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Driving, talking on cell don't mix and should be illegal



Published: Tue, January 25, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Driving, talking on cell don't mix and should be illegal

EDITOR:

The issue of cell phone usage while driving is complicated and many sided. Many people have their own opinions. In my opinion, there should be a ban or fine on cell phone usage while driving.

The use of cell phones has skyrocketed. Studies show that the average person uses up about 60 percent of his or her minutes in the car, while an estimated 2,600 people die, and about 300,000 are left injured every year says researcher Joshua Cohen of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. That's all because of cell phones. Car accidents are a major cause of death in the United States and are the single most common cause of death among children and young adults. So why should we have to add more accidents because people have to chat while driving?

The NHTSA estimates that the annual cost of automobile accidents is $230 billion a year, and a new study shows that about $43 billion out of that is because of phones. Another study found that costs saved by a cell phone ban would be near $2 billion a year. Driver simulation tests conclude that people have difficulty multitasking. That just might be why so many people are killed each year.

I would be furious if my car was banged into because of someone being careless talking on the phone. Imagine if it was you that accidentally killed someone in a car crash just because you wanted to talk on the cell for a while. It is ridiculous that people don't even seem to consider that it's a risk of injuring themselves and ruining their own car. Studies show the risk of a crash quadruples while the driver is using a phone, and I think everyone should encourage a fine or ban on cell phones while driving an automobile.

Cell phones seem to me to be more of a hassle in a vehicle than eating, supervising children or tuning the radio. Using a cell phone requires a lot more time than putting on an eye's worth of makeup or glancing up at the mirror to peek at the kids in the back seat. You don't hear about too many deaths due to eating in the car for example. You never know, it just might be one of your own family members killed in an accident because of a careless driver on a phone. Or it just might be you.

KRISTEN HARTMAN

North Jackson

Dewey Woods area has a history of problems that police don't recognize

EDITOR:

This letter is in response to the article in the Jan. 13 paper. The shooting at Dewey Woods is no surprise in this area. The article stated that this neighborhood is quiet which is far from the truth. Gunshots are almost a daily thing.

This area, Erie, Pasadena and Gaither run into each other. For over a decade, Dewey Woods has been known as the drug buy place. You come to the Woods at Erie and Gaither, honk your car horn and someone will come out of the Woods and will sell you dope.

This area has lots of problems, house break-ins, cars being stolen, abandoned cars, speeding, loud music and juveniles loitering. I've tried for years to get help. The police chief has probably never gotten the many letters I've sent. As for the high school, these kids speed up and down Gaither from Erie and one girl even hit her car on the pole on Gaither.

There are many drug houses around here. Every agency that I've contacted just gives you the run around. Our newest 6th Ward councilman did try to get help for this area. So it's a surprise when Capt. Kane stated that there are few problems in this area. Doesn't anyone know what's really going on? What will it take to get help for these streets? Murder?

JOHANNA MORRISON

Youngstown




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