Is cell-phone use a priority?

Why stop at cell phones, Councilman Carlson? It's not too late. There are more driving distractions to address! Ask the mothers around town and they'll tell you that their kids are far more distracting than their cell phones. Let's make it illegal to talk to your children while driving, or even better, let's say no driving with children in your car.

We can make it a crime to talk at all, even to drink a latte, smoke or listen to music while operating a motor vehicle. We'd all pay better attention to the road if we did.

Sound ridiculous? Of course it does. But so is passing an ordinance outlawing cell-phone usage in North Bend. Is it possible the increase in accidents in North Bend has nothing to do with cell phones but instead results from a growing problem with traffic volume here?

North Bend has grown substantially over the past few years and could use additional stop lights, lane expansions and increased road maintenance. Rather than imposing regulations, would we not be better served focusing attention and energy on a better infrastructure to support the growth of our town?

Mr. Carlson, how did you determine the need for such an ordinance in North Bend? Do we have an epidemic of collisions caused by cell-phone users? Is it public safety you are concerned about? If our local law enforcement has so much time on their hands that they can chase down cell-phone users in the interest of public safety, there are many issues that I suggest should take precedence.

How about a stoplight at the intersection of North Bend Way and Cedar Falls Way? How about focusing on and catching the mushroom pickers on Mountain View Boulevard who sell their goods to our young children? How about speed traps to catch the 60-mph hot rodders who will one day mow down our children on Mountain View Boulevard. I'm sure the folks on Cedar Falls Way would love to catch speeders racing side by side down that street, as well.

These issues take up less that a one-square-mile radius in our town. I can only imagine what other public safety issues exist that need immediate attention and will be neglected because our law enforcement is off tracking down chatty drivers. Let's choose our priorities carefully.

Anne Stedman

North Bend

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