Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Should cell phone use be banned while driving?

New Zealand has a new ruling, and I say it is about time.

Drivers will not be allowed to text or talk on hand-held mobile phones from November.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce announced the change to the Land Transport (Road User) Amendment Rule today.

People who ignored the change would be liable for an $80 fine and 20 demerit points.

"There are a lot of other distractions while driving but hand-held mobile phone use has grown to become a significant problem," Mr Joyce said.

"The reality is we need to send a strong signal to all road users that it's not on. Texting and driving in particular is a total no brainer."

I wrote this article about two years ago.

I feel very nervous when I see people talking on their cell phones when they are driving. I find it hard myself concentrating on my driving without talking or texting on the cell phone.

When people use their cell phone, their focus is on the conversation and not on the traffic or traffic signals. This is where trouble starts.

I have seen at traffic intersections, people don't respond to the traffic lights, because they are busy on the cell phone, and people behind them blare their horns impatiently. Tempers are flaired and this is no good and could lead to accidents. Some unreasonable drivers will get out of their cars and threaten the poor guy who blared the horn.

In Singapore, cell phone talking is banned. If you need to talk, either pull over or use a head phone or ear set. In that way, your hands are free to hold on to the driving wheel. Even then, your concentration might be hampered if your reception is not very clear. In a moment of distraction, you may have an accident.

Texting is worse, you not only have to hold you cell phone, you have to look at your cell phone and twiddle your thumb to text back to your caller. It's been revealed that some accidents in New Zealand where I live, coroners have drivers have been killed while texting. Two young sisters were killed in a fatal accident where the road was in a perfect condition, and there were no other factors involved.

Many people cannot ignore their incoming calls. They think these calls are so important, they could be business calls they have to answer, or they will lose a deal. They are so desperate to close a deal. So they must answer the call even if they are driving one hundred kilometers on the freeway or motorway.

Sometimes, the cell phone drops to the floor, the driver uses one hand to hold the steering wheel, and another to find the cell phone on the floor. Worst if he looks on the floor. In a moment of distraction, it could be crucial, and bang.

In an accident, you not only kill yourself, you kill innocent people. Therefore cell phones should be banned. You are very irresponsible. If you die, you are gone, you feel no pain. But you leave behind many people to grieve. If you kill somebody, you hurt a lot of innocent people and their families. You don't think of the consequences.

I saw this sign at a mobile phone stand at St Luke's shopping Mall. I quickly whipped out my camera before a security guard sees me and ban me from this shopping mall. Once, i was told off.


Anonymous said...

I agree I hope they do that in USA.

Thomas C B Chua said...

U took the words out of my mind. How true.