Thursday, August 16, 2007
On Banning Cellphones While Driving
At present, mobile phones have become an integral and necessary part of American life, which is almost entirely different more than a decade ago, when mobile phones were still considered a luxury by many Americans. Perhaps one of the best evidence of its necessity for every American has been the experience of September the 11th, when hundreds of mobile phone calls were made, sending messages of love, hope, despair, grief and sadness. On the other hand, the mobile phone industry has already overwhelmingly penetrated the mass market, notwithstanding the seemingly endless production of high-end, high-tech models for the upscale markets. Even in developing countries such as the
There is no better argument for the prohibition of the use of mobile phones while driving a vehicle than the limitless possibility of vehicular accidents while operating a mobile phone, especially on freeways. This possibility of accidents does not involve only the conventional use of mobile phones during driving, such as voice calling and text messaging, but includes all the other added functions of the contemporary mobile phone, including playing its built-in games, taking pictures, choosing mp3 playlists, among others. In the Republic of the
Another decisive argument against the use of cellphones while driving is the spawning of culture of over-reliance to mobile gadgets for a wide array of human activity, to the extent that it breeds delinquency and irresponsibility in the guise of greater efficiency of work and communications. While it is true that the advent of mobile phone communications has revolutionized the way people connect with each other, sometimes it is being used as an excuse of failure to perform duties and responsibilities well. A sad yet relevant example is the shocking Virginia Tech massacre that has moved the world into sorrow. While the killings were occurring, the students had absolute access to electronic gadgets such as laptops and mobile phones to communicate to state security forces and media the grim events that were presently happening in their school. It is true that their calls were very important for the quick response of policemen, but such an over-reliance to the speed at which messages can be sent and processed to government agencies, tacitly overlooked the more important necessity of the school having a comprehensive emergency security plan to prevent atrocities of this magnitude from ever occurring.
On a lighter note, it also breeds delinquency and irresponsibility because mobile phone calls while driving are usually done to reassure colleagues, friends, and family members as to their exact location as of the moment, especially when there are scheduled meetings and appointments. If people were more professional and cordial in keeping commitments and promises, such reassurance might not even be needed anymore, thus, saving the person from the economic costs of a voice call, and the physical risks of accidents.
Most importantly, mobile phone use while driving, in whatever form, prospectively endangers the right to life and property, not only of the driver using the mobile phone but also those who may be inconvenienced as a result of vehicular accident that ensues. As such, the state, in the exercise of its police power, has every right to intervene and prohibit its use and enjoyment to promote the public good and welfare of the majority of its citizens and curtail the social evil of vehicular accidents from frequently occurring in the streets of its jurisdiction. The evils as a result of mobile phone use while driving does not only prejudice human life but the general enjoyment of property as well.
In all of these, there is a recognition that the use of mobile phones per se is greatly beneficial to the majority of the population, save for its use while driving a vehicle as the social evil that results from it is too grave to warrant a lenient position from the state and concerned citizens. The technology of mobile phones continues upgrading as every new model is released to the markets of the world, which must be fully supported and encouraged even by the government. However, for as long as no acceptable security features are presently equipped in current mobile phones to stem the loss of concentration while driving, there is no reason whatsoever to continue allowing its use while driving vehicles.
1. Reyes, C. (2006, August 20). MMDA: Unwelcome do-gooder. The Sunday Times. Retrieved from http://www.manilatimes.net/national/ 2006/aug/20/yehey/top_stories/20060820top4.html on 23 April 2007.
2. Adding Social Value to Your Brand. (2006). SME Community