Something that so many people get distracted with while driving are cell phones. If it is not for texting is to change the song, social media or for whatever other reason. Focusing on the road while driving very important, just a few seconds of distraction can cause a fatal accident and cell phones can be what caused it. Distracted driving is critical and in Texas 86th Legislative Session Senate Bill 43 is proposing the expansion of the current ban on texting while driving. The Senate Bill 43 would prohibit the driver to use the cell phone without a hands free device. In the article “Texans — are you ready for a hands-free cell phone law? That’s now on the table” states “Imagine keeping your hands off your phone — completely — when you’re driving. That’s what state Sen. Judith Zaffirini wants to see, which is why she’s proposing that Texas put in place a law to let drivers use or talk on the phone only if they do it hands free.” This bill is proposing this in order to prevent more tragedy’s to occur in cause of distracted driving and to prohibit cell phone use behind the wheel. If this bill is passed, people will know it is illegal to use a cell phone while driving and if caught the driver will be ticketed and fined.
As usual there is always those who agree or disagree with certain things. In this case there is more disagreements than agreements. In the news article “Texas senator proposes statewide “hands-free” cell phone law” states “Fadil Nda is a firm believer that many accidents are caused by cell phone use behind the wheel. “There’s nothing more important than the safety of yourself and others, that phone call can wait,” said Nda.” Fadil Nda is in favor with the bill and he believes that his and others safety is more important than a phone call that can wait. A quick glance can go a long way that it can lead to a terrible accident or even death. The mood and attitude of the individual handling the phone while driving can change if they get angry or disappointed over a bad text or seeing something on social media they were not pleased with. The change of mood can lead to aggressive driving and the driver may fail to give the proper signals or even miss road signs. This does not only put the individual’s safety in risk but their health as well. Seeing something unpleasant can put the driver in a stressful or emotional state and stress does not benefit the health in any way. In the article “Stress Management” states “Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can help you manage them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute too many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.” Prohibiting the cell phone use while driving can prevent the stress and harmful effects to the human health over the time. Another very important thing is reducing the car accidents in cause of cell phone use. Not only does it put others’ lives in danger but every accident that takes place causes some type of damage to the city roads or property that will need to be repaired and invest money on. In some other states this bill has been passed and it seems to be effective. In the article “ Laws banning hand-held cellphone calls more effective than texting bans for teen drivers” states “Our study shows that universal bans of hand-held cellphone calls while driving can be effective in reducing teens’ hand-held conversations while driving, but texting bans are not effective in reducing texting while driving,” said Motao Zhu, MD, MS, PhD, the study’s lead author and Principal Investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.” The ban of hand held cell phone use may have a much better effect than just the ban of texting while driving because the driver can always lie and say he/she was not texting. These are a few arguments that are in favor over why the bill should be passed in Texas. Taking innocent people’s lives away in cause of a driver’s bad decision should not be needed in order for a driver to learn a lesson.
Moving forwards to the arguments against the bill. There is many reasons of why so many people disagree with this bill because people believe that cell phone use is not going to make a difference and are not the only cause of tragic accidents. In the article “There’s No Reason to Ban Cellphone Use While Driving” states “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 3,092 traffic deaths last year involved distracted drivers. But using a cell phone is only one of many driver distractions. Eating and drinking while behind the wheel are two others, and they are far more dangerous than yapping on a phone.” Many drivers do eat and drink while driving any time of the day and that is also considered a distraction other than cell phone use. There is many other things that can distract a driver not just cell phone use. There is many women seen doing there make up while driving as well or other things that may distract a driver. The article “Should cell phone use by drivers be illegal?” states “Whether it’s talking on a cellphone, eating or drinking, adjusting the radio, or programming your navigation system, increasingly, it seems that driving is not always the top priority in the car.” This is stating a few things that are considered a distraction to a driver other than just the cell phone use. Distractions or no distractions there is people who just have a very risky behavior who are speeding all the time or change lanes so drastically. The article “Why Cell Phone Bans Don’t Work” states “You can take the driver away from the cell phone, but you can’t take the risky behavior away from the driver. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which finds that people who talk on their phones while driving may already be unsafe drivers who are nearly as prone to crash with or without the device. The findings may explain why laws banning cell phone use in motor vehicles have had little impact on accident rates.” Many people believe the ban of cell phone will not lower the overall crash rates as much because there is other things that can distract drivers or they might just be drastic drivers regardless if there is a distraction or not. Another reason why most people are not in favor with this bill being passed is because if caught using a cell phone he/she will be penalized and their car insurance rates might be effected. The article “New Laws Hit Those Who Use Their Cell Phone While Driving” states “However, whether a texting offense will directly trigger an increase in your premiums depends on your state and how it penalizes phone-related driving offenses. In any state with a ban on phone use, violating those rules will result in a fine. But only in states that treat phone use as a moving violation will you see a subsequent penalty in your auto insurance rates as well.” When ticketed or fined there is an impact on your insurance and a driver does not want an extra risk that can possibly affect them more.
Going into detail over which parties or political leaders were for/ against the bill there is not so much information yet as the status on this current Texas legislative session has only been introduced. According to “Texas 2019-2020 86th Legislature Legislation” states that on February 01, 2019 the bill was referred to State Affairs. There is a few concerns over why this bill might not pass and one of the reasons is because in order to make this law successful there will be need more supervision and more monitoring of the drivers and that will be another thing that will have to get situated. The article “Texas senator proposes statewide “hands-free” cell phone law” states “How effective is that law going to be, you would require more man power, police officers, monitoring, and taking away from important issues like real crimes that are going on,” said Nda.
Jenna Philips agreed, the law could be hard to enforce, but feels something needs to be done to make the roads safer. She feels the age of social media has only added to distracted driving by the wheel.” Citizens are worried over how effective this is going to be and if there is enough reasons with evidence over why this bill should be passed otherwise it will probably be hard to enforce. Another concern is peoples safety, many people want this bill to be passed to take effect an ban cell phone use while driving because that is putting others safety in risk and danger. Some citizens are concerned that this bill will not be passed. The article “Why the government should ban cellphones while driving” states “It may not be a perfect solution, but making laws against these types of infractions is legitimate.” If this bill passes people will feel safer just by knowing that it’s been passed and officers will be strictly monitoring the drivers which would make drivers be more precautious and maybe even make them respect the rules and not use their cell phones while driving. There has been many studies stating that distracted drivers have a slower reaction and with that being said it is critical to be distracted for whatever reason. Many people think even hand-free devices are still a distraction because the driver is still not putting its complete attention to the road. In the article “Cell Phone Ban Makes Us Safer” states “Our enhanced Safe Driving Policy launched on January 1, 2017. It puts a total ban on using mobile phones for company business while driving, whether in a personal vehicle or a Cargill-owned vehicle. The ban also applies to hands-free devices, as more than 30 studies have found hands-free options pose significant risks as well, because they don’t eliminate mental distractions. GPS systems can be used, as long as they are programmed before the car is put into drive.” Many business companies have ban cell phone use while driving and they are encouraging other businesses to do the same for the safety of their employees. Safety should always be their top priority and putting their part will make a difference. These are a few issues and concerns from the bill passing/failing from people who are either for/against the bill. The final decision on the bill has not been decided still, the status on it is still pending as of today. It is being processed as it has been referred to state affairs.
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