Make phone usage illegal in cars

Josh Worthington/Letter to the Editor

This letter is a result of a unit done in Brian Winkel’s American Literature: 1930 to Today class where students studied the format of Martin Luther King, Jr’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Students then used that format to create their own letters to the editor about important issues that affect teenagers today.

Dear Editors:

I am part of Mr. Winkel’s American Literature 1930s to Today class at CFHS. As a sophomore student I recently read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter to a Birmingham Jail for the class along with many other CFHS students. Reading this inspired me to write to you discussing growing threat of phone usage and driving. I think that it should be illegal to use a phone and operate a motor vehicle, due to the increased crashes and deaths due to people not able to put the phone down.

Cells phones have become a regular part of all American lives, and of all the people between the ages of 15 to 18, 84% have a cell phone. In addition, a low estimate of 46% of those people admitted to drive and text. This alarming statistic helps explain why here in the US there has been nearly 40% percent more crashes in the US alone. This is because many people fail to simply put down their phones and drive. Another scientific test showed that texting and driving increases your chance of getting in an accident 23 times. Martin Luther King Jr. said in his letter to a Birmingham Jail that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” This statement shows that just because you’re not person that is texting doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get in an accident. A driver that texts puts everyone on the road at risk.

By coming up with a way to prevent and discourage people from texting and driving we will help make everyone’s lives safer. Passing a law, letting people know the consequences, and taking action will make this country a better and safer place. This issue similar to King’s will take a long time to change, but it’s well worth the fight and well worth the lives that will be saved. I think that it is not fair that safe drivers are put in danger because of unsafe drivers.

Now is the time for action! 2600 deaths and 330,000 deaths each year are cause by cell phone usage while driving! This breaks down to 7 to 10 deaths and 905 accidents every day. Every day that people are allowed to text and drive we will add to the growing body bags that will have to be produced each year. “For years now I have heard the word “Wait!”  It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait”  has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”” This quote proves that it is time to act. If we don’t act now, then we never will.

People using phones while driving are killing people and injuring thousands, it’s time to come up with a solution to our problems and for people around the US to speak up about the subject. People are becoming addicted to texting and therefore texting while driving. I think that it’s time to take charge. “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” Laws simply won’t be passed without someone or some people speaking up.

I think that a reasonable action would be to ban cell phone usage while driving for all people. Cops should be on the lookout for drivers as well and people talking on the phone. If people need to talk/text on the phone then they can pull over on the side of the road. Text and driving has been proven to be just as dangerous as drinking and driving, so the punishments should be similar. Licenses should be pulled for multiple offenders.

Everyone says it won’t be me in a car crash, and it won’t be me dying because of a driver that texts, and you’re probably right. It won’t be you in a crash; it will be your parents, your friends, and the ones you love. So take action now and speak up.

Respectfully,

Josh Worthington

CFHS student

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