Cell phone phobia


#1

Why do we need special laws to ban cell phone use in cars? Every state already has a law about not paying full time and attention to driving, driving recklessly, and other goofing off. If we had an anti-cell phone law, that might negate the broader law to the tune of needing a battalion of additional laws about not eating a Big Mac while driving, not changing the radio station, not breastfeeding your kid, and not scratching your [itch]. If existing laws were enforced we wouldn’t need the finer legal granularity (and more laws to not enforce).


#2

Did you see the report that people with cell phones in cars, including no hands phones average about 2 mph less than the average?


#3

Of course we don’t need more laws (as a matter of fact, we need significantly fewer laws). This is just the whine de jour, in a couple of years all the geezers will be used to (and using) cell phones in cars and there will be something new to complain about. There are more ways to be distracted than we can count, it is simply not practical to pass laws for each potential distraction. We simply need to enforce current distracted driver laws. If someone is not paying attention to their driving (for any reason) they deserve a ticket, I don’t care if they are talking on the phone, playing with their ipod, or preparing their tax return.

To be honest, my wife gave me a GPS navigation unit for xmas and the first couple of times I tried it out in the car I found myself not paying much attention to driving. After a week, have it set up the way I want and I barely look at it. The same can be said for the typical car audio system that has about 20 tiny buttons, an ipod interface, and a 50 page instruction manual. I’ve seen people so busy “discussing” something with their passenger that they were very distracted, maybe we should ban talking to your spouse while driving too,


#4

So they are only driving 18 mph over the speed limit? (-;


#5

First, I agree that our laws could be enforced better as they exist. However, I value having local rule over such issues at the state level. The state of Florida passed a law that prevents local governments from banning cell phone usage with the idea that it would promote continuity throughout the state either way. Sadly there are not nearly enough state troopers on the road to make Florida roads even reasonably safe. The only realistic way to enforce the reckless driving laws is though civil litigation. Someone is going to have to sue one of these idiots after they cause a collision. Although I think it is a shame that we have become such a litigious society, this issue is one exception in my opinion. Anyone who causes property damage because they were not concentrating on the operation of their vehicle, regardless of the reason, clearly deserves to lose everything they own.

You know, here in Florida people are not even required to take driver’s education if they wait until they are over 18 years of age to get a license. If you don’t take training and licensing seriously, you don’t have a right to expect civilized behavior from drivers.


#6

Every accident I have ever been in as a driver was caused by the other driver being on the phone.

In both cases, the cop called to the scene had to repeatedly tell the other driver to get off the phone.

In my opinion, every cell phone should be under a steamroller.


#7

Well the current law would generally require each case to establish that using a cell phone when driving was unsafe. While after some time and many expensive cases it might become prime facie true it is not likely that the police and courts are going to be persistent enough enforcing the law to get there. So making a specific law then shifts the burden of proof on the driver.


#8

It’s a shame that we see a need for a law. People should have more sense built into them. How about the debate over smoking in public places? It took me a lot of years before I made the connection that it shouldn’t take a law for me to keep it outside. I just looked into the eyes of the non-smokers and sure enough; eighteen months later, I quit turning their eyes red. One of my friends was a dedicated Republican Party member and would never question my right to smoke. Rights can be wrongs sometimes.


#9

We need a specific law, because there are always people who don’t equate “distracted driving” to cell phones.


#10

Some people think we need a law for everything. Others think we don?t need any new laws, and fewer existing laws. Most ignore the fact that our constitution does not provide for silly Federal laws against anything and everything. The constitution provides for the mechanisms of government, a common currency, national defense, and regulation of interstate commerce. I?ll also gladly accept Federal air traffic control. But we have to draw the line where states rights are concerned. People have ignored the tenth amendment way too long, to our imminent peril.

As for cell phones, they are but a small part of the much larger issue of distracted driving. Government has itself to blame for dumb-ing down driving to the point where drivers easily get bored with just driving. Drivers should honestly self-assess their abilities and self regulate non-emergency use of cell phones, prioritizing driving foremost, above all other tasks when in motion.

Governments of all sizes tend to over-reach and apply overkill when creating new laws. Too many want to ban all use of any electronic device at all, under any circumstances, and that is simply way too broad a measure. Uniform enforcement is also a major problem. However, nobody has ever figured out an effective way to legislate human behavior.

Airplane pilots usually have to talk on the 2-way radio. They seem to be more safe than auto drivers talking on cell phones. Likewise for emergency responders using 2-way radios. Does anyone really want to ban pilots and ambulance drivers from talking on their 2-way radio? You see, the issue is not as simple as it seems.