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Old 12-04-05, 07:44 PM   #1
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Koffee had this online petition linked in her signature, which asks congress to ban cell phone use while driving. I'm posting it in a more visible place so more people respond. Petition
When drivers talk on cell phones, according to one study accidents increase 4 fold. There is actually a website (http://www.drivenowchatlater.com/ ) dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of cell phones and driving.

Scientific American Frontiers had a special which talked, among other things, about how well drivers could respond to things around them while on the phone. They showed some fancy setup involving a fake car with screens in front and behind which would show cars swerving and other things. They did this to monitor and study how well the drivers noted changes going on in front and behind them. In one instance, the tested driver was on the phone. They missed, by a considerable amount, events going on each screen. Teenagers, incidentally, were much more prone to miss key events going on in front of or behind them.

What happened to sydney was wrong. I personally think that text messaging in a car is beyond negligent.
Yet, maybe, if people had to worry about getting ticketed for using/playing with their phones, deaths could be prevented. We can't bring sydney back, but we can honor his memory by attempting to make the roads safer.
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Old 12-04-05, 08:57 PM   #2
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Thanks. I signed the petition. It's about time.
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Old 12-05-05, 03:06 AM   #3
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I hate to appear a naysayer but following a ban in the UK there has been little percievable decline in the use of cell phones whilst driving.

The sad fact is that this is a law that is very difficult for the police to enforce simply on the grounds of a staffing issue. Occasional blitzes may take place but the drivers sub-conciously know that they are temporary and recidivism is simply a matter of course.

I'm not saying that such a law is not a good thing and certainly it should be pursued. However, it becomes one of those laws that gets used for book throwing and box ticking than having any discernable short-term impact. Any such legislation will require a definite commitment from the police and local authorities, not just for enforcement but also to try and bring about culture change. The experience in the UK is that this will be a long, slow process that cannot be let go. We here have let it slide and sadly the law is very much forgotten.
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Old 12-05-05, 02:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by The Seldom Kill
I hate to appear a naysayer but following a ban in the UK there has been little percievable decline in the use of cell phones whilst driving.
Ditto here in DC. It's been illegal for like almost 2 years,yet I see yakkers all the time. Considering the fine is $100,you'd like there'd be a push for some easy money. Of course,it doesn't help when you see cops doing it too.

I signed anyway. Maybe if it's a national law people will wake up. Maybe.

Oh,and the Mythbusters did an ep about this. They found that driving while yakking was just as bad as driving with a couple drinks.
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Old 12-06-05, 05:21 PM   #5
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Any one ever see another cyclist talking on a cell phone. I'm not talking the 16 year old on the 20" fixed gear trick bike, but rather a regular cyclist/commuter?
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Old 12-06-05, 05:41 PM   #6
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Yes. On the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill, I see a lot of cell phone talking while riding -- not while riding well, mind you.
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Old 12-06-05, 06:11 PM   #7
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I'm gonna put up a link on my myspace profile. Thanks for forwarding this info
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Old 12-06-05, 08:12 PM   #8
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Why not to create a new municipal job?

Cellphone police! - pays for itself at ticket time. Flash! picture! Instant evidence of the cager yakker. Two person team ... at traffic stops at rush hour they would make more than the parking authority.

Oh ... the possibilities! ... I think I found my true calling.
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Old 12-06-05, 08:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captawol
Any one ever see another cyclist talking on a cell phone. I'm not talking the 16 year old on the 20" fixed gear trick bike, but rather a regular cyclist/commuter?
Yes ... in philly, riding no handed, no helmet, regular street clothes. But it was sunday 9 am so I guess it was
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Old 12-06-05, 08:40 PM   #10
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I signed the petition, but the problem is much bigger than cell phones. Motorists have to be held accountable for their actions, and to be educated to be much more attentive to driving.
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Old 12-06-05, 09:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captawol
Any one ever see another cyclist talking on a cell phone. I'm not talking the 16 year old on the 20" fixed gear trick bike, but rather a regular cyclist/commuter?
Yes. All the time. All ages. All income brackets.

