Let’s Hear It for the Cellphone Ban!

Cell phones

Yesterday, the NTSB recommended banning all cellphone use in cars. The proximate cause of this was the horrific crash in Missouri that tgriffith referred to below. The probable cause of the crash was “distraction likely due to a text messaging conversation…” Further NTSB details are here; more examples of what influenced the NTSB are here.

We’ve written, probably to the point of your distraction, about driver distraction. My last piece advocated rigorous national standards for driver licensing and enforcement. But, as one of our commenters pointed out, the problem really is that driving is no longer seen as a privilege but has become a civil right, a “basic freedom.”

So we now have a situation in which people conceive that they have a right to do whatever they want in their vehicles, whether their actions endanger others or not. Well, they don’t.

Cellphone use has become endemic in America and around the world. There are 5.3 billion mobile phone subscribers—that is, 77 percent of the world’s population. So, we ask, why has the cellphone become so predominant and important? And how could a ban on its use in cars possibly work?

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