I am amazed when people try to stop teenagers from talking on cell phones while driving. No talking on cell phones? Why you might as well try to stop them from downloading music. Who in the world can stop a teenager from talking on the phone, or doing anything they’ve got their mind set on doing?
It makes you wonder if some adults were ever teenagers or if it has just been so long ago that they no longer remember? The best solution these days seems to be a hands-free option for phones — but cell phones can still be a distraction.
Back when I was young, cell phones and even cordless phones did not exist. (I’m telling my age here, so just forget this part after you read it.) We had only the good old, standard telephone fastened to the wall with a 15 foot cord so that it could be stretched to the closest closet or bathroom where the door could be closed and we could engage in our private conversation away from the prying ears of parents or (ug!) siblings. We spent marathon hours talking on the phone to friends and it was all part of becoming socialized, feeling accepted, growing up.
Maybe some people never had the thrill of talking on the phone for hours unending, while lying on the floor with feet on the furniture. Maybe they never spent infinite hours just waiting for the phone to ring. Maybe they never called a friend and then held on to the phone for ages talking about nothing, just because they wanted to feel a connection.
The love affair between teenagers and telephone is a long-standing, time-honored tradition. Of course, phones in past times were not mobile and did not have the option of texting. Cell phones are the modern day replacement for the 15-foot cord.
Try to take away the kids cell phones? Why they might as well take away the senior prom, rock music, or the Friday night football game. We try to teach kids to use responsibility. What sort of mixed message do we send when we hand them the car keys with one hand, and take away the cell phone with the other?
If you want to be fair, admit that adults on cell phones are not safe drivers either. So let’s not pick on adolescents and blame them for the ills of the highway. If the kids are considered old enough to drive a motor vehicle in the first place, then they should be considered old enough to have the responsibility that comes with it.
I’m not opposed to safety on the roads. If we really want to be safer, why not lower the 70-mph breakneck speed limit? Why not crack down on the driver’s license test that, as every one knows, is scarcely a test at all. Why not post some public service messages to educate the general public on how to drive without tailgating and how to using signal lights.
Why not encourage courtesy to other drivers on the roads instead of a competative “watch out for the other guy” mentality. Why not install a hands-free option for the cell phone? Like everyone else, teenagers may not always be able to pull to the side of the road or re-enter traffic safely when the phone rings. How many people have never used their cell phone while driving?
Phones are a convenience, a way to keep in touch when we are away, a way to get information, a way to say we will be late for an appointment, a way to let people know where we are, a way to be available if someone needs us.
The absurdity of saying someone is responsible enough to have a license to drive a high-powered, fast-speed machine but not responsible enough to use a cell phone safely is simply ludicrous. Does anyone besides me see the paradox?