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Complete cell phone ban?

Old 01-19-09, 03:09 PM
  #26  
JoeyBike
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
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.
Maybe not so much. I think it will change because of insurance companies and their lawyers. If it becomes legal everywhere for your car insurance company to access your phone records at the time of an accident, and prove that somebody was using your phone at the time, they might see fit to raise your rates for 3 years just like when you get too many moving violations. Phone use while driving is costing insurance companies, and the insured, tons of extra dough right now. My car insurance co. sends me a note BEGGING me not to phone-and-drive. Soon I fear, they won't have to beg any more. They will make phone users pay a high risk premium.

That's how it's going to happen IF it ever does. It won't be done by legislators because they want to yack incessantly about nothing while driving too.
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Old 01-19-09, 03:17 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Nimitz87 View Post
and when your trapped in your car and must call 911?

Chad
Turn off the engine or put the transmission in P.
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Old 01-19-09, 03:18 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by tjwarren View Post
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.
So you're sticking to the "who cares what they do as long as they don't cause a wreck" theory? In that case we don't need any laws!

The whole reason there are laws and restrictions that "punish people who might do harm" is because it helps reduce the amount of actual harm caused by careless drivers before the fact.
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Old 01-19-09, 03:24 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by mustang1 View Post
What about a cop who talks on the radio? When they ban that, then they can ban cellphones.
And along with the police we have emergency responders who use their radios while driving. Actually making sure driving while using a cell phone bans don't include radio use is part of my agenda (as well as making cycling safer) as I'm also a amateur radio (HAM) operator and use my radio while driving.

Education is the best solution. Part of the problem is that driving has become a necessity and is not longer really a privilege and as a result licenses are way too easy to get. While I will use my cell phone while driving (It's not illegal here yet) I keep my calls short and don't use my phone in situations where my attention needs to be on the road as in heavy traffic or on local streets.

Unfortunately there are no easy solutions or quick fixes. Some people just don't belong behind the wheel.
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Old 01-19-09, 05:12 PM
  #30  
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Ban private cars. No more speeding deaths. No more illegal racing. No more distracted drivers talking on cell phones and crashing into people and things. No more pollution. No more car-related noise pollution. No more road rage. Sounds like the only way to deal with it.
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Old 01-19-09, 05:47 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by degnaw View Post
They should ban talking to passengers while they're at it.
I think talking on the phone is different than talking to somebody near by in person. When talking in person we all get feedback from that person, eye contact, body language, facial expressions etc. We do not get that when speaking on the phone. I think our brains try to search and place that input but cannot.

It is that that makes this different and most distractive.

It is very difficult to change this law because so many people would rather not be inconvenienced by not being able to use the phone while driving. And as long as nobody close to them is killed or injured, it is not on their radar screen.

In Wisconsin we tried to set up a system that would gather stats on cell phone use prior to accidents. The industry, that has millions in potential losses watered it down.

Only when the body bags can be counted, will the public begin to change.
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Old 01-19-09, 05:55 PM
  #32  
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What are the chances of a complete cell phone ban? Well, when hell freezes over, there are still going to be people in hell with cell phones glued to their ears, so...
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Old 01-19-09, 06:02 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
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."
And plenty of people see accidents caused by folks who have different gender or skin color than themselves too; lots of stereotypes to castigate. Plenty of accidents happen while people wear hats, (especially backwards!) or are wearing sunglasses; and plenty of accidents occur while people are using cell phones which only makes sense in that plenty of people are using cell phones, just like plenty of accidents occur while people wear sunglasses.

Deducing that cell phone usage has significantly effected accident rates based on an anecdote or three, or more to the BF point, actually increases the risk to bicyclists is repeating an Urban Legend based on suspicions of those looking for an easy scapegoat or stereotype to blame.

