The cell phone ban is behavior modification, something we did when the smoking ban took effect, seat belt laws were enforced and DUI laws became more stringent. Before we know it, it will seem like it’s always been this way.


I must admit, I have some behavior modification to do.

Driving home from work Monday night, I made a quick call to my parents. When I looked to my left and saw a police car sitting next to me, my heart skipped for a second, much like our counterparts in New York and New Jersey have been doing for some time.

I have six months to change my cell phone ways for when the hand-held ban takes effect Jan. 2, 2011.

Unlike many people, I’m not a fan of hands-free devices; you’ll never see me wandering the aisles of Target seemingly talking to myself. (If you do, it’s because I’m actually talking to myself.) It’s difficult for me to hear someone on a Bluetooth, let alone talk on one.

Given my aversion, my calls will just have to wait until I reach my destination. And I don’t feel that put out about it, either.

It’s behavior modification, something we did when the smoking ban took effect, seat belt laws were enforced and DUI laws became more stringent. Before we know it, it will seem like it’s always been this way.

Obviously, I’m not opposed to the law, but what continues to bother me is when cell phones are treated as the cause for all distracted driving accidents. While I’m sure they’ve caused their fair share, let’s not forget the many other distractions we face every time we get behind the wheel of a car: changing the radio station, CD players or iPods; eating; reading directions or programming a GPS; and my personal favorite, kids.

To me, there is nothing more distracting to a driver than getting in car with one or more kids. “My shoes fell off.” “She’s hitting me.” “I want to watch a different movie.”

I still believe the No. 1 cause of accidents is inattentive and reckless drivers on the road — period.

*****

During a trip last week to visit my family on Long Island, I stopped into the city one night to meet my dear friend Erica for dinner in Manhattan.

Navigating the city is nothing new to me, having relied on public transportation most of my life before moving south. Unfortunately, boarding a crowded, hot subway car at 5:30 p.m. isn’t the smartest thing I’ve done in a while.

My quick ride from Penn Station to the West Village was made quite enjoyable — albeit unexpectedly — by a gentleman who gave me his seat the moment he saw me. I’m 26 weeks pregnant.

It doesn’t take much, but I’m always glad when someone, especially a stranger, restores my faith that nice people do still exist.

Email Maureen Raitz at maureen.raitz@doverpost.com.