Stop Blaming Technology For Stupidity

from the put-the-phone-down dept

Back in March, we noted how stories covering the death of a deaf girl who got hit by a train focused on the fact that she was text messaging when she was killed, rather than the other circumstances leading to her death. Now, in India, a 23-year-old woman has been killed in similar circumstances -- she was crossing a railroad track, talking on a cell phone, when she got struck by a train and killed. This, of course, becomes an article called "Cell phones can kill". The phone really had nothing to do with it, but rather a person who, for some reason, thought it would be a good idea to walk on or cross some train tracks while not paying any attention. Like all these laws banning mobile phone use while driving, these stories are missing the point -- it's distracted and/or stupid people causing the problems, not the cell phones. Blaming and banning one distraction won't prevent these people from finding their way into trouble, it will just force them to find another distraction. So, unless somebody gets struck by lightning on the Great Wall of China and dies because of their phone, let's take it easy on the "Cell phones kill!" headlines.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jun 16th, 2006 @ 9:43am

    Good Ol' Days

    Carlo, you are wrong. Nobody was ever killed by a train until cell phones arrived.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Ben, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 10:32am

    Tragedy sells

    Take something that people love and make it seem dangerous and people will jump all over the story to see what happened to prevent themselves from becoming a victam. As long as they can twist a story to bring in readers they will.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Me, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 10:32am

    WTF! THe writer acts like nobody drives poorly due to the fact that peoaple are HOLDING their cell phones instead of using handsfree or bluetooth and can't be bothered using the blinker because they have no hands left.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Mitch, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 10:33am

    Damned Cellphones!

    I got shot because I was talking on a cell phone... I walked into a drug house while talking to my friend in the FBI about raiding drug houses! It is all the Cellphone's fault! I am going to sue motorola and Cingular! (end saracsm/BS story)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    That's Mr.-Motorola to You, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 10:36am

    Re: Stop Blaming...

    In the car, talking on a phone itself is not the big deal, after all we always talk to friends and family riding, right?

    However the difference with talking on a mobile phone while driving is not a fundamental difference of talking to an unseen party versus talking to a passenger, its the oft-overlooked aspect of HOLDING A BLINDER TO YOUR FACE. You simply cannot fully check your blindspots while holding a phone/blinder to the side of your face. And a simple headset solves this problem. This could have easily been a contributing factor in this girl's unfortunate death.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Josh, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 10:37am

    Re:

    Listen... I can talk on a cell phone and use my turn signals. In fact i think I'm the only person in New Jersey that knows how to use signals. Drives me nuts when people don't use them. It's not rocket science to be able to hold a phone and drive + signal with one hand. I have driven ambulances for 14 years and always had to drive with one hand while my other hand used the lights / sirens and the radio to the dispatcher. I'm sure most police and fire folks are also able to drive properly while using a phone. Sucks that you dumb people ruin it for everyone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Joe Snuffy, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 10:40am

    Deaf

    What about the deaf kid who was hit by a train a while back? Whoudl we blame the train for not having a warning in brail or for coming from behind?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    SPR, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 10:43am

    Stupidity

    Great!! Now the legislators have something else they can pass a law about. We have far too many laws on the books now that would be unnecessary if they would just pass a law that prohibits stupidity!! Cell phone users and non-cell phone users should have to pass a common sense test before being allowed out in public!! Schools cannot teach common sense. You learn that from your parents. Of course, if your parents have survived and been allowed to breed because of laws that are designed to protect idiots that should not have survived child-birth then we are reaping the benefit of putting morons in public office. That includes Democrats AND Republicans.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 10:44am

    ipods

    What about people with Ipods now in their cars? They seem to cause more driving problems because people keep changing their songs and looking at the ipod instead of the road.

    I don't think talking on the cell phones causing problems while driving, but the text messaging while driving is a problem.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Kerros, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 10:48am

    Talking vs Drunk Driving

    The Mythbusters (http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/mythbusters.html) did a study a while back about which is worse drunk driving or talking on a cell phone. Based on what they did, it was found that talking on a cell phone, while holding it in your hand, is worse then being drunk.

