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Driving change.

New traffic enforcement laws have been introduced. A good thing - particularly the absolute ban on touching mobile phones while driving.

Positive change often drives further change (this is almost a definition of progress) and traffic rules are not the only rules which will have to change.

The madness which is 21st century mobile phone etiquette is going to have to change too. I cannot count the number of people (including my wife) who have angrily demanded to know, "Why did you not answer when I called you?".

There seems to be a ridiculous assumption that when somebody calls someone else, they are duty bound to answer the call. It is almost as though the caller has a right to take over the life of the called.

This is, of course, nonsense and I view incoming calls as an invitation to answer, if I choose to.

I feel no compulsion to answer a call from somebody I don't want to speak to.

Callers are now going to have to come to terms with the fact that many, or most, calls will be unanswered because drivers are driving. And given the amount of time most of us spend in our cars, this is going to hit the mobile network companies hard.

A very good thing too if this splendid new law changes the perception that we are all duty-bound to answer our cell phone whenever anybody calls us.

A refreshing change.


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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Feb 9, 2015
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