No cell phone ban needed |

No cell phone ban needed

Valerie J. Smith, Publisher

We like the sound the Glenwood Springs City Council made when they decided to shelve discussion on the possibility of banning drivers from using cell phones in Glenwood. There was good dialogue on the topic. The question, though, is whether use of a cell phone makes an already bad driver worse.

Let’s face it. A lousy driver is a lousy driver whether he or she is on a cell phone, drinking a cup of coffee, eating a hamburger or tailgating.

The ultimate concern here is safety, and we appreciate the comments from Councilman Rick Davis, who supports a cell-phone ban and, as he explained, is “trying to make this a safer place.” Davis has a valid point. There is a reason the bumper sticker that quips “Hang Up and Drive” is popular.

However, a cell-phone ban for drivers in Glenwood Springs would be close to impossible to enforce and is simply not needed. Police chief Terry Wilson and city attorney Karl Hanlon both acknowledged the potential difficulty.

Instead, the council and staff reviewed the possibility of broadening the definition of careless driving. This may help. So will the recent crackdown by the Glenwood Springs Police Department on aggressive and reckless drivers. Nailing someone for speeding as well as reckless driving if they are using a cell phone could send a stronger message to the offender.

Regarding visitors to the area, we probably don’t want our local police officers to pull over a guest who happens to be using a cell phone to get directions to the hotel. We need all the tourists we can entice this summer. And next winter. And next summer.

The back burner is the appropriate place for the cell phone ban until the topic heats up enough to call attention to it again.

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