The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is recommending a national ban on cell phone use while driving. I recently posted this message on DrivingMBA’s facebook page and the comments I received were in favor of the idea. There are concerns as to the difficulty in enforcing this law. What do you think?
Those of you that are engaged with DrivingMBA know my position on cell phone use while driving. I have been accused of being “over the top” on it. The reason is pretty simple. I am an owner of DrivingMBA, and because of that I have come to know and become friends with people who have suffered the consequences of car crashes. In our December issue of the DrivingMBA/Red Means Stop newsletter you will read what Frank Hinds wrote 15 years after his daughter, Jennifer, was killed by a red light runner.
I know and have come to consider Frank and his wife Gail, friends. It breaks my heart every time I hear Frank talk about his daughter; and Gail, she doesn’t talk about it much, as I suspect it is too painful. I have a daughter of my own, and cannot even begin to fathom what that pain would be like. Jennifer didn’t die because of cell phone use. She died because someone ran a red light. Guess what folks? Red light running often occurs because someone is distracted. In my opinion, being on the phone, only makes the probability that much higher.
All of us have been in our vehicles and watch people crossing the white or yellow lines and invariably, if you look over at them, they are on a cell phone. You see, MOST people that engage in the activity think, “I can do it and it is not a problem.” The truth is “you can’t” and you are being irresponsible when you make the choice to use your cell phone and drive. If you have children and you use your cell phone while you are driving you are setting a horrible example and you are putting your children at risk. It is really no different than if you chose to drink and drive, as the results are often the same. Distracted driving, and particularly being distracted by texting or talking on a cell phone has become an epidemic.
There are thousands of families across the globe that have fallen victim to distracted driving. I can’t think of a single phone call or text message that is worth inflicting that kind of pain on someone or on your own family. Can you?