CELL PHONES

Hand-held phone legislation is fairly new, but soon "gabbing" behind the wheel may warrant police action nationwide. Since Brooklyn, a Cleveland, Ohio, suburb, enacted the first ban on cell phones while driving, bills to restrict cell phone use in cars are pending in eight states. New York City bars cab drivers from using cell phones on the job. Aspen, Colorado, has banned all but hands-free phones while driving, and Chicago, Illinois is considering such a measure. "The New England Journal of Medicine," citing research by University of Toronto doctors on 699 Canadian drivers, reported in 1997 that motorists are four times more likely to crash when they are using cell phones than when they are not. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration analysis of 1997 crash data shows that driver distraction accounted for at least 26% of fatal crashes that year. Cellular phones were a factor in at least 57 deaths, compared with only seven in 1991. Most experts agree that it is not the cell phone that is the problem, but the driver who tries to maneuver his or her vehicle with one hand while holding the phone in the other. This cuts reaction time and driver ability to respond swiftly. Critics say the new laws unfairly target cell phone users.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 8-9
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00790604
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 5 2000 12:00AM