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View Poll Results: Should USA have a LAW against use of cell phones while driving?
Yes, NO cell phone use at all 26 49.06%
Yes, but hand-free should be ok 17 32.08%
NO, no new laws. Let it be. 7 13.21%
I have no opinion on topics unrelated to quail, beef jerkey, pie or free lotion. 3 5.66%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-13-07, 09:48 AM   #1
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Cell phones and Driving?

After
A) Portis' recent thread about Syndey's killer being on Oprah
B) Seeing a lady (with baby in back seat) reading a magazine in steering wheel while driving yesterday
C) Seeing another lady putting on makeup in rearview mirror while driving
D) Seeing a man reading the newspaper in steering wheel while driving....

It got me to wondering how many people would actually support a LAW that allowed people to be arrested for distracting themselves while driving, particularly using the cell phone (even hands free).

If this must move to P&R, then so be it, but it seems to me we "could" have a simple poll without political discussion about it.

Let's see what the numbers on BF show.
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Old 09-13-07, 09:50 AM   #2
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NYS has a 50 dollar fine for using a non-hands free cellular device. Also, you can only have 1 ear piece in while on a road way (biking, driving, roller blading, what have you)
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Old 09-13-07, 09:53 AM   #3
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Well, if you're going to ban cell phones - even hands free ones - shouldn't you include a ban on conversations all together?

Or radios? While you can let music wash over you, you do need to concentrate on talk shows or news shows, right?

I agree that reading is completely moronic while driving (I've even called the cops when I've seen people with a book propped in their steering wheels driving along at 70+), but I'm still on the fence about cell phones.

Where is the distraction coming from? Is it the conversation or the phone itself? What about 2 way radios like CBs or business radios? Those have been in cars forever!

Maybe my perspective is skewed by the fact that I've used radios in cars for almost as long as I've been driving. Not to mention piloting a plane and talking on the radios.

Then there's eating lunch as you roll along....
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Old 09-13-07, 09:53 AM   #4
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NYS has a 50 dollar fine for using a non-hands free cellular device. Also, you can only have 1 ear piece in while on a road way (biking, driving, roller blading, what have you)
Mythbusters (granted, maybe not perfectly scientific) did a test and showed that hands free was no less hazardous than regular and both were about equivalent of drunk driving.
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Old 09-13-07, 09:59 AM   #5
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Mythbusters (granted, maybe not perfectly scientific) did a test and showed that hands free was no less hazardous than regular and both were about equivalent of drunk driving.
I think it depends on the driver. But I do love my blue tooth. Not having to hold the phone and worry about a cord does make a difference as it makes it much easier to see what is going on around you. Of course a lot of drivers don't pay attention to that even when they are not on the phone.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:01 AM   #6
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It got me to wondering how many people would actually support a LAW that allowed people to be arrested for distracting themselves while driving, particularly using the cell phone (even hands free).
Seems like an answer right there. If there are already laws against distracted (or reckless) driving, why add yet another feel-good law to the books when there's already something useful there?
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Old 09-13-07, 10:02 AM   #7
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studies show that it doesn't matter whether or not you are on a hands free, when on a cell phone your attention on driving is withdrawn.

This is in contrast to when conversing with someone in the car, the theory is that there is a sort of shared attention within the group. If i'm talking to a driver and i see he/she is trying to turn left at a busy intersection, i'm likely going to let him/her finish before i continue my conversation.

