Banning Cell Phones While Driving

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Even though people are busy and claim to need the time in their car to work, talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous and ought to be banned. Talking on a cell phone, even while using a hands free device, distracts the driver and makes them a hazard to themselves and others on the road. Some claim that government should not be able to legislate against people's freedom to use their cell phones where and when they wish. Although people's freedoms and rights are important, they should not be allowed to stretch so far that they put others in danger. Using a cell phone while driving is as dangerous as driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08- the point at which drivers are considered intoxicated in most U.S. states. In fact, some tests have suggested drivers talking on cell phones are more likely to crash than drunk drivers. Professors at the University of Utah ran a test in which volunteers 'drove' a stimulator. They first drove undistracted; then drove while talking to a university staff member over a cell phone; lastly, they drove after drinking enough vodka and orange juice to gain a .08 blood-alcohol level. The volunteers crashed and had near misses more often when talking on a cell phone than they did when drunk. One of the researchers made it clear that they were not suggesting driving drunk was not dangerous, only that driving while talking on a cell phone is equally so, and should also be prohibited: "This study does not mean people should start driving drunk, it means that driving while talking on a cell phone is as bad or maybe worse than driving drunk, which is completely unacceptable and cannot be tolerated by society". Police Officer Bart Ringer reports that he has often stopped weaving drivers, expecting to find them drunk, and instead discovered that they were talking on their cell phones Talking on the cell phone also lowers a twenty-year-old driver's reflexes and reaction times to equal those of a seventy-year-old person. The young often...
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