Skip to main content

READING PASSAGE 1

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-16, which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.

MOBILE PHONES AND DRIVING

A. Though once perceived a luxury cell phones have become a common possession over the last ten years or so. Due to modern day technology and public demand cell phones have been made affordable to most. However, one of the most controversial topics of today is whether or not we should be using our cell phones whilst driving, Does it pose a danger to ourselves and other drivers? Or doesn’t it make any difference to the likelihood of an accident.

B. Several countries around the world have already imposed a national Jaw with heavy infringements. More recently the UK, Australia and Finland have joined the ranks of countries opposing this very hazardous act, with Ireland imposing the harshest penalties on the continent (a third offence can mean 3 months imprisonment). Also in Europe, the Netherlands is fining offenders 2000 Euros and 2 weeks in jail.

C. This dangerous distraction contributes largely to motor vehicle accidents and the statistics are Increasing daily as we continue to take our eyes off the road to call or even more dangerously text. Research by road safety groups suggests speaking on a phone whilst driving increases your chances of an accident, increasing to nine times more likely when texting. Time and again, in study after study replicated across the world, the use of a cell phone by the driver has been proven, beyond any sense of reasonable doubt, to dramatically increase the probability of a motor vehicle crash.

D. In New Zealand, a proposal made by a previous Labour led Government suggests a $50 fine and 27 demerit points for any person using a cell phone whilst driving, although the Ministry of Transport is still preparing a report based on public consultation. Although this is only a pending idea, the government knows this will be a difficult infringement to police but a start needs to be made and people need to understand the consequences of what potentially could happen. It is a common misconception that hands free kits are safe to use, but research conducted by Waikato University has proven that these can be equally as dangerous as hand held phones.

E. On one hand, using a cell phone whilst driving has become an integral part of our lives and is going to be a hard habit to kick. But it has been proven that our reaction time is never fast enough when confronted with a road hazard, but if you are having a conversation at the same time it will slow your reaction time by even more. Most people find it takes 2 and a half seconds to react in a dangerous situation but if you are on the phone you can add another 2 seconds onto that. Your attention is divided; part of you concentrates on your conversation, the other on driving. The demands of die conversation and the road are competing, therefore making it a cognitive distraction as well as physical as you are removing one hand from the steering wheel to hold the phone. On the other hand, an American radio host suggested that banning cell phones whist driving was taking it a step too far, “if we ban cell phones, what’s next? No billboards, coffee drinking, or CD players?” The host agreed that texting whilst driving was a danger but phoning was not.

F. Many people agreed with him in saying that texting was a definite hazard as the act of looking down would lead your eyes off the road. However, doesn’t holding a conversation while driving seems just as distracting as eating food or reaching for a CD? Accidents were happening decades before the cell phone was introduced so should we be taking this matter so seriously?

G. Obviously opinions will differ on this matter, and it will always remain a debatable issue. A long list of countries seems to be following the trend and imposing a law against cell phones on the road, but there is still and even longer list yet to follow. Lack of data leaves uncertain results but it seems research is ongoing and surveys and tests are being carried out on a regular basis to reach some kind of conclusion as to just how dangerous and potentially fatal this habit may be.

Please Log in to take the test.
Notifications
Messages