Cell Phone Ban
The main purpose of road-traffic safety is to reduce harm (property damage, injuries, and death) resulting from vehicle crashes on public roads. Annually, the harm that results from road crashes is greater than that caused by other means of transport, for instance, sea, off-terrain, space, and air. A recent news report indicated that, for every four crashes, a driver using a cell phone causes one. Drivers who use hands-free devices and cell phones are distracted by the conversation. Paul Tetlock’s report revealed that driving while using cell phones has caused almost 10,000 deaths in 2011 (Hahn, 1999). The fatalities have been estimated to be 100. In the light of crash fatalities, a ban should be imposed on drivers who text, use hand-held devices, and cell phones while driving.
A drive around any town will reveal that cell phone usage threatens the lives of other motorists and pedestrians. In addition to that, people engage in several activities as they drive. Some acts are performed because of convenience calls. Drivers will always want to engage in small risks, in the context of productivity. Tuning the car audio, taking care of sibling wars in the backseat and sipping a cup of coffee are some of the distractions that may cause fatal crashes.
A cost-benefit analysis of crash fatalities can be quantified in two approaches. The first model uses the loss in capital or human productivity. This model caters for all the direct losses that are associated with personal injury or fatality. For instance, in 2001, Niki Taylor, a supermodel and mother of twins had a fatal accident because the driver used a cell phone while driving. In this incident, Niki stands to lose her livelihood because she was critically injured. The second model involves the Willingness To Pay (WTP) model. The WTP model involves the estimation of the direct and indirect expenses incurred by the persons involved in accidents as well as those in the larger community. This model caters for the property and capital that people loose during accidents, as well as losses that other motorists incur.
In the recent past, several states in America and other nations across the world have imposed bans on drivers who use their cell phones. In the context of this issue, some mobile phone companies have resulted to the introduction and aggressive marketing of hands-free devices. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the drivers who talk while driving are four times likely to cause an accident (Tom and Ray, n.d). However, if a driver uses hands-free device, the chances of crashing is three times. Most legislators have argued that, the introduction and marketing of hands-free devices does not help in the reduction of accidents. A distraction is a distraction no matter the source and it drags someone from concentrating on driving.
In conclusion, any proposed laws on human safety should focus on banning all forms of distractions while driving. The legislation should aim at eliminating any behavior that distracts drivers. Recent and future developments in the motor-vehicle industry should be thoroughly scrutinized. Motor vehicle engineers and designers want to make cars with more distractive devices than cell phones. They want to install computers that send and receive e-mails, stock quotes, and call. Although people feel that they should not be controlled on what they do in their cars, there is a need to evaluate convenience versus safety. The Government should take measures on the motor vehicle industry and push for legislation that will make guarantee road safety (Tom and Ray, n.d). If people overlook their selfish interest of inconvenience, then they may start to support laws that safeguard lives and property.