Here is a story about an FAA proposal to forbid pilots from using phones, laptops, or iPads in the cockpit at any time.
As with most laws these days (and throughout history), this is ridiculous legislation. It is a perfect example of a government (perhaps a society) that thinks EVERYTHING can be legislated. First of all, this one strikes a little close to home. As a pilot, I use my smartphone to look up airfield data, approach information, important phone numbers, etc. None of this requires internet connectivity. It is a cheap alternative to expensive installed equipment, and thanks to fltplan.com and the free market (and the internet is really the only thing close to a truly free market any more), I have a wealth of information easily at my fingertips with a smartphone app. I do this by managing my own workload. Without any law whatsoever, I know that I don’t use my smartphone on final approach, in bad weather, or any other time that the workload is high. Imagine that.
Why not make laws that tell pilots when they can look at each display?
Similar to laws that try to legislate morality, no amount of rule-making will reduce if a pilot is distracted. This requires professional attitude and discipline. I simply do not want to waste time discussing about whether this is a good idea. Of course pilots shouldn’t be distracted!
The real discussion is about whether government regulation is necessary in every aspect of human behavior. The truth is that government regulation is simply not necessary in almost all endeavors. This includes roads, traffic signals, utilities, and police, fire, and other security services.