| || |
Ban cell phone use
January 12, 2009 - Jim Smith
The congressionally chartered National Safety Council favors the outright ban of cell phone use by motorists, contending the practice is dangerous and leads to fatalities.
The council advocates the ban on both hand-held phones and hands-free phones, and wants businesses to ban employees from using cell phones while driving on the job.
Janet Froestscher, safety council president, compares talking on a cell phone while driving to drunken driving, saying those talking on a cell phone have four times the chance of being involved in an auto crash.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports no state bans all cell phone use while driving; six states -- California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Washington -- and the District of Columbia ban the use of hand-held cell phones; and 17 states and the district restrict or ban cell phone use by novice drivers.
The safety council's position came after studying 50 scientific studies, with one by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis estimating 6 percent of vehicle crashes, causing about 2,600 deaths and 12,000 serious injuries a year, are directly attributable to cell phone use.
Of course, the cell phone industry is objecting to the ban , contending a brief call is not a danger and actually can be helpful in reporting dangerous driving by another motorist.
Froetscher said there are 270 million cell phone users in the U.S. and 80 percent of them talk on the phone while driving.
If you don't believe cell phone use by motorists is a problem, the next time you are driving make a mental note of the number of motorists you see talking on their hand-held phone ... and make a second mental note of their driving practices. My guess is you will see the yanking motorist violate at least one safety rule of the road.
Cell phone use takes a motorists concentration away from driving ... and that is the problem, not just using hands to dial numbers.
The safety council is right. All cell phone use in a moving vehicle should be banned.
No comments posted for this article.
Post a Comment