New cell phone laws bring up all sorts of opinions

Elka Wyatt

One early afternoon, while driving down Olive Drive, I noticed a car ahead of me swerving from lane to lane. My first thought was that this person had been drinking. I kept a safe distance from the car but pulled alongside it at the stoplight. I warily glanced over at the driver, expecting to see a bleary-eyed old man. To my surprise, it was a young woman, in her mid-twenties, chattering away on one cell phone while texting on another!

Since the cell phone ban law was implemented in July of last year, it seems there has not been a significant change in the behavior of those who use cell phones while driving. Obviously, people are not taking the ban seriously. Now, the National Safety Council (NSC) is starting a Distracted Driver campaign. Their mission is to make drivers aware of the dangers of driving while distracted, primarily using a cell phone to talk or text while driving. They are calling for a legislative ban on the use of cell phones, texting devices and even hands-free devices.

I have no problem with this. I refuse to answer my phone when I am driving. Whatever reason they are calling could not be more important than keeping my attention on my driving. It can wait until I can safely park my car somewhere. I like to talk and text as much as anyone else does; I just simply refuse to do it while I am driving.

Maybe it’s just me. I did not grow up with cell phones. If we were on the road, and we needed to call someone in a hurry, we stopped at the nearest pay phone. I was in my thirties when I got my first cell phone. I believe that the only time a cell phone should be used while driving is in an extreme emergency.

So, the next time you want to answer your phone while you are driving, think about the lives you could be putting in danger. Is that call worth it?