I think I'm going to go somewhere with this, so stay with me ...
Here in New Zealand the law is about to change making it illegal to use you cellphone to send a text message or talk on UNLESS it is via a handsfree kit. Personally I think this is a daft change and a classic example of daft legisalation which won't make much difference. The top reason accidents occur is because of a distracted driver. The most common distractions for drivers are:
- Looking at scenery (there is quite a lot of that here in NZ)
- Other passengers or children (some passengers are more distracting than others)
- Adjusting the radio, cassette or CD player (better add iPod these days)
- Reading the newspaper, books, maps or other documents
- Using a cellphone
So what impact is banning a cellphone going to have on accident rates? It would seem like there it isn't going to be much! Heck people in the car cause more problems, and the stereo (something some people invest thousands and thousands of $$$'s in) are a factor in more accidents than cellphones. But, you know what, we'll ban them!
Now the fascinating part about this to me is that from what I've read, it is talking on a phone (unless it is handsfree) and texting that are going to be illegal. What if I'm using my cellphone as a GPS unit? Then what? They're not illegal to operate while driving a car. And what if I'm looking up an address on the Internet (from my phone), that doesn't appear to be illegal either ... Perhaps the legislation is that cell phones can't be used at all while driving.
BUT ... other passengers or children cause more accidents than cellphones ... so we'll ban cellphones UNLESS you're handsfree ... isn't that like inviting someone into your car to distract you? After all you will be talking to them!
The law is an ass, and this legislation seems daft to me. No law will bring about the change we need, the change of attitude and habits we have towards driving and cars.