In 2008, the state of California passed an outright ban on the use of mobile phones while driving. And according to research done by the University of California, this helped reduced overall traffic fatalities by 22%. More impressively, of this number, the number of drivers killed due to the use of mobile phones dropped a staggering 47%.
Recently, however, California is taking a step back from this outright ban and has just passed a bill legalizing the use of devices that are "specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation to dictate, send, or listen to a text-based communication."
Despite the passing of the bill, there are conflicting reports as to exactly what devices are deemed suitable. One news site reported that Siri is not covered since that Siri needs to activated first by hand. Another report says that the bill does not cover phones but applications like Siri are supported.
Confusing indeed, but perhaps iOS will include a feature that will let users activate Siri by voice. After all, it's a pretty basic feature that's already supported by newer Garmin personal navigation systems.
Source: The Verge