This editorial appeared in The Rock Hill Herald.
The National Safety Council recently announced its support for a total ban on cell phone use while driving, saying the practice is clearly dangerous and leads to fatalities.
Such a ban would have the dubious distinction of being a good law that would be almost impossible to enforce. Driving while talking on a cell phone has become such a widespread phenomenon that getting people to comply would be difficult.
That hasn't stopped a number of states from trying to regulate the use of cell phones in cars. Six states ban hand-held cell phone use while driving.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia restrict cell phone use by novice drivers. Seven states ban texting by all drivers, and nine states ban texting by novice drivers.
These restrictions make sense, especially restrictions on young drivers who are especially vulnerable to distractions. No one should ever attempt to text while driving.
Advocates of talking on cell-phones while driving can point to other common distractions that could be equally dangerous. It no doubt also is hazardous to change a CD, drink coffee, apply makeup or eat a hamburger while driving.
But cell phone use surely ranks at the top of the dangerous distraction list. While people no doubt are aware of the risk, millions of them phone and drive, anyway.
Why? For one, because it's convenient. If you need to communicate with someone while you're on the road -- and there are ample reasons why you would -- the cell phone is your best friend.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Rock Hill Herald.