Bill to Prohibit Voice Calls While Driving exempts Hams

Pacific News Center
October 13, 2009

Ada Bill Would Prohibit Voice Calls While Driving

Guam – Senator Tom Ada has introduced a bill that would further restrict the use of mobile phones while driving.

Bill 255 would strengthen existing law by expanding current “texting” restriction while driving, including prohibiting voice calls, and increasing fines up to $1,000.

Exemptions would be made for voice calls made by drivers with handsfree devices, emergency responders, commercial truckers and Ham Radio operators.

According to a release from Senator Ada, he was prompted to introduce Bill 255 by numerous recent studies indicating that mobile phone use poses a significant danger while operating a vehicle.

In the release Ada is quoted as saying that: “Studies have shown that talking on a cell phone while driving is a major contributor to distracted driving, with 80% of all crashes attributable to driver inattention.”

Ada says the studies show that driving while using a mobile phone increases the risk of collision by 600%. And when compared to driving under the influence, these studies have shown that driver impairment resulting from mobile phone use was found equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol content in excess of 0.08 percent.

However, Ada’s bill would only make these new mobile phone restrictions a “secondary offense,” meaning that Police would not be able to stop a vehicle solely because the driver was talking on a mobile phone.

The current texting restriction is a primary offense and drivers trying to text while driving can be pulled over for that reason by police.