Cell Phones are OK While Driving on Granite State Roads - 173 responses

Sep 30, 2013

While New Hampshire prohibits reading and sending text messages and the two-handed use of any electronic device when driving, state lawmakers will consider new legislation next year that would ban cell phone use while driving altogether.

In asking for feedback from Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) members on September 30th however, 58 percent disagreed with the proposed legislation. Many supported the qualifier that hands-free devices should not be included in the ban, while others who disagreed did not see the need to involve state lawmakers at all.

Moreover, legislative restrictions on cell phone use in other states appears ineffective in decreasing the incidence of distracted driving accidents. In a 2012 study by the Governors Highway Safety Bureau, which was recently cited in a story published by the Union Leader, 15 states in which cell phone bans of some form have been passed report an increase in distracted driving crashes. According to this same study, 16 states cite the same crash rates, while only 11 saw a decrease.

For those who agreed with the proposed legislation, 29% of total respondents, the issue of safety was paramount. Several respondents cited harrowing personal experiences, which drew a number of concurrences from other members.

“I ride a motorcycle, and I have a better view of people in cars than most car drivers,” explained one respondent. “You have no idea how many cell phone users are texting while driving—scares me to death.”

According to several in the majority, however, cell phones represent merely one distraction out of many. One respondent cited young children as just one such example of a possible distraction. “When they get crabby, they can be way more distracting than any phone call,” she added.

Regardless of where individual members stand on the issue, the unspoken caveat is that we as a society appear distracted, as multi-tasking is often championed as a virtue rather than a vice.

With this in mind, legislation may indeed pass next year and place further restrictions on cell phone use while driving, but it will not enforce common sense.

In soliciting opinions on this subject, the LFDA received 384 citizen responses from 129 respondents, that were supported by 255 concurrences. In addition to the aforementioned statistics, 13% of respondents discussed the matter, but did not take a clear position.

The LFDA presents this report as a summary of citizen testimony as opposed to a scientific poll or survey. As New Hampshire’s Virtual Town Hall, the nonprofit, nonpartisan LFDA, now numbering over 20,000, provides objective information about state issues, promotes the civil exchange of opinions and communicates citizen views to elected officials.

Comments

Larry Perkins
- Lee

Wed, 03/16/2016 - 10:31am

it has become an epidemic with proven negative results. As with my neighbors I agree, the law has not deterred the use. I have seen state and local government employees on the phone. The most appalling is the law enforcement officer state and local.Examples are while providing safety for workers.His job is to monitor traffic plus workers in/on the road!A total lack of professionalism coupled with a distraction.The police you pass to/from where ever,driving with his phone attached to his ear.

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