Cell Phone Ban Drives No Benefits

from the still-plenty-of-accidents dept

As states (and nations) rush to ban mobile phones in cars, it may be instructive to look at New York State - one of the first to ban "driving while yakking". In the year and a half since the law went into effect, there has been no decrease in accidents. Some say all this does is show that even hands-free systems should be banned. Their argument assumes that everyone who used to use a mobile phone is now using a handsfree kit - and still getting into accidents. That's a bit of a stretch. Other studies are suggesting that mobile phone bans do little to protect people on the road. It turns out that accidents due to mobile phone use are very low on the list of driver-distraction-based accidents. It even falls below "adjusting the radio". Why don't we ban adjusting the radio in a car as well, then?


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    Nate, Jun 26th, 2003 @ 6:07pm

    No Subject Given

    Actually...having lived in New York State before and after the ban, nothing has changed with the accident rate because nothing has changed with useage. Everyone still uses the phone held up to the ear, even in full view of police because they don't care and are not pulling anyone over due to it.

    It's kinda hard I guess to enforce the law when the cop is talking on his own phone without a hands-free kit.

    Nate

     

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      Mike (profile), Jun 26th, 2003 @ 6:33pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      That's a good point. I actually had noticed that the last time I was in NY, even though I was careful not to use my phone while driving.

       

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      NLucier, Jun 26th, 2003 @ 6:44pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      Just as a point of reference, I am typing based on experience in Upstate New York, ie. outside of New York City (the 51st state). Don't have a clue how it works down there.

      Nate

       

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    imhotep1, Jun 26th, 2003 @ 8:56pm

    No Subject Given

    In California we have something called the "Basic Speed Law" This means that regardless of the posted speed limit, you must always drive at an appropriate speed relative to the conditions. This doesn't just include the conditions outside of the car. If an officer spots you doing something foolish inside your vehicle (head down messing wih the radio, leaning backwards yelling at children, ...) he can pull you over and ticket you. The argument is that the safe speed for driving while not paying attention is zero.

    Perhaps we should just ticket people who don't drive safe and don't pay attention to the road, and don't make up arbitrary lists of what counts as not paying attention.

     

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