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Cell Phones, Texting and Driving

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I’d like to share a few thoughts about cell phones, texting, and driving.

While driving through Dallas this morning, a car was coming up an on ramp to my right, in order to merge onto the freeway. The driver was talking on a handheld cell phone at the time. This is always a little scary for me — someone on a cell phone is NOT paying adequate attention to their driving to safely merge. The driver was yakking away, then suddenly realized she was on an on ramp with a big truck to her left. She looked up and said "Oh %$#@", then realized that I had slowed down to allow her sufficient room to merge safely.

Look — if you just have to be on the phone while you’re driving, at least use a little common sense about it. Go here: http://truckied.wordpress.com/2009/03/29/watch-this-space/ to read my blog post on the subject.

Personally, I’m in favor of a total ban on the use of any kind of personal communications device while driving.

The problem is not banning their use — that’s a relatively easy thing to make happen. The tricky part is enforcement. Catching someone after the fact (such as getting their cell phone records after a crash happens) is insufficient. What we need to do is prevent such crashes from happening in the first place.

What I propose, is a complete ban on the use of such devices while moving — even for passengers. Most cell phones have a GPS in them nowadays, which would make it easy to determine if it was moving or not, and disable it (except for 911 calls). This should be pretty easy to do in the phone’s software.

Comments and questions welcome.