The proposal to ban drivers in the United States from using new or old cell phones while operating a motor vehicle has come under fire from an unexpected source – police officers. Menasha police officer Aaron Zemlock can comprehend the reasoning behind the move to crack down on drivers who use cell phones, but the crime reduction coordinator does not believe that passing a new law is the way to go about it, noting that Wisconsin’s inattentive driving law already covers any potentially dangerous conduct.
“Distracted driving causes accidents, but what can we really legislate?” Zemlock asks. “GPS units cause distractions, eating in the car is a distraction, applying make-up, shaving, changing songs on the radio or an iPod (are distractions)… and the list goes on.”
Several weeks ago federal safety investigators declared that emailing, texting or any other use of a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle is just too dangerous to be allowed at all and recommended that every state in the country impose a complete ban (with the exception of emergencies), a recommendation that would even apply to hands free devices. All five members of the National Transportation Board voted unanimously to recommend the blanket ban.
Zemlock, however, is unimpressed. “I certainly understand the push by the NTSB to ban all cell phone use as distracted driving is deadly,” he admits. “I don’t think it is practical, though.”