    Now we all know that drunk driving is bad, but this study shows that talking on a cell phone can be just as bad. There are of course studies that show the exact opposite, but I guess it’s all about who you can believe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    freakengine, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 10:49am

    Regardless of what you think, talking on a cell phone when driving, hands free or not, lowers your reaction times. It is NOT the same as talking with a person who you're in the car with. When you're talking on the phone, a part of your focus is devoted to imagining the person on the other end of the line. It's a very trance-like state. When a person is in the car with you, none of your visual focus is internal, unless you just drift off into a daydream. Come on people, grow up. Talking on the phone while driving is dangerous. I live in LA and have close calls daily from people who are talking on their phones.

    And, BTW, no way is talking on the phone while driving analagous to walking on the tracks while deaf.

    Okay, go ahead and flame away!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Morder, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 10:52am

    Stupid People

    Just take the safety labels off everything and let the problem solve itself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Rohan Jayasekera, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 10:54am

    I agree that distraction is a problem, not (inherently) a cell phone. But here's the thing: a cellphone conversation distracts a lot more than, say, a car radio.

    If I'm talking, I need to focus on creating what I'm saying. And I can't just stop in the middle of a sentence every time something catches my eye on the road that might or might not be important, or it'll seem like I'm not very invested in the conversation.

    Similarly, if I'm listening, I can't just switch my attention away occasionally and ask the person to repeat, or I'll irritate him or her. And if it's hard to make out what the person is saying, as is often the case on cellphone calls, I have to put all my concentration into listening.

    So while I can usually switch my attention instantly from the song playing on the car radio to whatever's happening on the road, that's not the case if I'm on a phone call.

    There have been various studies to back this up. See for instance Cell Phone Users Drive Like Old Folks; there are many more showing that cell phone use drastically increases reaction time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    bazookazuz, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 10:54am

    outlaw the outlawing of natural selection

    I propose that they make a law to stop making laws against natural selection. Mother nature is naturally working to "weed out" the more annoyingly stupid memebers of society, and who are we to stop this? If people want to bathe with hair dryers or smoke while filling up their gas tank, it is not a lack of warning, it is just mother nature doing her thing.

    I'm not insensitive, I fight natural selection every day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Billgod, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 10:56am

    Forget about the phones......

    What about the fact that trains are BIG and LOUD?? How retarded do you have to be to not notice a TRAIN??? This is just survival of the fittest. Lets all just be thankfull they are dead and not reproducing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    SPR, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 10:56am

    Re: Stupid People

    Great idea!! But also dispense recreational drugs free from the back of a semi, but only after forbidding hospitals treating drug overdose cases!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    ansientwun, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 11:00am

    Re: outlaw the outlawing of natural selection

    Ahh Darwinsim, now there's a law I can live with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Bill, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 11:01am

    Re:

    It's you who doesn't see it. The problem isn't the lack of use of one hand. If that was the case, manual transmission vehicles would have been banned decades ago. The problem is concentrating on something other than driving, the author is 100% correct in this.

    Lack of blinkers rarely kill people, they usually result in little more than the trading of paint if they result in anything at all. Trying to figure out if you're free next weekend for that party your friend just invited you to while you're approaching that slightly hidden stop sign however .... will create some nasty results.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Billy Bob from Tennessee, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 11:04am

    Mass Idiotes

    Once again proving that 85% of all people are idiots. The greeks had it right when they named the masses the Idiotes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Huh?, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 11:09am

    Re: Deaf

    Ummmm, how would a brail warning help a deaf person.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    taj, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 11:12am

    Re: outlaw the outlawing of natural selection

    Just like with driving drunk, it's not so much saving people from themselves but saving others from your poor decisions. It's one thing if you take yourself out of the gene pool because you're plastered, but the fact that the two tons of high-speed metal is likely to take passengers, pedestrians, other drivers out with it.

    Now you can say "stop blaming technology", it's not the technology that is being blamed, but people's poor use of it. There is no doubt that using a cell phone a) increases the time taken to react to changes in traffic situation b) causes reduced spatial awareness and c) takes away the use of one hand. Driving here in Delhi is stressful enough as it is, but you can tell the guy who has a phone glued to his ear almost straightaway because of his erratic driving.

