California 11th Senate District Senator Joe Simitian from San Mateo County, California, could outlaw certain so-called “Panda Portraits” with Senate Bill 1310, which would ban the use of electronic wireless communication devices while riding a bicycle.
Panda Portraits are self portraits taken while on a moving bicycle, like so:
Many Panda Portraits are shot using the “electronic wireless communication devices,” e.g. mobile phones with built in cameras. Senator Simitian wants police to fine you $20 to $30 if they catch you using a cell phone while riding a bicycle.
Cyclists have differing opinions on this issue. The California Bicycle Coalition is ‘meh’ on the issue, which believes distracted cyclists don’t cause the damage that distracted drivers do. Cyclists associated with the California Association of Bicycle Organizations, however, believe strongly in the philosophy of equality (i.e. “Same Roads – Same Rights – Same Rules”) and support laws that bring parity by imposing vehicular restrictions on cyclists.
SB 1310 is a redo of SB 28, which Governor Jerry Brown vetoed last year. Besides the Panda Prohibition, other provisions of SB 1310 include:
- Increased fines for motorists caught talking on the phone;
- Assessing points against a drivers license for multiple violations (cyclists are exempted from this);
- DMV required to include test questions about distracted driving on drivers license exam;
- Establish a Distracted Driver Education Fund using money received from cell phone use.
The Senate Transportation & Housing Committee approved SB 1310 on March 27, where Republican Senator Ted Gaines was the only “nay” vote, and referred it to the Appropriations Committee for their look-see.
Thank you to Jenny for the tip.