5 thoughts on “IBD: Cell Phone Nanny State”

  1. I am a bit late to this discussion, however the legislative nonsense continues. If there has been no increase in traffic fatalities since the introduction of cell phones, then it will be difficult, at best, to justify a ban on cell phone use in automobiles. Without an increase in fatalities, there is no direct evidence that cell phone use makes any difference. Either, (1) cell phone use is simply another form of distraction to the fatally distractable driver, substituting for a more acceptable distraction such as cosmetics application, or, (2) there has been some decrease in other causes of traffic fatalities, which therefore offsets and hides an increase due to cell phone use. It is distasteful for death, or injury, to be due to a preventable cause. Cell phones, just as cosmetics, or cigarettes, screaming kids, or hot bodies in the car next to you, are not the cause of the problem. Your choice to be distracted by them is. Defensive driving and driver education may help decrease deaths and injuries. Legislation, however, is appropriate for preventable causes of traffic deaths, such as intoxication.

  2. About 14 years ago, when I lived in Minnesota (the Twin Cities) I saw lots of things on the six-lane 60-mph stretch that connected the two cities. I saw people painting their fingernails, reading books, you name it. Cell phones have made this problem worse, but it’s all the same problem, and it’s not new. If you want to read a book or do your nails, stay at home. If you absolutely need to talk or text, find a scenic parking place.

  3. Scarlet, you are overthinking the issue. There is an easy way to determine whether a cell phone ban in cars will reduce crashes. Analyze the effects of local bans.

    Such analyses have shown no effect of cell phone bans on car crashes or injuries. The conclusion of one major Hawaii study was that responsible drivers are not distracted by cell phones and will hang up to concentrate on driving when weather or traffic presents problems. An irresponsible driver will be distracted by whatever else they are doing whether or not there is a cell phone involved (if they don’t ignore the law completely).

  4. This point I am going to take issue with this article. While we all engage in some sort of distractions during driving, the cell phone presents a particularly unique situation. The person on the other end does not see the traffic situation and can engage the driver it a distracting conversation. This quite different from a passenger, who can see the traffic and should respond to curtail their discussion when the driver needs to put his/her attention to the road.
    Having been nearly hit a couple of times, there needs to be some attention to this problem. Its not the hands free issue, it is really the diversion of concentration away from the road.
    How you do this, I don’t know. But the article is simplifying a serious issue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.