What is Be Sensible?
Be Sensible is a public service campaign to encourage everyone to be more safe and courteous when using wireless devices. Be Sensible is all about common sense. It's about using your phone when it's safe and when it won't disturb those around you. It's about remembering to turn off your phone before you go into a house of worship, museum, theater, or a movie. It's about not using your phone while driving through bad weather or traffic or when getting into a heated conversation behind the wheel.
Through compelling programs and friendly, thought-provoking messages, the goal of Be Sensible is to ultimately generate a change in thinking and behavior among all wireless users.
It’s sometimes easy to forget good etiquette when using a wireless phone in public situations like restaurants, museums, libraries, theaters, and public transportation. With more than 200 million wireless subscribers in the United States, we all need to “Be Sensible” and use our wireless devices in a courteous manner.
Here are a few tips:
· Be considerate of others. Use silent or vibrate mode to alert you to incoming calls when appropriate. If you think an outgoing call might interrupt or disturb the recipient, send a text message instead.
· Excuse yourself. It’s perfectly OK to step away from the table or go into another room to take an important call.
· Know your place. Libraries, theaters, museums, and houses of worship are no place for a ringing phone. Speak quietly while riding on public transportation.
· Let your phone do the work. Use Caller ID to screen calls or let voicemail take a message. Use text messaging to communicate discreetly.
· Respect others’ privacy. Ask permission before taking a photo or shooting video of someone with the built-in camera on your phone.
· Be a wireless Samaritan. Wireless phones can be invaluable during emergencies. Lives can be saved, crimes prevented, and drunk drivers apprehended. Remember, dialing 911 is always a free call.
Driving safely is serious business. If you think a wireless phone call will be distracting, don't answer it, don't place it, or just hang up. The Be Sensible campaign offers the following safety tips for using your wireless phone while driving:
Make safe driving your first priority. If a call will be distracting, wait until your trip is completed to use your cell phone.
If you do make a call, dial sensibly and keep your eyes on the road. Use speed dial, or place your call before pulling into traffic.
In some jurisdictions, drivers are required by law to use a hands-free device while on the phone. If you use a hands-free device, activate it before beginning your trip. Also be sure that its use does not interfere with your ability to hear warning signals inside and outside the vehicle.
Hands-free devices can help you keep both hands on the wheel, but some studies indicate that these tools do not increase safety. Don’t let your attention stray from safe driving.
Suspend conversations during hazardous driving situations, such as heavy traffic or bad weather.
Don’t engage in stressful or emotional conversations that may distract you from driving safely.
Don’t take notes or look up phone numbers while driving.
When driving, don’t use your phone to take pictures, surf the Web, or send messages
Tips for Teens
Distractions can be an even greater issue for new drivers. The Be Sensible guidelines recommend that drivers under the age of 18 not use a wireless phone while behind the wheel, except in case of emergency.
New drivers should also be informed of the following tips on managing distractions while behind the wheel:
Ask passengers to help by changing the CD or radio station, placing a cell phone call, or reading directions to you.
If you don’t have a passenger, wait until you come to a complete stop at a red light or stop sign before changing the CD or radio station.
If you need to make or take a call, wait until your trip is complete and your car is safely stopped.
Never use your phone to take pictures, send and read messages, record video, or watch TV while driving.
It’s best not to eat and drive at the same time. If you’re traveling with someone, take turns driving while the passenger eats.
Avoid stressful or emotional conversations while driving.
Don’t be a “rubbernecker.” Let your passengers do the sightseeing while you drive.
Make safety your most important call. In the case of an emergency, a cell phone can be a very useful tool. Remember, dialing 911 is always a free call.
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