Common sense to combat phone problem

Published 6:40 pm Friday, July 31, 2009

You might have seen the news item about a bicyclist getting hit by a motorist who was reaching into her purse for her cell phone. This happened in Scottsboro earlier in the week. The motorist said she didn’t see the man.

Incidences like this increase the need for some kind of self-control needed by motorists when they’re dealing with cell phones. Many places ban the use of phone unless they are attached to a hands-free device.

Now, on a related topic, there’s a move in Washington that would force states to ban texting while operating a moving vehicle or face cuts in annual federal highway funds. The ban is directed at the teenager who text messages, but also at the professional with the iPhone or Blackberry who checks out e-mails at a stoplight.

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Wireless operators agree that texting is dangerous, but not all the major wireless companies believe a national law is the best way to solve the problem. Verizon’s vice president said his company supports the federal legislation. Sprint’s public affairs manager said it likely would change driving behavior and maybe better driver education is the issue.

What all this does is boil down to good common sense. If your cell phone rings and it’s out of reach, pull over and talk or wait. The same thing with text messaging. Pull over to the side of the road and out of the way, send the message or read one before getting back into traffic.

A little common sense and a lot of self control will save lives.