Editorial for March 8: Cell phone ban ignored in law

We’re disappointed to learn that the revised Traffic Bill headed to the Legislative Assembly this year won’t have wording in it to ban using hand-held cell phones while driving.

The reason it’s not there? Too many people offered up too many suggestions for government to take one particular stance.

Some suggested cell phones not be used at all.

Others wanted wording that allowed drivers to use cell phones, but hands free.

Still others wanted the law to say that drivers can use cell phones, just not text.

And others suggested that government should forget about the issue all together.

The reason there isn’t cell phone wording in the bill is that ‘we can’t just accommodate one group’.

Poppycock

Actually, the civil servant drafters of this bill have done just that; they’ve listened to the group that said forget about the cell phone issue.

Now it’s up to the people we elected to serve us in the Legislative Assembly to have the political will to put the cell phone wording into the law.

More than 85 per cent of respondents to a recent caycompass.com online poll supported 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.

We hope our lawmakers are listening.

While we don’t have laws that ban cell phone usage while driving, police officers can charge those involved in collisions with careless or dangerous driving if it is determined that the cell phone played a part in distracting the driver.

But that’s really not enough.

There is no question that a driver’s attention is distracted when they are using a cell phone while driving.

We need a law in the Cayman Islands that stops drivers from being able to text, tweet, surf the net and dial while they are behind the wheel. The collective safety of everyone in the Cayman Islands demands it.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Money talks.

    This nearly happened in the UK with powerful lobbying from the telecoms industry first trying to prevent, then delaying full implementation of, the current ban on use of handheld cell phones while driving.

    A ban, if properly implemented, would cost the various interested parties in the Cayman Islands thousands of dollars in lost income and they are not going to let that happen.

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