Though European countries outlawed cell phone use while driving long ago, our country is still coming to grips with the rampant use of handheld devices while operating motor vehicles. The U.S. government has launched a website, www.distracted.gov, to get the word out about the hazards of distracted driving.
Part of the hesitation of state regulators over text messaging bans involves the difficulty of enforcement. How does a police officer know the driver was texting, and not just looking for a phone number to place a call?
Difficulties like this could be dealt with through a full ban, like that recently proposed by the National Transportation Safety Board. If such a ban was enacted, any time an officer saw a driver using a cell phone, the officer could pull the driver over, regardless of what the driver was using the phone for.
Until such a ban is put into place, though, the best route to change behavior is through education. This is where distracted.gov comes in. With extensive facts and studies presented on the site, a visitor cannot help but reconsider his or her engagement in such dangerous behavior.
It is impossible to guess whether the American people will stand for a full ban on cell phone use while driving. With or without a ban, education on the risks involved is a welcome addition to the discussion.
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