Friday, January 21, 2005

Only teens not allowed to use cell phones

In case you're tired of reading about Bush's inaugural address, let me comment on this Washington Post article about a proposed Virigina law that would prohibit only teenagers from speaking on a cell phone, even with a hands free kit, while driving.

Dumb, dumb, dumb. There's no evidence that there's a rash of traffic accidents caused specifically by teenagers talking on cell phones. Why not ban everyone? Or raise the driving age to 18 if those under 18 aren't mature enough?

This is a law that's impossible to enforce. Is a police officer going to pull over a car with a driver using a cell phone to see how old the driver is? No!

Unenforceable laws only lead to disrespect for the law in general.


TWM said...

Sigh, you are so young.

As the parent of two teenagers, I think this is a great idea. Teens are both inexperienced drivers AND easily distracted and anything that cuts down on those distractions is a good thing.

Stephen said...

I totally agree with you assertion about unenforcable laws.

Nervy said...

Oh please, David.

Her youth has nothing whatsoever do do with this. In my neck of the woods I see soccer moms driving their mammoth SUVs and affluent 50-somethings in their BMWs. Guess what? ALL of them are distracted by using cell phones while driving. It's insulting to dismiss it only as a teenage problem.

And if cell phones are a driving hazard, let's outlaw newspapers, coffee mugs, drive-through food, visor-mounted mirrors....

Charles said...

Teens are inexperienced for the most part as drivers, though there is less and less driver training required or available in most areas - which doesn't help. So ban cellphones by those under 18... okayyyy, why not also those over say 55, since they are the start of drivers with diminished skills? And there are a number of people with limited skills, knowledge, experience, and diminished mental capacity who are out driving; why aren't cellphones banned for them also? I could envision a national agency check with a 3 day waiting period before a new cellphone purchaser could get that new picto-email-web browsing-cellphone.

After all, research shows more people are killed every year by automobiles than by handguns. But anyone with a few bucks can buy a car and a cellphone.

Maybe that woman that likes to quote studies and references all her comments could dig up how many car accidents occur yearly with drivers, 16-19, talking on their cellphones? Help us out here?

R said...

I agree with LG.

If your kids are too stupid to drive, don't let them drive.

If your kids are too stupid to drive and talk on a cel phone, don't let them have a cel phone.

It's that easy, folks.

TWM said...

I understand that eveyone,regardless of age, can be distracted by car cell phone use.

However, when you have the opportunity to TEACH a new generation that doing something stupid (driving while talking on a cell phone) is not a good idea then why not take it.

But hey, I really don't care about this law one way or the other, so pass it - don't pass it. I am not a libertarian so I don't automatically think all laws are bad things - I try to evaluate them one at a time - LOL!

And I think her youth does play into it, just like my old age (if 48 is considered old) plays into my opinions.

But peace, brothers - don't set the libertarian dogs on me :)

Steph said...

If letting teens drive while talking on cell phones is such a bad idea, then why not let parents make rules about it? It'd be just as unenforcable (if that's a word) and you won't have backlash at the government for making another ridiculous rule.

Old Blind Dog said...

My daughter (age 27) just called me from her car so I asked her what she thought of this question. She not only agrees with the law she also allowed that kids shouldn't be able to drive until they are 18. While I wouldn't go that far, I think the law is a good idea. Young people are easily distracted. Before anyone jumps on me with their anectdote about how concientious they were, I know all about it. I was driving when I was 12 and flying airplanes when I was 16, so yeah, it doesn't apply to everyone but they are exceptions not the rule.

TWM said...

Not driving until one is 18 is not that bad an idea. The legal driving age in Germany is 18 (or at least it was when I lived there in the 1980s) and they have to take a six month driving course before they get their license. As a result the Germans are some of the most courteous and safest drivers I have ever seen (again my personal experience).

Steph said...

I don't know about changing the driving age (I think it should be lowered, but making provisional restrictions last for a few years, so that they actually know how to drive before getting a regular license), but a driving license should be *much* harder to get. In Georgia, at least, the test is ridiculously easy and the drivers here are horrible. If we make drivers better, then maybe we wouldn't have to worry as much about cell phone usage.

Roberto Iza Valdes said...
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