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Old 11-01-08, 11:27 AM   #1
boneshake
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Idiot on cellphone, cont'd...

Okay, so yesterday my wife is crossing a crosswalk on her bike in front of me, right in front of a lady on a cellphone in a minivan, and she starts to ease forward to turn right and comes within an inch of hitting my wife. Stupid, right? Well, then I pull out in front of her, and she does it again!

I signal for her to hang up, and she rolls down the window and says she's really sorry and all -- but it's not the cellphone that did it. I yelled at her that of course it was and not to be such an idiot and hang up and drive. Twice in a row you'd think she would get a clue.
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Old 11-01-08, 01:04 PM   #2
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I don't know where you live, but many cities and states are banning hands-on cell phone use while driving.
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Old 11-01-08, 01:13 PM   #3
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I don't know where you live, but many cities and states are banning hands-on cell phone use while driving.
I know they are banned around here... but from my quick roadside surveys, you'd think no one got that memo.
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Old 11-01-08, 01:40 PM   #4
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I don't know where you live, but many cities and states are banning hands-on cell phone use while driving.
They may be banning them, but the police have more problems to solve than just this annoyance.
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Old 11-01-08, 03:04 PM   #5
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They may be banning them, but the police have more problems to solve than just this annoyance.
Yeah, the problem of revenue generation.
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Old 11-01-08, 03:49 PM   #6
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Hands-on cell phone use while driving is illegal here in Chicago as well. It does get enforced from time to time here. Not that that really makes things any safer, as this study suggests.

I love it when I see people that have the wired hands-free mics and they are still holding the mic up to their mouths! I can't help but chuckle whenever I see that.

I used to shout "Get off the f-ing phone!" when endangered by a motorist using a cell phone, but that almost invariably drew blank stares in my direction and I'd think to myself "Great. Not only are you using the phone while driving, now you're not even watching the road!". So, I don't bother with that anymore.
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Old 11-01-08, 07:08 PM   #7
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I don't know where you live, but many cities and states are banning hands-on cell phone use while driving.
Just what we need, another redundant law that will also not be enforced. They aren't enforcing "distracted driving" or "reckless driving", so politicians pass another law in order to show they are doing something about it.

The real problem is that getting into a car and taking a trip in it has become such a common everyday event that the magnitude of the responsibility involved has been lost by the general public.
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Old 11-03-08, 01:09 PM   #8
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Just what we need, another redundant law that will also not be enforced. They aren't enforcing "distracted driving" or "reckless driving", so politicians pass another law in order to show they are doing something about it.

The real problem is that getting into a car and taking a trip in it has become such a common everyday event that the magnitude of the responsibility involved has been lost by the general public.
+1 Well said. Driving isn't seen as a privilege anymore but a right, which is a basic mis-nomer nowadays.

On the other hand, I hate it when I see cyclists talking on cells while riding as well! Stupidty abounds all around us.
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Old 11-03-08, 02:55 PM   #9
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Another minor point is that crosswalks are for pedestrians, not bikers. If that's where you are, you should be walking your bike, not riding it.

Cycling in the crosswalk puts you in a place where motorists usually aren't looking for you in the first place. Remember that little video with the moonwalking bear and the basketball players? Motorists are looking for pedestrians here -- not cyclists, are are usually moving faster and can show up after the motorist makes their cursory scan.

Don't be the bear, here...
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Old 11-03-08, 04:02 PM   #10
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Here ya go. Get one of these. Highly illegal in the US of course, but it makes you think. I think they should be built into movie theaters and restaurants (rigged to cut out when someone hits the fire alarm or something).
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Old 11-03-08, 04:46 PM   #11
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I heard of a wonderful (but not for the idiot) way to make people re-think their yapping while operating a motor-vehicle: While the fool is immersed in their yappity-yap at an intersection, approach said critter and say: "My God, man! You must be relieved! I'd be in shock if I almost killed that little kid who ran out almost in front of you back there! Wow!"

Unfortunately it's not limited to motor-heads. I see more than my share of people on bicycles doing the same stupid thing. Those things should be banned.
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Old 11-03-08, 07:18 PM   #12
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Here ya go. Get one of these. Highly illegal in the US of course, but it makes you think. I think they should be built into movie theaters and restaurants (rigged to cut out when someone hits the fire alarm or something).
Ha, good old DX. Wouldn't mind buying one if they came with a longer range (and cheaper price).
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Old 11-03-08, 10:05 PM   #13
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cell phonistas

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IUnfortunately it's not limited to motor-heads. I see more than my share of people on bicycles doing the same stupid thing. Those things should be banned.
Yup. I have been off the bike for about 6 months due to neck problems and just about to get back on. While walking, bussing and driving it was illuminating to watch some of the hare-brained behavior of (a significant minority of) cyclists. Like at a *furiously* busy 4-way intersection with left-turn signals and walk lights -- I sat and watched a woman pedal across 2 of the crosswalks while gabbing on a cell phone and never looking up *once* ...whilst towing a Burley with a toddler in it!
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Old 11-03-08, 11:00 PM   #14
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the college kids around here are always on the cellphone, but I have to say I haven't seen much usage on the bike. I don't really see much problem with it under many conditions. Although I convinced my wife it was pretty annoying after she called me twice while I was climbing the same hill.

Pedestrians on cellphones is a real problem. We have jaywalkers everywhere, and they often just walk out into the street without even looking. Maybe some cyclists do the same, I just haven't seen it.

