We happily welcome another law that shows our society’s need for common sense. The new measure to forbid drivers from this cell phone use will come into play Jan. 1, 2009. It will be $20 for a first offense and $50 each time after that — chump change, we’re sure, compared to your text messaging bill. read more »

Come Tuesday, you’ll have to think twice before picking up that cell phone in your car. California law will require a hands-free device for all phone calls. Hey, there’s still texting, right?

Also, let your little bro or sis know that they can’t even talk at all if they’re under 18. Taunting is permitted.

Drivers found in violation of the new law will find themselves smacked with a $20 fine ( which is actually more like $76 with all the fees figured in). Our question? Does this apply to cyclists as well and when will they ever start stopping at stop signs and red lights?

Image Source: Mike “Dakinewavamon” Kline under Creative Commons
Time to leave your phone alone while driving [SF Chron]

This is a police log of an entirely different nature.

Authorities say that Guillermo Robles, 56, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving after he allegedly hit and killed Betty Jean Kietzman, 82, while she was crossing Solano Ave at about 10:50 p.m. Sunday.

The Berkeley Police Department investigated the crash but called the California Highway Patrol to respond to the scene to avoid favoritism, according to the police.

We don’t know what to do with this. This is serious. We can’t make fun of this kind of stuff.

Officers administered field-sobriety tests, but the results are not available to the public. Robles was booked and later released after posting bail on Monday.

Robles served for 20 years as a patrol officer and an undercover narcotics officer. He retired in 2001.

Kietzman, the victim of the accident, seemed to be a sprightly and independent woman.

It’s certainly an unfortunate event, and it’s certainly no good for the BPD, despite Robles being retired.

Just a few months ago, BPD had some personnel problems involving drunken off-duty firearm discharge. Right now, the department needs some very good PR.

Preferably a charity event that does not involve alcohol consumption.

Ex-officer booked in connection with pedestrian’s death [SF Chronicle]
Retired Berkeley Police Officer Arrested After Fatal Accident [Daily Cal]