Followup- HB 1117 The NH Bill To Ban Cell Phone Use - Granite Grok

Followup- HB 1117 The NH Bill To Ban Cell Phone Use

I wanted to write a short follow-up to this post on why a New Hampshire bill (HB 1117) that proposes restrictions (a ban) on cell phone use by drivers is a waste of time.

1) Distraction causes accidents, but studies suggest that there is little or no evidence demonstrating that talking on a cell phone is any more or less distracting than speaking to a passenger in the vehicle.

2) A ban that would allow hands free cell phone use allows for an activity that is no less distracting than having a conversation with a passenger in the vehicle, and therefore just as distracting.

3) The ban as written does not address the risk of hands free use, or of speaking to passengers, which are no more or less of a distraction.

4) Millions of vehicle miles are travelled engaging in all manners of conversation without incident so any ban would be punishing everyone for what amounts to a populist lynching of cellphones for no predictable or even measurable benefit

4) Seeing as we cannot separate between the risks of cell phone use, hands-free use, or speaking to passengers, any ban that does not also include banning car-pooling, or conversation, including with our own children, cannot be demonstrated to be of any value to anyone but perhaps legislators with itchy trigger fingers desperate to appear as if “they are doing something” when all they will actually do is inconvenience everyone for no measurable gain.

5) We already have a distracted driving law in place, and  no cell phone ban is realistically enforceable or enforceable in any meaningful way; efforts to do so will distract officers from other priorities, and given the inconclusive nature of the distraction being targeted, the exercise is futile and should be abandoned.

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