As of Today (November 1), it is illegal to use a handheld cellphone whilst driving..
Even in gridlock. Even at the traffic lights. Except in an emergency.
The article above makes some fair points... handsfree kits alone are not going to solve the problem. Infact I would go sofar to say, they may well make the situation worse in the longer term, as drivers are infact _less_ prepared (through inexperience).
The irony is that whilst I have a bluetooth headset for one of my phones, i'm not allowed to use _that_ because I don't have a cradle for my phone. (Going to look for one today, as it happens).
What i've said all along is that it's not the phone use, its the stupidity of the drivers who let themselves be distracted. It doesn't matter whether that distraction is a phone (common indeed) or a car stereo (even more common, though it could be argued, distracting for briefer periods in time) or a noisy child (ask any busy mummy).
Drivers who are distracted by anything are a danger on the roads. I've said before and i'll say it again now; when I use my cellphone and drive (as I have done, and expect i'll continue to do in on way or the other), my phone concentration suffers. My driving, much less so - because i'm fully aware that the road is the thing that requires my attention first and foremost.
And yes, I have pulled over to concentrate on an important call. And, interestingly enough, i've never had an incident as a result of being distracted by a phone.
On the other hand, I have seen some absolutely stupid driving by people distracted (usually and most obviously by phones, but not always) and it is the distraction that is the problem. So what is needed, is appropriate punishment for those whos distraction is obvious.
Not sure how that'd be done. And the cellphone ban may well improve things. But I do expect we'll see more people flouting the law (how often will they infact be caught?), more people getting pinged for it, and less productivity on the part of those who genuinely need to be communicated with on the move.
More heading for the Nanny State situation.... why must we regulate which should be commonsense in the first place?!