I’ve posted a few times in this sub-forum, in posts regarding whether or not cell-phone use is ever acceptable while driving. I seem to have taken a fair amount of flack from my position that cell-phone use isn’t intrinsically dangerous, IF confined to low-workload segments of travel, conversations are deliberately brief, and both parties are ready to disconnect immediately if needed. Basically, arguing that cell-phone use, per se, isn’t the problem…lack of rigorous self-discipline while using a cellphone is.
But then, it occurred to me that I’m in substantial agreement with the majority of anti-cell-users: I agree that indiscriminate use of phones while driving is dangerous, I think that cell phones should not be used during technical parts of travel, or where driver is unfamiliar with the area, etc…I just bristle at the absolutist stance…guess it must be a contrarian streak or something.
That said, what about a “harm-reduction” approach? Identifying those times in which cell phone use is especially dangerous, and coaching drivers against use in those instances. Essentially acknowledging, “we know many motorists will never cease using phones entirely, regardless of penalty…so we want to educate to allow such use as occurs to occur as safely as possible.”
I once argued much the same idea to a vegan cousin of mine: if the goal is to reduce “aggregate # of animals eaten,” wouldn’t it be more profitable to focus on making “profligately non-compliant” veggies into “marginally compliant,” vs. trying to make “mostly compliant” folks into “absolutely compliant?”
Same argument here: if somebody agrees to NEVER use a cell while driving…well, they probably weren’t using it much to begin with. If you can, however, reach out to profligate users and teach them to be judicious in their use…you’ve probably cut out more cell use than in the first example.