I don't like cellphones but love driving. If they ban hand-held cellphones in cars it won't really inconvenience me but I wonder about the logic. I don't think using a hand-held cellphone in a car is a suicidal act but is probably best avoided depending on the circumstances. At 100km/h on the highway, no way! Sitting at the lights or inching along in the commuter crawl I can't really see a problem.
I can't comment on texting while driving as I consider texting at any time to be a completely frustrating waste of time. Probably because I'm so bad at it that I can feel my life ebbing away while trying to enter a message that would take a few seconds to speak. I mean, you've got a phone and I've got a phone so why text line by line? I have, without checking the exact number, sent less than 50 texts since getting a text capable phone in 2005. I even once got a text from Telecom telling me I could use my phone to text, as it I wasn't aware of this fact.
If they ban cellphones in cars why not other potential driving hazards like;
- Other Audio: CD Players, MP3 Players and distractions like talkback radio which could incite rage while on the road. Music can make a powerful impression when driving. I can still remember listening to Pat Metheny's totally awesome "The Way Up" when driving the One Litre Ferrari to New Plymouth, and that was several years ago, but have no memory of how fast I was going or the traffic hazards encountered.
- Food: How many hot pies are consumed behind the wheel? Can you safely munch an apple while tootling along in the morning commute? How much gum is thrown, or not quite thrown, out the window and what happens next?
- Cigarettes: If a talking device is considered life threatening surely lighting and consuming a burning cigarette, heaven forbid rolling one, is potentially harmful (long-term even if you get away with the driving part). Off topic, one of the funniest things I've seen at the lights was a pedestrian (sizable enough that you wouldn't argue with him) scoop up and throw a discarded lit cigarette back into the car it had been thrown from. It was amazing how fast that driver moved in a frantic search to find it!
- Babies and young children: They should be banned from cars as represent far more potential danger than a phone. Not only is there possible audio distraction beyond anything a cellphone can create but also the potential for other "emissions" to overwhelm the senses.
- Animals: I don't think dogs loose in a car are a great idea. Even caged cats are a problem as they inevitably howl and pee in the cage which is very distracting.
- Cosmetics and Shavers: The delicate application of facial make-up or flick of an electric shaver is a common rush hour sight. Both require dedicated visual and digital coordination that conflicts with driving
- Toasters: OK, this is perhaps too rare to required dedicated legislation but I have seen a Toaster (still in the box) being held, with both hands, at eye level by a driver who was doing 50 km/h in relatively busy morning commuter traffic. I don't know what they were trying to read but it certainly nearly caused an accident, for the guy in the next lane staring amazed at what they were doing!
Makes talking on a phone seem relatively safe!