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Angela Daly
Professor Chavez
English 101
14 March XXXX
A Call to Action:
Regulate Use of Cell Phones on the Road
When a cell phone goes off in a classroom or at a concert, we
are irritated, but at least our lives are not endangered. When we
are on the road, however, irresponsible cell phone users are more
than irritating: They are putting our lives at risk. Many of us have
witnessed drivers so distracted by dialing and chatting that they
resemble drunk drivers, weaving between lanes, for example, or
nearly running down pedestrians in crosswalks. A number of bills to
regulate use of cell phones on the road have been introduced in
state legislatures, and the time has come to push for their passage.
Regulation is needed because drivers using phones are seriously
impaired and because laws on negligent and reckless driving are
not sufficient to punish offenders.
No one can deny that cell phones have caused traffic deaths
and injuries. Cell phones were implicated in three fatal accidents in
November 1999 alone. Early in November, two-year-old Morgan
Pena was killed by a driver distracted by his cell phone. Morgan’s
mother, Patti Pena, reports that the driver “ran a stop sign at 45
mph, broadsided my vehicle and killed Morgan as she sat in her car
seat.” A week later, corrections officer Shannon Smith, who was
guarding prisoners by the side of the road, was killed by a woman
distracted by a phone call (Besthoff). On Thanksgiving weekend
that same month, John and Carole Hall were killed when a Naval Academy midshipman crashed into their parked car. The driver said
in court that when he looked up from the cell phone he was dialing,
he was three feet from the car and had no time to stop
(Stockwell B8).
Expert testimony, public opinion, and even cartoons suggest
that driving while phoning is dangerous. Frances Bents, an
expert on the relation between cell phones and accidents, estimates
that between 450 and 1,000 crashes a year have some…

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