Johnson City Press: Letters: Should using a cellphone while driving be illegal?
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Letters: Should using a cellphone while driving be illegal?

Johnson City Press • Apr 28, 2019 at 6:00 AM

With this week’s Question of the Week, we asked readers whether using cellphones while driving ought to be illegal. Here are some of the responses we received.

That call can wait

I definitely applaud Rep. John Holsclaw for introducing the bill to make it illegal to talk on cellphones while driving. I am very disappointed that the other representatives from our area felt that this clear danger would continue to be present with the known harm it causes each and every day. The statistics that have been proven by the passage of the same bill in Georgia and other states confirms the reality of this situation.

Having talked on the phone myself while driving, I found that every time I realized at the end of the conversation that I did not even remember where I was going. I have for sometime now not answered any calls and it is just very simple to pull over and talk if it is a call that needs attention. Casual phone conversations have no place while driving.

The statement from one representative’s comment regarding the police phone activity was very trivial and almost immature in thinking. An apparent disregard to safety is the issue and is of utmost importance. I urge all the voters of our area to please contact your representatives and confirm your feelings. It is not about how they feel — it is about the people they represent!

Please say NO — we have driven for years without phones in our cars. It can wait!

DONNA MCGINNIS
Elizabethton

Go hands-free

Yes, I think it should be against the law.

I've seen people run their cars into fields and wreck just reaching for their telephones while driving. It completely takes the driver’s focus off of their driving and into their conversation on the telephone. And if their phone isn’t in reach, look out to all the other drivers, because they are not only risking their life but are also risking innocent people's lives.

There is such a thing as Bluetooth that you can buy at Walmart that you answer and hang up with one finger. That makes it safe to drive with your cellphone in case of emergency.

Texting while driving should have been against the law a long time ago. It would have prevented a lot of accidents that I have read about.

So, to be safe on our roadways, please invest in a $39 Bluetooth. It's simple and fits around your ear. You don’t even have to touch your phone to answer the call. If you can’t respect other people's lives and pull over off into a parking lot, then yes, you should be fined. Our lives are far more important than talking on a cellphone while driving.

DEBBIE HIGGINS
Jonesborough

The next letter addresses a previous Question of the Week asking for help suggesting a name for our overall region.

We’re a mountain community

I’ve read with interest about our elected officials desiring to rename our region. This designation will include the Tri-Cities as well as other communities in Northeast Tennessee — Elizabethton, Erwin, Jonesborough, Greeneville and Mountain City, just to name a few.

I was appalled that our elected officials have chosen to spend $48,000 of our tax money on this endeavor by employing an outside firm to produce such a name. This is especially bothersome considering the talented folks we have in this area; the people who live here. Perhaps we should’ve encouraged people in our communities to make suggestions for the new name.

While considering the officials’ desired outcome, I came up with a name that I would like to offer, free of charge. A name should reflect the area and its people. Also, it should clearly designate our geographical location. I arrived at a name I thought would be appropriate for describing our area to anyone: “Northeast Tennessee Mountain Communities” or “NTMC”.

It would be nice to incorporate a segment of this name within the city names as well.

I have reserved northeasttnmountaincommunities.com and NTNMC.com — just in case our community leaders would like to use Northeast Tennessee Mountain Communities as a descriptor for our area.

DR. DANIEL R. SCHUMAIER
Johnson City

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