Mobile Phone Ban Proposition

This might well cost lives!

The proposition currently being floated in the media to totally ban all mobile phone use by the driver of a vehicle – even hands free – is flawed in its conception.

For a start, we have just witnessed the new text & phone alert system brilliantly warning people threatened by bushfires around Perth with the result that no lives were lost – even though many homes were. Particularly in the bush, drivers would not get the warning if they ‘responsibly’ ignored their phone trying to alert them. Similarly, the phone-included Global Positioning System (GPS) function these days can prevent people getting hopelessly lost in the outback or not being able to avoid a threat. They also make accurate compliance with speed limits (now-a-days registered in the GPS database) easier.

The proposition is founded on conclusions drawn from statistics that do not adequately discriminate between integrated hands-free systems and solutions that compromise using earpieces that one must touch or adjust. Rather than simply banning mobile phone use in a car, far better would be to mandate integrated mobile connections with full voice-actuated control in every new car.  The powers that be could also give a discount on the registration of older cars that had such kit retro-fitted.

To my mind, especially with male drivers who can not multi-task as well, a far greater risk than interacting with a proper hands-free mobile phone, is participating in a conversation with a passenger that wants thoughtful answers or even a debate right there and then – much more distracting than passively listening to a radio program or participating in a phone chat requiring a mere “ah ha” now and then … and you can easily terminate a phone call!

Advertising programs in the media and school education programs directed at safer & more thoughtful driving technique really should address the issue of driver distraction in a comprehensive way – and not only for drivers but also to make passengers aware that they put their own safety at increased risk with distracting conversation that demands thoughtful response.

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About adelaidepete

Now live in Adelaide South Australia and have always worked in Systems & Software Engineering. I am enjoying commenting on, suggesting and discussing innovative solutions to problems and useful risk mitigation strategies and recently interested in the realm of public policy re urban planning & disasters - the focus of this blog. I am interested in technology, gadgetry, enhancing productivity & functionality, urban planning, military thinking and public policy. I enjoyed periods I spent in USA (Reston, Virginia Beach & Dallas) & Europe (Germany, Spain, Italy & Greece) but genuinely love Australia, most people, animals, singing, dancing & life.
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