You would do just as well, if not better, to blame accidents on all those women drivers, teenagers, fat SUV drivers, sunglass wearing suburban Moms, or any other gosh darn (take your pick of minorities/scapegoats/stereotypes.)
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Old 01-19-09, 07:30 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Deducing that cell phone usage has significantly effected accident rates based on an anecdote or three, or more to the BF point, actually increases the risk to bicyclists is repeating an Urban Legend based on suspicions of those looking for an easy scapegoat or stereotype to blame.
Do you believe that driving drunk should be legalized? Is there an urban legend involved in that perceived risk? Some very well done studies show, without a doubt, that yakking or texting has the same consequences on reaction time as being moderately drunk. Yakking=Drunk.

Granted there are a lot of things people do behind the wheel that causes problems. When they become statistically significant action will be taken, either by government or business (insurance companies).
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Old 01-19-09, 07:39 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Do you believe that driving drunk should be legalized? Is there an urban legend involved in that perceived risk? Some very well done studies show, without a doubt, that yakking or texting has the same consequences on reaction time as being moderately drunk. Yakking=Drunk.

Granted there are a lot of things people do behind the wheel that causes problems. When they become statistically significant action will be taken, either by government or business (insurance companies).
Are you sure you haven't been drinking before posting? Or maybe too much Yakking, since you can't seem to discern the difference.

Who is discussing texting? And your allegedly "well designed tests" are NOT evidence of ANY statistically significant cell phone involvement as a contributing cause of car accidents.
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Old 01-19-09, 07:47 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
And plenty of people see accidents caused by folks who have different gender or skin color than themselves too; lots of stereotypes to castigate. Plenty of accidents happen while people wear hats, (especially backwards!) or are wearing sunglasses; and plenty of accidents occur while people are using cell phones which only makes sense in that plenty of people are using cell phones, just like plenty of accidents occur while people wear sunglasses.

Deducing that cell phone usage has significantly effected accident rates based on an anecdote or three, or more to the BF point, actually increases the risk to bicyclists is repeating an Urban Legend based on suspicions of those looking for an easy scapegoat or stereotype to blame.

You would do just as well, if not better, to blame accidents on all those women drivers, teenagers, fat SUV drivers, sunglass wearing suburban Moms, or any other gosh darn (take your pick of minorities/scapegoats/stereotypes.)
I would buy that Urban Legend thing if the cell phone distraction tests had not been done by multiple agencies in multiple countries... all with similar results. Since there is enough data to support this, I have little doubt in accepting the claims of even anecdotal evidence offered here on BF.

No doubt anything that can be a distraction can lead to accidents... be it a bee in the car or a well endowed lady walking the street. But the fact is that under lab conditions, the distraction of cell phones was found to be greater than that assumed by the users. That is basically the issue... it may be no more of a distraction than dozens of other things drivers might do, but with cell phones one may be deluding one's self about how well they are driving while chatting.

Frankly with the evidence at hand, I am surprised insurance companies have NOT taken up this issue.

Admittedly the NHTSA has done a survey and did NOT come to any sort of sweeping conclusion, but merely suggested that cell phones can be a distraction.
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd...005/809967.pdf
And here is another link to the NHTSA
Research shows that driving while using a cell phone can pose a serious cognitive distraction and degrade driver performance. The data are insufficient to quantify crashes caused by cell phone use specifically, but NHTSA estimates that driver distraction from all sources contributes to 25 percent of all police-reported traffic crashes.
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/portal/site...1891ef9a_ws_MX

So it appears that the NHTSA is agreeing somewhat with you... that there is just not enough conclusive data to determine if cell phones are a primary cause for accidents... in spite of the acknowledgment of the issue of "serious cognitive distraction."
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Old 01-19-09, 07:48 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
And your allegedly "well designed tests" are NOT evidence of ANY statistically significant cell phone involvement as a contributing cause of car accidents.
So you dispute the relevance of the studies. Fair enough.

Soon, because all cell phones are basically tracking devices nowadays, REAL statistics will come to light regarding what percentage of vehicle accidents happened while drivers were yakking.

Then, if there is any significant number, insurance companies, at the very least, will amend policies. Like when you apply for health insurance and they ask you if you smoke. Maybe no one will pass laws, but the insurance industry is not designed to lose money. They will take action, and it won't be pretty.

