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Villagomez discourages public from using cellphones while driving

HOUSE Minority Leader Edmund Villagomez said although his bill that would restrict the use of cellphones by motorists was vetoed by the governor, he is still discouraging the public from using cellphones when driving.

Edmund Villagomez

“It is a matter of safety,” he said in an interview on Tuesday. “The veto doesn’t mean that drivers should use their cellphones while on the road and driving a vehicle. The bill was vetoed because of concerns with its language.”

He added, “I would also like to thank the governor for considering the bill. I don’t really disagree with him. This was a bill that we passed in the House but it went to the Senate, and they did their own committee work and had a public hearing. In the original bill we excluded first responders and other emergency folks. I think we also had language for emergency cases, but they were taken out by the Senate and they made a good point also in amending the bill. The governor did bring up some good points, and when it comes to the law language is very important. There’s a big difference between ‘may’ and ‘shall’ and definitions that are not spelled out clearly could be challenged. I think the governor wants to make sure that all [legal] grounds are covered, and that’s why he disapproved it.”

He said he plans to reintroduce the bill based on the governor’s suggestions. “It’s a working document and there’s a process involved. We have the House, the Senate and the governor. We will take the governor’s concerns seriously, and I hope that when we reintroduce the bill, we can act on it expeditiously. This is the farthest that a bill of this kind has reached. Previous versions were introduced in the past, but it’s the first time it reached the governor’s desk.”

In the meantime, “I am still asking the public not to use cellphones while driving.”

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/100453-villagomez-discourages-public-from-using-cellphones-while-driving

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