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Old 09-06-07, 01:27 PM   #1
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I wanted to yank his cell phone from him

Yesterday I joined several ladies from my cycling club for the annual "Ladies Lunch" ride. We met at the Xenia Bike Hub and did a slow, easy ride to another town for lunch. Everyone had a great time and things were going great until about a half mile from the end of the ride.

All the ladies were in the left turn lane but I was in the lane going straight through as I had parked at another trail-head and rode extra miles to the ride. Just as we reached the midway point of the intersection a car approaching from my right goes through the red light and comes to a screeching halt in the middle of the intersection. Thankfully he missed all of us but now I'm positioned at the back of his car with my front wheel just a few inches behind his bumper. Something told me this young man thought all the bikes were in front of him and didn't know I was behind him. I quickly moved back a couple feet just as he threw it in reverse and backed up missing me and my bike by inches. He muttered he was sorry and that he didn't see the red light or us. It was then I spied his cell phone in his hand. I told him it was really hard to miss 15 women on bikes and he probably wanted to put his %$*&! cell phone away before he killed someone. Inattentive drivers are my biggest fear when I'm riding the roads

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Old 09-06-07, 01:37 PM   #2
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I work at what is proclaimed to be one of America's top universities. Yesterday, one of our nation's best and brightest was walking across an intersection--against the light--and yakking on a cellphone. I watched in near horror as a truck came screeching to a halt, missing him by inches.

"I almost got killed," he muttered as he passed me.

"Yeah, and it would have been your fault," I said.

"Yeah, I know," he mumbled absently as he continued to amble on his way.

I shook my head in disbelief at this foolish young whippersnapper, all the while realizing I'm sliding into a comfortably crotchety old age.
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Old 09-06-07, 01:44 PM   #3
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One of the few things that I feel aught to be illegal, is talking on a cell phone while driving. Even hands free phones provide enough distraction it damn dangerous! I have almost hit many times by people who are just too important to out of touch while they are driving.
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Old 09-06-07, 01:44 PM   #4
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They keep talking about outlawing them, but the politicians are making so much money with the lobbyist on them, I don't think we'll ever see it.
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Old 09-06-07, 02:06 PM   #5
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The only reason the company I work for hasn't laid of more people or completely collapsed is cell phones. Let em talk, let em text, let em download ring tones/games/pictures while driving it is their money maker.
We have lots of lobbyist down there in DC to support it. I really believe hands free was a big pacifier to make it seem safe, plus makes lots of money on accessories!
Safer maybe I mean it does allow two hands on the wheel. Safe?
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Old 09-06-07, 02:07 PM   #6
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Here in the UK it is illegal to use a phone unless it is hands free in a Vehicle. Makes no difference as you still see the Hand up to the ear while the car is being driven. The Mobiles are so small- You cannot see if it is a phone they are talking into - or they have earache.
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Old 09-06-07, 02:13 PM   #7
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While I certainly understand the anger at cellphones, it is only that they are visible sign of a broader issue, distracted driving.

I believe that people have generally never paid attention to their driving, and cell phones are the visible sign that we notice today. If it isn't a cell phone, it is something else.

Think back a few years... it used to be (and sometimes still is) something else... changing the station on the radio, or putting on make-up or shaving, or reading the newspaper, or looking at the map, or turning around to smack the kids, or eating their lunch, or lighting a cigarette, or checking out the bike in the LBS window

I have seen people doing 3 things at a time... smoking, eating and talking on a cell phone...

Have you ever seen deaf people driving while signing to each other? I have. How can they be paying attention to the road?

I'm really quite surprised that any of us survive... And I am far from innocent. Sometimes I find myself distracted too... and I really try not to take my responsibility behind the wheel lightly, since I lost an adult brother in a car vs bicycle accident many years ago.

So, while I do get irritated at cell phones, I do see them as just a sign of the deeper issue...
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Old 09-06-07, 02:15 PM   #8
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It is illegal to use a hand-held phone while driving in New York State.
No matter, on any given day you'll spot at least 50% of our drivers
yakking away on their hand-helds totally oblivious of their surroundings.
Enforcement sucks.
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Old 09-06-07, 02:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
While I certainly understand the anger at cellphones, it is only that they are visible sign of a broader issue, distracted driving.
I remember reading once a book about sportscars (Porsche, if I recall correctly), when they were first starting to get into the U.S. market. The U.S. marketing person wanted the factory to install cupholders in the cars. The Germans were incredulous......the idea of people eating and drinking in their cars! When Germans drive, apparently, they DRIVE!
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Old 09-06-07, 03:36 PM   #10
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This, and drivers with attitudes is why I only ride on bike trails. The real problem is that my attitude is even worse when some driver is "just messing with a bicyclist". Sticking to the trails keeps us both out of trouble.
Yeah, I know it's a cop out. But, due to serious food allergies, I can go totally nuclear in seconds. Sudden loud noises, like horns, and confrontational situations can trigger the problem. bk
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Old 09-06-07, 03:37 PM   #11
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"Can you hear me now?", she said as she yanked the cell phone from his hands and shoved it up his... nose.
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Old 09-06-07, 03:42 PM   #12
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The problem is beyond cell phones. Cell phones are a huge problem, but just as big a problem is urban sprawl. As the cities spread out, drive time increases, people spend more time in car. Next it's eating in the car, drinking in the car, reading a paperback n the car, doing their makeup in the car, reading the newspaper in the car, reading a map in the car, messing with their GPS in the car.
It was horrible moving from a 90-120 minute commute in L.A. to my current 23 miles in Kentucky.
I am still recovering.
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Old 09-06-07, 03:45 PM   #13
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In recent months I have taken up the practice of looking to see if someone driving erratically is using a cell phone. I've been surprised by how often this is the case.

