Cell Phones Behind the Wheel

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

Using cell phones while driving: it's a trend that's becoming more and more common, but troopers say it's also causing more accidents.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is spending Wednesday and Thursday discussing driver distractions with the government.

The meeting is expected to bring about more support towards laws banning the use of mobile devices when behind the wheel.

There are currently no state-wide laws in West Virginia or Ohio that ban cell phone use when driving, but troopers say it's better to be safe than sorry.

"Safety is the number one thing. Pull up to a berm or pull up to a safe area, make the phone call or send the text message if it's absolutely necessary and it can't wait until you reach your destination," Sgt. David Garber with the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.

The government says nearly 6,000 deaths and half a million injuries were caused last year by driver distractions.

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  • by aj Location: Marietta on Oct 2, 2009 at 07:21 PM
    Text messing I can it causing problems. But any cop or tropper that says cell phones are a problem. They are the worst on driving and talking. I passed four cops the other day. Every one of them was driving and talking on there phones. So, before they get on us about it they need to stop doing it themselves. They are no better then we are.
  • by S Location: Parkersburg on Oct 1, 2009 at 03:20 PM
    I have to agree with Smitty, particularly in regard to the texting issue. No message is so important to endanger the life of the driver or, more importantly, other innocent drivers or bystanders. I do believe that use of a cell phone using a hands-free device is acceptable though because in my opinion it is no different than carrying on a conversation with a passenger. Texting, hands-on cell phone usage, make-up application all require your eyes, which should be on the road, or your hands, which should be on the wheel, to be otherwise utilized thus greatly increasing the risk of an accident. When the mind tries to focus on more than one task at a time, though it can be done, each task is performed with less efficiency and accuracy. Come on folks, be reasonable and logical, we are not superhuman or superheroes....this law makes good sense, if you are a sensible person.
  • by ko Location: pburgtractor trailer on Oct 1, 2009 at 03:09 PM
    tractor trailer drivers have been talking on their cb's for years and i haven't heard an uproar over them.regardless of any law that may be passed i will continue to use my cell phone while driving because i use my cell phone to conduct business.as for texting i just don't get it and i don't do it, why type in all those letters when i can communicate by talking and it takes a third of the time.cell phone or no cell phone a lot of people i observe on the roads simply have no driving skills.the u.s. boasts of freedom when everyday at the local,county,state or federal level some type of legislation is being introduced or passed that takes away more of our freedoms,this practice needs to end.
  • by Smitty Location: Parkersburg on Oct 1, 2009 at 01:25 PM
    I can understand utilizing such communication devices if there is a real need to do so in accordance with one's duties. (i.e.) Emergency, Law enforcement, Doctors, Truck drivers, etc. What really amuses me is that people feel the need to just chatter needlessly because they simply have a desire to talk. If the conversation is not worthwhile to pull off the road in order to conduct it, then it's unnecessary. I'm quite sure before cell phones were around that's the only reason one would search for a phone booth. The roads and streets are far dangerous enough without yet another serious distraction to increase the odds of incurring needless accidents. Yes, it needs to become a law because people are unfortunately not wise enough to know what's a rational way to of using these devices.
  • by Fred Location: North End on Oct 1, 2009 at 01:10 PM
    These lunatics on their cell phones are the ones running over the squirrels!
  • by Mike Location: Parkersburg on Oct 1, 2009 at 10:00 AM
    Ok, HOW are you people actually seeing INTO everyone's automobiles? I keep reading "Oh, this guy was doing this" and "He was texting on I77 while making a sandwich and boiling water for coffee!" Aside from a lot of things sounding like exaggerations, if you are really seeing people texting and talking on their phones and nearly causing accidents... 1) How are YOU driving properly if you're paying SO much attention to what other people are doing in their cars? Seriously. 2) Why aren't you just doing the right thing and phoning a description into the police and explaining their erratic driving and let them handle it? I think there are other ways of dealing with this issue, but no one wants to. They just complain. 1) Require by law that all cellular devices come equipped with either bluetooth hands free headsets or wired ones for older phones. A lot of people don't use headsets because they can't afford them. Then # 2: Ticket the crap out of people who drive with a phone to their ear.
  • by Alice Location: Racine on Oct 1, 2009 at 09:55 AM
    I am much more aware of my driving talking on my cell phone than I am when I am eating and the food is dripping. I am more aware on my cell phone than when I am putting on my make-up and driving. The cell phone is only one distraction. I have seen a whole lot worse. I am aware if I can handle what I am doing. I don't do make-up. I don't text because I can't handle doing it and driving and I know that, BUT I CAN handle my cell phone and I WILL CONTINUE to use it. NO MATTER WHAT.
  • by Fred Location: Marietta on Oct 1, 2009 at 09:50 AM
    Law or no law. I will not give up talking on my cell phone while driving. Talking to friends on my commute keeps me awake. Which do you prefer?
  • by Debbie Location: St. Marys on Oct 1, 2009 at 09:14 AM
    If a law is passed, it should apply to police officers also. They are some of the biggest offenders.
  • by Pete Location: Parkersburg on Oct 1, 2009 at 08:29 AM
    Same old story,make the government legislate safety. Aren't people tired of the gov. telling them what to do? Talking on a cell phone and driving is like chewing gum and walking at the same time. Some people just aren't able to do it. Wake up people, If you aren't coordenated enough to do two things at once, stop trying!
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