Considering our burgeoning iPhone, smartphone, anyphone population, it’s virtually impossible to dispute state Senator Tracey Eide’s influence over our daily lives. As the driving force behind Washington state’s new cell phone law, which mandates parking our handheld phones before getting behind the wheel (or risking a $124 fine), Eide has worked since 2000 to pass the primary-offense law that went into effect in June.
While the Federal Way Democrat was also an advocate for the secondary-offense version that passed the Legislature in 2007, heartrending tales from constituents kept Eide barreling toward her ultimate goal, in spite of roadblocks from both cell phone companies and legislators who felt cell phones were being unfairly singled out. Regardless of the arguments, Eide points to convincing evidence that hammers home what she sees as a vital need: “Over 50 studies show driving while talking on a cell phone is equivalent to drunk driving,” she says. “This legislation will save lives.”
Published November 2010
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