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Should all states within the U.S have a unified distracted driving law?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/22/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,479 times Debate No: 32763
Debate Rounds (3)
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1. First round acceptance only
I am on the affirmative side.


I think the U.S. should not have a unified distracted driving law.
Debate Round No. 1


According to Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which is the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field, blind! While the definition of distracted driving differs from state to state, distracted driving as a whole increases ones risk of death, injury, and motor vehicle accidents.
According to both Maria Sachs and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, test messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. Individuals define distracted driving as anything that takes your eyes off the road, more specifically text messaging, telephone calls, or any cellphone usage without using a Bluetooth.
According to, Researchers in California reported that electronic distracted driving doubled in the state from 2011 to 2012, and it was cited that there was a "substantial and dramatic" increase in use of handheld electronics! In the AAA survey, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of licensed drivers self-reported that they talked on a cell phone while driving within the past month! 35 percent said they read a text or email over the same period, while 27 percent reported sending a text or email. These statistics proves that distracted driving is increasing rapidly and we need to pass this resolution to help mitigate this dire problem.
The solution that is applicable is looking and creating a uniform laws, which would educate about the technology that is already in existence! We will reduce the problem by educating, suggesting, and thus, reduce the deaths and injuries that are seen because of distracted driving. Bluetooth is an option that It is hands free and easy to use. It helps to decrease the use of hands on technology and it will in fact help to lessen the horrid statistics of death and injury on the roadways!
We know that we will not completely get rid of the problem set before us today but if we affirm than we will be helping with the horrid problem that is set on our roadways, distracted driving.
Some more statistics:
According to, 89 percent of survey respondents said they considered cell phone use by other drivers a threat to their safety. 95 percent said they disapproved of texting and emailing while behind the wheel!
According to Maria Sachs, a Florida State senator, more than 70% of Florida"s Residents support the ban of distracted driving!
This percentile is extraordinary and we because of this we should create a unified distracted driving law. Citizens of the United States want, nay they need a bill of this nature to be passed. Safer streets, a reduced crash number, and a better environment will occur through a uniform distracted driving law.


There are many statistics that can be thrown out on how bad distracted driving can be, not only to that person, but also to drivers around them. You are focusing only on cellphones but uniform laws would have to cover every type of distracted driving right? There are many differences between back roads of North Dakota and downtown Chicago. A uniform law make them the same all over the country. For example, a farmer, driving his tractor down the road would need to talk on his cb radio (not handsfree) to the rest of his farm around him. On the other hand, a driver in a big city would have to meet the same laws as the farmer. Where are you going to draw the line on what is distracted or not. You could say, the farmer is doing work, but a businessman going to Wall Street could be doing business on the phone also but in a much different way.

According to the Huffington Post, distracted driving laws don't reduce the amount of crashes. They only encourage using hands free devices, which in many times, can be just as risky. In one study at the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) studied 4 states after bans were enacted and 3 states had accidents increase due to cell phone use. Once they make cell phone use illegal, it causes drivers to act worse on the road when it is illegal.

Really, you don't need more laws. Officers don't need a fancy distracted driving law to charge bad drivers on a cell phone. An officer can always charge the person with with reckless driving. Reckless driving is: A person
commits an offense if the person drives a vehicle in wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. If the driver really is causing problems by driving well texting or talking on the phone. A distracted driving law will only be a ticket and the driver will be on their way. A ticket for reckless driving will do just the same thing.

All driving while distracted is bad but more laws won't help the situation. What you would need is to enforce the old laws to keep drivers in line. Common sense needs to be enforced to make the drivers pay more attention instead of more laws. It is not like people don't know the dangers of not paying attention, it is that they are getting away with not paying attention to the road. Officers need to be told to be on the watch for reckless driving and not watching the road and for other drivers.
Debate Round No. 2


By having a unified distracted driving law, we will in fact help to mitigate the amount of chaos on the roadways.
It is the moral thing to do, according to the philosopher John Stuart Mills, in order to help the largest amount of people. This uniform law would help for the greatest good of the citizens within the United States.

The negation believes that in order to create a uniformed distracted driving law you would have to include every type of distracted driving but what if we stated with something simple such as no use of hand held electronics, which will help with distracted driving as a whole. The use of black berry and hands free devices would be allowed. Thus, this is a good goal that can clearly be obtained.

Overall, having a uniform distracted driving law is something that will be beneficial to society as a whole. Lives will be saved and the road ways will become safer. We should not ignore the problem of distracted driving and continue to allow innocent lives killed across the road ways of America. We should act now and vote in the affirmative.

Note- I listed more credible sources than the negation during my argument.


Every driver is taught to pay attention to the road in driver's ed. There are NO drivers that don't know the dangers on distracted driving. Another law for the book will not help. Every state should monitor this problem due to their problems. Hands free devices still require distraction to use. Any time a driver looks away from the road, they are putting themselves and other in danger. The Today Show on Thursday had a new study, encouraging car makers to stop putting all these driver programs to "help" eliminate the cell phone use but they are doing the exact opposite. People now are using the phone even more because they are now "safe." We need to stop giving drivers the wrong idea about some distracted driving or not. You have stated multiple times that hands free devices would be ok to use. They will not work to eliminate these horrific accidents. Any law would just increase still dangerous cell phone use. We don't need any more laws that will only cause more accidents. You can put all the states in the world into a debate but they will only go so far. Over and over we have seen that hands free devices can cause more distraction then an actual phone. I will say it again that a peace officer doesn't need a fancy law to arrest someone who is driving dangerously on the road. Any driver who is driving with neglect for other's safety can be charged with a crime. Any national laws would not change that.

Note: They finally had a real law in their closing statement. It is hard to debate a topic when a solid thesis is provided.
Debate Round No. 3
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