Obstructed Views is an unbiased (as long as you agree with our views) blog where we tackle the worlds of sports, entertainment, politics, current events, and anything else we feel like. Our goal is not to offend but to start dialogs about the things people are talking about. We’re just saying what you’re thinking. We want our writing to sound as if it were coming out of our mouths during a conversation and to maybe spark a debate or two.
I’ll admit, I’m guilty of texting while driving occasionally. (Although I really try not to) The National Transportation Board (NTSB) has recommended that all cell phone usage be banned by all drivers. The ban would include talking, texting, and using all hands free devices. An exception would be made for devices that “aid” driver safety, such as GPS.
There are 35 states that ban texting while driving. In my experience (PA is one of them) these laws are usually very “liberally” enforced; if at all. To me this is one of the problems that I have with this proposal. In theory a law that bans people from talking on or texting while driving is a great idea. However if it’s not enforced, just how effective is it?
I live in Philadelphia and including myself, I see too many people to count driving while talking and/or texting. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen but I’ve yet to talk to anyone that has received a ticket for violating this law. I’ve also seen the same cops that are to enforce the cell phone law, actually breaking the law while on duty. So to me maybe the problem isn’t the law, it’s the enforcement.
The second problem that I have with this proposal is the reasoning behind it. The NTSB has given numerous examples of deadly accidents that have occurred due to people talking or texting while driving. Now, I’m not an idiot. I agree that it should be illegal to text and talk on the phone while driving. What I don’t agree with is banning hands free devices. It’s not that I don’t agree that having a phone conversation while driving could be distracting. My issue is what about all the other things that can go on in a car while driving that are distracting?
If you are going to ban having a phone conversation on a hands free device while driving, how can you possible say that a GPS is ok? If you’ve ever driven or ridden in a car that is using GPS it can be pretty distracting. What about eating or drinking while driving? How many people have you’ve ever heard of getting a ticket for eating a bacon, egg and cheese? What about playing with the radio in a car? I’ve had my driver’s license for 16 years. Of those 16 years I’ve had a cell phone for 13 of them. Number of accidents caused by using a cell phone? Zero. Number of accidents caused by playing with the radio? One.
Courtesy of mahalo.com
The NTSB argues that having a phone conversation while driving, even on a hands free device, can cause the driver to lose focus. So can driving while not having enough sleep. Do people get tickets for that? I’ve had many “heated” conversations while driving that very easily could’ve led to me “losing focus”. Never received a ticket for any of those times. Billboards on the highway, street signs, etc. can all cause a driver to lose focus yet they’re all legal.
Courtesy of craigmwriter.com
The point I’m trying to make is that while in theory the NTSB’s proposal makes sense, it’s just not practical. Since most states already have laws dealing with this problem, the simple solution is to simply enforce the existing laws. In my opinion there are a ton of things that can distract a driver; to focus on cell phones just doesn’t make sense.
Just to be clear, I’m not against banning texting and/or talking while driving. You are never going to be able to completely get rid of people texting while driving. Enforcing existing laws could help. Who knows, maybe by enforcing the existing laws would free up time to solve some real problems that are going in this country. I’m anxious to hear everyone’s take on this issue so be sure to leave a comment.
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