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Reason Foundation

Banning Cell Phones While Driving Does NOT Reduce Accidents

Adrian Moore
January 30, 2010, 2:02pm

Another urgent national public safety issue turns out to be bogus.

A new study finds that laws banning hand-held cell phone use while driving have not reduced the number of auto accidents in the District or elsewhere.

The Highway Loss Data Institute examined insurance claim records in D.C., New York, Connecticut and California, as well as nearby areas lacking cell phone bans.

The findings: Cell phone bans don't lower crash rates.

"We looked at states that have had hand-held cell phone bans in place for the longest times," said Russ Rader, a representative of the Highway Loss Data Institute, which is a research wing of the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "We found that there was no change in the crash trends before compared to after the laws banning cell phone use were put in place."

The study also compared crash rates in the District with those in Maryland and Virginia, which don't have laws restricting driver cell phone use, and found that crash rates were similar.

Read the rest here at the Washington Examiner.

Methinks crashes caused by distraction are caused by distraction, not a particular device. And people who let themselves get distracted always have and will continue to find distractions, whether they have a cell phone or not.


Adrian Moore is Vice President, Policy


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