The “Distracted Driving Bill” or Senate Bill 1310 by Democratic Senator Joe Simitian of Palo Alto would have raised the base fine for motorists who violate the texting or hand-held cellphone bans by $10.
In his veto message Governor Brown said that the increase was unnecessary because current fines and penalties for cell phone (use) and texting while driving are a powerful deterrent, and “I severely doubt that it will further reduce violations.”
Thanks to Governor Brown’s “severe doubts”, we’ll never know if increasing the fine would reduce violations or not.
We’d like to point out if current fines and penalties were such a powerful deterrent, there would be no need for the Senate and House to have spent their time and our money by passing the bill and placing it on his desk.
Sometimes at the start of an event such as your first century ride or Ironman, one has severe doubts about completing the event. The results are guaranteed if you fail to show up and start.
The law applies to cyclists as well, so don’t think that drivers of motor vehicles are getting a pass. If you are caught multitasking on two wheels you may be cited just as equally. With additional “fees” (taxes) tacked on to the fines and penalties, the original ticket cost of $20 to $50 balloons to $213 and $336.
Perhaps the doubting Governor is right; thanks to this veto we’ll never know.
You may thank the Governor at his contact page and use the pull-down menu to select SB 1310 as the subject of your e-mail.