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  1. #1
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    Cell phone = worse than drunk

    I pulled the following update off of an industry newsletter I received today. If any of you had run out of things to worry about this should give you something to think about on your next ride.


    Cell Phone Use Seen Worse Than Drunk Driving
    A study conducted by United Kingdom-based Transport Research
    Laboratory found that driving behavior is impaired more by using a
    cell phone than by being above legal alcohol limits.

    Cell phones and other wireless technologies have become a popular
    way for truckers to stay in contact with employers and families
    while on the road.

    Using simulators, the group that drivers' reaction times were 30%
    slower when using a hand-held phone compared with being drunk.
    Specifically, drivers had trouble maintaining a constant speed and
    keeping a safe distance from the car in front while using the phone.

    Direct Line, the insurance company that commissioned the study, said
    in a release on Friday that even when a hands-free cell phone was
    used, it still was a major distraction for drivers, who tended to
    miss more road signs while talking. The study also concluded
    hand-free cell phone use was also more dangerous than drunken
    driving. Transport Topics


    My own informal survey says about 10% of the drivers I see have a phone stuck to their ear. Add in the hands free models and its probably close to 20%. If we can enforce laws on drunk driving and seatbelt usage then its about time to put some teeth in eliminating cell phone usage in a moving vehicle as well.

  2. #2
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    There is another thread on this topic. From what I have seen, any type of telephone usage whilst motoring is an unacceptable distraction. If our society were willing to assess meaningful penalties against careless drivers who cause "accidents," perhaps we would not need laws governing or prohibiting specific behaviours. Until we have true motorist accountability, however, I side with the folks who want to ban cell phone use while driving.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  3. #3
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    In Australia they banned mobile phones in cars several years ago, but hands free phones are legal. The fine for using a mobile while driving is $167.00. The police do issue fines, several thousand so far, but people are slow learners and they love their phones. Maybe if the penalty was higher ~$500 I'm sure the drivers would think twice before using the phone. The sad part is that people aren't just answering calls while driving they are actually making calls in full knowledge that it is illegal. Currently drivers do not lose demerit points for using a phone while driving.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

  4. #4
    Almost Immortal The Rob's Avatar
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    I loath cellphone users who not only chatter on them while driving, but who also blither inanely in restaurants, theaters, supermarkets, and on public transport. Why must we be held captive by their allegedly private conversations in public? Bring back the telephone booth!

    I once came very close to being slammed off of a freeway overpass by a jackass in a Volvo who attempted to take my lane while yakking on his 'phone. He was steering left-handed, the device in his right hand pressed to his ear as he swerved to the right. I'm thankful I noticed him just prior to his attempt, and I noticed him because he was weaving in his lane as the various parts of his brain apparently were warring over which activity held priority. The Gods protect us from multi-taskers. :irritated

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  5. #5
    It's only a hill. Weasel's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dutchy
    In Australia they banned mobile phones in cars several years ago, but hands free phones are legal. The fine for using a mobile while driving is $167.00. The police do issue fines, several thousand so far, but people are slow learners and they love their phones. Maybe if the penalty was higher ~$500 I'm sure the drivers would think twice before using the phone. The sad part is that people aren't just answering calls while driving they are actually making calls in full knowledge that it is illegal. Currently drivers do not lose demerit points for using a phone while driving.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    Same here in Germany but with slightly lower fines.
    If you want spectacular results, you have to know how to treat your bike badly.

  6. #6
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Weasel

    Same here in Germany but with slightly lower fines.
    Not necessarily lower fines, your currency is probably worth more than ours. FWIW, I'd like to see the things confiscated if people can't comply with the law. I really don't see why people can't wait 5 seconds to have a conversation (how long does it take to pull over? really?).
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  7. #7
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Chris L
    FWIW, I'd like to see the things confiscated if people can't comply with the law.
    I'd like to see them shoved up their arses sideways, and I would include this punishment for those people that insist on installing 'popular' tunes on them as the ringer so I end up with two poorly rendered bars of 'Strange' by The Doors stuck in my head all day, but that could be just me.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  8. #8
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Allister

    I'd like to see them shoved up their arses sideways, and I would include this punishment for those people that insist on installing 'popular' tunes on them as the ringer so I end up with two poorly rendered bars of 'Strange' by The Doors stuck in my head all day, but that could be just me.
    Nope, it's not just you...

