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Cell Phones Blamed For California Traffic Accidents

Officials in California preparing a report that blames cell phone use for 913 traffic accidents last year have delayed issuing the study. That´s because it´s believed the count was actually much higher. The initial report said cell-phone use was a factor in accidents in which 423 people were injured and three killed. Officials say the actual count of accidents among drivers using cell phones may be five times higher than the initial count with ten times as many deaths.

California Highway Patrol Commissioner “Spike” Helmick says the revised report will include data showing drivers using cell phones may account for at least 46-hundred accidents during 2001 with 31 deaths and 27-hundred people injured. Officials say that in many cases law enforcement officers did report that a driver who caused a crash was using a cell phone. But those reports did not blame the cell phone use for the accident because of a lack of an eyewitness or evidence. The report not yet made public was ordered last year by the state Legislature. The report could bolster chance of passage of a bill to prohibit use of hand-held cell phones while driving in California.