As a retired minivan mom, I can tell you that we lived in the van until the kids grew up and got their own wheels. Some snowy commutes took hours, so the kids did their homework in the car. My car was a rolling mini-home, complete with amusements, snacks, and a change of clothing in case of accident. I was once such a talented multi-tasker, I could talk on the phone, shift my manual transmission, and hold a cup of coffee, all while keeping the two kids from hitting each other.
The proposed ban doesn't begin to cover all driving distractions. If cell phones are banned, every other distraction should be outlawed as well. Mascara-applying offenders should pay $100. Eating and drinking, $50. Talking to passengers should carry the same stiff fine as talking to a person on the phone, hands-free or not.
Hell, make all cars one-seaters so that there will be no passengers to distract you. The tree-hugging environmentalists would love that –not. Auto manufacturers would also have to remove the CD players, DVD players, in-dash GPS, and radios from the cars. Can't have distractions. Take out the cup holders – no drinks allowed. Remove the ash trays – no smoking allowed either.
For that matter, outside the car distractions have to be taken away as well. Billboards, road signs to upcoming fast food joints, even scantily clad girls walking down the sidewalks or buff bodies on road construction crews on hot summer days – they all have to go.
How about this for an alternative? Use common sense. Pull over if you feel a compelling desire to answer an email. Don't have heated discussions on the phone, hands-free or not. Don't text and drive.
Otherwise in the highly regulated new world, you will find that cars are just for driving.