cell phones poses a risk on the road? If so, what should be done about it?

James V. Luck

President & Chief Executive and Medical Director

Orthopaedic Hospital

I think it’s a health hazard just driving in Los Angeles. Anything we can do to keep people from being distracted while driving is a step in the right direction. I would support legislation that improves safety.

Michael R. Morris

Managing Principal

Valensi, Rose & Magaram PLC

Driving with a hand-held cell phone is about as safe as riding a bicycle or motorcycle without a helmet. You may escape injury, but the risk is socially unacceptable. Driving is a licensed activity, not a God-given right. Drivers shouldn’t be permitted to operate their vehicles with one hand on the wheel and the other on a cell phone glued to their ear.

Renee Fraser

President & CEO

Fraser Communications

Talking on the phone while driving is definitely a hazard. There’s just no way to focus on both at the same time. But in these busy days, what’s the solution?

Marshall McNott

President & Chief Executive

Los Angeles Mission

I think most of us are guilty and should be sobered from seeing what is happening from cell phone use while driving. I have a headset now, if only I could remember to attach it before I get in my car. Driving with one’s knees not only makes my wife very nervous, but is really quite unsafe. I’m going to be better. Now, if only my wife wouldn’t call me on my cell phone when I’m in my car.

Bonnie Chan

Integrated Communications

Saatchi & Saatchi

Los Angeles

Yes, they can be a risk, but they can also be a lifesaver, especially when stuck in a situation where you need help. You can prioritize your calls and pull off to the side of the road if necessary.

Mark Garcia

Marketing Director

Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP

I think it can be dangerous if the driver isn’t using a hands free device, because physically holding a phone puts the driver and other drivers at risk. I believe in keeping two hands on the wheel.

Dan Casey

Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing

WorldLink LLC

Yes, handheld cell phones pose a risk while driving, which is why I use an earpiece. In sales you need to be on the phone and the morning commute in L.A. is a perfect time to talk to customers, clients and employees in New York.

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