    The only reason that people are focusing on cellphones rather than say, driving with eyes closed is because it's pretty damn obvious that the latter is a bad idea. With cellphones, OTOH, evidence indicates that some public education is still necessary. From comments above, it's clear that every cellphone-using driver thinks that it's only other idiots who can't do these things at the same time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    WirelessGuy, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 11:13am

    I just finished a study...

    I discovered that stupid people are stupid no matter what law you put on the books.

    Listen up...placing a law on the book will not get people who are easily distracted driving all of a sudden driving like mario andretti.

    Rohan, I am sorry to say that you really need to keep your phone off while driving. Myself, I can walk and chew gum at the same time.

    The problem wih legislating this, is why are they not banning people who drive and read newspapers, eating food from a plate with a fork and knife, putting on makeup, or yelling at their spouse like a moron, and my personal favorite, picking their nose.

    This country likes to think that there is always one simple solution to a problem, instead of the infinite possibilities that actually are in a simple environment like driving a car. If you ban one, ban them all, or include an IQ test with the driver exam

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    SPR, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Deaf

    Hmmm,, well I guess we'll just have to devise a system that give a modest electrical shock to someone whenever they are approaching a dangerous situation. I can just see it now, apply that to everyone and we'll have a society of jittery flinching idiots!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Brandon Rusnak, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 11:14am

    Lots of respectable people have been hit by trains

    From "Oh Brother, Where Art Thow" - "Lots of respectable people have been hit by trains, my Granddaddy was hit by a train...".

    The fact of the matter is people are stupid. How do you not notice that you are on train tracks. People have to priortize when using cell phones, either focusing on the conversation or on the road. It just goes to show where some of these people's priorities are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Ron, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 11:15am

    And then, there are the ads

    Anybody notice that the Tamil Nadu news article was surrounded by ads for cell phones for the work place, for kids as young as 8 years, etc.? So, we have the news story of how this psychotic cell phone took this person's life surrounded by ads for more of these death dealing devices. That's why I use a wireless headset; keeps the damned cell phone away from my neck.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    I can't see what you're saying, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 11:17am

    Re: Deaf

    It's time to mandate Braille for all deaf people and sign language for the blind!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Dosquatch, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 11:20am

    Re: Deaf

    Would we blame the train for not having a warning in braille or for coming from behind?

    There is a warning in braille on the front of the train, you just don't have very long to read it ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Steve W, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 11:22am

    data compression

    Many people bring up the issue that using cell phones while driving cannot be any more distracting than talking to someone within the car, or even using a CB or public safety radio. There is however a big difference. One of the less sigificant issues has already been stated...holding the phone, but the biggest one is the data compression used on cell phones.

    Most cell phones today are digital. This means that when you speak in to a phone, the sound gets converted to computer data before it gets transmitted. In order to reduce the amount of data that is transmitted and handled by the telephone switching equipment, it is compressed, just like an MP3 song. The problem is that most cell phone audio is compressed significantly more than even the trashiest MP3 recording you've ever heard. The data compression used by cell phones is lossy, and removes significant portions of the speech. Cell phone companies do this especially so they can cram more calls on the towers, and thus lower the rates.

    In order to interpret a conversation on a cell phone, your brain is sub-consiously adding back the information that was removed by the data compression. This, of course takes brain power, that's not being used to operate the vehicle, or whatever task you are attempting to perform while on the phone. CB and other public-service radios are typically analogue, and so they are not affected by this issue.

    Add to this, the typical operation of a hand-held cell phone to drop audio frequently and intermittantly, and further distract the driver as they are foolilng with the phone asking the far-end to repeat themselves, or having to re-dial numbers, and you certainly have a recipe for a dangerous driver.

    I'm not blaming the phone for the bad driving though, I am blaming the idiots out there that don't know when to responsibly and politely use a phone! I do however hold the phone companies fully responsible for the poor audio quality, and poor performance of the phones, which seems to be a commonplace nowadays!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    SPR, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 11:28am

    Re: data compression

    Steve W, you have given this way too much thought!!

    Our laws are designed to protect and preserve the morons of the world. Change that and increase the overall intelligence level.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    lil'bit, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 11:40am

    It's the Distraction, Stupid!

