It’s all about liberty and logical thinking.
HB09-1094 would make it illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving unless you use a hands-free device. It also bans texting while driving and, I suppose, sending emails from your crackberry.
Set aside the texting part – yes, I do it, but only on the mostly deserted highways in Eastern Colorado and sometimes while riding my bike.
The banning of cell phone usage is an affront in three ways.
It’s folly to pass a bill that will be summarily ignored by a vast majority of the citizens of the state. Come on, be honest, you will still talk on your phone. And 99% of the time, or more, you will do it responsibly. Liberty cannot be surrendered without careful consideration. Society must benefit greatly from the surrender of liberty and in this case society doesn’t, so it is just an unwanted and unnecessary infringement.
As drafted, it actually makes us less safe. If you agree with the studies that say distracted driving is dangerous, and that using cell phones in particular is bad, you have to also admit that the conversation is the distraction. That’s what those studies show, that the conversation is the distraction. The conversation will be LONGER if you are speaking with a hands-free device than it will be if you are forced to hold the handset to your ear for the whole time. Think about it. For me, having my Bluetooth on makes speaking easy; I will hardly talk on the phone without it, but with it, I can go on for a long time. The longer the conversation means the distraction of the conversation will be longer too, increasing what risk there is.
It’s unnecessary. There are already plenty of laws that can be invoked to address careless or reckless driving (before someone gets hurt) and to affix blame after the accident. Singling out one type of distraction, cell phones, over all the others, food, kids, scenery, etc. is just a bad idea.
The question is, will the Senate pass the bill on emotion (someone died) or defeat the bill on logic?