I don't care if the law has little actual effect in the amount of cell phone use. It will have more effect than nothing. And possibly if someone hits a cyclist (or pedestrian) while on the phone they'll get a stiffer punishment. That would be worth a lot right there. Plus maybe cell phone driving will lose some of its cachet.
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Old 12-07-05, 10:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by John E
I signed the petition, but the problem is much bigger than cell phones. Motorists have to be held accountable for their actions, and to be educated to be much more attentive to driving.
Driving doesn't seem to be taken as a serious matter. People, myself included when I was driving, do all sorts of things that have absolutely nothing to do with driving while driving. When one is driving an automobile they are operating a heavy piece of machinery that has the potential to cause an incredible amount of damage to anything or anyone unfortunate enough to be involved if something does go wrong. I am so surprised by how many people drive without the consideration of what they are operating.
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Old 12-07-05, 11:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captawol
Any one ever see another cyclist talking on a cell phone. I'm not talking the 16 year old on the 20" fixed gear trick bike, but rather a regular cyclist/commuter?
Yes I almost witnessed a bicycle versus car accident a few months back, but it was the bicyclist who was talking on a cell phone and pedaled right on past me and through a red light during rush hour traffic (I was waiting on my bike for the light to turn green). I was actually stunned at what he was doing and it took a few seconds before thought to yelled "watch it." Luckily for him the four lanes of cross traffic hit their brakes and let him through unscathed. I don't even know if it registered in his mind that he just about committed suicide. He just kept pedaling along and talking on the cell phone as if nothing was wrong and everything in the world was just about him. It actually pissed me off, because I could see the motorist that had to brake for him were visibly angry (and that can lead to all bicyclists getting a bad rap). I almost wished .......... oh, never mind.
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Old 12-07-05, 11:17 AM   #14
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witnessing other people on bikes on cellphones?

Why yes, just last night on my commute home! First of all, he's this 20-something guy dressed in black, no lights, no helmet, and riding on the wrong side of the road. I turn around to look at him in the face, and he's on a freakin' cell phone. I gave him a look of disgust, and was almost tempted to say "you know, it's bad enough that drivers who talk on cellphones can kill pedestrians and people on bikes" or "Get off your f'n bike and talk on the phone", etc etc :B
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Old 12-08-05, 01:20 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by spandexwarrior
Koffee had this online petition linked in her signature, which asks congress to ban cell phone use while driving.
Why? We already have laws regarding the safe operation of a motor vehicle. If the driver is impaired while operating the vehicle, he is breaking the law. We do not need yet more laws governing us. Why stop there? Why not ban radios, conversations with passengers, eating, and drinking? I use my cell phone while driving and others need to as well for their jobs. I will not give up my cell phone nor will the millions of other motorists.
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Old 12-08-05, 02:40 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by mac
I use my cell phone while driving and others need to as well for their jobs. I will not give up my cell phone nor will the millions of other motorists.
What kind of job do you have that you have to endanger the lives of other road users?

I also wonder what people who did your job before the advent of cell phones did. My guess is that they all drove convertibles and used semaphore. I did ponder smoke signals but that would mean that you couldn't work in a crosswind.
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Old 12-08-05, 06:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Seldom Kill
What kind of job do you have that you have to endanger the lives of other road users?
By his signature, probably he is the Grim Reaper. j/k

... I always use the same example of how to operate a motor vehicle and a cell phone at the same time.

He is a friend of mine, and I saw him in full "car office" action for 1 hour. He had a nice headset with a boom microphone, and he also took notes on a little voice recording device that resembled a pen. In my opinion, although I am a "no cel phone while driving" nazi, he probably had one of the most reasonable driving habits I've seen. I testify that this person gets 30,000 on his vehicle, and most of the time he is on the phone mainly because he wants too. He also owns a vintage car, but he turns off the phone when he drives that. That driving is leisure time, not working time.
This guy is no grandma and drives a Dodge Magnum with a Hemi, but is not flying all over the place while talking.
What are the implications?