    Studies show that cell phones, eating while driving, changing radio stations, smoking, putting on make-up, reading, etc. are all equally dangerous because they all share the same underlying fact - they distract from the task of driving.
    A blanket prohibition on distractions would be far safer than just requiring hands-free devises or banning cell phone.
    What would make the roads even more safe is adequate funding for the police that are charged with monitoring traffic! Here in California, there was a time when trucks in a lane other than the far right, unless passing, were ticketed. Cars driving slowly in lanes other than the far right lane were ticketed. Cars that failed to perform a merge properly were ticketed. Bottom line? People actually knew how to drive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Justin, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 11:43am

    Imagery

    This is when I'm distracted
    When Hips don't lie, come to think of it any of her songs, comes on the radio. From that time till the song starts till it is over all I can see is Shakira dancing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Bob Dole, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 12:04pm

    Survival of the Fittest

    I think those of us capable of driving, talking (w/ or w/o cell phones), and drinking a hot cup of coffee without killing ourselves should be celebrating.

    If stupid people continue to kill themselves by being...um...stupid. Is the world not a little better off???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jun 16th, 2006 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Talking vs Drunk Driving

    The Mythbusters (http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/mythbusters.html) did a study a while back about which is worse drunk driving or talking on a cell phone. Based on what they did, it was found that talking on a cell phone, while holding it in your hand, is worse then being drunk.

    Besides the fact that Mythbusters is far from scientific proof, that particular episode was really badly done.

    First, they used a sample size of *two* which is hardly significant.

    Second, for legal reasons, the people they tested were actually slightly below the legal limit for DUI.

    Third, they put them on a very difficult obstacle course -- much trickier than what most people drive on a normal basis.

    Fourth, the cell phone conversations involved really tricky questions, much more difficult than what most people normally talk about on the phone, requiring a lot more concentration.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    A concerned American, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 12:09pm

    What has happened to America

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Dave, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 12:19pm

    Stupidity Amplifiers

    I see your point that ultimately, people are responsible for their actions. And stupid people tend to have stupider actions. And despite the hysterical reporting, I don't think they should start legislating and banning.

    But I would say that the equipment becomes a stupidity amplifier, whether it be a cellphone, car, Ipod, or what-have-you - something that makes a stupid mistake have larger consequences than it would without the equipment. Should they ban them? No, but worse accidents will result from them being there than if they weren't there. People do have the right to do stupid things!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 12:21pm

    Yeah, just heard a story abotu some 4 year old kid who got ran over by a riding lawn mower. Tragic story, yes.

    But then the idiot lawyer and family sues the company who makes the lawnmower... COME ON, that's retarded.

    So I guess if you choke on bread you should sue the company who made the bread, right?

    Idiots are amazing sometimes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    WFIGUY, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Forget about the phones......

    Like my railroad safety instructer said:

    "TRAINS KILL PEOPLE". Of course my response was:

    "Yeah, the stupid ones. It's not like they swerve or anything."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    SPR, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Runaway Lawnmower

    And it's the stupid people who sue. Why? Because they are too stupid to know it was THEIR fault!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Krush You, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 12:30pm

    Technology isnt to blame

    My issue with cell phones is say you are calling your home and another man or woman picks up and you find out your significant other has been cheating on you for god knows how long and that kid that appeared to come out of nowhere but you thought you were just jumping to conclusions comes to light...now most people will be upset and cool off...some people with handed this news don't take it so well and the car now has become a weapon...do we blame the cell phone for causing the guy or girl to lose their mind (because had they not called the incident would not have happened) or could you say you went insane because you found out everything is a lie and blame your significant other

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Krush You, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 12:32pm

    that reminds me of

    this guy came into a friend of mine's store and asked for a refund for condoms... the girl looked at him like why? He told her they didn't work and he got his girlfriend pregnant! I love the stupidity of people..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    SPR, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Runaway Lawnmower

    I guess we would have to call it "Survival of the Un-fitest"!! (I know, poor english, but it's to make a point.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Me, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 12:52pm

    Re: ipods

    Are you serious?? Talking on cell phones while driving doesn't cause problems???? Where do you live? I can drive out in traffic right now and I guarantee within an hour some soccer mom will cut me off or nearly kill me because she's talking on the phone, and touching up her crusty makeup in her rear-view mirror.