Currently, my health insurance is void if I get hurt while drunk, committing a felony, or engaged in other illegal activities. Cell phone use during an accident may fall under those guidelines someday too.
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Old 01-19-09, 07:55 PM
  #38  
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Making it illegal is one thing. Enforcement is another.

Cell phone use in cars has been illegal in Australia for at least a decade. Most drivers still use them.

The police will have the occassional blitz in central business district and downtown locations, and maybe book a few hundred people in a single day, but these are few and far between.

At any given time, for every drunk driver on the road there would easily be a hundred people talking on their phones.

I do not personally know anybody who has been booked for using a phone in the car, whereas I know a few people who have been arrested for drunk driving.

The really big problem at the moment seems to be people sending SMS on their phone while driving. Crazy.
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Old 01-19-09, 08:22 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
So you're sticking to the "who cares what they do as long as they don't cause a wreck" theory? In that case we don't need any laws!

The whole reason there are laws and restrictions that "punish people who might do harm" is because it helps reduce the amount of actual harm caused by careless drivers before the fact.

No, the laws are needed so that those who DO drive recklessly (change lanes erratically, swerve within their lanes, tailgate, push other drivers off of the road, contribute to or cause accidents) can be punished.


Have you never driven tired? When really sick? After taking medication? While hyped up on caffeine? Have you never checked a girl out while you were driving, or tried to read store hours while behind the wheel?


I don't think cell phones are a problem. I think the problem lies in poor driving and attention skills.
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Old 01-19-09, 08:29 PM
  #40  
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Here in Mchigan the powers that be in all there wisdon DID BAN texting while driving BUT couldn't pass the no talking on the cell phone while driving ban . Everytime I have almost been hit the idiot has had a cell phone in there ear. Iam for a total ban on using a phone while driving except in the case of an emerency . my 2 cents .
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Old 01-19-09, 10:26 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by tjwarren View Post
No, the laws are needed so that those who DO drive recklessly (change lanes erratically, swerve within their lanes, tailgate, push other drivers off of the road, contribute to or cause accidents) can be punished.


Have you never driven tired? When really sick? After taking medication? While hyped up on caffeine? Have you never checked a girl out while you were driving, or tried to read store hours while behind the wheel?


I don't think cell phones are a problem. I think the problem lies in poor driving and attention skills.
I agree, laws are needed to punish drivers who cause or contribute to crashes, and just like Joey's insurance company, I include cell phone use while driving to be a contributing factor. Two hands on the steering wheel will always offer better control of the vehicle than one. A mind focused on the road will always be more prepared to avoid making a mistake (or avoid the mistakes of others) than one concentrating on a distant conversation. If your child/loved one inadvertantly stepped out in front a moving motor vehicle, would you still not think it a problem for the driver of that vehicle to be yakking away?
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Old 01-19-09, 10:26 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by tjwarren View Post
I think the problem lies in poor driving and attention skills.
Compounded by distracting new technology that most people own and abuse behind the wheel.

Driving is a privilege, not a right. It is THE most dangerous activity that most people engage in regularly. Driving a motor vehicle is not something to have a cavalier attitude about.

Cell phone use is an addiction. It should be handled like one. Cause an accident while yakking - lose your license for 6 months with rehab with a year's probation.

Those who deny the added dangers are fooling themselves, just messing with the rest of us, blind, or just don't get out much.
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Old 01-19-09, 10:29 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by tjwarren View Post
Have you never driven tired? When really sick? After taking medication? While hyped up on caffeine? Have you never checked a girl out while you were driving, or tried to read store hours while behind the wheel?
Now try any one of those WHILE yakking on the phone too. See.

Off topic - caffeine actually heightens ones awareness while operating machinery. But I get your point.
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Old 01-19-09, 10:33 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Now try any one of those WHILE yakking on the phone too. See.

Off topic - caffeine actually heightens ones awareness while operating machinery. But I get your point.
Good point, 'cause in the real world that's what happens.
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Old 01-20-09, 12:03 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by derath View Post
What are the chances this will ever end up as law? I wonder how enforcement would work...