There is no statically significant difference with the phone to your ear and the phone on a hands free device
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Old 09-13-07, 10:04 AM   #8
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To tell you the truth I think I see more drivers with phone stuck in ear than without.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:04 AM   #9
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Driving is a priveldge, not a right. It requires the drivers full attention. I think that the US should take this more seriously. Tickets should be given to anyone doing anything other than driving while operating a motor vehicle on a public road. Reading, writing, cell phone, PDA, eating, make up application. I know that in other countries, drivers are ticketed for being distracted while driving.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:08 AM   #10
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UK has a new law concerning using cell phones while driving.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/a...nes/article.do
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Old 09-13-07, 10:09 AM   #11
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To tell you the truth I think I see more drivers with phone stuck in ear than without.
They're really easy to notice, what with the swerving all over the road, changing lanes without looking or using their blinkers, slamming on their brakes at the last second, and just generally driving erratically.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:11 AM   #12
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They're really easy to notice, what with the swerving all over the road, changing lanes without looking or using their blinkers, slamming on their brakes at the last second, and just generally driving erratically.
I take it you've never driven in Boston...
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Old 09-13-07, 10:12 AM   #13
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Around where I live, in a heavy shopping area, and even elsewhere in the city, the cellphone is an almost automatic activity while driving. If you look around, almost everyone can be seen talking on their cell phones while driving. Some people seem to do well at driving normally, but so many other people are clearly distracted. Many times I can tell just by the way the person is driving that they are talking on their cell phone -- usually it's that they are driving very tentatively or slowly, and you wonder why because traffic is clear and you may be in a hurry and have no clue why this driver is holding you up. For awhile I drove around with a bumpersticker that said "Hang up and drive!"

I would fully support a ban on cell phones while driving, because it is far and above the most common distraction. Those other things (makeup, food, etc.) are also distractions but not nearly as prevalent.

However, if any use of cell phones is to be allowed, it maybe should be with a fully-integrated car hands-free system. I have a Bluetooth system on my Audi that auto-syncs with my cell phone and lets me talk hands-free thru the factory audio system, and even make calls from the steering wheel, so I am unencumbered by wires, earpieces, or keypads. I feel much more in control on that than with any type of earpiece (bluetooth or not)
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Old 09-13-07, 10:14 AM   #14
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Around where I live, in a heavy shopping area, and even elsewhere in the city, the cellphone is an almost automatic activity while driving. If you look around, almost everyone can be seen talking on their cell phones while driving. Some people seem to do well at driving normally, but so many other people are clearly distracted. Many times I can tell just by the way the person is driving that they are talking on their cell phone -- usually it's that they are driving very tentatively or slowly, and you wonder why because traffic is clear and you may be in a hurry and have no clue why this driver is holding you up. For awhile I drove around with a bumpersticker that said "Hang up and drive!"

I would fully support a ban on cell phones while driving, because it is far and above the most common distraction. Those other things (makeup, food, etc.) are also distractions but not nearly as prevalent.

However, if any use of cell phones is to be allowed, it maybe should be with a fully-integrated car hands-free system. I have a Bluetooth system on my Audi that auto-syncs with my cell phone and lets me talk hands-free thru the factory audio system, and even make calls from the steering wheel, so I am unencumbered by wires, earpieces, or keypads. I feel much more in control on that than with any type of earpiece (bluetooth or not)

To be fair, if hands free were to be the only legal way to use a cell phone while driving, then you should not be allowed to buy a cell phone without a hands free device.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:19 AM   #15
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I take it you've never driven in Boston...
It has a magnifying effect.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:22 AM   #16
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studies show that it doesn't matter whether or not you are on a hands free, when on a cell phone your attention on driving is withdrawn.

This is in contrast to when conversing with someone in the car, the theory is that there is a sort of shared attention within the group. If i'm talking to a driver and i see he/she is trying to turn left at a busy intersection, i'm likely going to let him/her finish before i continue my conversation.

There is no statically significant difference with the phone to your ear and the phone on a hands free device
I've never seen a study, but this is exactly what I was thinking. I'm not generally distracted by a conversation with somebody "in the car". You can generally pause when concentrating and the other person can see why you are pausing and wait for you to continue. But on phone "dead air" is somehow much more distracting and people on the other end will begin to say "hello? chris...you there?".


