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Old 01-19-09, 07:57 AM   #1
derath
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Complete cell phone ban?

What are the chances this will ever end up as law? I wonder how enforcement would work...

Here is the article

-D
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Old 01-19-09, 08:35 AM   #2
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At the federal level I think it's very unlikely. At the state level: If you live in a state that's not backwards it might happen soon.
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Old 01-19-09, 08:42 AM   #3
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Every time I see inexplicable driver behavior, I suspect cellphone use. There is some strange stuff going on out there.
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Old 01-19-09, 08:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Every time I see inexplicable driver behavior, I suspect cellphone use. There is some strange stuff going on out there.
Does that mean something about cell phone use, or your own willingness to jump to conclusions?
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Old 01-19-09, 09:18 AM   #5
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...all have laws that make it a crime to use a phone without a hands-free device while driving. The NSC's proposal would eliminate even the hands-free clause.
They should ban talking to passengers while they're at it.
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Old 01-19-09, 09:46 AM   #6
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They should ban talking to passengers while they're at it.
Controlled quantitative studies have verified that talking to the passenger does not tend to compromise the driver's attentiveness, and the extra pair of eyes can actually enhance safety. In contrast, any type of telephone conversation evidently distracts the driver to the competence level of someone with a BAC of about 0.08%, which is the legal DUI cutoff in most of the US (Western Europe uses 0.05%).

I strongly favor a major public safety/education campaign on the dangers and immorality of careless, aggressive, and/or distracted driving, including operating a motor vehicle when too tired to do so. As long as judges and juries sympathize with the perpetrators of crashes on the basis of "I could have been the defendant," or "aw, shucks, accidents do happen," we are not going to make any real progress.
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Old 01-19-09, 09:46 AM   #7
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I happened to see an editorial today that suggested that perhaps the fines are too low. Raise the fine to $500 for first offense, $1000 for second offense and cash strapped cities will encourage law enforcement to catch offenders.
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Old 01-19-09, 09:48 AM   #8
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They should ban talking to passengers while they're at it.
Yup, and changing the radio station, fiddling with a GPS, eating a cheeseburger, driving too long, looking at the scenery. . .


The problem with many of these studies (at least the three or four that I've read) is that they set up a very controlled situation comparing just-driving-and-nothing-else to driving-while-talking-on-a-cell-phone. They see that attention is divided and driving ability suffers, and they claim a blanket "talking on the cell phone leads to poor driving".

I have yet to see a study which compares the impairment created by a cell phone against any of the things I or degnaw mentioned (well, not quite true, they've shown talking on a cell phone causes a slightly greater impairment than listening to the radio; they didn't look at changing the station though). I don't see why talking on a cell phone should be more impairing than talking to a passenger. I suppose it's possible, but it appears as though no one's done a study yet.


How about we stop worrying about people talking on the phone and start worrying about people driving poorly? Seems to me that enforcing the law and penalizing poor driving (whether the driver is on a cell phone or not) would be a better solution. Crazy talk, I know...
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Old 01-19-09, 09:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
I strongly favor a major public safety/education campaign on the dangers and immorality of careless, aggressive, and/or distracted driving, including operating a motor vehicle when too tired to do so. As long as judges and juries sympathize with the perpetrators of crashes on the basis of "I could have been the defendant," or "aw, shucks, accidents do happen," we are not going to make any real progress.
I strongly agree... and in this vein I think a year long mandatory class in high school that teaches both drivers ed and the ethics of driving would be an ideal situation. At lower level grades schools could teach cycling... as it is done in Copenhagen... where they have traffic situations painted on the school playgrounds and they instruct children how to handle these situations.

