The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

CA assembly bill: Txting on road G2G

A bill introduced to the California State Assembly would remove exemptions allowing drivers to use voice-operated, hands-free text messaging while driving.

According to California Legislative Information, 11 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 were involved in a fatal crash because they were reported as being distracted while they were driving.

“I hate talking on the phone,” said Ashley Zaya, 22, a nursing major. “Texting is easier because it gives you time to think about how you are going to respond.”

Zaya said hands-free texting can be annoying because some words she uses are not transcribed out correctly. She said manually correcting spelling mistakes causes more of a distraction while she is on the road.

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Jaime-Rene Salinas, 22, an undeclared major, said he generally doesn’t send text messages while driving.

“It depends on who the text is from,” he said. ”If it’s from a friend, I won’t respond, but if it’s from a family member I’ll try to respond when I’m at a stoplight or a stop sign if no one is behind me.”

Salinas said he prefers to text by hand because there are fewer spelling errors.

In an email interview, Ron Levine, chief of the FHDA police, wrote that the department has received reports from police officers and the campus community of students driving while texting.

Levine wrote it would be a good idea to have hands-free texting be illegal because it is still a distraction to the driver.

A study published by researchers at the University of Utah on June 12 found that voice-operated texting distracted drivers more than talking on a cell phone. The study participants missed more visual cues like brake lights, had slower reaction times and scanned the roadway less often.

The study did not compare speech-to-text with hand-held texting.

“Texting without touching your phone should not be illegal,” said Sandra Lustre, 18, a radiology major.

Lustre said that even though she does not text while driving, she thought others should not have that privilege taken away because as long as they do not use their hands to respond to texts, they are not doing anything wrong.

The bill was sent to the Assembly Standing Committee on Appropriations on April 15 and is waiting passage by the committee.

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