Effect Measure

Cell phones

The car is almost packed and this is the last post before I unplug from the net and we are actually on the road. But by tonight I’ll probably be connected again because the cheapie motels we stay in usually have free WiFi, unlike the expensive ones that charge you $15 a day for the privilege of always being reachable from work and thus having no time to yourself. Not that we won’t be reachable while on the road, because we will have our cell phones. Don’t worry. We never use them while we drive. It’s a matter of principle (the principle being not endangering ourselves and others). Unfortunately it’s a principle honored by very few these days because cell phones have moved from being a luxury gadget to being a necessary utility. It’s something we saw coming four years ago when we talked about the brouhaha over cell phone towers located near day care centers and schools. We considered them a public health problem, but not because of exposure to the radiation from the towers (which is minimal). Instead we were concerned about the indirect effects of cell phone towers, of which use while driving is one.

Here are some posts we’ve done on the subject:

“ET don’t phone home” about the indirect effects of cell phone towers

As for the car . . .

Cell phones while driving: hands free doesn’t mean risk free …
Talking to passengers and cell phones


  1. #1 llewelly
    August 29, 2009

    The most practical solution is for driver’s ed classes to teach, and for driver’s license tests to require that people correctly perform ordinary driving tasks while carrying on a conversation on cell phone.
    This would make the classes cost more money, and take more time, and it would make the tests harder, but it would also make the classes and tests more consistent with real world need.

  2. #2 BostonERdoc
    August 29, 2009

    I dont know Llewelly, do we have to regulate everything? If everyone lives to a ripe old age resources would be strethed even thinner and many industries like health care and funeral homes would likely suffer. We gotta die of something. Personal responsibility ladies and gents not regulation. As an ER doc, I like cell pnone use in cars–brings me some really cool stuff and I like to resuscitate. However the safety features on cars is making dying in an auto accident rare.

  3. #3 Anonymous
    August 29, 2009

    BostonERdoc, IF they were only killing themselves I’d say let ’em. But they’re putting everyone else in danger, so they no longer should have the freedom to act like an idiot.

    Have you seen this?

    August 30, 2009

    I HAVE SEEN A STUNNING COLLECTION OF LUXURY PHONES AT http://www.continentalmobiles.com

  5. #5 glock
    August 30, 2009

    FWIW taking things a step further how about texting while driving?? Here’s a link to a memorable ,if not horrifying reality based PSA from Wales…. Let your kids watch it..


  6. #6 Tony P
    August 30, 2009

    I only carry a cell phone when I NEED to carry one, E.g. for a job.

    Otherwise I don’t have that compulsive need to be in touch. Besides, most places I go have WiFi and my iPod Touch works perfectly, particularly with Fring installed and connected to my SkypeOut account.

    I think I most object to paying outrageous fees for cell service. I’ve seen internal costing documents and it costs Verizon < $6 a month to provide the service, better even it costs less than a penny per SMS message. So they could charge $10 a month for say 1,000 minute plan, and charge out an SMS 500 message plan for oh, $10 a month for a grand total of $20 a month. Data plans need to be looked at too. If you could give me a $20 a month unlimited data plan I'd seriously consider it.

  7. #7 red rabbit
    August 31, 2009

    I can’t talk on a phone and drive simultaneously, due to driving a manual. I just don’t have enough hands.

    Besides, I would drive off the road. Plus we have too many road hazards in the form of tractors and deer.

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