Letters to the Editor

Ban on cell phones useless | Letter

Banning all cell phone use while driving may not be the answer. Cell-phone use is addictive and is perceived by many as safe, especially when it is done hands-free. Addictive behavior is difficult to stop even when it is illegal.

In states where cell-phone use is now banned, there is evidence that many accidents are caused by drivers trying to hide their phones while using them.

One of the things to consider is that Americans don’t obey laws if they think the law is unfair, feel they won’t be caught, can afford the fine, or can get out of being convicted because they have a good lawyer.

People flaunt the cell-phone law that is currently in effect because they mistakenly believe they are safe doing so and the chance of getting caught is so slim.

You can’t ban everything that is a distraction — we have all seen people eating a burger, putting on make-up, programming a GPS, or turning around to check on a toddler sitting in the back seat.

It often isn’t the distraction that is truly the cause of the accident, but rather the fact that a driver may be following the vehicle in front of him too closely. How often do you see a line of cars traveling at 60 mph with only two car lengths between them?

Whether a driver is distracted or not, if the vehicle in front of him slows suddenly, he will not be able to stop his vehicle in time to avoid a crash.

According to studies, the “thinking, reacting, stopping” distance of an alert driver is at least 240 feet. It takes about 3.5 seconds before you can bring your car to a stop.

I fully support a ban on texting while driving but I wonder if the law will actually keep a teen from overcoming the urge to look at his phone when it buzzes.

Adults in Washington aren’t setting a good example by ignoring the “hands-free only” law now in effect. I am one of the few people I know who doesn’t own a cell phone, and I know I am a better driver because of it.

Common sense should be a greater motivator than the fear of a penalty.

If you can’t ignore the ringing or buzzing of your phone while driving, then turn it off or leave it at home!

Margarette Bull, Kirkland

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