Congressional debate: cell phones on the highway

http://www.kcstar.com/item/pages/local.pat,local/377525b8.220,.html

OK, so this law, if passed, would only affect Kansas, but what do you think?

On one side, we need to ask if driving while talking is such a problem. How many accidents have occurred due to cell phone misuse and is that enough to justify the expense needed to enforce these proposed new laws?
Also, if it is a problem, is it only because of hand held phones? Why does the proposed statute not cover voice activated phones as well? Isn’t the distraction of the phonecall itself enough to cause the accident?

On the other side, will $30 really be enough of a deterant to stop people from talking while driving? And if cell phone companies freely admit that driving while talking is a problem (and are taking their own steps to counter it) why do they oppose this bill?

Some studies have shown that it’s only “concentrated conversation” that distracts people, not so much as just calling someone to say “Hey, I’m on my way over.”

Makes sense… you don’t get very distracted from a short, unimportant conversation.

However, I’m pretty sure that the majority of cell phone use results in a pretty involved conversation.

I think that if we’re going to start fining people for talking on the phone, we should also fine them for doing their makeup, reading the newspaper, putting on their tie, combing their hair, listening to the radio, chatting with passengers in the car, or otherwise being distracted in any way, shape, or form.

Absolutely. It seems that with all the fuss over cell phones and other high-tech distractions(Someone is planning to release a car that offers an internet connection as an option.), people have forgotten about the low-tech distractions. I recently read an article in Popular Mechanics that mentioned a syrver where 6% of the people questioned admitted to reading a magazine while driving. Can you believe it?

According to the bill, all cell phone users are given a 2 minute grace period to get off the road. Most make-up applications, shaving, etc. doesn’t take that long and isn’t continuous. Not that I condone those activities, but it’s a lot harder to catch them at it and, arguably, doesn’t cause as much of a distraction.