The old cellphone driving ban

Once again there is a call for a ban on cellphone use while driving, this time on the basis that motorists attempting a road obstacle course while talking on a phone were found to be more impaired than those at the legal alcohol limit.

Now I don’t dispute the research done by Dr Susan Krumdieck, or the proposition that cellphone use in cars does make a driver somewhat more distracted.

But I do dispute that this makes a case for banning all cellphone use.

Look if I was about to do an obstacle course in my car, I’d not want to be on the phone also. But an obstacle course is an extreme example of what you face on a road.

There are times when I will speak on my phone in the car. If caught in very slow moving traffic, or say on a motorway with little other traffic etc. But there are often times when I won’t, as conditions get too challenging. If it is raining, and especially if visibility is impaired, then I’ll make the judgement call that it is unsafe to be distracted and will ask people to call back later, or not answer.

And this is my problem with any sort of ban – it judges all motorists as being unable to take a sensible approach to risk management. And motorists do this many times a day. You speed up and slow down in response to the conditions all the time.

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