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America Moves to Criminalize Cell Phones While Driving

 
 
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 02:24 pm
Quote:
The National Transportation Safety Board recommended a nationwide ban on driver use of personal electronic devices Tuesday, following its investigation into a deadly accident last year in Missouri.

NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman discussed the recommendations during a press conference after a meeting on that accident.

Take this poll: “Do you use your cell phone while driving?”

“According to [the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration], more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents,”she said. “It is time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices when driving.”

While the NTSB investigates transportation and pipeline accidents and makes recommendations on safety rules and regulations, it has no power to implement them.

The NTSB’s recommendations urge all 50 states and the District ”to ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task).” According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 35 states, including Maryland and Virginia, and the District ban texting while driving.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/ntsb-seeks-nationwide-ban-on-driver-use-of-personal-electronic-devices/2011/12/13/gIQAekvBsO_blog.html?hpid=z1

OK all Ye citizens, here is the question: Are you in a mood to comply with this new imposition of the government upon your life?

Me? No, I would rather take a hatchet to a government that is out of control with power lust. Prune it way back I say.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 11 • Views: 6,644 • Replies: 95

 
RexDraconis111
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 02:41 pm
@hawkeye10,
I think they've got the right idea with this one. Talking on a cell phone impairs your ability to concentrate on the operation of a heavy machine surrounded by other heavy machines while traveling at a high rate of speed, whether you think it does or not. It's clearly a safety risk.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 02:53 pm
@RexDraconis111,
Talking to someone else in the car also reduces your ability to concentrate on driving. Even having someone else in the car adds a distraction. Everything is a matter of degree. How about a car-load of frantic kids? I'm not sure a cell phone is more distracting than that.

I don't see why they want to draw the line at talking on a cell phone. Some people use headsets while driving but they keep their phone in their pocket. Is that any worse than talking to a passenger while driving?

Things that force your eyes off the road are more problematic. So I think texting while driving is far more of a problem than simply talking on the phone.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 02:53 pm
@hawkeye10,
I don't see the power lust on this one. While I don't have all the data at hand, it seems pretty clear to me that using a cell phone while driving significantly impairs someone's ability to drive safely. If you can say that drunks or the blind can't drive because they are unable to operate safely, why can't you so the same here? I guy in the office a couple over from me was sitting at a stop light and someone rammed him moving at full speed due to a cell phone distraction. Didn't even slow down. If you are going to operate over a ton of car, I think it is reasonable to say you have to pay attention to what you are doing. Now if by "personal electronic devices" they mean things like MP3 players then I think they are definitely over-reaching. Passive devices don't pose any risk that I can see.

I will say that hands free phone use is significantly better than holding the phone to your ear. It will be interesting to see if they advocate for no use at all or allow hands free.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 03:03 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
I will say that hands free phone use is significantly better than holding the phone to your ear.


as I recall the research didn't pan out on this. Will have to see if I can find it here.
RexDraconis111
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 03:06 pm
@rosborne979,
Taking your eyes off the road is indeed much worse, and using hands-free phone systems is better than holding a phone to your ear, but the fact remains that it is a safety risk, no matter the degree. and as far as passengers goes, you can always tell them to STFU, and/or pull off the road to deal with them.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 03:09 pm
Most Canadian provinces have adopted some form of distracted driving law, and in Alberta, they went farther than most. Fiddling with the radio, reading a map, drinking coffee, putting in a cd (and a host of other things)... if you were doing any of those things while driving and you caused an accident, you will be charged. End of story. We are allowed hands-free talk, though.

There is something about cell phones that turn people stupid. If they're holding a phone, they can't manipulate the wheel the way they could if they had two hands on it. If they're involved in a conversation, they're not paying the right amount of attention to the road, and you are behind the wheel of a dangerous object. I completely agree with this law. There is absolutely nothing that can't wait until you can pull over to answer your phone.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 03:11 pm
@ehBeth,
not the most recent study

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/top_three/article_dcab06b6-6614-11df-9e65-001cc4c03286.html

will look later (trying to recall the jurisdiction of the study)
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 03:21 pm
I think they need to do something similar to the On-Star mechanism and include cell phones as a standard accessory in a car's dashboard, but have the cell phone function only when the car's ignition is turned off or is in the Parking gear.
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 03:21 pm
From Post Secret:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ts7gMTq5X6s/Tsi2CCFpUQI/AAAAAAAAAaU/Pr3PFjUP-gI/s1600/ps.jpg
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 03:24 pm
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

There is something about cell phones that turn people stupid. If they're holding a phone, they can't manipulate the wheel the way they could if they had two hands on it.

