Cell-Phone Ban Not a Good Call

from the not-the-real-problem dept

There have been a bunch of contradictory studies (and general opinions) over how dangerous it is to use a mobile phone in a car. However, it seems pretty clear that there are a ton of distractions when someone is driving – some of which may be worse than a mobile phone. However, mobile phones seem to be the political hotspot these days, and it’s leading to bans of driving-while-yakking all over the place. This opinion piece suggests that instead of doing the kneejerk thing and banning mobile phones in cars, the police should go after people who are driving badly – no matter what the cause. Banning movile phones in cars doesn’t do much to reduce the likelihood of a distracted driver from endangering the lives of others – but we don’t see people trying to ban the use of radios in cars, or saying that children shouldn’t be allowed in cars.

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Comments on “Cell-Phone Ban Not a Good Call”

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Anonymous Coward says:

ban built-in microphones

wouldn t be easy forcing handset producers to produce cellphones without built in mic ?

if it is such a threat to safety, giving handset with just remote earphones and mic would be the solution.

But as usual worries are enough to justify fines on users (they re just building a disguised tax revenue source)

Alexi says:

Cell phone ban

I agree with Mike. There is too much legislation passed as a “pain-reliever” rather than a cure. More responsibility should be placed on the user rather than the device. Because I cannot drive well when use a cell phone, I don’t use one in the car. My wife can multitask better, so she has no problems driving and calling.

And please, no legislation banning mics on handsets and requiring remote earphones! I can only imagine the places where those will get caught (gearshift knob?), the children that will choke on them, etc!

Scott (user link) says:

Lets get on the police

I think that the problem goes far beyond the use of cell phones and I agree that the ban is not the answer.

I find that many drives are bad ones. They cut into oncomming traffic, do not yield, poke their noses out at stop signs beyond the limit lines and do not know where they are going thus cutting into traffic with turns from the wrong lane.

The answer. Make the cops do their job! There are vehicle codes and the cops should be giving tickets out for these infractions. Then people will need to go to traffic shool. They will eventually get it from brain washing of the vehicle code. I have gone so many times in the past I can recite the vehicle code for my state. I was alway sspeeding though.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Lets get on the police

Not all bad drivers are talking on their cellphones while driving, but most drivers who talk on their cellphones while driving are going to be more absent minded than were they not on their phones. The ban makes sense. Furthermore, talking on the phone in the car is more a desire than a need, whereas (in Mike’s example) driving one’s children around is not something that some can avoid. If talking on the phone is that important then get a earpiece and microphone. I haven’t heard a single example opposing the ban that makes any sense at all.

Human Factors Professional says:

banning cell phones

you’re all right. cell phones are distracting just like changing the radio station… the big difference is, imagine changing the radio station for 20 minutes straight. The effect of processing complex information on one’s attention to the road yields an increased reaction time (takes longer to react) up to .85 seconds. At 65 mph, that’s over 80 feet before you hit the brake pedal. The difference between cell phone and talking to a passenger? Well, a passenger responds to the road cues just like you do- traffic gets crazy and conversation eases up. And the radio? the radio doesn’t require our response to a complex message, rather we can ‘tune out’ from the radio when traffic gets heavy. … Still, answering a call may result in the most accidents due to cell phones. No matter where and when you’re driving, you may have to answer that phone… It is not like changing a radio station when your attentional resources are freed up- like we do sitting at red lights often.

brandon says:

u are totally wrong about this

cell phones are a huge part in automotive accidents. I’m in the speech program at my high school and we had to do a debate on cell phone use in cars. Did u know that cell phone use in cars cauz 6% of all automotive accidents, that works out to 300 deaths a year, and so far 26000 people have died and 330000 injuries have happend so far. so tell me that they shouldn’t be baned

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