I read a news article this morning about banning cell phone use while driving, except with a hands-free headset. Apparently Oregon is about to jump on this ridiculous bandwagon.
The ironic part is that teenagers can't use their cell phones at all--even with a hands-free headset--when they're the ones that are actually capable of multi-tasking, and are so technologically apt that it's second nature to them and probably poses little additional danger for them driving.
Now, if we should talk about banning cell-phone use while driving from any demographic, let's talk about the folks from um, past generations, that still can't figure out how to set up a voice mailbox or answer their call-waiting. You know who you are!
And, if we want to talk about the dangers of distracted driving, let's talk about moms and dads with young children in the car. I am FAR more distracted by my kiddos screaming, whining and fighting in the back seat then I have ever been by using my cell phone. In fact, being on the phone helps me tune out the screaming kids in the backseat. I think I could make a pretty strong case for it being beneficial. It also helps keep me stay awake during long drives. Have you ever heard of someone falling asleep while talking on their cell phone while driving? I think not!
Now, let's talk about hands-free headsets. They're annoying. I still spend the entire time with my hand to my ear trying to keep it close enough to my ear to hear well. And I have to repeat every 6th word since the person on the other end can't hear me very well. And I have to scream... which puts my kids on edge... and nobody needs that (see above).
And, it's all good in theory. But let's see a 60 year-old trying to pair their head-set and get it on their ear to answer their phone while driving. I have trouble doing it while devoting all my attention to it, and I'm only 27!
I can just see me now, reaching down into my purse, fumbling around trying to find my ear piece, open my phone, get to the right screen to pair the head-set and be trying to connect the ear piece to my ear and get it powered up all in time not to miss the important phone call. See the irony?
I'd love to see some statistics as to whether or not the cell-phone ban states have actually seen a decrease it accidents due to the ban?
I'd say the legislation has been written and is being passed by people who still don't have their voice mail-boxes set up yet if you know what I mean. If we're going to ban cell-phones while driving it seems we ought to ban eating, drinking, smoking, turning on the radio, talking to passengers, having kids in the car or any other distraction that might come up for that matter.
In fact, we ought to ban billboards and homeless people holding up signs that are hard to read, because those are distracting. Then we should talk about scantily clad joggers, people who shouldn't be wearing spandex wearing them, and cute little puppies that line the sides of the roads. And lemonade stands, and Estate Sale signs, and obnoxious cheerleaders yelling at you to come get your car washed.
Or, if you are incapable of multi-tasking, maybe you should hang up your cell-phone and wait until you get to a safe place to tend to your cell-phone needs. And maybe the government and police officers should spend their time doing things that only they can do, and leave me alone. With all due respect, if my cell-phone use is inhibiting my ability to drive, give me a ticket, I deserve it. If it's not inhibiting my ability to drive however, then it seems like it's probably not the best use of the local police officers time to be trying to catch me on my phone. Maybe he should be free to be on the look-out for people whose distractedness is actually impairing their driving ability?