Critics Question If Cellphone Law Will Make Roads Safer PDF Print E-mail

Sourced From: Los Angeles Times, March 25, 2008

Situation

  1. 5 states now require hands-free cellphones when driving
  2. CA will join NY, NJ, CT, UT, WA and Washington DC on June 1, 2008
  3. Recent studies, however, indicate hands-free doesn't improve safety
  4. Research says it's not where the hands are, but where mind is
  5. Biggest danger is driver being absorbed in conversation, especially if emotional

Significant Points

  1. Hands-free more political than practical, say critics
  2. Some scientists say hands-free might even be more dangerous
  3. May encourage drivers to call more often or extend calls
  4. Others worry about increased use of text messaging while driving
  5. Many companies ban employees from using phones while driving

Says

"There's a common misperception that hands-free phones are safer when the research clearly suggests that they they're both equally risky." -- Arthur Goodwin, researcher, University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center

"There isn't a study in the world that says you're safer driving with a cellphone clutched to your ear than when you are driving with both hands on the wheel." -- Joe Simitian, CA state senator who sponsored hands-free legislation

"If you've ever used a cellphone in a car and you're honest with yourself, it's hard to doubt that at some level it doesn't make you a riskier driver." -- James E Prieger, professor of public policy, Pepperdine University

Web Source
LA Times
University of North Carolina

 

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