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Drive and Talk: Are All Cell Devices Dangerous?

Published Feb 23rd 2007, 9:03pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Cellincar_2 According to the Detroit Free Press, Most people can't talk on a cell phone and walk in a straight line at the same time.

Forget about talking on a cell phone and driving in a straight line, a far greater danger to those sharing the road.

Even a hands-free phone is not good enough, says Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety in Washington, D.C. Whether handheld or hands-free, or even one of those metal earmuffs, drivers still can be distracted on the phone and put everyone in danger, he says.

So Ditlow has petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ban such communication -- handheld or hands-free -- any time a vehicle is in motion.

Cellincar02 That would go for even those who own a General Motors vehicle with OnStar or a Lexus with TeleAid. No more directions at the push of a button from the satellite communication services. Even a driver suffering a heart attack would have to pull over and stop before calling for help.

The auto community, of course, is worried that if cell phones are considered distractions, what will happen to profitable navigation systems.

What do you think? The idea of banning something like OnStar or TeleAid, after we have come this far in creating such a great safety feature for drivers, seems absurd. Ban the cell phones, fine. But even hands-free phones? Is it any more distracting than putting a CD in your stereo or fussing with a passenger or child in the back seat? Should we ban all music and passengers as well? Come on now, hold off a little on the ridiculousness please.

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