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STREET TALK

Should cellular phones be

prohibited while driving?

By MATT CLOWER

Staff Writer

Driving can be dangerous, but it is made even more so when drivers are not paying attention.

One of the causes of distraction on the road today is cellular phones.

A 1997 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report available online says there were 3,837 wrecks nationwide in 1995 in which cell phones were a factor. Cellular phone use has only increased since then with the introduction of smaller more portable cell phones.

While most Pike County residents agree cell phones can be a distraction on the road, many are divided over whether or not talking on a cell phone while driving should be illegal.

"I think it should be illegal," said Karen Stallworth, store manager of Mobilink USA in Troy. "It would cut down on a lot of the accidents, people need to concentrate on the road and not on their cell phones."

Ashley Carlisle of Brantley said he would be against making cell phones in the car illegal. ”Talking on your phone is no more dangerous than listening to the radio," Carlisle said. "There are lots of things that can cause distraction when your on the road."

Kyle Bozeman doesn’t really want drivers to have to put down their cell phones.

"Personally I’d rather they didn’t make it illegal, but it’s probably not a bad idea," Bozeman said. "Generally I’m against making new laws unless its something important," Bozeman said. "But its killing people and causing massive property damage so something needs to be done."

Lorecia Shepard said she knows first hand how distracting cell phones can be while driving.

"I was in a wreck about a month ago because I was talking on a cell phone," Shepard said.

Despite her accident Shepard said she isn’t in favor of a law restricting phone use in cars.

"I wouldn’t want it to be a law because I know that I would brake it constantly," Shepard said."

"I think that hand held phones should be illegal but that head set and speaker phones should be legal," Jeff Herring said.

Herring said he has a hands-free phone to use in his car and he doesn’t feel like it causes a distraction.

Cindy Miller of Troy agrees that hands-free phones may be the answer.

"I think that hands-free phones should be made mandatory in the car," Miller said.

"I don’t think banning talking on the phone in the car all together is the answer."

To register your vote on The Messenger’s on-line poll visit our website at www.troymessenger.com.