Cell Phone Debate About to Escalate

By Beacon Staff

The Montana Legislature refused to pass restrictions on cell phone use while driving last session when Senate Bill 278 was killed on a 32-17 vote.

Last month, Missoula Mayor John Engen vetoed an ordinance that banned talking on a cell phone while driving, but kept a provision passed by the city council that prohibits texting while driving.

And as studies like this one emerge, don’t expect the debate over cell phone use to dissipate. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that texting while driving increases the risk of crashing by 23 times. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/technology/28texting.html?hp" title="From The New York Times“>From The New York Times:

In the moments before a crash or near crash, drivers typically spent nearly five seconds looking at their devices — enough time at typical highway speeds to cover more than the length of a football field.

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