No-texting-while-driving law goes into effect Dec. 1
Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Don't hold the phone. On Tuesday, Dec. 1, it becomes a crime for a 16- or 17-year-old driver to use any cell phone — handheld or not — in Colorado. And no driver may text while behind the wheel.
Patrick Sims, a Colorado high school senior, killed a 63-year-old man because Sims was sending a text message while driving. Nine-year-old Erica Forney in Fort Collins was killed by a cell-phone-using distracted driver. A truck driver who was distracted by his cell phone ran his truck off I-76 during rush hour, causing secondary accidents from flying debris. One week after five girls graduated from high school, they were killed in an accident attributed to texting while driving. A young mother lost her leg in Colorado Springs, impaled against her car by a driver on a cell phone.
- 66% of drivers 18 to 24 years old are sending or receiving text messages while driving.
- Motorists on cell phones exhibit the reaction speed and coordination of drivers with blood alcohol levels exceeding 0.08 — that's like getting behind the wheel after 4 drinks!
- Drivers on cell phones are four times more likely to be in an accident.
- A 2002 study showed that talking on a cell phone was the cause of at least 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries annually.
House Bill 09-1094 was sponsored by State Representatives Claire Levy (D-Boulder), Randy Fischer and John Kefalas and State Senator Bob Bacon (all D-Fort Collins).
"It is inherently dangerous to multitask while you drive. This bill is aimed at the most dangerous distraction commonly engaged in: text messaging and e-mailing while driving. If this new law prevents just one more senseless death or injury, HB 1094 will have done its job," said Rep. Levy.
Rep. Fischer said, "When presented with the sobering evidence documenting the risks of texting while driving, the legislature took decisive action to address this growing public safety issue. I'm pleased to have worked alongside Rep. Levy and others to get this bill enacted into Colorado law. It will save lives!"
Starting Tuesday, any driver who has been sending text messages, tweets or e-mails while driving can be charged with a secondary offense if pulled over by law enforcement. Because it is not a primary offense, drivers will not be ticketed only for texting but can receive two charges if they have, for example, exceeded the speed limit (primary) and are texting (secondary).
However, any driver under the age of 18 using a cell phone, even a speakerphone, to talk or text, can be pulled over as a primary offense.
First offenders will be required to pay a $50 fine, but phone-addicted teens and chronic texters will face a $200 penalty if ticketed again.
A 2007 study reported that cell phone users who spend more than 22 hours per month on their cell were 58% more likely to develop tumors on their salivary glands. Another study determined that 2 types of brain tumors had doubled on the "phone side" of the head after a decade of cell phone use. The studies funded by telecom companies typically lasted 6 years or less, not long enough for tumors to develop; and most of the studies defined "heavy usage" as using a cell a few times a week, far from the ubiquitous times it's come to be used.
Cordless phones (this is where my mental lightbulb came on) pose the same risks. Cordless phones with DECT are even worse. Dr. Havas' recommendation is to replace your household phones with corded phones.
So the dots started connecting in my brain. Since 2001 I have had swollen lymph glands on the left side of my head, neck and clavicle. Twice, surgeons have removed and biopsied these abnormally large glands. No cancer, no explanation. My former GP actually said to me, "Maybe you're just a person who gets large glands." For the last four years a gland just above my clavicle has remained swollen and here and there, a gland or two will swell and go down. Always on the left side. I've had a cordless phone since 2000. Being pretty much a social person, and now homebound, I spend more than 22 hours a week on my cordless phone. Much more. And it's always on my left side, often cradled in my neck and shoulder.
Luckily I own two corded phones and have connected them both tonight. I'm going to go without the cordless for 6 months and see if my glands return to normal.
As for the microwaves, most ovens leak a fair share of electromagnetic radiation. The Dr. suggests: "Put your cell phone inside the oven and close the door (do not turn on the microwave), call the cellphone number. If you hear the phone ring, the cell signal was able to pass thru the walls of the oven- meaning that microwaves are able to pass out". She has tested the levels inside her home, and detected electromagnetic radiation from 20 feet away. So leave the kitchen when the microwave is on. I also recommend that everyone read this article. It may be available online, but I haven't looked. Consider it homework.
I will blog on this experiment. It'll be nice to return to the old tethered way of using the phone. I suspect it'll cut my phone time, too, as I won't be doing other things when I'm talking. Like being on the internet. And maybe I'll get my nice neck back...
And thanks again, Amanda, for such a great gift. :D
Well, Microwave Sickness or Radiation Sickness is what it used to be called. Today it is referred to as Electrosensitivity, Electro Hypersensitivity, or Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. This IS a recognized illness and disability in other countries, such as Sweden, where they are taking this environmental health threat seriously.
Also, fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome weren't even on the map until the number of cell phone and wi-fi towers and antennas went up exponentially, some time in the mid 90's following the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Please check this out and compare the symptoms for yourself. Do you think is possible?
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