For the life of me I never have figured out why we need several semesters of history and english et. al., yet only 6 weeks of driving education... driving is a lifelong activity and should be treated just like the other subjects in school.
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Old 01-19-09, 10:16 AM   #10
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Cars should incorporate a cell phone jammer activated when the engine is running and transmission is in drive. The controls of radios, gps, CD players etc should be locked at the same time - OK to listen to music or GPS instructions while driving, but resetting the controls is a NO-NO.
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Old 01-19-09, 10:36 AM   #11
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Cars should incorporate a cell phone jammer activated when the engine is running and transmission is in drive. The controls of radios, gps, CD players etc should be locked at the same time - OK to listen to music or GPS instructions while driving, but resetting the controls is a NO-NO.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090119/...phones_driving

Technology to block phones in cars isn't foolproof... read the article.
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Old 01-19-09, 11:17 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by tjwarren View Post
How about we stop worrying about people talking on the phone and start worrying about people driving poorly? Seems to me that enforcing the law and penalizing poor driving (whether the driver is on a cell phone or not) would be a better solution. Crazy talk, I know...

Using this logic we should also stop worrying about people drinking while driving. Just punish those who drove poorly or caused a wreck while under the influence, right?
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Old 01-19-09, 11:26 AM   #13
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If California's recent hand held ban is any indication, lack of enforcement would render it meaningless.

Jeff, still fat
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Old 01-19-09, 12:00 PM   #14
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Every time I see inexplicable driver behavior, I suspect cellphone use. There is some strange stuff going on out there.
Speaking of strange stuff about suspicious cell phone use.

The local paper reports the conviction of a pickup truck driver for hitting and killing a 21 year old bicyclist. The police report and witnesses stated that the driver made no attempt to use the adjacent empty traffic lane. The victim went airborne and landed 114 feet from the point of impact. His bicycle was dragged by the truck and was found 209 feet from where he first was hit.

One of the motorist's lame excuses was that he suspected the victim may have been using a cell phone, but he didn't actually see the bicyclist using it. The driver had the sun in his eyes, was driving too fast for conditions, was distracted and/or was just plain reckless and stupid; but figured tossing in a bogus cell phone alibi/excuse was his get out of jail free card.

On line, this week only at: http://www.thehawkeye.com/Story/Guilty-011809

Note: I pass this spot everyday on my commute but can't see the family's roadside memorial because my commute is in darkness early in the morning. The road is as straight as an arrow at this location, with no roadside or intersection obstructions.
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Old 01-19-09, 12:06 PM   #15
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Does that mean something about cell phone use, or your own willingness to jump to conclusions?
that's a good question. Oftentimes it's easy to observe that the driver is using a cellphone. Other times it would be more dangerous for me to figure it out than it is worth. From what I have seen cellphone using drivers do, cellphone use is incredibly dangerous, at least for some people.


Back in the '70s and '80s the reason for most bike/car accidents from inattentive drivers was that the driver was changing music tapes. This doesn't seem to be something people do any more. Changing the radio doesn't seem as likely to involve taking your eyes off the road for so long. Messing with the IPOD does though.

Last edited by unterhausen; 01-19-09 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 01-19-09, 12:15 PM   #16
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Speaking of strange stuff about suspicious cell phone use.

The local paper reports the conviction of a pickup truck driver for hitting and killing a 21 year old bicyclist. The police report and witnesses stated that the driver made no attempt to use the adjacent empty traffic lane. The victim went airborne and landed 114 feet from the point of impact. His bicycle was dragged by the truck and was found 209 feet from where he first was hit.

One of the motorist's lame excuses was that he suspected the victim may have been using a cell phone, but he didn't actually see the bicyclist using it. The driver had the sun in his eyes, was driving too fast for conditions, was distracted and/or was just plain reckless and stupid; but figured tossing in a bogus cell phone alibi/excuse was his get out of jail free card.

