Cell Phone for Me, but not for Thee

by on May 23, 2006

Via Techdirt, there’s fresh evidence that drivers are ignoring cell phone bans:

HUGE numbers of motorists risk causing accidents by driving while using their mobile phones, eating, drinking, smoking, reading maps or even putting on or removing clothing, a survey reveals today.

More than half of motorists still talk and text on their mobile phones while on the move despite a ban on hand-held mobiles in vehicles.

Yet as many as three-quarters of drivers agree with the ban and believe it should carry a fine and penalty points on a licence, the poll from Auto Trader magazine showed.

Now I can’t say I’m a whiz at math, but if half of people drive while using their cell phone, and 75 percent of users think doing so should be illegal, doesn’t that mean that at least 25 percent of the population of the UK are hypocrites?

As I’ve argued before, cell phones aren’t especially dangerous (relative to other distracting things people do in cars), they just happen to make a convenient scapegoat for peoples’ reckless driving. Because they’re so new, and because a lot of people happen to find them intrinsically annoying, it’s easy to whip up populist anti-cell-phone sentiments. The only problem is that most of us have also discovered that being able to make a phone call from your car is incredibly convenient. So many of us apparently do one thing, and tell pollsters another.

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