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.


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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