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Banning Cell Phone Use Behind the Wheel--Long Overdue

Talking and texting behind the wheel--The twain shall meet!--And apparently they have for many drivers across the country.

Talking and texting behind the wheel have been feeding off each other long enough.

This is the likely reason for the on the use of cell phones while driving--an excellent decision based on the countless accidents and lives lost to meaningless (or high-stress) conversations on cell phones. 

Texting, the apparent root of all evils, may be the catalyst that has launched the decision for recommending a total ban. By degrees, people have begun to think that since they have "mastered" the ability to talk and drive, surely they can successfully manage occasional "look-see" at a text message here and there. This evolution has created a nasty new species of hazardous driving.

The NTSB's decision has not been well-received by those who think they have adapted to the hazards by developing an extra appendage of sorts, allowing them the coveted spot amongst the survival of the fittest. These people have not yet figured out that they have only remained on the planet through a lucky twist of fate. It is because of them (and the unlucky ones) that the NTSB must initiate the smackdown on cell phones behind the wheel.

It has never been an entitlement to talk on the phone while driving. Texting has only exacerbated the issue of taking risks behind the wheel by adding yet another layer of distraction to the job of driving.

As for hands-free devices, the NTSB wants to ban those too. However, some people don't think hands-free is any different than the distraction of having a conversation with a passenger in your car. 

"I don't think that talking on a hands-free device is any worse than talking to a passenger; the potential for distraction would be the same. On the other hand, you can't ride down the road while texting or reading a text," says Scott Fagan of East Cobb.

In Illinois, where cell phone use behind the wheel has been legally banned, (hands-free devices are the exception), drivers still break the rules. 

"I drive from appointment to appointment for work and rare is the day that I don't see dozens of people talking or texting behind the wheel. The rule of thumb seems is that whenever someone in traffic is going ten miles below the speed limit, they're on the phone," says Charles Dereck Van Wickel who lives in Chicago.

Van Wickel added that the problem with a cell phone/driving ban would be enforcement. "Unless a cop sees you doing it, you're likely to get away with it, which makes you more likely to do it again. Here in Chicago, we have a law against driving and talking, but the police themselves are among the worst violators."

Until a ban is strictly enforced, driving and holding a cell phone conversation at the same time is going to continue to take lives because as we all know, texting is also a part of that package.

In the meantime, just remember this,the last conversation of your life could take place behind the wheel of a car. Or you could wind up killing someone else because you just had to talk on your phone, or sneak a peek at that incoming text instead of focusing your attention on the road and the cars around you.

Editor's Note: Be sure to.

John Owens December 20, 2011 at 10:13 AM
Basically, I would rather it be a ban on teens using cellphones while driving. Before I retired and texting was in vogue, I needed to use my time in the car on the phone. It's just like people that do not use their turns signals, a ban be never enforced.
Marc December 20, 2011 at 01:52 PM
People have been eating,drinking,putting on their make up,shaving,reading the newspaper ect... for decades while driving and all that is already illegal. It is like speeding. You can set up radar traps all you want but you are still only able to catch one person at a time. And how do you enforce this? It will be the officers word against the driver. The courts will be jammed with appeals. I know it is a danger and I do not have the answer but any law would just be for show
SOGTP December 20, 2011 at 02:17 PM
This is a state issue not a federal gub'mint decision. If the people of Georgia want this, then we will ask our legislature to do it. But remember all studies and reports show that accidents increase with bans.
Marc December 20, 2011 at 02:44 PM
Bill, I agree. More and more rights and responsibilities are taken from the states and feeding the federal machine. The constitution only gives limited power to the Fed but We The People seem more and more comfortable handing over over our states rights to big brother.
Hal Schneider December 22, 2011 at 03:33 AM
One by one we continue to surrender our individual freedoms. One day you will wake up and ask, "When did I become a slave of the government?"

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