International Cell Phone Perspective

Hi Guys,

Maybe you'd appreciate an international perspective on this debate.

Laws vary in different countries and, I suppose, in different states of the U.S. Maybe this will scare the pants off you: My company herein Oman runs defensive-driving courses annually. When you drivein the desert, on hard-top roads and on tracks as much as we do, youneed an annual refresher course. This last week, I did myrefresher. Here in Oman, southeast of the Arabian peninsula, ifyou are caught by the R.O.P. (Royal Omani Police) using a cell phonewhilst driving, you are subject to an instant, on-the-spot, 1,000riyal Omani fine. For the uninitiated, one riyal Oman is the sameas $2.56. So, the instant fine for that quick call is $2,560.If you cannot pay, you go to the police station and stay until the fineis paid.

Oman law states that the police also have the discretion to confiscate the mobile phone and to withdraw your driving license at once. Furthermore, if you are involved in an accident whilst using your cell phone, you face thepossibility of a jail sentence. I was wondering if, through yourWeb site, you could tell us what the penalties are in other countries.

I personally support your campaign 100 percent. I applaud your intentionsand the serious concern you have for drivers who may becomevictims of a very serious accident due to some thoughtlessperson. Love the laughter in your show. Appreciate the concerntoo.

Greetings from the Middle East.

(in Thailand or Oman, depending on my work schedule)

[ As Read on Car Talk ]