Cell phones “harm health and ruin social relations.” The mayor of Udine, in north-east Italy, has gone to war. His target: the frenzied use of mobile phones by its 100,000 citizens. Friday, he launched a campaign which invites tradespeople to ban use of “telefonini” in their establishment. Sixteen bars, restaurants and hotels have already subscribed to “Cell phone-free, talking-free”, noted the “Corriere della Sera”. The initiative comes from the elected official, Mario Canciani. For this physician, as long as the harmlessness of waves to the brain has not been proven, it is necessary to protect citizens, especially children.
If the authorities do not intend to do so for now, imposing the switching off of cell phones in streets and parks will serve as an example. The mayor, Furio Honsell, obliges his Municipal Council to disconnect. Debates disturbed by ringing and beeps are over. “I had to use my bell more often because of cell phones during discussions. They were all fiddling on Facebook and Twitter, or sending SMS’s,” he sighs.
The anti-cell phone frenzy is spreading in Italy. The rail company Trenitalia has just created “relax” cars where silence is the norm, an arrangement which the Swiss Railway (CFF) has renounced for second class.
(Translation from French of article in 20 Minutes Online, 23 April 2012. Original text in French: http://www.20min.ch/ro/news/monde/story/Les-fanatiques-du-portable-auront-la-vie-dure-21970507)