    IPods? I think you're reaching a bit...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Me Too, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 12:59pm

    Re:

    WTF!! is right. But people do not drive poorly because they are talking on the phone and "Can't be bothered to use the Blinker because they have no hands left". If they really wanted to they could hold the phone in their right hand, thus freeing up the left hand to reach with an extended finge for the turn signal lever. It really can be done, if the driver would care to do it. Thus opnce again it really has nothing to do with the phone what so ever. It has everything to do with the fact that the people can't be bothered, and that they do not care about anybody but themselves and will take no responsiblity for their own actions.

    Just let them do it, they will so become one of the Darwin Awards!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Rick, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Talking vs Drunk Driving

    I was with you right up to number four. What happens to your driving skills when you are on the phone and:

    Your significant other breaks up with you;
    You are informed of the death of friend or family member;
    Your chicken-shit boss fires you;
    etc.

    Hell, even normal conversation are distracting. Peoiple would rather talk on the phone than be driving. And that's fine. Just don't do both!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    meOIP, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 1:13pm

    Bad Drivers drive with cell phones

    Let's think some folks are saying they always see bad drivers on cell phones, how much attention do you pay to good drivers? Personally I don't look into the cars of many good drivers, except to good looking ones. It's the ones who cut me off that I look at, so it's hard to say how many good drivers are talking on cell phones.

    Maybe we should be able to get license endorsements for cell phone driving (like we do for driving with glasses). If you can pass a cell phone driving road test you can drive with one. Of course we would also need one for air guitar playing while driving.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Topher3105, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: Stop Blaming...

    How old is your cellphone? My Motorola Razor can hardly be called a blinder. Perhaps if your using those big brick like Cellphones from the 90's, then I would agree with you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    MajorPain, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 1:24pm

    Stupid People??

    Just as a point of clarity, these people may or may not be stupid. They are however unaware of the dangerous surroundings that are before them and have failed to perceive immediate danger. This might make them "clueless" but not stupid.

    Paid for by citizens for stupid people....but not clueless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    freakengine, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Talking vs Drunk Driving

    Ohhhhh...so I guess the answer is to ban serious conversations or tricky questions while driving and chatting on the phone. I had no idea anyone could actually control the content of a conversation when another person was involved. Maybe you're just referring to conversations with yourself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Ben McNelly, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 1:34pm

    Lets just say...

    Lets just say all of the sudden hundreds of people accross the world decided that enough was enough... And every time they went to a restraunt for a nice meal, and some inconsiderate dude starts yellin into his cell phone, they whip out a weapon or grab a fork and kill him and maybe even causing collateral dammage to others...

    As the killing spree continues to escilate to thousands of people, do we blame the jerks in restaraunts yaking loudly on thier phone or the violent sociopath constituants?

    Do we make a law that stops people from using phones in restaurants? That seems the most logical, because we cant really predict who the sociopaths are.

    However, if we continue to comprimise on the side of restricting freedoms, in order to protect ourselves we will eventualy end up with least aware and most vounerable society ever.

    People often get irritated at the US's John Wane attitude towards things, but there is good reason to it wether intended or not. From our founders through all of our presidents, we have had this attitude and its the only reason we are all not living in a comunist social society without liberty or freedom. *although we are working that way...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Me2, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: ipods

    My friend rear-ended someone while changing songs on their ipod, and I'm sure she isn't the only one in the world to do this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Ben, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: ipods

    Agreed that Ipod is reaching, but the soccer mom cutting you off while on her phone and doing her makeup is still not the phone's fault, she'd still be doing her makeup and not paying attention to where you are. Lets just remind everyone about that nifty little invention installed in every car. the HORN honk your damn horn when someone cuts you off and maybe they will start paying attention to the 2 ton piece of metal they almost hit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Ben, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Deaf

    Well i've read that some cell phones will come with electrodes to shock you when you get a call... maybe with alittle hacking blue tooth could enable the "shock for danger"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 1:40pm

    Amazing

    Wow! Finally a voice or reason. People should have realized this long ago that it's stupid people that cause accidents and not the distractions. They choose to be distracted by self-indulging in something they deem more important. I'm glad to hear that someone finally figured it out and wrote an article about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 1:43pm

    Technology

    Technology is only as good as it's maker. The maker of technology is usually a human and humans aren't perfect. So don't expect technology to be.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Topher3105, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 1:44pm

    The Truth, period!

