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Keller @ Large: It’s Time To Ban Cell Phones While Driving

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(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Let’s set aside what’s happening in New Hampshire tomorrow and talk for a moment about something really important – your right to legally talk on your cellphone while driving.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

A Beacon Hill commission will hold a hearing tomorrow on legislation that would require you to use a hands-free aid if you want to talk on your cell behind the wheel, and would make even that illegal if you’re in a school zone.

Right now, only six states have outright bans on driving while on the phone.

And according to the polls, 67-percent of Republicans think Lady Gaga is Satan, whoops, wrong polls, sorry.

The polls on a nationwide ban on cell phone use behind the wheel find more than 60-percent for it overall, with barely half of those under age 35 sharing that view.

Of course, these same polls show a large majority of us claiming we rarely or never do this, which I find very hard to believe.

I am not a huge fan of the nanny state stepping in and regulating our personal behavior, even if some risk is involved.

Adults ought to be allowed to exercise their good judgement without excessive government intervention.

But in this case, at least around here, there is little good judgement on display.

Nearly every time I drive I see people on the phone who are clearly a menace to themselves and those around them, as a result of their preoccupation.

I admit that at times I have been bad about this, and the distraction it presents is clear, it’s simply not a safe thing to be doing while driving.

But, we live in a culture that demands instant gratification, and worships the mobile communication device in all its glory.

The notion that people will willingly police themselves when it comes to taking or placing that call is not consistent with the reality I see every day.

Therefore, further incentive to wise up does seem necessary, in the form of a law with a penalty attached.

Normally I’d say, back off Beacon Hill, let us make the call.

But that’s the problem.

We just can’t resist, even though we all know we should.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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