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Hands Free Cell Devices Will Save Lives

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Aired 4/19/09

In a little under two months, state law will require you to put away that hand held cell phone while driving.  And a new study finds the change is likely to save hundreds of lives.  From Sacramento, Marianne Russ reports.

Starting July first, California drivers will have to use a hands free device if they want to talk legally on their cell phones while driving.  A study by The Public Policy Institute of California finds once that happens, the state is likely to see about 300 fewer traffic fatalities a year.  Typically there are about 4000 traffic deaths annually.  The study finds that requiring the hands free devices has the biggest impact in rush hour traffic, when the roads are wet or there is bad weather.  The PPIC researchers recommend the strongest enforcement of hands free laws at those times.  The findings are based on statistics from other states which have adopted similar measures.  The research differs from other studies which have claimed hands free devices are no safer than hand held cell phones while driving. 

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