I just had a bad experience while I was driving a car recently. I was returning a rental, had just spotted the rental car return across 5 lanes of traffic. There was a cell phone user to my left who happened to be steering a car behind me, but as I slowed down, she slowed down shadowing me at half a car length behind. I had my blinker on, she didn't. Turned out she wanted to go right, I wanted to go left. But because of the phone she was immobilized. Fortunately there wasn't much traffic.
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Old 11-04-08, 10:14 PM   #15
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If I see someone on a cellphone behind me, I try to take the land in front of them. I figure It's illegal for them, and I certainly don't feel safe having them pass me. Vigilante cycling at it's best.
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Old 11-05-08, 10:46 AM   #16
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right in front of a lady on a cellphone in a minivan, and she starts to ease forward to turn right and comes within an inch of hitting my wife
waitaminnit... this is a&s. i thought we were only supposed to criticize cyclists here.
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Old 11-05-08, 11:23 AM   #17
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Here ya go. Get one of these. Highly illegal in the US of course, but it makes you think. I think they should be built into movie theaters and restaurants (rigged to cut out when someone hits the fire alarm or something).
But then you've got a driver that's doubly distracted, looking down at the cell phone "What's wrong with this &*&%$ thing?!?! &*^^%$" and headed straight for you.

The hands-free only law seems to be totally useless here in California. Yesterday I saw someone holding some device with two hands on the top of his steering wheel on the freeway. Probably texting.

Just last week someone killed someone else when texting while driving (story here).
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Old 11-05-08, 12:36 PM   #18
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I don't know where you live, but many cities and states are banning hands-on cell phone use while driving.
yep, they just banned in in L.A. a few months back
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Old 11-05-08, 01:48 PM   #19
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yep, they just banned in in L.A. a few months back
Now if only they would enforce the ban....
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Old 11-06-08, 09:32 AM   #20
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I think the cellphone ban is probably required because it's not immediately obvious to the people who are doing it that it is dangerous. Most people will say that they are not dangerous when they are talking, but almost any time I see someone driving erratically, they are on the phone. The examples I've seen have rarely been bad enough that a cop would pull someone over just to give them a warning, but if they have a violation that would generate revenue, then hopefully they will. The obvious thing is that people become so task saturated while on the phone that they no longer are paying attention to driving, and that's why it's so annoying and dangerous.
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Old 11-06-08, 09:41 AM   #21
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The examples I've seen have rarely been bad enough that a cop would pull someone over just to give them a warning, but if they have a violation that would generate revenue, then hopefully they will.
gee, i was kind of hoping that the objective of the cops enforcing traffic laws was to make the roads safer and not to turn a profit.

the bottom line is that cellphone use, like every other behaviour, can't really be legislated away. it can only be changed when it becomes culturally unacceptable. if people in general feel that talking and driving is okay, then no law will stop them. what a law will do, however, is guarantee that those distracted drivers will be further distracted looking out for cops.
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Old 11-06-08, 12:03 PM   #22
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Now if only they would enforce the ban....
In CA even if they enforced the ban the penalties are basically meaningless. The fine is $20 for a first conviction and $50 for subsequent convictions. Now if they put some teeth into the penalties it might have some effect. It probably costs more in administrative fees than the fine actually collects. So, as tax payers, we all lose as the penalties are now. As others have said it needs to either become culturally unacceptable or prohibited via some technological means. I highly doubt the second option will ever happen and can only hope for the first.
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Old 11-06-08, 12:13 PM   #23
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In CA even if they enforced the ban the penalties are basically meaningless. The fine is $20 for a first conviction and $50 for subsequent convictions. Now if they put some teeth into the penalties it might have some effect. It probably costs more in administrative fees than the fine actually collects. So, as tax payers, we all lose as the penalties are now. As others have said it needs to either become culturally unacceptable or prohibited via some technological means. I highly doubt the second option will ever happen and can only hope for the first.
I have no doubt that the second option will occur... but not in the form you may envision. In fact I think it will be quite popular to talk on the phone, play video games and browse the net while in the car in the future.

I think that autonomous drive vehicles are not that far away. DARPA is working on the technology and various forms of the technology to implement autonomous drive are already being adopted in cars today... consider the self park cars, consider the radar system available in Mercedes today... these are the precursors to eventual autonomous drive vehicles.

Sure it may still be 20+ years out, but no doubt such technology will come. I believe it will also tie in with a general change in fuel used for cars... the switch to electric cars with the decrease in oil fueled vehicles will cause an adoption of new technology vehicles over time.

So eventually it will be quite OK to talk on a cell phone in a car...
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Old 11-06-08, 02:32 PM   #24
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gee, i was kind of hoping that the objective of the cops enforcing traffic laws was to make the roads safer and not to turn a profit.
My thought is that if someone is so absorbed with their phone conversation that they don't move when a light turns green, they will later have a lapse of concentration with much more serious consequences. But a cop isn't going to pull someone over after they sit at a green traffic light unless there is some violation they witness. Making the cellphone use illegal provides that violation. I can spot a cellphone user very easily if they are in front of me. Should be fertile ground for the cops.

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the bottom line is that cellphone use, like every other behaviour, can't really be legislated away.
I disagree, people are going to move to hands free phones. I don't know if that will help safety because studies show it doesn't. But the people I see that are totally task saturated and are driving badly as a result have a cellphone in their hand. I think people are starting to realize the problems cellphones cause other drivers, and it is becoming less socially acceptable. That's why legislatures have started making it illegal, it's because of public acceptance that it's a problem.

I still see people reading books while driving, although that is illegal. I don't know what the solution is, you can't get rid of every moron on the road by legislation.
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Old 11-07-08, 05:10 PM   #25
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I don't know where you live, but many cities and states are banning hands-on cell phone use while driving.
Not here, yet.
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