Is a Total Ban on Cell Phones While Driving Necessary?
Tragic Missouri Crash
In August of 2010, a 19 year old who was texting while driving a pickup, caused a multi-vehicle collision in Missouri. The result was the death of the 15 year-old passenger of the pickup as well as the injurty of 38 others from the school bus. This accident is not an isolated tragedy, unfortunately. According to reports, over 3000 people were killed in auto accidents as a result of texting while driving.
It's been over a year since the tragic accident involving a teen driving a car that caused a chain reaction with a truck and 2 school buses but yet the outrage is still echoing in the halls of the NTSB. The government agency is recommedning a complete ban of cell phones for drivers. This means that even hands-free devices will be prohibited.
Is Complete Ban Necessary?
While it is sad and tragic that anyone has died as a result of texting while driving, does it mandate a total cell phone ban? Last time I checked, I can get distracted from any number of things while I drive. Here's a list of things that have distracted me:
- Handing drinks or food to children in back seat
- Giving a baby his/her pacifier or toy so she/he will stop crying
- Looking for something in my purse
- Changing radio station
- Disciplining a child
I am the first to agree that talking on the phone, hands free or not, can be a distraction as a driver. Putting the phone down is my responsibility. I don't need some government agency to tell me when it's too dangerous to talk. If I get hurt or hurt someone else, it's my fault. Taking responsibility and making good choices is what defines adulthood. Think of a total ban on cell phones like baby-proofing, only we're not babies anymore!
Even the Best Drivers Get Distracted
Until someone figures out a way for humans to become perfect, we will continue to make mistakes while driving and continue to allow ourselves to get distracted.
Here's a recent example that's sure to bring a smile to your face. The story comes from ABC news and took place on December 14 of this year.
"Officer J. Brutus was driving near the intersection of NW 6th Avenue and 67th street in Miami just before rush hour Tuesday when he bent over from the driver's seat to pick up a fallen pen.
With his mind distracted and his eyes off the road, Brutus, a four-year veteran of the department, drove his car off the road and right into the direction of a nearby pole.
Instead of crashing into the pole, however, Brutus hit one of the pole's wires first, propelling his cruiser to a 45-degree angle against the pole.
'His vehicle rode on to the tension cord of this pole,' Brutus's colleague, Miami police spokesperson Detective Willie Moreno, told local ABC affiliate WPLG-10."
Don't Give Away Your Freedoms
We need to be more careful when driving, that is for sure. When we allow ourselves to get distracted by anything, we are flirting with death. A complete ban on cell phone usage while driving will not minimize auto fatalities, in my opinion, since distractions are everywhere. The government seems all too willing to step into that big brother role when it comes to our personal lives. If we want to drink, smoke, eat unhealthy food, or talk on the phone while driving it should be no one's business but ours. Our life is our responsibility and we are the ones who have to live with the consequences. Allowing government interference with our cell phones is another link in our freedom that too many are willing to give away.
And if you lost someone in a car accident as a result of texting or phone usage while driving, my deepest sympathy to you. I feel education is the key to end these tragedies, not a total ban of usage.