What began as a potential ban on all traditional, hand-on-the-phone cells was watered down considerably through the legislative process. As a result, the measure Governor Bill Ritter signed yesterday banned the use of such gadgets only for drivers under eighteen (as well as texting while driving for everyone).
Of course, compromises like these are commonplace -- but judging by my experience, this one was an absolute lock from the beginning. Why? In recent years, probably fifty percent of my phone conversations with politicians have taken place when they were behind the wheel. Indeed, representatives, senators and officials of every stripe frequently designate their commute time to returning calls. Obviously, hands-free devices are available, but if I'm any judge of audio, they haven't caught on yet with such folks. In the end, then, I'll bet a lot of folks voted with their own habits in mind -- particularly habits they're not ready to break.