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  1. #1
    8speed DinoSORAs Ed Holland's Avatar
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    Mobile phones - Good news!

    At last, some sense begins to prevail on the mobile phone & driving issue, here in the UK at least. Today the government has announced that it will be illegal to use a hand-held phone whilst driving.

    For those interested, please check out this link from the BBC

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3015610.stm

    Just hope they can police this effectively.

    Cheers,

    Ed
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  2. #2
    Jungle lady cbhungry's Avatar
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    In New york, it has been illegal for close to a year now. I agree with this mandate.

    Here is a link to the New England Journal Medical article on that subject.
    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/336/7/453
    Last edited by cbhungry; 06-24-03 at 06:34 AM.
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  3. #3
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    I agree as well. It is so dangerous. Maybe it should be allowed if you have a hands free kit though.

  4. #4
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    It's been illegal to drive while using a mobile in Victoria, Australia for quite a while now, I am not sure about the other states but it is probably illegal there as well. You can use a mobile however if you are using a hands free kit.

    However we still see people driving all the time holding phones up to their ears so perhaps the message hasn't gone through yet.

  5. #5
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    I think it's great, but the distraction is still there if you can use the hands free kit in your car.

    I think the problem is more about the distraction it creates, not about having one hand preoccupied.

    Ummmm... that didn't look right. One hand preoccupied with holding a cell phone, that is.

    Koff

  6. #6
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    Senior Member bac's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Koffee Brown
    I think it's great, but the distraction is still there if you can use the hands free kit in your car.

    Koff
    Yup, the distraction is the issue - more that the physical act of holding the phone. There are countless studies that prove this - here is just one:

    It's not the phone - it's the distraction

    Unfortunately, the telecommunication industry OWNS our politicians; so don't look for a solution that benefits us. I do, however, look for our trusted politicians to enact a law that requires hands-free phones in autos. Of course, this law would not be about our safety, as we know that itís the distraction, and not the physical act of holding a phone that is the real problem. This law would be purely about the giant telecommunication industry selling us more stuff.

    Also, some will argue that talking to another person that resides in oneís car is also distracting. While this is true, the distraction is nowhere near the level of talking to someone on the phone. Your mind has to work much harder when the person isnít present. This occupies space that should be used to actually drive the car.

  7. #7
    Jungle lady cbhungry's Avatar
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    Yup, the distraction is the issue - more that the physical act of holding the phone
    True, the NEJM article mentions the same thing, hands free setups did not decrease the risk.

    ....and units that allowed the hands to be free (relative risk, 5.9) offered no safety advantage over hand-held units (relative risk, 3.9; P not significant).
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  8. #8
    7 inch Weagle skdsl's Avatar
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    it's illegal in Queensland too so I'd say the law is Australia wide.

    I have heard somewhere that a person talking on a mobile phone is as dangerous as a drunk driver......

    and what is even worse is the people who SMS while driving.
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  9. #9
    Victoria's secret MsVicki's Avatar
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    I found myself using the cell phone way too much while I was driving. Now I just turn it off when I am in the car. I figure if it is important, they will leave me a message!
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

  10. #10
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    It was illegal to use anything but hands free when
    I was in South Africa, it helped a bit (less accidents
    caused by fumbling for phone, dialing etc.) but
    yes it is the distraction factor.

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  11. #11
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    Yep!. Its a step in the right direction. Anything that gets drivers concentrating on their driving gets my vote.

    Gon`na be a difficult one to police though. The cops can`t be everywhere and it is easy to lay your mobile down then take up again when the police presence has passed.

    We shall just have to wait and see...

  12. #12
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    While it's very true that the majority of drivers are overly distracted while using a mobile phone during driving, it's very hard to legislate (and I think improper) something that may not always hold true. Some people are perfectly capable of talking into a phone while driving. Holding a phone on the other hand may be considered to cause an obvious temporary physical impairment that would be necessary for proper operation of the vehicle. I would suggest that the use of mobile phones whether with or without a handsfree kit be treated much in the same way as use of a substance which may impair judgement. This is to say that in the event of an accident or obvious erratic/impaired actions of the driver (weaving back and forth on the road) the penalty should be the same as if the driver was under the influence because well... they were. As they say in the flying world, "In order of priority: aviate, navigate, communicate."
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  13. #13
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by skdsl
    it's illegal in Queensland too so I'd say the law is Australia wide.
    Yep, been illegal in Queensland for about five years now (meaning that every other Australian state has probably had it for about 40 years - but I digress). There are still two problems:

    1. It's still legal to use a "hands free" kit, which is just as bad in my view.

    2. It's not properly enforced. Unfortunately, there simply aren't enough police out there to catch all the offenders (and those who do get caught are never punished severly enough to deter the others). I say, up the penalty to $1,000 on the spot and immediate confiscation of the phone!

    There's no point having a law without enforcement.
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  14. #14
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    I also agree with this law, and it has been illegal in West Virginia for some time now.

  15. #15
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    One thing I've always wondered about with the new laws banning cell phone use while drive (except for hands free), is what about the truck drivers who are using their CB? It's not much different from talking on a cell phone from my point of view. If it's unsafe to talk on a cell phone why is it not unsafe to talk on the radio?

