We Must Stop Legislation to Ban Cell Phone Use While Driving

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Cell phones began with only a select few could afford a cell phone. Today with most Americans owning cell phones we must look at the benefits and downfalls of cellular technology. The issue of driving while dialing brings up the most controversy. The legislation in place to govern the use of cellular phones in certain cities is justified, but the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

The cell phone has been around since the fifties when they first had the idea from using CB radio frequencies. AT&T was the first to bring about the technology back in the late forties and early fifties. The FCC regulated all radio frequencies broadcast and limited AT&T to twenty-three phone calls simultaneously in the same service area. In the seventies the FCC later allowed more use of the radio waves. In the late seventies the first trials were made in Chicago with 2000 initial customers (Bellis 1). In the 1987 cellular customers hit one million. Today one half of the people living in the United States own a cell phone.

It is true that drivers can be clearly distracted from the road from cellular phones. Drivers will have them in a purse in the backseat or in an inaccessible pocket that they will be startled to get to when someone calls. Drivers will struggle to get to the phone in a timely manner and that becomes their priority instead of the road in front of them. Drivers may swerve or cut off another driver in while trying to answer a cell phone or trying dialing a ten digit telephone number. An Ohio insurance company took a poll of eight hundred drivers. The results of the poll are as follows: 43% said they had accelerated on at least one occasion while using their mobile phone; 23% said they had tailgated; 18% said they had cut someone off; 10% ran a red light; and 41% said they had accelerated to get away from someone else in another vehicle on a mobile phone (Ropeik 16). It is obvious that cell phones are a distraction but are the distractions caused by cell phones outweighed by the security and added convenience of a cell phone?

There are hundreds of benefits from cellular phones. The convenience more than anything is what appeals to most users. Cell phones can be used for work or for personal use. Businessmen and women will use them to call clients and parents will use them to check on the babysitter.

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