There are many things in life that are considered illegal in different parts of the world. For many people, the concept of labeling something illegal in the eyes of the law tends to be equal to the concept of separating the good from the bad. The act of talking on the cell phone by holding it in the hand and to the ear, while driving, is one of the things that is now illegal in places like California 1. The reason behind such a law, according to the government officials, is that drivers cannot focus fully, nor react completely, to driving and driving situations like accidents if they are holding the phone in their hand instead of having both hands on the steering wheel. Today I would like to focus on some of my thoughts revolving around the idea of making it illegal to hold a cell phone and use it while driving for the sole reason that such an act, of holding the cell phone and driving, is dangerous.
While paying more attention on driving than on the cell phone can indeed help avoid accidents of many different kinds, the approach to such a safety, by making different specific things illegal, like the act of holding an operating cell phone, on a continuous basis is very illogical in my view. There is a tendency in today’s trends to politically illegalize some things in order to try to curb out a different problem. “Many people cannot drive normally while using the phone? Let us ban everyone from talking on the phone if they hold it in their hands and to their ears.” In this article, I am going to list some random things that are usually done by drivers while driving, yet such drivers are not punished for them yet. I use the word “yet” because maybe one day such things will be illegal also, seeing how other normal things are banned on a massive level. If holding a cell phone while talking and texting on that very cell phone is considered illegal, maybe these other things can be considered illegal also because without common sense, you have to be told that punching yourself with a closed or open fist is illegal, instead of you realizing on your own that hitting yourself in any manner can hurt you.
The list below will show you how simply citing a single reason behind banning something does not mean it is logically or practically going to address an issue. I find it funny, among other things, that instead of educating people on more massive levels and making people realize on their own, the law enforces smaller and more specific rules on massive levels to curb down big problems. Such rules, while doing some good, do not necessarily address the entire issue or even the main issue in many situations. I like the idea of realizing whether someone’s driving is scary and then dealing with it compared to the idea of banning specific things completely and forever.
9 things that should be illegal while driving along with the already immoral, illegal and inhumane act of phone texting while driving
In light of the stereotypical tend of having laws that target very specific things instead of going after the big picture or educating people on the philosophy of such things, how about we deem the following things to be illegal also? Since lawmakers assume that holding a cell phone, and using it to talk or text someone, causes accidents, let us go after the drivers who engage in any of the acts below. The following things require almost the same or more amount of visual and other attention and action that is also needed and used when driving while holding and using a cell phone.
- Using or looking at the GPS unit. How many cars have built-in GPS systems now? Many GPS programs like Google Map Mobile cannot track down your exact location in many places unless you are on the move. People use GPS devices all the time while driving, including looking at the GPS devices, listening to the directions, and using the touch-screen features on GPS devices while driving. How about we ban such things too since they require constant attention? Why not make GPS devices that cannot be modified or used using a hand while the car is in motion?
- Changing the radio station, cd or music track. This has been done every single day for the last 60+ years. This requires looking at the radio from time to time, reaching out for the radio or not focusing on the steering wheel while playing with the radio buttons on the new steering wheels found in new cars. How about we ban radios too?
And what about changing cds or the track on your music player? You eject a cd, find another cd, and then put it in. Why is looking and holding a cell phone to see who is calling a bad thing, yet ejecting and changing a cd, which takes more time and energy and attention, a legal thing?
- Eating and drinking while driving. How many people eat and drink2 every single day and in the mornings while driving to work? It is ok to drive with one hand and drink coffee or eat your Subway sandwich with the other while unwrapping the cover or doing other things to the coffee cup, but it is not ok to drive and hold the phone to your ear to talk on it? Ban food in the car then. No food in the car. $50 for every perishable, fresh food item found in the car that is open. $75 for each empty wrapper like skittles box or Burger King wrapper. $100 if it is McDonald’s, because it is McDonald’s.
