Ban cell phone use while driving…now!

It's time for Virginia to join other states in banning cell phone use while driving. At least a half dozen times in the last two weeks, I have almost been taken out by inattentive drivers who run stop signs, stray over the yellow line and change lanes without signaling.

Last week, I locked up all four wheels on my Wrangler to avoid hitting a Honda Prelude driven by a teenager who was texting on her cell phone and drove through a stop sign and onto U.S. 221 without even looking.  I've had to take emergency action in both the Jeep and on my Harley to avoid oncoming cars that crossed the center line because the drivers were more involved in talking on the cell phone than on concentrating on the road ahead.

When I'm driving the Jeep or riding the Harley, my cell phone can ring until the cows come home. I don't use the phone while on the road. I'll return the call when I stop. I'm not going to risk my life or the lives of others just to talk on the phone. Others, unfortunately, don't seem to care about their life or safety. In Christiansburg the other day, I had to swerve to avoid a town police officer who swerved into my lane while talking on a cell phone.

It's time for the General Assembly to ban cell phone use by drivers of any motorized vehicle while that vehicle is on the road (or moving in a parking lot).

It’s time for Virginia to join other states in banning cell phone use while driving. At least a half dozen times in the last two weeks, I have almost been taken out by inattentive drivers who run stop signs, stray over the yellow line and change lanes without signaling.

Last week, I locked up all four wheels on my Wrangler to avoid hitting a Honda Prelude driven by a teenager who was texting on her cell phone and drove through a stop sign and onto U.S. 221 without even looking.  I’ve had to take emergency action in both the Jeep and on my Harley to avoid oncoming cars that crossed the center line because the drivers were more involved in talking on the cell phone than on concentrating on the road ahead.

When I’m driving the Jeep or riding the Harley, my cell phone can ring until the cows come home. I don’t use the phone while on the road. I’ll return the call when I stop. I’m not going to risk my life or the lives of others just to talk on the phone. Others, unfortunately, don’t seem to care about their life or safety. In Christiansburg the other day, I had to swerve to avoid a town police officer who swerved into my lane while talking on a cell phone.

It’s time for the General Assembly to ban cell phone use by drivers of any motorized vehicle while that vehicle is on the road (or moving in a parking lot).

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6 Responses

  1. Doug, I agree with you totally, but such legislation will never happen. Too much money is at stake, both in terms of “the economy” (it will cost JOBS!!!) and campaign contributions (the cellphone companies have enough money to buy enough politicians), so our legislators will never enact such a law. Oh sure, if there’s enough of an uproar, they’ll pass meaningless legislation with no teeth, such as requiring handsfree devices. But unfortunately, an outright ban on cell phone use while driving will never happen (IMHO).

    Jim

  2. In California Effective July 1, 2008, the legislation prohibits drivers from using a wireless telephone while operating a motor vehicle unless the driver uses a hands-free device. Drivers who violate the law will face a base fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense.

    If they Californians can do it then why can’t we do it here in Virginia!

    I work at the Naval Base in Norfolk were drivers are prohibit from using cell’s on base.

  3. It is already against the law for anyone under the age of 18 to drive and talk on the cell phone, but how do the cops enforce that? Can you tell the difference between a 16 year old and a 18 year old at 55mph at a glancing pass? Until the laws are changed we will always have to make sure our defensive driving skills are up to par and unfortunately it is up to us to make sure we keep ourselves from being in an accident. Thats sounds fair, huh?

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