People have got excited that Vodafone and Telecom have said they support such a ban. This is not quite correct. They only want non-hands free use banned. This would not actually lead to a revenue drop for them, but a revenue gain as hundreds of thousands would have to buy a hands free kit.
And research has tended to show that cellphone use is almost equally distracting, whether or not it is hands free or not. So such a ban would be a claytons response.
The Herald says:
For the purposes of impact and clarity, there must be a ban. Education programmes go only so far.
But where is the evidence for this assertion. Has MOT ever run an education programme on cellphone use in cars? Would a rational response to the issue not be to first run an education programme, and only if it fails, then consider a ban?
So why not have a MOT road safety advertising campaign on the dangers of cellphone use (or even on wider distractions) in cars, and how to mitigate these. Points could be:
- Keep calls as short as possible – the longer they are, the more risk you incur
- Judge the conditions – avoid any phone use in sub-optimal conditions such as congested roads, bad weather etc.
- Never ever text while moving
- Pull over to dial someone
- Always get a passenger to answer your phone for you, if you are not driving alone
Justification for a ban often cites many other countries have done it. But has it had any effect? Are there stats showing a decline in accidents due to cellphone use? Or has it just resulted in thousands more tickets?