The boom in the number of drivers using cell phones on the road makes deadly crashes more likely, but the cost of banning the convenience isn't worth it, asserts a Harvard study being released today.
``While there is still a lot of uncertainty, the central values indicate that, in economic terms, a ban on the use of cell phones by drivers would be a wash when comparing the benefit of reducing crashes against the cost of eliminating those calls,'' said the study's lead author Joshua Cohen, senior researcher for the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. Released yesterday, the study, titled ``A Revised Economic Analysis of Restrictions on the Use of Cell Phones While Driving,'' will be published in February's issue of the national journal, ``Risk Analysis.''
From a study of national data, Cohen extrapolated that an average of 2,600 deaths - with a range between 800 and 8,000 - could result annually...
In Australia motorists must pull over when using a hand held phone, but can drive with a hands free. Seat belts have been compulsory for 30 years, the maximum speed in the country is 60mph and 30mph in residential areas. Motorcyclists must wear a helmet. You can go to jail for driving under the influence and speeding fines range from 20% of your weeks wages for a minor speeding fine to jail. Of course people still break these laws every day too. We don't see freedom of expression in our driving habits as one of our rights as citizens. We see the safety of others as our responsibility and driving as a privalige that can be taken away if we are a danger to others. What has money got to do with the value of a life? If there are more economic ways of saving them then why aren't they used as well? We also have many regular bus and train services that cost more to run than they make, but they keep people off the roads and so also save lives. Think how much you would pay to avoid becoming an invalid or dying in an accident tomorrow, multiply that by the population and compare it with the ammount being spent on accident prevention. If you divide the amount being spent by the population you will see how much the government thinks you're worth.