Here is the article

-D
I'd say the chances are good. The Federal Government will refuse funds to the states unless they pass this into law. This is how they get laws passed, the seat belt law is a good example of that. While I agree with laws like the seat belt law and a law to totally bann all forms of cell phone use while driving I do not like the methods used to get it passed.

As far as enforcement goes it will likely be similar to the seat belt law. Simply put if a law enforcement officer sees someone driving while on a cell phone they will be pulled over and issued a citation for it. And yes in most of not all states a motorist can be pulled over just for not wearing a seat belt. There does not have to be some other reason to be pulled over first, then the seat belt violation is one more thing, when discovered, a person can be cited for.

What I'd like to know is will the law also include passengers? With the seat belt law even passangers can be cited for not wearing one. If the passenger is an adult they get the ticket, if a minor up to a certain age the driver does. I also wonder what will happen with habitual or constant repeat offenders? Will the person cell phone be confiscated? I wonder how many of us can survive with out one? I know I can.

Folks this is not a bad thing. I think it will help keep the roadways safer. Another side effect it will have is it will force people to disconnect and unplug. Something everyone should do at least once a day and I don't mean when you go to bed.
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Old 01-20-09, 11:51 AM
  #46  
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I don't consider cell phones/8 track tapes/radios/GPS/ other in-car distracting conveniences to be separate from the larger issue of developing smart cars which remove SOME, but not ALL, of the decisionmaking by the driver. There is a big article on this issue in a recent copy of the Economist.

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Old 01-20-09, 12:34 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
How about when you get the training a cop has, you can drive with a cell phone.
I have seen far tooooooo many cops stareing at the floor (computer?) while their car crossed lines on the road, when they should have been paying attention to their driving. Even in school zones!

Maybe they all missed the training class you referred to!

Being a cop doesn't rule out stupidity!
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Old 01-20-09, 12:47 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
I have seen far tooooooo many cops stareing at the floor (computer?) while their car crossed lines on the road, when they should have been paying attention to their driving. Even in school zones!

Maybe they all missed the training class you referred to!

Being a cop doesn't rule out stupidity!
Certainly not... but how many ordinary motorists think they have superior driving skills and are then distracted by some device in their cars.

Certainly cops are only human too.

The one difference is that conversations on the cop broadcast radios tend to be short and to the point... not so when some soccer mom is telling her best friend about some thing her little Johnny did. That distraction can last all the way across town... where as Adam-12 took his call and is rolling on it.
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Old 01-20-09, 02:26 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
How about when you get the training a cop has, you can drive with a cell phone.
Cops get special training on using their radios while they drive? And here I thought they learned how to use a gun, some martial arts, how to deal with people, certain aspects of the law, how to drive aggressively, etc.

If so, the ham radio operators seem to think they've gotten the same training. Though I certainly haven't gotten it (AD5RH)!

You want to rile up some ham radio operators? Suggest that the proposed ban on cell phones, the one that also seems to ban mobile ham radios as it's written, actually should ban ham radios, for the same reasons it bans cell phones! They freak out!
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Old 01-20-09, 05:44 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Two hands on the steering wheel will always offer better control of the vehicle than one.
This is one thing a lot of people say which just isn't true. You don't need two hands to steer unless you don't have power steering or something. Maybe I'm a product of my environment, but having driven thousands of miles on dirt paths and stuff like that, I've usually have one hand on the wheel and the other on gearshift or e-brake. I can hold a slide easily, and this often means going full opposite lock with one hand. You don't need two for that, and you don't need two for anything else either.

Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
A mind focused on the road will always be more prepared to avoid making a mistake (or avoid the mistakes of others) than one concentrating on a distant conversation.
I'll agree here. I'm a firm believer that cell phone use while driving is equivalent to being drunk. So many accidents have been attributed to it, various studies have suggested it, and there are thousands of anecdotes to back it up. Hang up and drive, people.
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