Don't Give LaHood Ideas: They'll Take Your Phone Away
July 6th, 2012 9:48 AM Share
They do that in South Africa. Use your phone for texting or gabbing, and police in Cape Town will arrest your cell.
Police in unmarked “ghost squad” cars seized 16 phones from motorists who flaunted a new regulation in Cape Town, South Africa, Reuters says. The new rule allows police to confiscate handsets for 24 hours if the law is broken. Harsher sentences await the distracted driver: Driving While Phoning it in can cost up to 500 rand ($61.50) and/or a jail term of up to three years. They don’t call it cell phone for nothing.
Published July 6th, 2012 9:48 AM
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In a given year, South Africa has more murders than the United States, even though it has less than 1/6th of the population. (And the US isn't exactly known for having a low murder rate itself.) Violent crime is pervasive by western standards. It's good to see here that they have their law enforcement priorities straight.
Err... I think you meant "flouted," not "flaunted."
I'm surprised that there hasn't been more of a push to enforce cellphone driving bans via technology. I can easily see a future FCC rule that requires phones have a built-in mechanism (GPS, accelerometers, reference signals from cell towers, etc.) to detect when in motion beyond walking speed and go into "safety mode". No outbound calls except to 911, no texting, all inbound calls go immediately to voicemail and so forth. Critics will point that this would also affect automobile passengers and people riding on buses and trains. Whether or not that's a bad thing is obviously open to debate...
As long as the laws apply equally to public employees, including law enforcement officers, I'm fine with regulations on the use of electronic devices while driving.