Tue, Jan 13th 2009 9:31am
As the nation gears up for the inauguration of a new President and Congress and state and local governments laying out their legislative priorities for the coming year, one group says that in addition to pressing issues like the economy, legislators should take up a nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving. They've trotted out the usual rhetoric, equating yakking while driving to drunk driving in an attempt to evoke an emotional response, but ignoring some salient facts. First, while it's hard to argue that driving while talking is completely safe, it may not be as big a risk as some of these groups would lead us to believe. Second, the laws are very hard to enforce and don't automatically decrease the number of accidents. Instead of adding another law narrowly focused on one particular behavior, why not more stringently enforce existing traffic laws dealing with dangerous driving? Laws already exist covering all manner of unsafe driving; perhaps a good way to make the roads safer would be to increase enforcement of them and work to clamp down on all types of unsafe driving, rather than single out particular ones.
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