Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More On Cell Phone/Texting

Well, I gave my presentation last night about the cell phone/texting thing.

Newly elected council member Jeff Vaught had a question for me that I was unable to answer. He had information from the Cato Institute that showed that even though the number of cell phone users has increased, that the number of vehicle accidents has decreased (nationwide).

Well, looks like I'm going to have to do some digging for answers.

But, what do we know? We know "Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces First Enforcement Crackdown Campaign on Distracted DrivingPilot Programs in Hartford, CT and Syracuse, NY are Latest Effort in DOT’s Fight Against Distracted Driving" and the rest of the press release is here at

Also, as part of the press release the following info was supplied "Research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in 2008 alone, nearly 6,000 people were killed and more than a half million people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver nationwide. Almost 20 percent of all crashes that same year involved some type of distraction."

I do know that the DOT has some very interesting information at

So why have traffic accidents shown a decline? Well, until I can dig into the research, maybe I can come up with some plausible ideas.

  1. Have the number of people driving been reduced over the past couple of years because of telecommuting?
  2. Have more people resorted to shared transportation and/or public transportation because of the economy?
  3. Are less people driving because more folks are unemployed? Are more people taking 'staycations" (staying within their home area) as opposed to traveling vacations?
  4. Are more people reducing their other leisure time driving?
  5. Are they combining their errands to reduce the amount of driving being done?
  6. Do safety improvements (like ABS brakes) help reduce accidents?

Anyway, I'd still be for stronger laws in Kansas regarding cell phone and texting use while driving.

Hey, here's a good one.........for Jeff Vaught..........are you in favor of stronger texting/cell phone laws in Kansas? Now that's a simple question that does not need charts, graphs etc. Actually, it just needs a simple yes or no.

Feel free to email me with your answer and I'll be happy to post it here