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Distraction is tantamount to driving drunk

RE “Cellphone bans are bad policy” (Letters, Sept. 3): Cellphone bans are not bad policy. Ken Michaud cites the recent MIT study that found poor overall driving ability among those drivers who admitted using cellphones while driving. This study, however, looked at only 108 Greater Boston drivers. Other researchers have found repeatedly over the years that cellphone use significantly impairs driving.

David L. Strayer and Frank A. Drews of the University of Utah, for example, have shown that use of a cellphone while driving causes “inattention blindness.” This blindness is equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent. In other words, driving drunk.

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We enact and enforce laws against drunk drivers to protect the public. We do not care whether they have poor driving skills and make bad decisions when they are sober.

The epidemic of distracted driving can be curbed by removing what has become our number one distraction: the cellphone.

Sally Ann Connolly


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