I am impliying that there are a number of professional people is probably on the same boat, making a living on the phone,and hopefully he is aware of the limitations of operating a motor vehicle like my friend does.
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Old 12-08-05, 07:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac
Why? We already have laws regarding the safe operation of a motor vehicle. If the driver is impaired while operating the vehicle, he is breaking the law. We do not need yet more laws governing us. Why stop there? Why not ban radios, conversations with passengers, eating, and drinking? I use my cell phone while driving and others need to as well for their jobs. I will not give up my cell phone nor will the millions of other motorists.
I'm with mac. While the death of sydney was tragic, outright banning is duplication of an exhisting law. The current law gives law enforment officers the choice to stop someone who is driving a vehicle and distracting himself. The law is not limited to anything spefic, and dashboard cameras in patrol cars, and motorcycles, can get convictions. Not leaving officers to thier discrestion, you'll be taking them away from other lawenforment duties that cause greater harm to the general public.
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Old 12-08-05, 07:18 AM   #19
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I am impliying that there are a number of professional people is probably on the same boat, making a living on the phone,and hopefully he is aware of the limitations of operating a motor vehicle like my friend does.
I would never argue that there are no people in the world capable of operating a motor vehicle whilst using a mobile phone. The fact that there are some that can is a fair and reasonable point. But shall we protect for the capability of the few in the light of the incapability of the many?

There are a few people who can drive reasonably well whilst legally intoxicated. Should we repeal drink-driving laws simply on the merits of this minority?

A simple point is that there is no affordable and easily implementable mean of testing capacity to drive whilst by some means impaired. Legislation against use of mobile phones while driving will officially recognise it as a form of impairment, a matter that is interpretable and arguable at the moment. I'm adverse to excessive legislation but this is one of those areas where such definition is necessary.
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Old 12-08-05, 01:34 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by mac
I use my cell phone while driving and others need to as well for their jobs.
Reminds me of a story on the news last week. Everyone's panicking in DC because there may be a Blackberry outage. People just can't live/work without them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac
I will not give up my cell phone nor will the millions of other motorists.
-1 Karma


You know,I'm really starting to hate cell phones. It's not just the obliviots driving with the things,but people can't even seem to walk with the bloody things. I've had people almost knock me down while walking on the sidewalk because they were in their own little world. And don't get me started on the selfish morons who let them ring in restaurants or movie theaters. People need to realize that when their mind floats off into the aether during a cell phone call,that their body remains here on Earth;where it can annoy or even cause harm to the rest of us.

I carry a cell phone for 3 reasons;in case of an emergency(injury,crime),to find someone's location on a ride,or when I leave the house when it's my turn to be on the pager. I'm always stopped when using it,and the rest of the time it's turned off.
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Old 12-08-05, 01:51 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by mac
Why? We already have laws regarding the safe operation of a motor vehicle. If the driver is impaired while operating the vehicle, he is breaking the law. We do not need yet more laws governing us. Why stop there? Why not ban radios, conversations with passengers, eating, and drinking? I use my cell phone while driving and others need to as well for their jobs. I will not give up my cell phone nor will the millions of other motorists.
Well, if your so obsessed with freedoms, technically drinking is a freedom. Drinking impairs a driver as much as using the phone. A car is not a recreation area, an office, a playroom or anything like that. A car was designed to get said driver from point A to point B- that is what a car is intended for. Since a driver is plowing along with tons of steel which can kill, that driver has a responsibility to pay *@#$%%^! attention to where they are going. Phone drivers don't pay attention to anything. Your rights stop where another person nose begins. If you kill other people in the process of exercising your "freedoms" you are imposing on other peoples rights. If you get too bored driving your car and you need distractions, then maybe you should ride your bike instead. That is never boring. On a bike you can talk on the phone and not cause a major wreck. Do your talking on your bike if you must.
Why don't we just encourage the proliferation of web cam phones among drivers. That way drivers could be even more entertained since they would see the person they are talking to. Who cares if they aren't looking at the road! A car is a personal office/funhouse anyhow. Maybe if we are lucky, those idiots will smack into a telephone pole. That would be natural selection, wouldn't it?
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Old 12-15-05, 06:42 PM   #22
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More Drivers Than Ever Talk on Cell Phones

By KEN THOMAS, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 53 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - More people than ever are turning their cars into personal phone booths, with a million and a half drivers gabbing on cell phones at any given time. Women and young people are the most common yakkers.

