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Opposition To Local Cell Phone Bans Continue To Mystify

This mornings Letter section of the Morning Call contained yet another readers complaint about the Valley's new cell phone laws. Both Bethlehem and Allentown have passed laws making it illegal to use a hand held cell phone while driving. Previously I blogged on this topic when a local lawyer raised opposition to Allentowns law (scroll down to see blog on Joe Maher). This mornings writer agrees that driving with a cell phone is dangerous but believes that the law is in violation of Pennsylvania's motor vehicle code which prohibits municipalities from creating laws which are inconsistent with the rest of the State.  He states, " we cannot have differing vehicular laws varying from county to county, city to city..." He claims its a money making scheme - Hogwash. I am reminded of a Broadway play later turned into a movie staring Jack Nicholson titled, " one flew over the cuckoos nest". In it Nicholson's character is a con artist who has avoided a prison sentence by convincing the authorities that he is crazy, and as such he is placed in a mental hospital where he quickly becomes the "bull loony". His scheming behavior runs him amuck with the head nurse who sees him for what he is. It's not long before the nurse cracks down and instructs the orderlies to get him in line. One evening after lights- out an orderly discovers him brushing his teeth and reads him the rule which he is violating. McMurphy (Nicholson's character) says he doesn't understand the rule and is instructed that if people were allowed to brush their teeth at anytime it would result in chaos. "People would be brushing their teeth at all times of the day and what would that be like?", he is chided. "We cannot allow indiscriminate brushing". A long story to make a short point. Harrisburg has failed to take the initiative on the cell phone issue. All of the States around us have laws restricting cell phone use. Why don't we? Cell phone use causes accidents which can result in injury. This is uncontroverted. Who's in control?  The patients or the asylum?  Just imagine, dozens,  if not hundreds of cell phone laws throughout the State each making our highways and children safer.  Lets not stand on formality.  Maybe the writer is correct that we should not have inconsistency, but the people running the asylum need to see that the inmates mean to "brush their teeth when they are dirty" regardless of the perceived chaos. We need to get Harrisburgs attention and the cities of Allentown and Bethlehem are our McMurphy. Maybe Easton will be next. Dennis F Feeley

1 Comment

Behind reducing the number of drunk driving fatalities, this is the single most important safety issue for motorists, particularly our teens who need both hands on the wheel and their full attention on the road ahead! Cars can be deadly weapons if driven by someone treats driving like playing a v-r racing game.

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