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    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  9. #9
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    A guy at work has the theme song from Beverley hills cop on his phone, and it is bloody annoying. I have actually heard people using their phones in the toilet cubicle at work, is there no safe haven from these things?

    The other day at the cinema a guy across the isle from me was playing with his phone and he turned it off just before the movie started, very polite of him. As soon as the credits started to roll he whips out the phone and starts to check for any messages, he must be very important.

    Mobile phones have become a security blanket for some people, they cannot live without them, it makes them feel wanted to see a message waiting to be read. Pathetic losers.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

  10. #10
    Senior Member phoenyix's Avatar
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    Cell phones, Being that you must pay for all calls incoming or outgoing, Mine is only on when I need to make a call.:confused:

  11. #11
    Senior Member bikerider's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Allister
    I'd like to see them shoved up their arses sideways, and I would include this punishment for those people that insist on installing 'popular' tunes on them as the ringer so I end up with two poorly rendered bars of 'Strange' by The Doors stuck in my head all day, but that could be just me.
    LOL! I like to imitate them. At twice the volume.

    I had to have a cell phone for a job and I really learned to hate the things. The local phone company is also removing many public phone booths which is a pain for non-cell users.

    I love it when I see two people walking down the street together, each on a phone. I say to them, "Are you speaking to each other?"

  12. #12
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dutchy
    A guy at work has the theme song from Beverley hills cop on his phone, and it is bloody annoying. I have actually heard people using their phones in the toilet cubicle at work, is there no safe haven from these things?
    This could be a worry when you get one of those people that insist on giving a running comentary of what they're doing just to make sure you know they've got a mobile phone. You know, the 'I'm just walking along such-and-such street. I'm entering the building now' crowd.

    I can imagine the conversation now:
    'How's the line at that end? I'm getting a weird echo and some interference that sounds a lot like water splashing.'
    'Nah, it's fine. I'm just taking a *****. You shoulda smelled that one.'
    'You realise this is a conference call, don't you.?'
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  13. #13
    sandcruiser thbirks's Avatar
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    http://www.phonebashing.com/

    I hate these things. The fact that people actually use them while driving is frightening. I'm seeing more and more people who can't operate their vehicle because they're on the phone. They come to an intersection and can't make the turn with the one free hand they have to drive with. HANG UP!!!!! Then there's the people who are smoking a cig while talking on the phone while haplessly wandering down the road. Let's see, one hand on the phone, one on the cigarette, that leaves how many hands to drive with? And I'm trusting my life to these people. Unreal.
    "only on a BIKE"

  14. #14
    suitcase of courage VegasCyclist's Avatar
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    Originally posted by thbirks
    haplessly wandering down the road.

    wandering with a 2 ton killing machine, while paying more attention to a 8 oz piece of plastic...
    -VegasCyclist
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  15. #15
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Allister

    This could be a worry when you get one of those people that insist on giving a running comentary of what they're doing just to make sure you know they've got a mobile phone. You know, the 'I'm just walking along such-and-such street. I'm entering the building now' crowd.
    Yeah, I've noticed that they're always saying really profound and intellectual things. I remeber going to lunch with a friend of mine at a very good pasta restaurant in Main Beach a couple of years ago. Two other people a couple of tables away from us spent the whole time talking on their mobile phones and didn't say a word to each other the entire time we were there. If those people hated each other so much, they shouldn't have gone to lunch together!
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  16. #16
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    Cell phones, Being that you must pay for all calls incoming or outgoing, Mine is only on when I need to make a call
    Is this true? In Aus you only pay for outgoing calls, incoming are free to the receiver of the call. Just interested to know.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

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