Cellphone Bills Hung Up



Cellphone Bills Hung Up

At the beginning of the year, the House had two separate bills introduced.  One would have banned text messaging while driving (H5021) and the other would have banned non-hands-free mobile phone and/or text messaging (H5022).  In both cases, the House Corporations Committee has “recommended measure be held for further study”.  In other words, the bills are effectively dead for this legislative session and will need to be reintroduced.

Keep your eyes open out there, people can still legally drive and text for at least another year 🙁

Barry Schiller, who is much more knowledgeable in these matters than I am, added a comment to this post that just because it is held for further study, doesn’t mean it is completely dead.  Furthermore, he adds that the Senate version of the bill has already passed and would encourage everyone to contact the House  Corporations Committee and ask them to hear either H5021 and/or H5022.  You can contact the chair of the House Corporations Committee via email at rep-kennedy@rilin.state.ri.us or phone (401) 377-8818.  There is VERY LITTLE TIME left, so if you are interested in seeing this pass call or email now.


  • Jun 12, 2009 at 4:43 am

    According to this article, Colorado just passed a no texting law. Unfortunately, they seem to have the same problem passing reasonable laws as well, since

    The bill is a scaled-down version of legislation that would have banned all hands-on cell phone use by drivers in Colorado. Under the original bill, hands-free calling would have been permitted.

    What is it going to take in this country for people to realize that when you get behind the wheel of a car, you are RESPONSIBLE for your actions. It's NOT okay to drive in a manner that could endanger other people, be them another motorist, a pedestrian, or a cyclist. We need to make it tougher to get a license in this country and tougher penalties for when people break laws!

  • Barry
    Jun 12, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Just because a bill is "held for further study" does NOT mean it is dead. The leadership can bring it up any time they want. Even better, the Senate bill S204A to ban texting when driving has already passed the Senate and ius now also in Hose Corporations. When at the legislature yesterday, I actually talked to the House Corporations Chair, Brian Patrick Kennedy, about these bills and I would characterize his response as not closing the door on passing them. It would help if others contacted the Corporations Committee and asked for a hearing on S204A. These bills have the support of RIDOT and AAA, there is still a chance to pass them.

    I don't think we can pass anything stronger this session.

    By the way, the RIDOT lobbyist told me RIDOT will not support the Gemma bill 5074 because they don't think it is enforcable at all. Hwever he didn't seem all that familiar with the Sub A that was pssed.

  • Alan Barta
    Jun 12, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Well said, Mark.

    The twin deterrents of suspension and revocation are seldom used. The beleaguered state is in the business of collecting fees from motorists in the form of gasoline taxes, property and sales taxes, and registrations, and, of course, many in Congress are full time employed by insurers, so all laws favor that industry. Thus, to clear overcrowded roads would not, in their minds, serve their best interests. Besides, who then would drive to Twin River to shore up the mismanagement there?

    Every attempt to introduce a viable public transportation system gets derailed. With reported 15% (really 50%) unemployment and nothing better to do, you can hardly drive anywhere during the day without considerable gridlock. If the EDC were to actually develop new industry, as they're supposed to, state wouldn't have to really on sin taxes to pay for boondoggles, like the billion they recently spent on only 5 miles of bad highways.