I've always thought the real issue with cell phones is that they have horrible reception. In order to hear them you have to hold the phone in just the right way and even then you have to give it all your attention just to make out what is being said. It takes all your brain power just to understand the thing. If you have a passenger in the car, you can usually hear them just fine. It is pretty easy to put 90% of your attention on the road and still hold a conversation. I have real problems driving while holding a phone to my ear, but I have hands-free over the radio in my car and when the sound is amplified and pours out of every speaker, I find it doesn't distract me from driving any more than talking to a passenger.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 03:43 pm
@Butrflynet,
Butrflynet wrote:

I think they need to do something similar to the On-Star mechanism and include cell phones as a standard accessory in a car's dashboard, but have the cell phone function only when the car's ignition is turned off or is in the Parking gear.

Sure, let's have the government treat us like children, that is just what I want.....
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 03:46 pm
@hawkeye10,
For me this issue is where is the line where the drive for SAFTEY! and to save every life erode the quality of life for the other 99.999998% of the population enough to not be worth it??

The way I figure it even with accepting the government claims (which we have every reason to expect are inflated given the poor truthfulness history of the government when it goes on a moral crusade) one out of 100,000 of us die every year due to distracted driving...is this problem worthy our attention at all mush less at significant cost to our quality of life??
Green Witch
 
  3  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 03:49 pm
Laws like these are designed for idiots who do not use common sense. I don't see it as the government telling me not to use my cell phone while driving, I see it as a law to protect me from all the morons who can't figure out it is dangerous.
tycoon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 04:25 pm
Looking at this particular chain reaction accident raises suspicions with me as to why texting is being blamed for the pile up. It could simply have been a matter of the young idiotic texting pickup driver rear ending the semi and suffering the consequences. But why did a fully loaded non-texting school bus driver then completely run over the pickup and end up wedged on top of the semi? This is where the fatalities occurred no doubt. Not to mention his companion bus driver smashing into the rear of his bus.

I contend the fatal accident would still have occurred texting or not, with the pickup driver there or not. There simply is no reason the school bus driver, sitting higher in the vehicle with a clear line of sight, could not have seen the stopped traffic ahead due to the construction. The chain of events should have been broken with him. It is a simple matter of following too closely, which is illegal but rarely enforced.

Yet we are to believe that texting caused this. This has all the hallmarks of an excuse for the government to apply its heavy hand once again after a unfortunate tragedy.

I despise cell phone use while driving. Yet if we think a law to ban it is going to stop this behavior, we're once again rolling over and allowing this out of control government more power and control. Enforce the laws currently in place.
0 Replies
 
RexDraconis111
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 04:33 pm
@hawkeye10,
Sorry, but I'd rather my "quality of life" be only slightly diminished by not being able to talk on my phone while driving than have it be severely diminished by some dumbass hitting me because they were distracted by talking on their phone.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 04:34 pm
@Green Witch,
Hear hear, Green Witch!
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 04:35 pm
Quote:
Public opinion research conducted in 2009 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Nationwide Insurance show public support for total bans on cell phones at 43 and 57 percent respectively," Froetscher said. "With public support now around 50 percent, we will continue to educate people about the risks of cell phone use while driving and the value of effectively-enforced laws in changing behavior and reducing crashes.”

http://www.nsc.org/Pages/NSCestimates16millioncrashescausedbydriversusingcellphonesandtexting.aspx

We should know how many people support this effort of the government to criminalize a common practice of Americans, but I can find no better numbers than the ones quoted.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 04:47 pm
@hawkeye10,
Perhaps those in favour hold that view because they text/talk while driving? Wink

... which doesn't necessary mean it's safe practice. It just indicates that people want to continue doing it.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 04:49 pm
@msolga,
Quote:
... which doesn't necessary mean it's safe practice. It just indicates that people want to continue doing it.


And if it adds risk that does not mean that the government has the right to criminalize it....
 

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