Feb 082009
Authors: Phoenix MourningStar

Last week the state heard public testimony about a proposed cell phone ban while driving.

The Collegian hit up campus Sunday to see how the students of CSU felt about this proposed ban.

Ikumi Yoshida, a junior liberal arts major sat down and told us why she thinks it’s a good idea, while friends Ruthie Hubka, a senior political science major, and Daysha Williams, a senior communications studies major, gave us the scoop on why they are not sure that it’s necessary yet.

Ikumi Yoshida, junior liberal arts major

Q: Do you agree with the proposed ban on cell phones while driving?

A: I think it’s good. In Japan we’re all banned from texting and talking on the phone (while driving). You cannot text at all while driving, but if you want to speak you should wear a headset, so that your hands are free. But, if you talk on the phone you should park your car along the street. It’s really strict.

Q: Do you think there are many accidents, either in the U.S. or Japan from people talking on the phone?

A: Yeah. In Japan, before that law … people had accidents because they were distracted by phone calls and didn’t pay attention. … But, here I don’t know because people don’t really care about the laws.

Q: Are their other activities that should be banned while driving. For instance, eating, smoking or drinking coffee?

A: Those don’t distract you that much, though. Talking on the phone you can fight, or talk about business and get very distracted — you can’t just focus on driving. But while you’re eating, I don’t know.

Q: How would you think about writing the law so that the police cannot stop you for cell phone use, but may ticket you as a secondary offense as was done with seatbelts?

A: No. … They should be caught if that’s the law.

Ruthie Hubka and Daysha Williams, seniors

Q: How do you feel about the proposed cell phone ban while driving?

RH: I think there are people who (use phones) when it’s unnecessary, but I think there are definitely times when you need to pick up the phone. And I also think it’s going to be really easy for people to get gouged on tickets for that.

Q: How do you feel about cell phone use being a secondary offense?

RH: That might not be too bad if it had to be written with another violation, too. But then what’s the point of having the rule? I don’t know.

Q: Do you feel like talking on the cell phone is a safety issue while driving?

DW: I definitely feel like you’re distracted.

Q: Do you use cell phones when you drive?

DW: Sometimes. When I drive to Denver I will call somebody and talk.

RH: That’s a little different. I think highway driving is a little different. I think city driving, when people aren’t paying attention, is different.

Q: Do you think hands-free devices would be a good middle ground?

DW: I think the concept of just talking on the phone is distracting, so you’re still going to be distracted whether you have both hands on the wheel or not. Because, honestly I feel like I’m just as distracted if I’m just talking or texting.

Staff columnist Phoenix Mourning-Star can be reached at letters@collegian.com.

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