About 10 percent of the people on the road during the day are using cell phones, up from 8 percent in 2004, the government reported Thursday.

Six percent of drivers were holding the phones to their ears, up from 5 percent last year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which issued the report, recommends that motorists use cell phones while driving only during an emergency.

Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia prohibit talking on hand-held cell phones while driving. The new data could add fuel to the debate over whether drivers should be limited in their use of cell phones on the nation's highways.

Cities such as Chicago and Santa Fe, N.M., require handsfree devices in automobiles. But eight states Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma and Oregon bar local governments from restricting cell phone use in vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Researchers have tried to figure out the possible risks of driving and dialing. A study published by the British Medical Journal in July found drivers using cell phones were four times as likely to get into a crash that could cause injuries serious enough to land them in the hospital.

But the study, conducted by the Virginia-based Insurance
Institute for Highway Safety, suggested that using a handsfree device instead of a hand-held phone may not necessarily improve safety. Researchers found that both phone types increased the risk.

Industry officials contend cell phones are just one form of distraction: many drivers eat fast food, push buttons on their stereo, apply makeup or talk to other passengers.

"Talking on a cell phone is one of many possible distractions and by narrowly focusing on just this one could create a false sense of security with drivers," said John Walls, spokesman for CTIA The Wireless Association.

Matt Sundeen of the National Conference of State Legislatures said state lawmakers have lacked the kind of conclusive data that was used in the past to bolster arguments for tougher drunken driving or seat belt laws.

"You don't have that wide body of accepted evidence yet on the driver distraction debate," Sundeen said.

The NHTSA survey was conducted between June 6 and June 25 at 1,200 road sites across the nation. Trained observers watched vehicles go by and charted what the driver was doing. The ages of drivers are estimates based on their observations.

The survey found that 10 percent of drivers between 16 and 24 were holding cell phones to their ears, compared with 8 percent in 2004. Only 1 percent of drivers ages 70 and above were using handheld cell phones.

Many states have sought restrictions for young drivers using cell phones. Ten states and the District of Columbia carry the prohibitions, with many of the laws approved in the past year.

The National Transportation Safety Board, meanwhile, voted in September to recommend that all states make it illegal for teenagers and new drivers to talk on the phone while driving.

Brian Schaffner, 24, who works for a political consulting firm in Washington, D.C., said his cell phone is "almost a part of me" and admits using it behind the wheel. But he doesn't think it affects his driving.

"I'm probably young and arrogant, thinking that I can't hurt myself, but for the most part I feel perfectly safe using when I drive," Schaffner said.

Women were more likely than men to use handheld phones behind the wheel, with 8 percent of women driving and talking into their cell phone, compared with 5 percent of men.

For the first time, the government examined drivers manipulating hand-held devices at the wheel, including dialing, typing a text message or playing a video game. Only 0.2 percent of drivers were observed fiddling with the gadgets.

Richard Roy, a state legislator in Connecticut who sponsored the state's ban on handheld devices, predicted the new data would help states pursuing similar laws.

"It will make it easier for other lawmakers to a get a law passed," Roy said.

___

On the Net:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: http://www.nhtsa.gov/

To see the NHTSA report: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd...005/809967.pdf


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051215/..._phone_drivers
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Old 12-15-05, 07:19 PM   #23
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Yeah, that's it. Play video games while driving. Wouldn't want you to have to put the games down long enough to drive, now, would we.
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Old 12-16-05, 10:00 AM   #24
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I'd be willing to ban the damn things totally in public. A few weeks back a woman was standing behind me in the line at Subway talking loudly about her yeast infection. I very politely asked her to shut up as she was removing my appetite. She kept yakking.

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Old 12-16-05, 11:05 AM   #25
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For one thing they would never ban cell phones while driving. I think the automobile manufactures and the cell phone companies are in cahoots with one another. The more cars people crash up while using cell phones, the more cars people buy, so they will never ban cell phone use while driving.
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