Distracted Driving by Carla Mooney

By Carla Mooney

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The Nanny State Those who argue for an all-out ban on talking or texting behind the wheel are misguided. They mistakenly view every instance of cell phone use by drivers as a threat to safety. Clearly this is not the case. For example, a driver who is stopped at a red light can send a quick text to tell a friend that he or she is running late. Similarly, a teen driver who is caught in a huge traffic jam can do the same to allay the fears of a worried parent. These scenarios do not pose a threat to the driver or to other cars on the road.

3. What do you think should be done to address the concerns about distracted driving? Why? Editor’s note: The discussion that follows presents common arguments made in support of this perspective, reinforced by facts, quotes, and examples taken from various sources. The penalties for distracted driving need to be increased so that drivers are motivated to change their behavior behind the wheel. Often, the penalty for distracted driving is only a small fine. Even when driver distraction causes serious injury or death, drivers face little punishment.

6 Causes of Distracted Driving,” Fox Business, August 23, 2013. com. 17. S. Safety Board Urges Cellphone Ban for Drivers,” New York Times, December 13, 2011. com. 18. Quoted in Angela Greiling Keane, “Brain Can’t Text While Driving Even with Hands Free: AAA,” Bloomberg, June 12, 2013. com. Chapter Two: Should Cell Phone Use by Drivers Be Banned? 19. Quoted in Don Thompson, “California Cellphone Ban Reduced Traffic Related Deaths, Injuries, Berkeley Study Finds,” Huffington Post, March 5, 2012. com.

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