A Call to Action: Regulate Use of Cell Phones on the Road

1956 Words May 12th, 2006 8 Pages
David *******
English 101-B
14 March 2004
A Call to Action:
Regulate Use of Cell Phones on the Road
When a cell phone goes off in a classroom or at a concert, we are irritated, but at least our lives are not endangered. When we are on the road, however, irresponsible cell phone users are more than irritating: They are putting our lives at risk. Many of us have witnessed drivers so distracted by dialing and chatting that they resemble drunk drivers, weaving between lanes, for example, or nearly running down pedestrians in crosswalks. A number of bills to regulate use of cell phones on the road have been introduced in state legislatures, and the time has come to push for their passage.
Regulation is needed because drivers using phones are
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Using police records, John M. Violanti of the Rochester Institute of Technology investigated the relation between traffic fatalities in Oklahoma and the use or presence of a cell phone. He found a ninefold in- crease in the risk of fatality if a phone was being used and a dou- bled risk simply when a phone was present in a vehicle (522-23).
The latter statistic is interesting, for it suggests that those who
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Source: Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004).
Daly 4 carry phones in their cars may tend to be more negligent (or prone to distractions of all kinds) than those who do not.
Some groups have argued that state traffic laws make legisla- tion regulating cell phone use unnecessary. Sadly, this is not true.
Laws on traffic safety vary from state to state, and drivers dis- tracted by cell phones can get off with light punishment even when they cause fatal accidents. For example, although the mid- shipman mentioned earlier was charged with vehicular manslaugh- ter for the deaths of John and Carole Hall, the judge was unable to issue a verdict of guilty. Under Maryland law, he could only find the defendant guilty of negligent driving and

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