by Ashley Murphy
Cell phones. They've been all over the news lately. The "scientists" and "researchers" of the world putting more negativity upon them and linking them to mankind's own stupidity. It has come up to ban cell phone use, and cell phones in general, from vehicles. While I agree that cell phone use, mostly texting while driving, can hinder the operator's ability to drive safely, banning the cell phone entirely, even hands free devices, is absolutely ludicrous.
Cell phones have been unfortunate in being blamed for the majority of accidents happening these days. I understand that texting while driving has become a major concern. Especially amongst the younger crowd. They can't seem to put the phone down. I'm not necessarily the younger crowd, but I'm one of those who can't seem to put the phone down. From texting or making phone calls, I know it's not good and could potentially be dangerous, but I don't really text too much while driving unless it's to figure out plans or directions of where I'm driving to. Sometimes directions are needed, times have to be set, meeting places need to be confirmed. Sure, many of you are saying, "Pull over. Send your texts then and wait until you figure it all out before getting back on the road." Well, sorry, I refuse to do that. If so, I could be sitting by myself for quite a while. And possibly not in the best part of town a girl should be in alone. So, sorry again. Get over it.
Another problem with this whole situation is that if you take away cell phones because they are such a big distraction, then why shouldn't you take away radios, iPods, navigation systems, make-up, other passengers and even every other object sitting in the car that could possibly cause a distraction. I talk to my passengers while driving my car. I don't have to dial a number, but I do occasionally glance at them while having a conversation. You still have the exact same distractions either way you decide to talk to someone. The only difference in the two, is that when talking to someone by cell phone, you have to dial a number, very quickly. When physically talking to a passenger, most people tend to glance and look at them while talking. In my opinion, this is even more dangerous than talking on a cell phone!
What about those with kids who try to parent in a car? Should kids be outlawed to ride in cars? I know on several occasions where people have tried to calm a baby or referee a fight in the back seat while driving from the front drivers seat. There have been swerving incidents and near mailbox misses. I don't know personally of any wrecks resulting from this driving behavior, but I'm sure there have been some. So, how is this any different from talking on a cell phone?
Further more, take away billboards, posters, advertisements, human advertisements, electronic moving signs, stationary signs...signs in general. I can't tell you how many times I've almost rear-ended someone because I've been trying to read the latter while driving by; Hamilton Place's electronic board in Chattanooga along the interstate being the most frequent to catch my eye...as my foot has to catch my brake.
Also, what about all these millions of cars that have factory installed OnStar, other communications systems and bluetooth? Will the government waste billions of dollars to recall all of these vehicles and have the systems removed? I would really hope not, unless they plan to drive us further into debt because they feel the need to place more rules, laws and regulations upon the American people.
It's also not fair to only limit every day citizens. What about police officers, firefighters, EMTs and any other similar line of business? Would this apply to them? They keep cell phones, CBs, radios, laptops and printers in most of their vehicles. If that's not a distraction, then I don't know what is. "But they need them. It's all part of their work. They can't do their job without them." Okay, but does that make it any less dangerous? No. And in my opinion, you can't place regulations upon a certain group and not upon another. That's not the way this works. Even though government does it already, picking and choosing who to regulate and who to let run free is a big pile of cow dung. Government needs to get over itself.
It has been printed that "research" shows using a cell phone while driving is the same as driving under the influence of alcohol. Really? Are the "researchers" under the influence of alcohol while conducting these "experiments." Sure, texting while driving takes your eyes away from the road and is a distraction. A solvable distraction. Put the phone down and don't text. Especially in heavy traffic areas or when going at high rates of speed. This isn't impaired driving in any way. Driving under the influence is a physical impairment to your brain and body. Judgement is pretty much out the window and you can't take all the alcohol from your system and place it in the console until you safely get home. It doesn't work that way. So whoever compares the two, well, I'm just gonna come out and say it, you're not very bright (my opinion only).
I know several people, some young children and babies, die every day in accidents. It's a horrible thing for one to have to endure. I don't mean to sound heartless when I say this, but that's why they're called accidents. They happen every day. People drive drunk and kill other people. People text while driving and kill other people. People can be reading a road map, putting on make-up, looking at a billboard, staring at a pretty girl in a bikini advertising a car wash or trying to referee fights in the back seat and cause an accident, which could, in turn, kill people. Out of all of these, only one is a definite physical impairment that has every just cause to be banned. Others are just poor judgements and distractions.
Banning the cell phone is not the answer. It's just regulating the American people under government more than they are now. It's ridiculous, tiresome and idiotic. Many will continue to do it whether it's "enforced" by law or not. The clever thing to do is make the public more aware of the consequences. That just seems like the more logical choice to me.