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Abercrombie set to sign 2 traffic safety bills

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Gov. Neil Abercrombie will sign two significant traffic safety bills into law today, one requiring all front- and back-seat occupants of a vehicle to buckle up, his office announced.

The other will establishes consistent statewide requirements for the use of mobile electronic devices while driving. 

The signing ceremony for Senate Bill 4 and House Bill 980 will be held at 11:30 a.m. in the Executive Office. 

State Health Director Loretta Fuddy, Transportation Deputy Director Jadine Urasaki, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Region 9 Administrator David Manning, Honolulu police Capt. Darren Izumo, representatives of the other county police departments and traffic safety advocates will attend.

Until the signing, back-seat passengers were not required to use seat belts.

House Bill 980 prohibits the use of cellphones and other mobile electronic devices while operating a vehicle statewide, with certain exceptions, and specifically prohibits activities such as texting, instant-messaging, gaming and emailing, which take a driver’s eyes and mind off the road and hands off the wheel.

Mobile electronic devices do not include audio or navigational equipment, emergency assistance systems or video entertainment for the rear-seat passengers.

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