Editorials and Opinions

Alternatives to Cell Phones Should be More Accessible to the Average Driver

By Denebola
Published: September 2010

It seems like Massachusetts is once again taking the lead and taking care of something that should have been addressed years ago. In a country where 25 percent of car accidents are a result of texting while driving, it only made sense for this dangerous practice to be outlawed. Sure, it’s terribly inconvenient, but considering a society in which teenagers have devised ways to steer their vehicles using their thighs while their hands are being used to text, the risks simply don’t seem worth it.
Granted, like everything, there’s a pro and con to the issue: many of us would argue that choosing to ignore a phone call while driving could mean ignoring the birth of a new baby brother, the death of a pet, or the rejection from a college. Without a doubt, the point is valid, but what good is the news going to be if your reaction to the call causes you to swerve in the opposite lane? Denebola believes that it isn’t going to do any good at all.
At the same time, for those who make the long commutes, a form of safer communication should become available and more easily accessible. Today, society has become so dependent on their cell phones that many feel deprived without them. Prices on Bluetooth headsets and additional “hands-free devices need to be made far more affordable for drivers, so they can continue to feel the presence of their phones sat all times. With prices for the most basic Bluetooth headsets starting upwards of $30, it seems like many drivers would be willing to risk the presence of a cop rather than paying $30 for one of the rather poorly designed, uncomfortable Bluetooth models.
Yes, newer car models are coming out with Bluetooth compatibility, but it seems to only be a feature with the luxury models. If Massachusetts’ legislature intends to ban something that is already so widely in practice, then adjustments are essential. All new care models, regardless of make, model, and price must be equipped with Bluetooth compatibility. Additionally, phones should be sold equipped with free Bluetooth headsets.
The real question is, however, how seriously will the law be enforced? We know a plethora of laws in which there is virtually no law enforcement of. Who figured that it was illegal to drive barefoot in Massachusetts? For occurrences so widely in practice’€both texting and calling on phones’€law enforcement is going to have to tighten up in order to make an difference. At the same time, accommodations must be made by either car manufacturers, cell phone companies, or the government to make the ban appear as though it is less of a burden to those making long commutes and more of a simple rule with their solely safety in mind.

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