Teenage driver cell phone ban

The washington post has an interesting article about a possible teenage cell phone ban today.  If I was a legislator, I would probably vote for the ban since it is widely popular but the article raises some interesting points about the common justifications used for the bill

The proposal, sponsored by Sen. James K. “Jay” O’Brien Jr. (R-Fairfax), gained momentum after a spate of fatal accidents involving teenagers on Washington area highways.

Though the accidents were not necessarily caused by teens talking on cellphones…

Now don’t get me wrong I believe that cell phones are distracting especially with inexperienced drivers but the irony is rather great.  I wonder what did cause the fatal accidents, maybe we should be focused on fixing that problem.

But Andrew Supanich, 16, a sophomore at Stonewall Jackson High School in Prince William County, said he thinks that the ban is a bad idea but that if it does go forward, it should include adults. “It’s not fair for them to take it away from teenagers when adults could be on the cellphone and could get in a car accident just as well,” he said.

Seems like Andrew is getting a taste of age discrimination first hand.  There are probably some studies out there that show the rate of accidents caused by cell phones by age group.  It’s hard being a part-time blogger sometimes :-p

Some legislators mentioned that the decision to use a cell phone should be made between the parents and the children, which I personally agree (this also avoids the nanny state concept).  Of course on the other hand the law could be interpreted as protecting the public good by taking dangerous drivers off the road.  It seems Tim Kaine supports this as well and we can all agree here I think.

Kaine prohibits his 17-year-old son, Nat, from using a cellphone while driving. “It is the rule in the Kaine household,” said Kevin Hall, spokesman for the governor. “Regardless of what he decides to do with this bill, the governor thinks this is a conversation that every parent should have with their teen driver.”

In closing I hope this post shows that there is always more to an issue than meets the eye.  When you really get down to it issues are almost always gray instead of black and white.  Of course during campaigns it is much easier and possibly even more effective to talk in simple stark black and white terms.  I can see the headlines now candidate x votes to put teens in harms way, don’t eat that peanut butter, massive blizzard on its way, details at 11.  Humm.. sounds like a good idea for a post 🙂



~ by novamiddleman on February 22, 2007.

2 Responses to “Teenage driver cell phone ban”

  1. What struck me was how useless this bill is.

    Under this law, a teen could drive right past a cop and talk on a cell phone, and the cop can’t do a darn thing about it.

    It’s a secondary offense, meaning they can only be cited if they’re caught doing something else.

    How is this supposed to “save lives” if the only kids stopped for it are getting stopped for something else?

  2. pre teen pageant gown

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