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A young girl riding in her mothers car is killed when a driver talking on his cell phone runs a stop sign in Chester County Pennsylvania Further south in a suburb of Camden New Jersey a driver ploughs through a group of pedestrians An elderly couple dies as a result of his efforts to retrieve a dropped cigarette In western Ohio a driver causes serious injury to a father and son on their way home from a fishing expedition The offending driver was changing stations on his radio and unknowingly drifted into oncoming traffic These are all tragic stories of accidents that could have been avoided All of these incidents are also covered in most states by existing careless driving laws Why then do some local municipalities and several states find it necessary to single out the cell phone user In many states a handful of local authorities have already enacted local ordinances banning the use of cell phones while driving In most cases the law only applies to hand-held cell phones Since 1995 22 states have proposed legislation to regulate car phones None of the bills have been voted into law There are bills currently pending in ten states There are many reasons why states have not passed cell phone laws to date but the primary reason is a lack of convincing evidence to support a ban on their use The local laws already enacted were done so in haste and should be repealed The bills currently pending in some states should be reconsidered or removed from legislative agendas Local laws are difficult to enforce and usually do not apply to hands-free phones An example exists in our own backyard The Borough of Conshohocken passed an ordinance in 1999 banning the use of hand-held cell phones while driving in the borough Neighboring Plymouth and Whitemarsh townships have no such ban If you are using your cell phone in Plymouth you had better know
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