The use of handheld cellular telephones while driving an automobile will be outlawed in 25% of U.S. States and Canadian Provinces and Territories by July 1st, 2005. The intent of the claim is whether the ban affects casual cel phone use by the average driver.
Bans that apply only for certain non-commercial vehicles (eg. only for vehicles with manual transmissions), or apply only in certain driving conditions (eg. only in snow, or only on highways) WILL still be counted towards the claim.
Laws which partially forbid cel phone use (eg. allowing incoming calls only, or forbidding manual dialing only) WILL still count towards the claim.
Laws which include exceptions for emergencies, or exceptions for a select part of the population (eg. doctors or government officials) WILL still be counted towards the claim.
Laws which target only commercial vehicles and drivers (eg. trucks and limos) WILL NOT count towards the claim.
The legality of hands-free cellular phones is irrelevant to this claim.
Federal anti-cel laws will be counted towards the claim for every state and/or province to which they apply.
Local laws banning cel phone use do not count towards the claim unless multiple local laws effectively cover the entire state or province.
Laws will count towards the 25% as soon as they are passed by the appropriate legistlative body. They do not need to be enforced to be included; however, if the law is struck down in court, it will no longer count towards the 25% unless/until another law is passed. The claim will be judged true if/when 25% of the states and provinces have such laws, and will not be revised should that number drop back below 25%.
Canada includes the 13 current provinces and territories, plus any additional provinces and territories created by the due date. The U.S. includes the 50 current states plus any states which may be created by the due date; it does not include the District of Columbia or U.S. territories unless they are admitted as states.