Total Cell Phone Ban Is A Bad Idea

By Bonnie Sesolak, NMA Development Director

The National Safety Council wants to see cell phone use in cars banned. They believe states should ban drivers from using hand-held and hands-free cell phones, and businesses should prohibit employees from using cell phones while driving on the job.

This idea is appealing to some because it could make enforcing cell phone laws easier. Unfortunately, it achieves this by removing all thought and discretion from the process.

Here are some of the reasons you may want to use a cell phone while driving:

  • Safety. If you should find yourself in a situation where you feel threatened perhaps by another driver that has some pent up road rage issues, do you want to pull over to call for help?
  • How about finding yourself in the “wrong part of town?” Pulling over to get directions might not be a good idea.  Your cell phone may be your only option.
  • Forgetfulness.  Leaving something important behind.  You could simply call the person before the situation was beyond repair to let them know what they have forgotten.
  • With everyone cutting back on needless travel, combining errands is important.  A quick call to ask someone to stop and pickup or deliver something for you may be helpful.
  • What if you see a crime being committed and you need to call law enforcement?
  • Perhaps there is a medical emergency, an accident, or you encounter a potential life threatening situation while driving.

Sometimes it is necessary to use a cell phone while driving and competent drivers should be able to do so without fearing legal repercussions. Drivers who endanger others while talking on the phone can and should be ticketed under existing distracted driving laws.

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