Letter: Common Sense and Cellphones

To the Editor:

Gov. Peter Shumlin is in error when he urges “common sense” concerning cellphones when driving. Common sense is the result of learning from prior errors of judgment and applying that hard-earned knowledge, or wisdom, to current circumstances.

As a bicycle commuter, I have to maintain a heightened level of awareness about the motor-vehicle operators approaching and overcoming me. The operators that are concurrently using cellphones are consistently erratic, inattentive and unpredictable. Common sense would dictate that these momentary errors in judgment would be noted and corrected, if health and safety were thought to be important. Clearly, the use of cellphones takes the driver away from the task at hand — that is, driving a two-ton steel box.

I do not have reason to believe that distracted drivers bear ill will toward others; rather, as a society we have not the wisdom to set into place the rules of behavior that reflect the gravity of the hazard that these devices represent when used by motor-vehicle drivers. When public safety is involved, erring on the side of caution, and changing common practice, would be an application of a common sense, and in the common interest of all. I do hope that the governor applies the best principles of governance on this matter.

Theo Ambros