I awoke to a spring snow storm this morning. Snowy roads don’t scare me as a bicycle commuter, but there is something that does: inattentive drivers.
The Salt Lake City Council discussed banning cell phone use while driving a car Tuesday. Nothing scares me on my bike commute more than inattentive drivers. Driver inattention is a factor in four out of five vehicle crashes. Last week a Salt Lake City teen was killed by a driver who ran a red light because he was on a cell phone. Yet some council members don’t think banning cell phone use while driving is a good idea. They are avoiding the issue by claiming a city-wide ban wouldn’t be effective and that the issue should be taken up as a state-wide measure.
They’re missing the point. This is their chance to set a precedent. Just like California’s environmental policy tends to precede national environmental policy by five to ten years, Salt Lake City policy leads state policy in most issues.
If you live or work in Salt Lake City, or just visit it occasionally, follow this link to the City Council webpage and give one of them a call. Tell him or her that you want the city to ban cell phone use while driving. It will make the roads safer for everyone, and all the cyclists you know will thank you for it.