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Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 OPINION Technology already exists to ameliorate the problem. Wireless phones can link to the car's sound system, and voice-activated dialing allows a person to make calls. Conversations can be heard over the same sound system — unless a wireless headset is employed — allowing the driver to keep both hands on the steering wheel. Even texting can be done with the aid of voiceto-text software that is showing up in more and more wireless phones. Incoming text messages would be read aloud by the same system, which also would render any dictated message into written form for transmission. Page 74 A ban on all electronic devices would not be viewed as reasonable, and, therefore, it almost certainly would be universally ignored by the driving public. But the public already views a ban on handheld phones as reasonable. Polls show that, despite engaging in distracting activities, a majority of drivers admit the danger and realize something must be done. In Florida, nothing was done this session other than the passage of a memorial to the futile struggle to regulate behavior that is a menace to others. There always is next year, though. Let us hope that, until then, the body count There simply is no reason why banning the resulting from our Legislature's failure to act use of handheld phones while driving would appropriately will not prove to be extraordibe the same as a ban on communication. narily high. % Hands-free technology would allow that communication to be conducted in the safest way LETTERS TO THE EDITOR possible. Admittedly, there are those who believe no electronic devices should be operated at all while driving. But for such a proscription to make sense, other dangerous activities that have long been done while driving — eating, drinking, applying makeup, working crossword puzzles — would have to be made illegal as well. Doing so would not be an infringement on the liberties of drivers, but laws must make sense to the governed or they will be ignored. One needs only to travel on a freeway with a 50 mph speed limit to learn the truth of that … 85 percent of drivers will be travelling between 60 and 70 mph. The Sarasota News Leader welcomes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to, with "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line. Letters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and other factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader.

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