Since there is all this controversy over the idea of banning cell phones while driving…..I figured I’d enlighten you on an email that I just recently sent to all of our city council members and our Mayor here in Billings.
City Council Members and Mayor Hanel,
We submit to you the attached research document that is the primary study utilized by Federal DOT in determining that distracted driving is a concern. Please note that cell phone usage is a variable discussed with many other distractions in the study. The statistics are very misleading and the results not statistically significant. There are no direct correlations that cell phone usage is as critical as any other distraction that people encounter while driving, i.e. kids, food, cigarettes, bees, etc.
WE ask your wisdom when making a decision to render fines on people for using cell phones or any other hand held device for that matter.
WE mentioned in previous council meeting that we believed any law as such is an invasion of peoples 4th Amendment right to be secure in their person….
We still believe this to be true. WE also stated in that meeting that you already have Careless and Reckless driving laws on the books. If a person is found guilty of using a cell phone and or any other distraction that caused the accident through due process, then the city, county and State has the power to levy penalties.
Please consider the weakness of the data and do not pass any sort of law or regulation to fine or otherwise penalize citizens without cause.
I also included the following document. It’s worth the read.