  16. #16
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ***-n-gal
    One thing I've always wondered about with the new laws banning cell phone use while drive (except for hands free), is what about the truck drivers who are using their CB? It's not much different from talking on a cell phone from my point of view. If it's unsafe to talk on a cell phone why is it not unsafe to talk on the radio?
    Because a 10 - 15 second transmission is usually much less of a distraction than a 5 - 10 minute phone conversation.

  17. #17
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    I, and the other motorists of my state, have made it very clear to the legislature that we don't need them regulating the right to talk on a cell phone while driving. If the people don't want it, at least the legislators here have sense enough to listen. Just check a few opinion polls when it comes up. I think that such laws are inane and stupid. Just more and more of big brother deciding what is best for the little people.
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  18. #18
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    My wife and I both use the Nokia Pro Installed car kits with the speakers so we can drive without using just the handsets. Having worked at AT&T Wireless I have been a very big proponant of the hands free method. Headsets are nice but not for driving in a car. My cell phone has voice dialing on it so I don't' have to fumble for a number when driving.

    California legislature tried a couple of years ago to ban cell phone use while driving but the bill lost big time when it came time for the vote...guess all the hollywood types have the lobbies going on in Sacramento.

    I have been using a bluetooth headset with my phone when riding the bike. It's nice to have, but have since just turned the phone off and kept it in my sadle bag when riding. One of the comforts I get from riding is not having to answer the phone. If it is that critical leave me a voice mail and I'll get back to you when I'm done breathing in the fresh Fresno air!

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  19. #19
    MaNiC! NZLcyclist's Avatar
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    uhhhhh does this mean I should stop txting while riding? I generally only do it in the fenced off bike lane beside the motorway....

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  20. #20
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Hmmm... I wonder if I should stop putting on makeup (okay so it was sunscreen) and reading the paper (okay so it was a route map) while riding. I've never answered the phone while riding. Actually, my phone supports profiles and combined with caller-ID, I can set up certain profiles to only ring from certain phone numbers. I have such a profile for when I take my phone with me while cycling and it will only ring when someone special (such as my wife) calls me because I know they'll only call if it's a dire emergency. Everyone else gets sent directly to voicemail although I do receive an entry in my call log telling me they tried to reach me.
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  21. #21
    Big Member Colonel's Avatar
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    Driving to the office this morning on the freeway, I looked over to my right and there was a woman in a brand new BMW doing 90 miles per hour with her face up close to her rear view mirror putting on her eyeliner!

    I looked away for a couple of seconds and when I looked back she was halfway over in my lane still working on that makeup!! It scared me so much that I dropped my electric shaver, which, knocked the bacon roll out of my other hand. In all the confusion of trying to straighten out the car using my knees against the steering wheel, it knocked my mobile from my ear, which fell into the coffee between my legs, causing it to splash and burn BIG JIM AND THE ROUND TWINS, causing me to scream, which made me drop the cigarette out of my mouth, ruined my shirt and DISCONNECTED AN IMPORTANT CALL

    WOMEN DRIVERS !!!!!!

    Oh...... we were banging on about mobile phones were'nt we? Not women drivers? My bad..........
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  22. #22
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    Over here in Singapore, it is illegal to use the handphone unless you are using handsfree. I guess the hands have to be on the steering wheel all the time when one is driving. It would definitely be much safer. Just imagine that there are people who would purposely try to knock you over or give you a scare when you are riding. What would be happening if these same people were using the handphone or trying to eat his burger? They simply do not bother about cyclists on the road if they try to scare us off the road, and they won't even bother to look out for any cyclists on road if they are using the handphones or putting that eyelashes on. That is dangerous.

  23. #23
    8speed DinoSORAs Ed Holland's Avatar
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    All this kind of raises the obvious question....

    What task, if any, can one perform whilst maintaining a safe level of attention to driving?

    > Telephone (we pretty much have the answer here)

    > Eat & drink (non alcoholic drink, obviously)

    > Change cassettes & CDs, retune the radio etc.

    > Read a map / newspaper / long Russian novel

    > Make-up, shaving etc.

    > Driving whilst tired.

    > Thinking about something else...

    For heaven's sake we're throwing 1 ton chunks of metal around at 70mph and are more preoccupied, for the length of a football field say, with switching over to the B-side of Phil Collins.

    On the other hand, I've seen cyclists here with phones, shopping on the handlebars and even riding whilst trying to hold an umbrella! They are, however, more unlikely to do serious damage than an inattentive driver

    Cheers,

    Ed
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  24. #24
    Jungle lady cbhungry's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ***-n-gal
    One thing I've always wondered about with the new laws banning cell phone use while drive (except for hands free), is what about the truck drivers who are using their CB? It's not much different from talking on a cell phone from my point of view. If it's unsafe to talk on a cell phone why is it not unsafe to talk on the radio?
    I concur with Raiyn

    I also think truckers are better drivers than most of us four wheelers. Their testing is more rigorous than the sham we call a drivers test here in Georgia.
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  25. #25
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    I disagree with banning cell phones while driving - you can't legislate common sense. There are a dozen distracting things people do while driving, and cell phone usage is just one of them. How many of us have seen drivers drive down the road reading the paper or a magazine??


    Personally, I use my cell phone sparingly, and if I do use it while driving, it's to communicate information, not to shoot the breeze.

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