Free Laws Against Cell-Phone Use While Driving Essay Sample
The laws that ban the use of cellular phones in the United States have been continually increasing. Receiving calls, dialing numbers and holding conversations on cell phones drifts the concentration that is very important to the motorist. The reaction time of the motorist is reduced considerably when he loses focus on the road. Beside the tragic deaths caused by drivers distracted by cell phones, scientific studies show that there is a very big correlation between cell phone usage and accidents.
According to a study by the University of Utah, people that drive while talking on the cell phone are equivalent to a drunk at the legal blood-alcohol limit. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as any non-driving activity a person engages that has the potential to divert his or her attention from the road hence increasing the risk of an accident. Many states are addressing this issue by enacting laws against cell phone use while driving (Trapp 2009).
Brooklyn, Ohio, on March 22 in 1999 became the city to first ban the use of handheld cell phones in vehicles, unless the driver kept both hands on the steering wheel. Different states' laws address text messaging and cell phone use in different ways. As of march 2011, the District of Columbia and eight other states banned all the drivers from the use of hand held cell phones. While more than fifteen states banned text messaging for all the drivers.
There have been many debates regarding this issue of whether it is okay for the government to ban people from using their cell phones while driving (Baldauf & Stair 2010).
This research paper delves deep into this issue focusing on the pros and cons of the law that bars drivers to use cell phones while driving. It is very reasonable. According to many people to say that the use of cell phones while driving is very dangerous and can lead to fatal accidents. According to research, the drivers who use the cell phone while driving have slow reactions in the breaking tests than the non-users (Leone 2008).
On the contrary, accidents can also be caused other factors and not necessarily the use of cell phones while driving. A driver can use his cell phone while driving and not put his life or the passenger's life a risk, for example, when the car is at a standstill in gridlocked traffic while driving on a clear road when the visibility is very clear or even when waiting for the traffic lights to change. Other actions can equally create the risk of accidents such as arguing with passengers about directions, changing tapes, eating or even trying to stop children wrangling. Since these laws equally can cause accidents as the use of cell phones while driving, they should be considered when it comes to reinforcing the law against cell phone use when driving.
Hands-free cellular phones allow drivers to communicate freely without them taking their eyes off the road or their hands off the controls, since they have earpieces and voice-automated dialing options. There is actually no difference between holding a conversation with a passenger and someone over the phone using this kind of phone. The probability of the driver talking to someone in the vehicle is higher than that of speaking to someone over the phone. This is because when talking to the passenger, the driver may be tempted to address the passenger directly by turning to face them and this will automatically make them loose concentration and can cause an accident. (Business and legal reports Inc. 2008)
On the other hand, those that support these laws argue that when a passenger is in the same vehicle as the driver, he or she is aware of the possible road hazards and can stop talking when the driver needs to concentrate on driving, unlike the telephone caller who will just talk and talk. The voice recording technology has its faults and is often unreliable and can therefore frustrate the driver making him lose concentration. It could be very inconsistent to ban the use of one type of cell phone and allow another (hands-free cellular phones), and it is for this reason that the law prohibits the use off all the cell phones.
Proving a charge of driving without due care and attention can be very difficult. This is why a new law on cell phone use would be enforceable since the billing records would show when a particular phone has been used hence making proving of the charge possible and easy. This is because each time a driver uses a cell phone he puts his life and the life of the passenger at risk. On the contrary, a specific law against cell phone use while driving is not necessary. This is because there already is a law against driving while not taking due care and attention. Driving while using a cell phone can be encompassed by this law since the driver is usually not taking the required attention and care of a "reasonable" driver. The police should enforce the law more, rather than a new law being passed. This could be coupled with sensitization campaigns to show the citizen and warn them about a variety of dangerous driving habits including the use of cell phones while driving.
People survived and coped without cell phones in the past before they were introduced and therefore people can still do without them. Drivers are at liberty to pull over beside the road and talk for whatever amount of time and not necessarily talk on the phone while driving. Bosses can pressure employees and therefore the ban will reduce the stress and the risk of accidents caused by over speeding. In a different perspective, using cell phones while driving could be a safety measure in several occasions. Instead of the delayed employees risking their lives by driving very fast to report to work on time, they could call their bosses and inform them of their arriving late. Drivers are also frequently using cell phones to alert the police of unsafe loads on the road, stray animals and careless drivers on the road. Also they use cell phones to report accidents to the emergency services when they happen or when they come across some.
Society has the right to intervene when it comes to protecting the innocent who die due to careless and dangerous driving. The law banning the use of cell phones while driving will add on to the rules against drunk driving and the laws against driving without attention and due care. While this is true, bad driving is what causes accidents and kills people and not cell phones the state should therefore not interfere with the personal lives of individuals by not allowing them to use their cellular phones while driving. The ban will not eliminate the dangerous drivers but will only serve as a penalty to the many good drivers on the road
The regulation of cell phone use when driving not only in U.S but is also spreading to other parts of the world. Distracted driving causes very many accidents but the honest statistics show that the use of cell phones while driving constitutes only a very small percentage of these accidents. This is because even the drivers that use hand held cell phones while driving use them safely. The state should therefore pass a law that bans distracted driving generally and not cell phone use only.
According to the highway loss data institute, it was found that since the laws banning cell phone use took effect, no reductions in car accidents were seen. The study further showed an increase in insurance claims after the ban and this was explained by the fact that drivers in their bid to hide their illegal texting took their eyes off the road. The ban does not only affect the genuine careful drivers but also the police who lack enough manpower required to enforce the law by catching the drivers on the act.