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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Chicago Argus on banning cell phone usage for drivers...

I can't say I disagree with Gregory Tejada of Chicago Argus as he makes an argument in favor of a possible state law that bans cell phone usage in automobiles.
In fact, to me, the idea of not using a cellphone while in the car makes all the sense in the world – particularly since I have noticed the number of times that drivers who were busy yakking away on their hand-held communications devices weren’t paying attention and would have hit me had I not managed to engage in a sudden maneuver.

AS FAR AS I’m concerned, I actually have one of those devices in my own car that lets me talk on my cellular telephone without holding it in my hands (it was a birthday gift from my brother a couple of years ago).

Yet I rarely use it, preferring to ignore most calls to me while driving (I call them back once I get to where I’m going).

On those rare occasions when it is someone whom I do need to talk to, right there and then, I pull over to the side of the road and stop (which led to one recent story I reported, in part, for an area newspaper from the side of Interstate 80 just outside of Joliet), then talk.

In short, I will have no problem complying with the idea that using a cellular phone in the car is absurd.
This is how Tejada responds to those who may not like the idea of Government banning the use of cellphones in automobiles:
There are going to be a lot of people who are going to think that this is some sort of serious intrusion on their personal lives by telling them where their cellular telephones can (and cannot) be used.

Even though personally, I consider the cellular telephone itself to be the serious intrusion on my own personal life. As though some people think they have the right to speak to me whenever it is to their convenience.
Believe it or not some of this I can relate to. Besides my cellphone usage doesn't revolve around talking as a lot of people use their cell phones. In fact it irritates me to see so many people on their phones and airing out their personal business and forcing everyone to listen when they might prefer some peace and quiet. A lot of people seem to want to lose themselves in the phone and forget that there are actually people around them.

That being said, do I believe cell phone usage by drives be banned? My answer is no. It's more than reasonable to expect people to use some type of hands free device to receive and or make calls, but certainly to receive. In fact that's required by Chicago city ordinance, you must have a hands free device if you must talk on your phone in your vehicle.

Of course in spite of this a lot of people choose to take that chance anyway. As a matter of fact I own a Bluetooth device, but it's rarely used. My phone doesn't blow up like I'm sure many people do. The primary usage of my phone has been as a small camera, checking e-mails, send tweets, and even to Facebook. That's it! And I would use a handsfree device to respond to phone calls as I drive around in my vehicle.

I understand a lot of these laws were written with the idea of safety. Perhaps it's not safe to literally have a phone up to your ear as I've seen so many people elect to do while behind the wheel of their vehicles. At the same time my hope is that people without the need of another law will make the more sensible choice to not make a phone call behind the wheel of their vehicle as it appears Tejada will do.

Besides, I sometimes will err in the school of you can't legislate stupidity. That is if you already know that it's not a very bright idea to physically pick-up your cell phone while behind the wheel then why are you choosing to do so? Especially if there are devices you can use that will enable you to talk to that other person but with out having to literally put the phone up to your ear.

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