    The simple problem is, getting a license is too freaking easy, and SHOULD BE a privilege and a responsibility, NOT A RIGHT!

    You don't have the RIGHT to drive, you have the right to earn the responsibility of having a license, doing ANYTHING that violates that responsibility should revoke that privilege.

    If you cause an accident that is clearly your fault and because you were being unnecessarily distracted, then you should get your license suspended. Kill a person in an accident, if your not thrown in jail, then you should have your license revoked permanently. Cause multiple accidents with obvious signs of distraction, and your license should be revoked.

    Traffic laws are far too lenient and usually all that happens is your fined for the violations. These fines are only designed as an additional source of revenue for governments. Taking bad driver's off the road cost more to implement and enforce and would eat into the profit governments make from traffic violation fines.

    Governments DON'T want to take bad drivers off the road. It would reduce gas tax revenue, tax on car sales, income generated from selling licences and license plates and licensing this and that. A reduction of drivers means less car sales, meaning less work in the auto industry and other related industries like steel workers, etc.

    Drivers generate a LARGE amount of revenue for governments at the city, state/provincial and national levels and are a huge part of our economy.

    But it is f*cking easy and cheap to create a law to ban cellphones or iPods. It gives stupid people the satisfaction of thinking they are safe and that the government is looking out for them, allowing other stupid people to continue to get into accidents regardless and only get paltry fines so they can get back in their car and cause more accidents (and generate more revenue).

    Stricter traffic laws with harshre penalties including REMOVING bad drivers from the roads would make the roads safer, period! But governments are not interested in making the roads safer, just getting people that believe cellphones and iPods are dangerous to shut the f*ck up and stop bitching long enough so they can vote for their favourite idiot politician in the next election.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Richard, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 2:04pm

    Re:

    Sane response. One of the few.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Skewd, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 2:05pm

    Facts for Facts Sake

    I love how facts can be twisted to support whatever trendy cause you want to support. For example, a man in a near-by county was talking on his cell phone, fell asleep at the wheel, crossed 3 lanes of traffic and killed a little old lady in a head-on collision. This of course was chaulked up to being a cell phone related death and actions were taken to introduce a strict punishment for cell phone use while driving. The fact that he was on the cell phone was as irrelevant as the type of motor oil he was using. HE FELL ASLEEP!!!!!! If I go shoot someone while talking on my cell phone it sure of hell isn't my cell phones fault, but you can be sure it's gonna be marked as cell phone related.

    On a side note, I have to say I hate it when people bring up "Myth Busters". That show gets funded by outside sources just like any other show. Their "results" are gonna swing whatever way they're paid or coerced to go. I will be honest and say I have no proof contrary to their results, but come on lets not just automatically accept TV as truth.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    JC, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 2:14pm

    Cellphones....

    Yeah, I'll agree with one point. People are stupid, hell I'd even say most people are. But, the use of cell phones while driving is nuts. Every day I have a chance to wonder if the guy in front of my has been drinking, but only to pass by and watch the animated hands and head movement to know they are just chatting away with who-freaking-cares-who.
    I believe strongly in rights, everyday I try to encourage their protection. I'll even fight for your right to be the best jack-ass you can be. But, once you cross over the center line talking to your bank about an over draft fee, my cup of givin a crap just ran out. So stay off your cell phones and watch the damn road.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Anthony, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 2:19pm

    Re: The Truth, period!

    Umm... I don't know why you think getting a drivers license is a right. Nobody thinks they have the right to drive and everyone knows it's a responsibility.

    People get their license's revoked every day for all sorts of reasons. In some cases YOU DO get your licensed revoked if you cause an accident that is entirely your fault.

    Traffic laws are not far too lenient. In California if you get caught speeding you can expect a ticket over $300. If you go 15mph over the speed limit you can go to jail AND get your licensed revoked. If you run a red light (cameras everywhere) you get fined $340, and this fine gets higher for your second, third, etc.

