New studies show cell phone bans while driving are not reducing traffic accidents. Let me be clear, I am not saying you should text and drive. I just think that our law makers have better things to do than pass laws against cell phones and texting while driving. Here’s why:
- They are difficult to enforce.
How does a cop know if I am texting while driving vs. looking at my iPhone map app getting directions? Does this mean I have to go back to using unfolding awkward maps?
- Studies show cell phone bans are not reducing accidents. Here are a few links:
I have never been a fan of the hysteria around passing laws that ban cell phone while driving. See post on http://www.biologyoftechnology.com/2008/07/hands-free/. I think using some good old common sense while driving goes a lot farther than more laws that are difficult to enforce and don’t really make a difference.
What about laws banning changing clothes while you are in route to a date? Why is it okay for me to play a game of chess (real chess on a magnetic board) with a passenger but can’t punch out a text while waiting at a red light. There are no laws against arc-welding while driving. Call me crazy, but that seems a lot worse (and creepy) that looking at an email you just got on your iPhone. (Did I just admit to doing all that stuff? YIKES!)
So here’s my armchair psychology on the anti-cell-phone-while-behind-the-wheel trend. We have a love-hate relationship with our mobile technology. We love it because it connects us to the world with a device that fits in our pants pocket. You can reach out and touch someone from anywhere. But we hate it because that means anyone can reach us. We love the accessibility to others but hate the accessibility everyone has to us.
If this were a dating situation you might turn to the bottle and scream for attention. Alas, we turn to the law. And somehow we think that putting lame laws on the books making our car a no-phone-zone we are screaming to our mobile devices, “you’re not the boss of me.” Really!
For example, when I was MUCH younger I had a very slight fender-bender because I was trying to tie my shoes while driving. But I did get all crazy about banning shoe-strings for all cars! Did I start saying stuff like, “You ARE NOT getting in the car with me with THOSE shoe-strings!” No, I simply learned that I should not tie my shoes while driving.
Here’s a thought, just use common sense while you’re driving. And let our lawmakers get back to what’s really important!