Driving & texting bans not effective… Of course, not…

Texting bans for drivers not putting a dent in accident rates from Ars Technica:

Study after study shows that distracted drivers are far more likely to get into accidents, which has led a number of states to craft laws intended to limit one of the most significant distractions: the cell phone. Initial efforts focused on keeping both hands on the wheel by mandating hands-free use, but more recent versions have cracked down on texting while driving. Now, a study of accident rates indicates that the bans may not be having the desired effect, as accident rates may actually be increasing in some states that have enacted them.

The study was done by the Highway Loss Data Institute, a nonprofit that is supported by auto insurers and has access to their data on accident claims. This isn’t the first time that the HLDI has waded into this territory; earlier this year, it performed an essentially identical study on accident rates that followed cell phone bans, and also concluded that the legislation had little effect. (Other studies indicate that there may be strong regional effects that are missed in statewide analyses.)

Here’s my view point.  It’s virtually impossible to enforce, after all, here in NY State it is also illegal to be on a cell phone without a handsfree device.  Does that stop anyone?  Not at all, I see plenty of people just talking away with their phones craddled inbetween their ear & shoulder while driving.

If the law is not enforceable, then don’t pass it.  There are already way too many non-enforceable  laws in place as is.  A 1% (a made up percentage!) enforcement rate doesn’t encourage other people toobey the law.  For anyone to be concerned about the law, they must know that they will be caught, or believe that it is likely that caught.

Marginal enforcement will not change people’s attitudes, all it does is act as a slight penalty, and give the state additional funding (via the fines).  It also allows the law to be used retroactively.  For example, someone was caught speeding, and the officer see’s the person on the phone without a handsfree device, or texting, he now has two charges instead of one.

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