On line, this week only at: http://www.thehawkeye.com/Story/Guilty-011809

Note: I pass this spot everyday on my commute but can't see the family's roadside memorial because my commute is in darkness early in the morning. The road is as straight as an arrow at this location, with no roadside or intersection obstructions.
Regardless of the alleged use of a cell phone by the victim, the overtaking motorist still had a moral and legal responsibility to avoid hitting another road user.
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Old 01-19-09, 12:16 PM   #17
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What about a cop who talks on the radio? When they ban that, then they can ban cellphones.
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Old 01-19-09, 12:30 PM   #18
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What about a cop who talks on the radio? When they ban that, then they can ban cellphones.
How about when you get the training a cop has, you can drive with a cell phone.
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Old 01-19-09, 12:40 PM   #19
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Regardless of the alleged use of a cell phone by the victim, the overtaking motorist still had a moral and legal responsibility to avoid hitting another road user.
You don't get the point. Ranting about suspicions that significant numbers of accidents are caused by cell phone use may be comforting to the ranters, but unsubstantiated suspicions are not facts, and don't make the cell phone boogyman out to be the public menace as portrayed in Conventional Wisdom Chatter.
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Old 01-19-09, 12:49 PM   #20
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In recent memory, I almost got hit head-on by a Lexus driver while on the bike downtown. He was making a left at an intersection, I was headed straight through and moving pretty quick. He looked at (through) me, and punched the accelerator. Luckily he clicked-to and stepped on the brakes. There was a cellphone glued to his suprised-looking face.

Similarly, I was overtaking a Mercedes on the interstate, and he suddenly swerved into my lane. While my front wheel was parallel to his rear wheel. Swerved to the shoulder, then sped back up, got along side him again to look through the window, and a cellphone was glued to his face. Never saw or heard me (or just didn't care).

Drivers on the phone are dangerous to everyone.
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Old 01-19-09, 12:53 PM   #21
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Cars should incorporate a cell phone jammer activated when the engine is running and transmission is in drive. The controls of radios, gps, CD players etc should be locked at the same time - OK to listen to music or GPS instructions while driving, but resetting the controls is a NO-NO.
and when your trapped in your car and must call 911?

Chad
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Old 01-19-09, 12:59 PM   #22
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cell phones, the public perception, and us

The only time I've been hit [actually run over the rear of the bike] was by a cliche of cell-phoness; a soccer mom in a Volvo wagon talking away trying to multi-task the kids. With eye contact I enetered the intersection [I had the signal] and as I passed her she turned right laying me down and drove over the rear traingle and wheel. She didn't stop.

Tons of motorists stopped to help, getting aid and such, while one guy chased her down to at least get a plate number. Catching up with her several blocks down she was indignate that she couldn't have hit anyone [she was still talking on her phone] I had on a bright pink Terry jacket and weighing in at 195# I'm not exactly invisible. This was in Washington State where we have a new hands free law. Now you can't even tell by the gestures if they have a phone on.... .

I read an article in a motorcycle magazine recently about playing the "paranoia" game. It involves delibrately training yourself to forsee every bad outcome from the people we share the road with.

Since we are a like minded community [mostly] we don't think from the other point of view.

This months UK edition of Esquire magazines number one thing that makes them happy is seeing a cyclist get a police citation. Here is a link about an La doctor causing cyclist's accidents because he was tired of seeing them on his streets.http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...twood-phy.html Keep your eyes open after that it's just riding the bike.

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Old 01-19-09, 02:00 PM   #23
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You don't get the point. Ranting about suspicions that significant numbers of accidents are caused by cell phone use may be comforting to the ranters, but unsubstantiated suspicions are not facts, and don't make the cell phone boogyman out to be the public menace as portrayed in Conventional Wisdom Chatter.
Sorry, on this I disagree with you... I have even seen folks drive right off the road as they were chatting on cell phones... I have plenty of reason to believe that this goes well beyond "suspicions."
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Old 01-19-09, 02:13 PM   #24
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Using this logic we should also stop worrying about people drinking while driving. Just punish those who drove poorly or caused a wreck while under the influence, right?
If someone is driving safely, who cares what they ate or drank before they got behind the wheel?

By your logic, should we let someone swerve, change lanes erratically, tailgate, and run people off of the road as long as they're sober?

Of course not.


For some reason, our society has gone beyond punishing people who DO harm into punishing people who MIGHT do harm.
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Old 01-19-09, 03:03 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Every time I see inexplicable driver behavior, I suspect cellphone use. There is some strange stuff going on out there.
10 years ago I would assume the driver was drunk. Now I don't have to assume. I can see the phone. Does not mean they are not drunk too (at least where I live).
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