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Summary:

Do you ever make business or personal calls on your cell phone while driving? If so, you may want to pay close attention to a campaign launched this week by the National Safety Council (NSC) to prohibit even turning on a phone while behind the wheel. […]

Do you ever make business or personal calls on your cell phone while driving? If so, you may want to pay close attention to a campaign launched this week by the National Safety Council (NSC) to prohibit even turning on a phone while behind the wheel.

The organization sent letters to governors and legislative leaders in all 50 states, urging them to make the ban part of their motor-vehicle laws. This idea goes way beyond the efforts that have taken place in many states and cities to ban drivers from texting and using handheld phones. The NSC says that dozens of studies have found that using a hands-free phone while driving is no safer than using a handheld one. It’s a distraction issue, and the group says studies show that about 6 percent of all traffic fatalities are caused at least in part by drivers not paying attention while on the phone.

This shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is from a big organization with lobbying clout, the same group that devised the “click it or ticket” slogan, adopted in many places to warn drivers to follow the law and buckle up.
The AAA motor club, another group with influence, has a campaign of its own to educate drivers to the fact that using a hands-free phone isn’t safer than using a handheld. But AAA hasn’t endorsed the safety council’s more radical position.

What do you think of a ban on using a cell phone while driving?

  1. Yes, yes, a thousand times YES! I can often tell from 50 yards away when someone is driving while talking on a cell phone. Let’s face it – these two tasks are simply not compatible.

    And for those of you who insist you are excellent drivers while chatting on the cell, trust me – you’re not.

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    1. I think your right that people shouln’t text or talk on the phone while driving cuz people can wreck and get hurt or maybe even killed so I so agree with you!!!!!!!

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  2. Here in the province of Nova Scotia, it is illegal to use a handheld phone while driving, though it’s still perfectly legal to use a hands-free device. Other provinces are looking at the same.

    It’s all well and good to have legislation to prevent people from doing things that are dangerous. I agree with them. The trouble is enforcing those laws. As a quick glance around an intersection here in my city tells me, there are many who just don’t care. As someone who walks everywhere, it seems my life – or my physical well-being at least – is far less important than a phone call. It’s that attitude that has to change.

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  3. freelancewriter Thursday, January 15, 2009

    Yes. People survived without talking on cell phones while driving in the past. Surely it can be done again.

    The risks are noteworthy – causing an accident and potentially killing people.

    Chatting with a friend while driving to their house isn’t that important. If it is, pull over and talk.

    Emergency situation? Tell the caller you’re going to pull over, and talk to them after you do. If someone is telling you that your best friend died, while driving is probably not a good time to get that news, anyway. Pull over.

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  4. No. Taking the devil’s advocate position, there are ways that talking on the cell phone can be made safe, and those way should be enforced and taught. Putting on a seat belt or not drinking and driving are different things from taking away advances that have been made because some abuse the privilege. And from someone that sits in traffic for over an hour a day, the ability to actually get things done instead of wasting that hour is a boon. Do I have serious conversations that take a lot of time and attention? No. But short calls that would take away from time at work or home are fair game.

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  5. In the UK, talking on a cell phone while driving is only legal if a hands-free set is used. I think texting (really? good grief!) would have been covered under dangerous driving or driving without due care and attention.

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  6. In New Jersey, it’s illegal to talk on the phone while driving without a hands-free device. Nobody obeys the law. I have no knowledge if it’s ever been enforced or not. I see people driving around holding phones to their ears all the time.

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  7. That’s why I only text on my cell phone while driving…talking’s too dangerous.

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  8. Look at everyone asking for ban! Hahaha, ‘take away my freedoms!!’ It’s too bad. Act first, ask questions later… Why hasn’t anyone asked for any additional statistical data to help make a more informed decision? How about something to the effect of age vs. accidents caused by phone distraction? I’d be real curious to see how many of these culprits are simply inexperienced teens. So what are the causes for the other 94% of accidents? Is using a phone the #1 cause at 6%??

    It amazes me every time to see how quick people are to ban something because they don’t like what the other guy is doing. Eventually we all will be the other guy.

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  9. There are already wreckless driving laws. Enforce those laws and let those that are responsible enough to talk, type, and dial phones while driving be FREE to do so. Officers already have enforceable laws to protect the public from dangerous individuals. Do we need more regulation? Save the financial burden of passing the law and put more cops on the road to enforce the laws we already have.

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  10. While trying to make the road a safer place is admirable, I disagree targeting one distraction when many other are causes as well. The NHTSA has claimed for a long time that playing with the radio, eating, or reading is a major distraction leading to accidents. In addition their latest study FAQ mentions that talking to someone in your own car is equally risky. Granted they can alert you to dangers as well, but just because something is risky doesn’t mean it should be banned.

    In my opinion, if will go so far as banning one “distraction”, should there be no radio, food, passengers or anything else that can be perceived as a “distraction”? If its fair to ban one “distraction” why not ban them all?

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    1. I agree with you.

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    2. the only thing i disagree with here is texting while driving, that is just horribly dangerous

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