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Teen cell-phone driving bill passes Senate

Bill banning teen 'driving while communicating' passes state Senate

A bill banning teens from communicating on cell phones or pagers while driving passed the state Senate today. The bill, SB 33, previously passed the state Assembly.

If signed by the governor, the bill would go into effect July 1, 2008.

The bill affects drivers under 18 years old and was authored by state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto. The law would apply to hand-held and hands-free devices.

"Year after year, car crashes are the number-one cause of death among teenagers," Simitian said. "The young drivers who are using cell phones pagers and PDAs while driving are putting not only themselves at risk but all of us as well."

Under the law, first-time violators would be fined $20 and $50 for each additional offense.

-- Don Kazak

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