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Cell Phone Use While Driving: Regulations Are Overdue

1239 words - 5 pages

The need to regulate the use of cell phones while driving is imperative because it’s dangerous, and current laws are not sufficient to curb the problem. Mobile phones, now known as cell phones, have been around since the 1940s; however, they did not become main stream until the 1980s. The original mobile phone design was large and bulky, and was only capable of making phone calls. According to the article, “Cellular Telephone,” “Modern handheld wireless digital devices (cell phones) typically offer an array of multimedia functions. Users may personalize their ring-tones and dial numbers by voice-activation. They may take photographs, listen to music, and play games. They may access the Internet, view and edit documents, send and receive text messages, and exchange audio and video files.” The article goes on to report, “By the end of 2009 the number of wireless subscriber connections (American cell phone users) had reached 285 million.” With all of these added “distractions” and the huge number of cell phone users, it is easy to see why using cell phones while driving has become such a dangerous problem.
As more research has been done on the use of cell phones while driving, the dangers are clear, yet many states are sluggish to enforce bans. A press release by Governor Steve Beshear’s office, dated April 2010, reports “Kentucky recorded more than 57,000 crashes last year (2009) due to driver distraction, inattention, and cell phone use.” The press release goes on to report, “There were 791 fatalities on Kentucky roadways in 2009. More than 200 of those fatalities were attributed to distraction, inattention, or cell phone use.” These statistics helped push a Bill through to ban texting while driving for all drivers and cell phone use for drivers under 18. According to the press release, “Kentucky is the 22nd state to ban texting while driving.” The states that are banning texting while driving are headed in the right direction, but the multitude of other “distractions” cell phones are equipped with are, seemingly, being disregarded by many states.
The need to regulate the use of cell phones, in any capacity, while driving is vital to halting this dangerous behavior. The article, “It’s dum 2 txt while u drive,” reports “Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that nearly 6,000 people were killed last year in accidents caused by distracted drivers. And 515,000 people were injured” (08A). Though this article focuses on the dangers of texting while driving, the statistics regarding distracted drivers, including those using cell phones in other capacities, are staggering. The logical thing to do is to ban their use, period, while driving. The article, “Driving Us to Distraction” reports, “research is beginning to show that driving while simply talking on a cell phone – including using hands-free technology – can prove dangerous, even deadly” (45-46). The article goes on to report unsettling results...

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