Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Banning cell phones

A small town in my area is contemplating a ban on the use of cell phones while driving.

I have to say that I have mixed feelings on the subject.

I use my cell phone on occasion when I drive, but I always use a hands-free device--a bluetooth or other similar device.

I've been driving since I was 15. I haven't had an accident (knock on wood) in nearly 18 years. I'm a good driver. And I am fully capable of talking into a bluetooth earpiece while maintaining awareness of my surroundings.

I am also fully aware that there are people who are not capable of such awareness. I see them on the road nearly every day. Some of them have nearly hit me.

So this is my proposal: Instead of an outright ban on cell phone use while driving, do this instead: give everyone a new driving test.

Just like everyone took when they first got their drivers' licenses, make everyone take a supervised test. Give an instructor your cell number, then have him or her call you and engage you in a spirited conversation while you perform a basic driving test supervised by another instructor. If you are able to pass it while talking, you will be allowed to use your phone while driving.

And I think that using a handheld phone while driving should be forbidden, plain and simple. With the wide variety of hands-free devices cheaply available nowadays, there is no excuse for not using one while driving.

If anyone can think of a simpler solution, I am open to suggestion.

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