The problem with politicians is they constantly think they need to do something. Case in point, Town and Country, a suburb of St Louis, that is contemplating a new law banning cell phone use while driving.
A proposal to ban cell phone use in Town and Country is expected to be read at the board of alderman’s meeting Monday night.
If it passes in Town and Country, it will be the first city in
to outlaw cell phones while driving. Part of the reason for the ordinance here in Town and Country is the recent deadly crash where a tractor trailer smashed into numerous cars.
The theory is that the driver of the rig was talking on a cell phone. Officials have not announced as the cause of the crash but it is spurring local leaders to take a closer look at the issue.
Now, you may think if you don’t live in Town and Country, it won’t affect you. But if you drive Highway 40 or I-270 you pass right through the city and you would have to hang it up.
Two things. First, cell phone use is a cause of accidents, but it's not as dangerous as eating food, drowsiness, relationship problems, playing with the radio, or having children in the car. All are greater distractions to drivers. So in passing a law to stop cell phone use, Town and Country would be tackling a minor issue at the expense of our freedoms. Check this graph out from the Highway Research Safety Center.
If cell phone use is a danger in accidents, insurance companies can change their rates and at fault policies based on their usage. This is happening, as police departments now add cell phone use as a factor in accident reports, and studies tracking the effect of cell phone use on driving allows us to make better decisions. For a city to make such a decision is a mistake, as they don't have justification.
They'd be better off banning multiple occupants in a vehicle, eating and drinking, or fiddling with the radio. You're stuck listening to Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald as you drive into Town and Country? Tough Cookies! You sit there and listen to it, Mister! And don't sing along, or get emotional over the tragedy, or you could be fined for crying while driving!
I say this - if Town and Country enacts this law - we all drive around with our cell phones out but not on. If they want to restrict our freedoms, I'm perfectly willing to waste their time and money trying to prosecute me - cell phone records showing no records of a call should be a fine defense.