Legislation that will come before the state House as early as this week could prohibit student drivers aged 15 or 16 from using the cell phone (unless handless) or texting while driving. Yes, kids are easily distracted and I can’t imagine how anyone, no matter how old they are, could safely text while driving. But talking on the phone? It’s going to be impossible to enforce and … well, there’s this gem from the P&C story.

While the state Department of Public Safety does not track accidents involving cell phones, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety commissioned a study that found that using a cell phone, including hands-free devices, left drivers four times as likely to get into an accident serious enough to cause injury.

The study used data collected from 2002 to 2004 in Australia and involved drivers that received emergency room treatment. The Insurance Institute, based in Arlington, Va., found that the risk did not change dramatically between men and women or when comparing older and younger drivers.

Teen drivers will still be allowed to apply eye shadow while simultaneously providing a second-by-second recap of the latest episode of “The Hills” to a friend in the passenger seat who is pointing out the fashion trends in a People photo spread to a backseat passenger who is screaming the latest single from Chingy or Blingy or Ringy or Dingy blaring from her iPod while the other girl in the backseat is reaching between the front seats to determine, using the GPS navigation system, the distance from Dean’s house to Carrie’s house to see if that lying snake had time to make out with the class whore between soccer practice and the homecoming dance.

Yes, thank goodness the driver can’t get on the phone. In seriousness, teen drivers are some of the most at risk for traffic accidents, but this phone call ban is a shot in the dark at solving the problem. Increase education or waiting-period requirements or remove every Taco Bell drive-thru — you know, something effective.