Editorial: Cell phone use needs limits

With cell phones continuing to be a debated cause or contribution to car accidents, several states are considering banning their use while driving. Such a ban would be good and could save many people’s lives. Limitations on the ban and when cell phone use in a car is appropriate should be clear.

Last week, a group of Canadians on their way to Florida for vacation were killed when a vehicle driven by a young woman on a cell phone jumped a guardrail and landed on top of their vehicle. All five people in both vehicles died. Investigators are checking what role cell phone use played in the accident, though it has already been suggested that the cell phone was a distraction while the woman was driving.

Certainly cell phones can be helpful; they can be used to report accidents, car trouble or even crimes while on the road. However, cell phones are often used for frivolous conversations and become distractions.

Driving takes a great deal of concentration in order to be done correctly and safely. Cell phones only distract and contribute to accidents because drivers pay too much attention to their conversations.

Banning cell phones while driving would help many people concentrate better. Even hands-free sets or speakerphones would help alleviate much distraction, as the driver could still concentrate on the road and not worry about holding a cell phone to his or her ear.

In fact, the safety of hands-free sets should be tested, and if found to be safer than holding the phone, car companies should consider installing them in new cars as an added accessory, much like radios and CD players.

Cell phone safety is a growing issue, and if laws are passed in states such as Florida as the legislature is considering, measures to limit cell phone use will be taken out of individuals’ hands for them.