Cell phones. What would we do without cell phones? We talk, email, text, tweet, Facebook and surf the web on these amazing devices. “Smart phones” have become an essential part of our lives and we have them with us at all times. Despite the increased awareness surrounding the issue of distracted driving though, use of these devices in our cars, trucks and SUV’s continues.
Standing on the corner of Third Street in Harrisburg Monday, waiting to cross Forster Street, a high-traffic area about a block from the State Capitol building, I had a few minutes’ wait for the light to change before crossing. I routinely wait at this light around lunch time. In the past, while watching cars pass me by, I couldn’t help but notice the prevalence of cell phone usage. So during my wait Monday, I decided to count the number of drivers using phones that passed me. According to my unofficial survey, I stopped counting when the twenty-sixth car passed me while I waited. The drivers of nine of those vehicles appeared to be holding and using cell phones. Not a highly-scientific experiment by any means, but very telling. What makes my observation more interesting is that Harrisburg has an ordinance banning cell phone use while driving!
Please be careful while driving in any town or city at any time of day or night. Legislation recently enacted in many municipalities banning cell phone use while driving cannot be enforced effectively by law enforcement. Even with these laws in place, drivers still text, call, surf and perform other tasks on their phones—all while driving.