January 11, 2009

U.S. Group Wants Total Driving Cell Phone Ban -- Or -- "Are you talking to yourself again?"

Greetings. The U.S. National Safety Council wants to ban all cell phone use when driving, both hands-free and hand-held.

Now, from a technical standpoint this does make more sense than banning only the use of hand-held cell phones when driving, since study after study shows that hands-free is just as distracting.

However, I question whether the U.S. has the political will for such a total ban on cell phone use by drivers, and I also set forth the following query ...

When viewing someone in another vehicle, assuming no visible flashing lights in their ears and such, how can you tell the difference between someone talking on a hands-free cell phone vs. someone talking to themselves? Would police be issued specialized gear to detect cell phone signals? Just how would such a ban be managed from a practical standpoint?

Of course, the answer is that it would not be practical. The solution is not to concentrate on cell phone use, but rather on actual distracted driving in its various forms -- including when caused by eating, putting on makeup, tuning the radio, playing with the other hi-tech gadgets on the car console, yelling at the kids in the back seat, being visually diverted by the under-clad body waiting at the crosswalk, or ...

The distracted driving itself is what really counts, not the innumerable possible actions that we take while driving with the potential to distract us.

It's time to bring some sense back into this debate, not more nonsense.


Posted by Lauren at January 11, 2009 08:18 PM | Permalink
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