- Talking to the passengers while driving. Does no one notice driving drivers talking and looking at the passengers from time to time? Slap every driver with a $10 fine every time they talk and look at the passenger. $10 for each neck turn! This should help eliminate boring conversations in the car that the driver or the passenger in usual situations cannot avoid.
- Looking at side mirrors or to the rear while changing lanes. This one makes me think a lot many times. In the United States, you are required by law to turn and look to the sides when changing lane, in order to avoid hitting something that may not appear in the side mirrors due to being in the blind spot. That tactic does help in avoiding cars many times, but it also makes drivers of all types take the eyes off the road for a few seconds, the same amount of time it takes to look at a cell phone to see whether or not you would want to answer it. Is the focus of cell-phone-touching-ban law on the idea of not taking eyes off the road, or on the reasons one takes their eyes and attention off the road in front of them? Banning such a thing would mean that pictures like the one to the right of this paragraph would result in fines. I am sure I will still keep taking such pictures, however.
In addition to that, so many drivers in shopping malls, when trying to change lanes, almost hit many shoppers who are trying to cross the road. Yet, it is all right to look to the side and almost hit a shopper, yet it is wrong and may earn you a ticket if you were on the phone and almost hit the shopper? Simply taking away the cell phone will not make people better and more attentive drivers.
- Managing the dvd and tv players inside the car. How many cars have integrated tv and dvd players by the front dashboard? They are operated mainly by the drivers. How about such systems get banned them too? They are being installed left and right by places like Best Buy and Fry’s. What is more harmful: holding a cell phone in your hand and to your ear while talking, or changing the audio options to the Sponge Bob cartoon DVD on the dashboard for your kids in the back, or yourself, while driving and while looking at the TV screen? Sponge Bob is too smart to be seen by idiots.
- Sneezing, coughing and similar things while driving. Sneezing, coughing and other things also take your attention away from driving. How about a fine of $50 or some other form of a violation ticket citation for each driver that sneezes and coughs while driving? Sick people will start feeling discriminated soon, and many people may avoid saying they are sick altogether when they get into accidents.
- One-hand driving. This is an awesome point in my view. The very point of banning texting and talking on a phone while holding it to make sure that your hand, the one used to hold the phone, focuses more on the driving and the steering wheel and that your brain does the same thing too. Thus, millions of normal and show-off drivers, who drive with one hand, are doing half of the very illegal thing that has prompted the bans against texting and talking on a phone that is in your hand. How about we address similar laws on one-hand driving too?
If you have a hand that is not on the steering wheel, you cannot look at anything other than the road and not do anything other than driving as long as your other hand is not on the steering wheel. How does that sound?
- Looking for parking spots or people to pick up while driving. This one happens all the time for majority of the drivers. You drive around looking for a parking spot and focus most of your time, while driving and looking for a place to park, at the sides of the roads instead of at the road in front of you. Would that be considered a bad thing too? Or how about picking up someone you know at the airport or the shopping mall? You spend majority of the time driving on the road a bit slow, looking more at all the people standing around your car and less on the road in front of you, looking for that very someone that you want to pick up. Is that not dangerous also if the same logic is used?
There you go. The above points are a list of things that require the same or more attention than holding a cell phone and talking on it, or texting, and yet they are not considered illegal or bad in comparison.
What do you think?
What do you think? It has been more than a month since texting while driving was deemed illegal by the California law, and more than 6 months since talking on a cell phone that you are holding with your hand was banned also. Yet, I still notice Californian drivers doing these two things regularly.
Do you think specific laws concerning very specific actions will lead the way to better results, or are you of the same opinion as me and think that the above things are along the same line as banning cell phone talking and texting while holding the phone in your hand and driving?
Thank you for reading.
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- Driving while talking on the cell phone by holding the cell phone in your hand and to your eat became illegal in mid of 2008. On January 1st, 2009, text messaging while driving was banned in California. [↩]
- except alcohol [↩]