Cell phones create static
June 26, 2001
With Monday’s news reporting that New York impose a ban on hand-held cell phones, I believe a lot of people may be having a difficult time deciding just how to react.
I, for one, believe it is a good idea.
Though my initial reaction was one of satisfaction, time is slowly allowing me to see some of the problems involved.
I don’t own a cell phone (If I did, it would probably be worth more than my rusty truck), I don’t live in New York, and I don’t do well in bumper-to-bumper traffic, so the odds of it affecting my life are rather slim.
What, then are the New Yorkers supposed to do while they spend their afternoons sitting in the parking lot that is also known as the Washington expressway?
Heck, before cell phones came along, New Yorkers were often seen spending the majority of their time yelling at each other out of windows.
Apartment windows, cab windows, bus windows, paddy wagon windows it didn’t matter. If there was a window, it wouldn’t be too long before someone yelled an insult or profanity out of it.
But, something happened in the 1980s, to help squash the hostility and anger that New Yorkers had become so well known for.
“Hey youse, I’m gonna breaka u face!” suddenly became, “Hey youse, I’m gonna breaka u face as soon as I checka my voice mail.”
For a short period, technology helped to briefly kill what America had seen as the stereotypical, angry New Yorker.
Thankfully for everyone, politicians are going to do their best to help bring it back.
Cell phone related accidents may go down, but road rage may increase. With the increased number of videotape systems being used along freeways and throughout towns, drivers who attempt to sneak a phone call may never be safe from prosecution.
The odds, though, remain high that a few lives might just be saved along the way.
Accidents, especially those that can be avoided, are the worst tragedy of all.
The victims are numerous and they often cause a whirlwind of grief and turmoil not only for the accidentvictim, but the party who was responsible as well.
In this regard, passing legislation to reduce accidents such as these may be a necessary evil.
But, what about our society’s fixation with over-policing? Where is the line drawn, and how many more reasons do police need to pull over automobiles? Will this once again bring attention to the reports of racial profiling and illegal searches?
The job of the police has become increasingly difficult, especially when many of these officers are already viewed negatively by society, due in part to an overzealous few. This law is probably going to make it even a little more difficult.
After all, it doesn’t make much sense that police departments, who already are faced with an increasing number of homocides, domestic violence and sexual assault cases, need to spend their time pulling over Winthorpe J. Yuppie III or having a conversation with his broker.
It’s not as though New Yorkers don’t have options. Installing a hands-free phone does not require much effort or money, so that is a viable choice.
Chances are, though, people are going to feel that the ban is so intrusive, that they will continue using hand held cell phones and force the police to enforce the unenforceable.
Lives, though, will probably be saved, and that is the bottom line. If something as simple as switching from hand held cell phones to hands free cell phones can save the lives of innocent victims, despite the government intrusion, it should be a better solution for everyone concerned.
At least, I think it will.