Listener Responses: Cell Phone Ban for Drivers

Thursday, December 15, 2011

On Wednesday we heard from NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman about a recommendation by the U.S. Safety Board for a national ban on cell phone use while driving. The recommendation states that all states should ban cell phone use for drivers. We got a lot of listener response to the segment. We asked two listeners to join us on the show to talk about their reactions.

Richard Young is a neuroscience professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. He has studied cell phone use while driving.

Guests:

Richard Young

Produced by:

Shia Levitt

Comments [5]

AJ Ballou from Cape Cod, MA

A famous Dave Barry quip comes to mind: "The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep inside, we ALL believe that we are above-average drivers."

Many of us believe that we can drive just fine, thank you very much, while driving, texting, shaving, reading, or even while drunk, but criticize others for doing so.

My policy: no using the phone while driving unless it is an emergency.

Dec. 15 2011 08:45 AM
Dennis from Newton, MA

Except in a serious emergency, talking in public to someone who is not present except at the other end of a communication circuit is rude, uncivil, and leads to sometimes serious misunderstandings. (Including doing it while driving.) It should be avoided and considered as unacceptable as, for example, loud flatulence, spitting, or profanity.

Dec. 15 2011 08:44 AM
carl, queens, ny

ban cell phones in cars!?.. i still regret the fact that i wasn't born sooner just to have gotton my hands around alexander graham bell's neck..

Dec. 15 2011 08:32 AM
David Philip from Queens, NY

The whole point of cell phones is to reach people urgently. It defeats the point of the existence of the the device, if you can't call a friend and say "don't come up from DC; I'm in the hospital; my dad had a stroke." Can we not call them while they're en route in Maryland? Are we going to make the DC-friend drive the 4-5 hours, only to find out about the situation via voicemail once they're in NYC?

Police have used, and use, radios all the time. Shouldn't doctors be able to use phones? How about people with other jobs? Nuclear power plant emergency officers? Journalists? Military reservists? Public servants? Parents? Delivery drivers? Who measures who deserves cell phone access at all times?

Granted, they should be limited to emergency-use while driving, but how can you find out if it's an emergency unless you answer?

Perhaps an emergency -ring- that can be dialed in, is something that can be worked on, but cell-phone -use- shouldn't be banned out-right.

Where I live, in Queens, people freely -Jay-walk- while on cell-phones. How are they not dangerous?

(Best regards! Thanks for the show!)

Dec. 15 2011 08:14 AM
Bridgit Waterman

I think all cell phone use should be banned while the car is in use. This is because I was recently hit by a car where a woman made a quick right hand turn, (cell phone in one hand, driver's wheel in the other) and hit me with her side view mirror to give me a bruised thumb and finger as I tried to walk along the the cross walk with the cross walk sign on. Lucky for me it was just a slightly bruised thumb and a crushed coffee mug that got run over when my tote bag flew out of my hands and got under her car.

Dec. 15 2011 07:59 AM

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