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“Should Cell Phone Use and Driving Be a Misdemeanor, Punishable With 50 Hours of Community Service?”

Updated on September 17, 2017
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High School graduate, first year college student. I am in my 40's and majoring in Accounting, with an Associates Degree in Science.

Crack Down On Cell Phone Use While Driving to Save Lives

Does anyone follow the laws anymore? People roll through stop signs, and run stop lights. The public has even quit using the turn signal any longer. Do people think they are above the law? A guess, would say, “Yes”, people do think they are above the law. Take the laws against using cell phones, while operating a vehicle. Do people abide by those laws, no they do not. The phones calls are more important than the laws forbidding the use of cell phone use while driving. Should driving while using a cell phone be punishable with a charge of a misdemeanor and 50 hours of community service?

What is distracted driving? Distracted driving is anything that diverts one’s attention from driving. This includes: eating, drinking anything, messing with the radio, messing with the GPS system, and lastly talking on the cell phone while driving. All these mentioned is a distraction from driving and keeping one’s eyes on the road and their surroundings. Not knowing a driver’s surroundings and taking one’s eyes off the road is what is dangerous, not the cell phone itself.

The cell phone use is not only dangerous, but the cell phone use while driving kills and injures other drivers and pedestrians. The person claims the conversation is more important, than abiding by the cell phone use laws in every state. Hopefully, one-day people will wake up, before someone else gets hurt or is killed by a distracting conversation on the cell phone. As stated in “Cellular Phone Use and Texting Driving Laws” (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2017). The highway safety association is wanting to crack down on offenders, who continue to drive and break the cell phone use laws. The article lists every state that has a law against driving, while talking or texting on a handheld cell phone.

Most everyone would say that having an accident while driving and talking on a cell phone would not happen to them. Would having visual evidence, persuade people to not use a cell phone while driving? Even with factual evidence, it is very doubtful that people would quit talking on the cell phone, while in the car driving. The cell phone use in a recent study has provided a chart to show the percentage of cell phone use by the public. The statistics are astounding and can be found in the article, “Driver Electronic Device Use in 2015 (NHTSA 2015)”. Most people would say when a call needs to be taken, it will be taken, whether driving a car or not. The phone calls seem to be more important to the public than someone else’s life.

Looking at some statistics about highway crashes involving distracted driving, is also astounding to see in black and white from the NHTSA. The statistics in,” Distracted Driving 2014 (NHTSA 2014)”. The article states, “In 2014. There were almost 30,000 fatal crashes in the United States, due to distracted driving (NHTSA 2014).” Out of all the crashes in 2014, 385 of those crashes were fatal and of those crashes there was 404 fatalities resulting in cell phone use while driving. When is the public going to wake up and see that driving and using cell phones are very dangerous? When, it hits close to home and it is one of the public’s family members? Driving while using cell phones should be a misdemeanor with a penalty of 50 hours of community service.

Why are there laws on the books if the public is not going to follow them? The government writes laws to protect the public and the drivers, that is the general purpose for written laws. As the world evolves and gets more populated, the generations have come to a place in life, where most people think the laws are for someone else not them. The laws have not changed over the many decades the world has stood. While that has been said, the lawyers do their jobs every day; to keep the charges down for the unbinding law breakers (Wallin 2015). Who suffers in the end? The innocent people who try to abide by the laws and innocent children not even out of school or for most children not even out of their car seats. Something to really think about, when the next driver goes to answer or make another phone call while driving their vehicles. The fines for driving while using a cell phone are too lenient, and that is why the public continues have injuries and fatal crashes. Stiffen the laws, and the injuries/fatal crash accidents from cell phone use while driving, would go down; because the public would think twice about using that cell phone while driving.


References

Insurance, Institute, for, Highway, Safety. 2017. Governor’s, Highway, Safety, Association. Cellular Phone Use and Texting While Driving Laws. Retrieved from http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/cellular-phone-use-and-texting-while-driving-laws.aspx . Article. 10 Aug 2017

NHTSA. (2016). Traffic Safety Facts Research Note: Driver Electronic Device Use in 2015. Retrieved from https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812260 Research from V.C. Library. Lexis, Nexis. Academic. Article. 09 Aug 2017

NHTSA. (2016). Traffic Safety Facts Research Note: Distracted Driving 2014. Retrieved from https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812326 Research from V.C. Library. Lexis, Nexis. Academic. Article. 08 Aug 2017

Wallin, Matthew. (2015) 27 Feb. California Traffic Ticket Fines and Penalties. Retrieved from https://www.wklaw.com/practice-areas/fight-traffic-ticket-california/traffic-ticket-fines-penalties/ Article. 23 Aug 2017

© 2017 L Hill

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