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Should Arizona Ban Drivers from Using Cellphones?

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According to an article in today’s Arizona Daily Star a citizens group wants to place on the next election ballot an initiative to outlaw cellphone use while driving in order to lower risks of automobile accidents:

An initiative drive launched Wednesday would make it illegal for drivers to talk on their phones unless they are using a hand-free headset. Violators would be subject to a $100 fine; increasing to $200 if the motorist is in an accident.

I recently wrote that cellphone use while driving substantially increases the risks of automobile accidents. I cited a recent study suggesting that in terms of auto accident risks, using cellphones can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.

The Arizona Daily Star article also cites a 2005 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety which concludes:

that motorists who chat while cruising are four times as likely to get injured in accidents.

While I agree that distracted drivers need to be held accountable for conduct which causes car accidents, I am not sure that a government imposed ban on cellphone use will be the proper method to minimize risks of harm. I believe that personal accountability and not government intervention is the proper approach to minimize harm. I am not convinced that a cellphone ban will be effective or necessary and may cause too many unintended consequences. What do you think? Do you support a government imposed ban on cellphone use while driving? Do you support holding drivers responsible if cellphone use caused or contributed to an accident? I’d like to hear your thoughts.