Jack Simpson - Sensible use of cell phones a thing of the past

Cell phones are helpful tools when properly used. They can also be a curse and a nuisance.

On the way to work recently, there was a lady walking along the right side of the road talking on a cell phone. Reaching the intersection, she nearly caused several automobiles to collide because she was talking and not looking. She walked right into the traffic at the crosswalk. Wonder what would have happened if the drivers were using their cell phones at the same time and were inattentive?

Perhaps you recall similar incidents. It is amazing how very important the average person has become these days. They cannot be anywhere without a cell phone! People have to be available and accessible at all times.

One lady told me that she was shocked the other day. While she was in a public restroom she overheard a cell phone conversation in the stall next to her. This phone user may be among those addicts who are developing thumb and wrist pains from too much tapping and button pushing. Hand ailments are becoming more common among cell phone users.

There is some speculation that holding a cell phone close to the head for an extended period may elevate cancer risks. Until final proof is available, some users are already using wireless headsets or the useful Bluetooth.

Cell phones are more than phones these days. You can use them to text message, take pictures, browse the Web and lots of other things. No wonder drivers can be distracted while using them on the streets and highways.

The National Safety Council believes cell phone use increases the risk of a crash. Six states have already agreed and have banned hand-held cell phone use while driving. Seventeen states make it illegal for driving novices to use cell phones at all.

Of course these laws are being violated and in some instances not enforced. Policing is difficult and parents are often not strict enough on their children's use of cell phones.

Statistics show us that the improper use of cell phones while driving is a safety problem and one that needs a solution. More states should adopt restrictions, and more education and enforcement should follow. Too many young, inexperienced drivers are talking and texting. They are not paying attention and are suffering from serious injury while driving and using cell phones.


Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author, and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday.