More than 85 per cent of respondents to last week’s caycompass.com online poll support at least a ban on hand-held talking and texting on cellular telephones.
Of the 600 total respondents, the largest segment – 368 people or 61.3 per cent – support a ban on hand-held talking and texting only. However, another 144 people – 24 per cent – support a complete ban that doesn’t even allow hands-free talking.
“With the amount of people talking while driving, the Government will definitely profit by imposing a minimum fine of $500 if caught driving with a phone to your ear,” said one person. “It’s simple to pull off the road if you must answer or make a call.”
“This ban needs to be implemented immediately because people talking without the hands-free device and texting will contribute to more traffic fatalities,” said another respondent. “Unless you are a medical doctor on call you really do not need access to a cell phone every minute of the day.”
“Maybe then drivers will have a hand free to use their turn indicators,” said someone else.
“Cayman has, hands down, some of the worst drivers on the planet,” noted one person. “Come on – 50 accidents per week for a population of about 25,000 drivers? Clearly, drivers here don’t seem capable of paying attention to the road, so any distraction (including conversation) is not safe. Large fines for using cell phones while driving is as good a start as any to make our roads safer.”
A couple of respondents supported some sort of ban on cell phone use while driving, but questioned whether such a ban would be obeyed or enforced.
“Everyone around here seems to think that laws only apply to others,” said one person.
“I agree with a texting and hand-held ban, but how can you provide evidence of hands-free use?” asked another respondent. “Let’s be safe but practical. We have too many laws now that we can’t enforce.”
Some respondents didn’t think a ban on hand-held talking on a cell phone went far enough.
“Driving is driving and requires one’s full attention,” said one person.
“Hands free is not brain free,” commented someone else. “All attention on the road, please, none on your phone conversation.”
Sixty-five people – 10.8 per cent – supported a ban only on texting while driving.
“The act of holding a cell phone while driving is not the problem,” said one person. “The driver is distracted due to the conversation; thus, hands-free talking in no way addresses the problem. Have doubts? Check the research.”
Only 21 people – 3.5 per cent – didn’t support any kind of a ban on cell phone use while driving.
“A ban really isn’t important at this time,” said one person. “The Cayman Islands are such a small island.”
“This would be just another way for our police to waste time instead of going after the serious crimes,” said someone else.
Two people – 0.4 per cent – responded “I don’t know” to the question.