Possible Cell Phone Ban for 18 and Under

Mostly everybody, some probably not, know that it is illegal to drive while talking/texting on the phone. I personally do both and I know a lot of other people who do the same thing. There are also some people who I know who refuse to talk while driving, especially down south where the traffic is a lot heavier. Juneau Empire reported that the Legislature wants to target 18 year olds and young to restrict the ban on cell phone and texting usage. I’m sure a lot of people have seen this article, but I figured I would bring it up becuase I know some people probably have something to say about this or not. I know that I have some 2 cents that I would like to add.

I personally think that banning or restricting the age limit would help somewhat with having teenagers focus more on the road than the drama on the phone. But, I do not want to be a hypocrite when I say that I do not text and call people on the phone, because I do. I have luckily have not gotten into an accident yet, but I have been close. I certainly have seen videos, read demographics, and have read articles about teenagers getting into accidents. I am not sure how well this would help with traffic accidents, but I am sure in some way it would.

Jeremy Hsieh, who wrote the article on banning cell phone usage, said that

Teen drivers are responsible for a disproportionately high number of cell phone-related traffic accidents in Alaska, according data a legislative researcher culled from several state agencies to be presented with the bill.

More than a third of the 289 cell phone-related traffic accidents that occurred between 2002 to 2006 are attributable to drivers age 16 to 20, a demographic that makes up only 7.6 percent of Alaska drivers.

I am wondering how much this would help with accidents. I’m sure that it would help a lot, but it would be over a course of time (months, years, etc) and I know that if the Legislature does ban this, people will still talk on their phones, text, and watch videos. I am going to make an assumption that people will continue to do this because police or whoever else catches people doing this, will not be able to stop the vast amounts of people around Alaska. So teenagers better watch out and people be aware. I know everybody will keep this in mind, but some may not follow it.


2 Responses

  1. It is not yet illegal to talk on your cell phone while driving in Alaska. You’re right that it IS illegal to text while driving (although the actual wording doesn’t make that as clear as imaginable since texting isn’t even mentioned in the bill, and cellphones are only mentioned in the exclusions…) – that bill passed last session.

    People’s lack of knowledge regarding exactly what is illegal or not illegal illustrates a bit of a disconnect with policy implementation. I remember when the tiny blurb about the new law appeared in the ADN with a video of Governor Palin speaking about her BlackBerry usage and signing the bill and then THAT WAS IT! No more mention of the illegality of text; it just poofed by and I’m sure many, many people don’t know about it (or don’t care). I guess ignorance of the law is no excuse.

  2. Yeah, I heard about how there was no texting. I think that took affect on July 2nd of last year I think. I remember that day because I went to California and I saw nobody talking on cell phones; everybody was using Bluetooth. I was really shocked on how many people were using that in stores, cars, and even saw some at theme parks. I am surprised that nobody uses it up here. I think it is really confusing when people say, that something is illegal about this and that and there is no clear answer. I wonder when Palin will stop moving the capital and focus on something that could actually help drivers

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