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Driving is a priveldge, not a right. It requires the drivers full attention. I think that the US should take this more seriously. Tickets should be given to anyone doing anything other than driving while operating a motor vehicle on a public road. Reading, writing, cell phone, PDA, eating, make up application. I know that in other countries, drivers are ticketed for being distracted while driving.
Exactly, but unlike "fluff laws", it should be enforced.


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UK has a new law concerning using cell phones while driving.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/a...nes/article.do
I'm not sure how new that is, maybe its just a stiffer penalty than before. I was in the UK in 2004 and my friend that I was with would not go anywhere near his phone while driving because the penalties were stiff enough to deter him.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:23 AM   #17
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It has a magnifying effect.
In Boston, those on cell phones drive normal.

The visual I have is the old Red Skelton show. He demonstrated how a drunk walks (staggering, etc.). Then he showed the same drunk in an earthquake (walked normally). OK, you had to be there.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:23 AM   #18
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Im for harsher punishment for collisions if cell use is a factor.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:24 AM   #19
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I'm not sure how new that is, maybe its just a stiffer penalty than before. I was in the UK in 2004 and my friend that I was with would not go anywhere near his phone while driving because the penalties were stiff enough to deter him.
My son told me about this the other day, so I assumed it was a recent law.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:24 AM   #20
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I don't think handsfree (with a single earpiece or speakerphone) is any worse than talking to a passenger in the vehicle. I'm OK with handsfree phones.

Legal penalties I'd like to see enacted and enforced:

Reading while driving: License suspension, vehicle sold at auction.
Makeup application while driving: License suspension, vehicle sold at auction.
Eating (whole meal set out on dashboard like a dinner table) while driving: License suspension, vehicle sold at auction. (after extensive fumigation to remove french-fry stink.)
Text messaging (or other interactive phone/PDA activity) while driving: Shoot driver, leave by roadside with broken electronic device as a warning to others.
Using regular cell-phone: Monetary fine, sliding scale based on length of call. $50/minute should do it.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:27 AM   #21
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My son told me about this the other day, so I assumed it was a recent law.
I don't know what the exact law was when I was there, only that my friend was pretty deterred. He seemed almost scared to even pull it out to see who it was. I'm not sure if laws are by city or country, as he was not in London, he lived in Leeds.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:29 AM   #22
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KT - I watched a program made in Japan, that used retina tracking technology to show eye movement on screen. A driver was placed in a car, that had a wide angle camera facing out the front windshield, showing the drivers field of vision. The retina tracking stuff then placed a "+" to show were the driver was looking, real time.

When driving undistracted, eyes were constantly scanning road, side view mirror, rear view mirror, etc.

Cell phone call was received. Eye movement almost immediately focused on the center of the picture and then stopped.

It was scary to witness. Made me a believer in not making or receiving calls when driving. I try to avoid use of my cell phone while in my car.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:31 AM   #23
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KT - I watched a program made in Japan, that used retina tracking technology to show eye movement on screen. A driver was placed in a car, that had a wide angle camera facing out the front windshield, showing the drivers field of vision. The retina tracking stuff then placed a "+" to show were the driver was looking, real time.

When driving undistracted, eyes were constantly scanning road, side view mirror, rear view mirror, etc.

Cell phone call was received. Eye movement almost immediately focused on the center of the picture and then stopped.

It was scary to witness. Made me a believer in not making or receiving calls when driving. I try to avoid use of my cell phone while in my car.
Did they test regular and hands free? I believe hands free is just as dangerous, but would like to hear of evidence.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:37 AM   #24
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I do not recall. also cannot recall if the driver was making or receiving a call. Mythbusters did a show comparing/contrasting driving and alcohol and driving and cell phones. Also showed that cell phones and driving do not mix well.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:38 AM   #25
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To be fair, if hands free were to be the only legal way to use a cell phone while driving, then you should not be allowed to buy a cell phone without a hands free device.
Disagree, because there are legitimate uses for cell phones other than while driving. The fact you overlooked this point just goes to show how strong the mental associatation between cell phones and driving has become.
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