Skip to main content /US
CNN.com /US
EDITIONS:
*

MULTIMEDIA:

E-MAIL:
Subscribe to one of our news e-mail lists.
Enter your address:

SERVICES:
CNN Mobile

CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites

DISCUSSION:

SITE INFO:

CNN NETWORKS:
CNN International

TIME INC. SITES:

WEB SERVICES:

Cell phone industry backs more education



By KC Wildmoon
CNN.com Sr. Writer

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- With New York poised to establish the nation's first restrictions on the use of cell phones while driving, nine more states are waiting in the wings. And 30 other state legislatures have, in the last six months, at least taken a look at the possibility of enacting such legislation.

But the cell phone industry largely considers such legislation simply unnecessary because laws already on the books can do the job.

"Current legislation carries laws against unsafe and inattentive driving," said Dee Yankoskie, manager of wireless education programs for the Washington-based Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA). "We just need full enforcement of the laws that exist."

INTERACTIVE
State-by-state cell phone legislation  
 
ALSO
N.Y. Assembly nears vote on cell phone bill  

Jason Carroll: New York state to ban cell phone use while driving  
 

CTIA, an association of service providers, manufacturers and others working with wireless communications, launched an educational program in January aimed at reaching drivers to remind them that the first order of business behind the wheel of a car is to drive. The program includes a multimillion dollar, drive-time radio campaign and television public service announcements.

"We need to be addressing the overall behavior of inattentive drivers," Yankoskie said. "Any activity besides the task of driving could be a distraction."

Yankoskie said the association supports use of hands-free devices -- required under the New York law -- but believes such restrictions are not enough.

"We'd want to see a statewide educational program and law enforcement collecting data on all distracting behaviors," she said. "It's an incomplete piece of legislation to include hands-free by itself."

But the industry's problems with legislation, Yankoskie said, come down to a simple edict: "You can't legislate common sense."

"There are a lot more distracting behaviors," she said. "My personal favorite was a man lifting a dumbbell with his right hand while driving with his left."

Education, she said, is the key, not legislation.

"If you ban cell phone use -- ironically a device that could potentially save your life -- where does it end?" she said. "Do you ban smoking? Ban drive-throughs because of eating?"






RELATED SITES:
See related sites about US
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

U.S. TOP STORIES:

 Search   

Back to the top