A few years ago I lost a perfectly good minivan when someone driving an SUV while talking on a cellphone, rammed me from behind at a red light. I was at a full stop with both my brake lights and the stop light being bright red.
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Old 09-06-07, 04:00 PM   #14
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I'd like to say I disagree with all of you because I think it could lead to cellphone use restrictions.
Unfortunately I can't do that. Time and time again I witness inattentive drivers and almost every single time the driver is on his or her cellphone.
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Old 09-06-07, 05:07 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Beverly View Post
... Inattentive drivers are my biggest fear when I'm riding the roads
I concur comlpetely, Beverly. The only answer I can offer is stricter accountability for motorists who cause injury, death, or significant property damage, but as long as judges and juries drive carelessly, it is going to be tough to obtain stiff sentences against inattentive motorists.
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Old 09-06-07, 05:31 PM   #16
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This is happening so often that it is no longer funny.
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Old 09-06-07, 05:33 PM   #17
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This is a country that can't (even though they have tried) stop drunks from driving. How are they going to stop cell phone use by drivers. Its a right or something isn't it?
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Old 09-06-07, 05:34 PM   #18
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I might be mistaken, but I believe California passed a law that TEENAGERS cannot talk on the cell phone while driving, but it hasn't taken effect yet. However, the fine for breaking this law is only $20. Big whup.
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Old 09-06-07, 05:35 PM   #19
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Driving while drunk is treated very seriously these days - very expensive and very disruptive to your life. But driving while drunk is no more dangerous than driving while sleepy, driving while talking, or driving while distracted, and they are all just as voluntary as driving while drunk. We wrongly accept 40,000 people killed on the road each year just like we accept 500,000 per year killed by cancer. The focus on drunk driving is important, but too narrow.
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Old 09-06-07, 05:52 PM   #20
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The frustrating thing about driving under influence, distraction due to any cause, is that these drivers insist that all is well if just everyone drives correctly.
What is poorly understood is that driving requires 100% attention because all drivers are NOT driving perfectly. Therefore, if a significant portion of drivers are distracted, we all will suffer the consequences. Unfortunately we are protecting individual rights to such an extend that we look at a singular situation rather than the question: What would happen if we all did this? (DUI or distracted driving.)
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Old 09-06-07, 08:11 PM   #21
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My favorite bumper sticker: "Hang up and drive." As long as we make cars more "homelike" and comfortable, with built in distractions, many drivers will continue to ignore the fact that they are operating a major piece of dangerous machinery. I remember buying my first European designed car and asking where the cup holders were. The dealer said the car was for driving, not having coffee. IMO, folks need to remember that driving is best done as a solitary act.
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Old 09-06-07, 08:18 PM   #22
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It's very maddening, isn't it? Do they not know how very dangerous it is? As when people tailgate so close that their car almost touches mine, do they think for a moment about what could happen???

Beverly, I'm glad you weren't hurt in the incident, but you must have been shaken.
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Old 09-06-07, 08:44 PM   #23
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I'm glad no one was hurt. Good thing you were thinking ahead before that bozo backed up.
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Old 09-06-07, 09:10 PM   #24
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Not much help in Ohio, but here in California:

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation that prohibits the use of handheld mobile phones while driving in the state.

Effective July 1, 2008, the legislation prohibits drivers from using a wireless telephone while operating a motor vehicle unless the driver uses a hands-free device. Drivers who violate the law will face a base fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense.

The law allows drivers to use a wireless telephone for emergency purposes, drivers of commercial vehicles to use push-to-talk phones until July 1, 2011, and will allow drivers of emergency response vehicles to use a cell phone without a hands-free device.

California joins Connecticut, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York, and some local jurisdictions in prohibiting the use of handheld mobile phones while driving.
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Old 09-06-07, 09:16 PM   #25
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Beverly, I am glad you were alert and that he missed you, of course thanks to you being SO alert and defensive. We all have to be whenever we are out on the road, especially when we are on the bikes.
It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.
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