Very disappointed to read in the Herald that Steven Joyce is set to ban hand held cellphone use in cars.
This does not affect me personally as my cellphone uses bluetooth to operate the stereo as a hands-free device. But regardless I think it is a bad decision, based on emotion and the need to be seen to do something – rather than than logicial analysis.
Why is this is bad move?
- Research shows that hands free cellphone use is just as distracting as hand held use.
- Research shows other distractions are more of a hazard – such as smoking while driving
- We already have a law that deals with distractions while driving
- Any law change should target all distractions – not just pick one out
- Most research on the benefits of banning cellphone use in cars fails to scrutinise the costs of such a ban
- The Government is moving straight to regulation without trying education first
The last one is one I have pushed for some time. Before they ban something, try education. Just as we have drink driving ads, have cellphone in cars ads showing accidents by gettign distracted and maybe giving some advice to drivers such as “Have a passenger answer the phone”, “Pull over to talk if the conversation is more than a minute”, “Never text while driving”.
The proposed ban will not make roads safer. It will just force people to buy hands free kits, and result in fines for those who don’t.
Also the proposed rules wil ban voice calls and texting. How about twittering? How abotu checking email on the Blackberry? This is the problem of having a specific rule targeting cellphones rather than improving a general rule about distractions.Tags: cellphone use in cars, Steven Joyce