    Governments don't have anything to do with taking bad drivers off the road, that's what the police and courthouses do, and those laws that they create that ban cell phone's, they actually reduce accidents, it's been proven.

    Congratulations, this is dumbest comment I've EVER read. You need to stop thinking people are stupid because you are clearly the ignorant one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 2:40pm

    Re:

    Again, this is not the phone's fault, it is the person who is driving not taking the responiblity of driving seriously. Yes I see the person driving talking on the phone, in the passing lane going 45 mph. Yes it makes me crazy. If that person was not on the phone, most likely they would come to a complete stop in the passing lane to merge left, causing the same problem. As it has been said, "You can't fix stupid"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    anonymous coward, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 3:23pm

    Cell phone destroyed my life...

    If it wasn't for my damned cell phone I would have never made the 2a.m. booty call to the lazy fat domineering cow that would become my wife...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Don Long, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 6:55pm

    Idiocy is here to stay

    Precisely. And the same argument applies to the anti-gun movement. Idiocy (or criminal intentions) can't be legislated away.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Darwin, Jun 17th, 2006 @ 5:01am

    Survival

    Once again everything comes down to survival of the fittest. Personaly I am fine with stupid people being killed. My only hope is that they did not have a chance to procreate before it happened

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Benjamin, Jun 17th, 2006 @ 5:16am

    Re: Cell phone destroyed my life...

    Oh? The cell phone forced you to marry her? You, my dear sir, are a prime example of people who just wont accept responsibility for your actions. Does that make you stupid? Probably not, but it certainly doesn't say much about you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2006 @ 5:22am

    Re: Survival

    What if it was your sister, your daughter? Wouldn't your opinion be changed? Sure, people do stupid things, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are stupid. As for the idea that stupidity is genentic, hogwash, unless of course you actually have a gene that makes your offspring mentially incapable (Retarted). Otherwise, we're all born with a good brain, some of us just rather not use it all the time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    bbfreak, Jun 17th, 2006 @ 5:36am

    Technology

    As for technology, those who create or dream up these ideas have the responsiblity to understand not only the good that can come of them but the bad. Human nature should always be a factor, always, and if you fail to factor in human nature your niaveity is no excuse for what happens next. Of course, I'm sure some companies do just that, they just rather turn a blind eye in order to achieve profits. Though, to believe that the human race will ever be reasonable is laughable at best.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Dan Rather, Jun 17th, 2006 @ 8:32am

    Tonight, at 11

    We bring you a crucial piece that every parent wants to know, a story every child NEEDS to know; laptops and cell phones, how and why they rape.

    Wait, what?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    WeeBit, Jun 17th, 2006 @ 3:28pm

    Our roads have always had distractions. Look at our freeways. Billboards, balloons, and lights, and a host of other things. All saying spend your money here! CB radio is a fact of life for a lot of drivers. Radios in cars etc have gone cd, satellite, and video. Been that way for years now. Why bring up this BS? We didn't create the problem, innovation did. As far as the deaf girl is concerned... I feel for the family whom lost a daughter, but why was she on the train tract in the first place? Is this a short cut used by many people? Maybe signs were not visible enough, or some other reason. But to bring up the fact she was text messaging takes from the real cause of her death and that was ignoring signs that I am sure were there. As for CNN making a big deal out of the text messaging.... shame on them. But then again CNN never had a heart in the first place they just want the story to seem more too it than what it was. They jumped on a opportunity to exploit someone to get better ratings. What a shame, and shame on them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    ctpmn, Jun 17th, 2006 @ 9:29pm

    Re:

    Studies show that switching drivers to handsfree systems does not show a noticable difference to the reaction time or ability to drive. The issue does not come from holding the phone but from focusing on a subject other then driving. Much like when your talking to your passenger and you accidently blow a stop sign. Luckily the government can't ban "TALKING" in cars.
    but if it saves live then i think I'll support it, though I still talk while i drive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Doug, Jun 19th, 2006 @ 6:45am

    Sounds like a typical argument in favor of gun control....ban the innanimate object.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, Jun 19th, 2006 @ 8:30am

    The flost art of signalling

    Amen, brother!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, Jun 19th, 2006 @ 8:30am

    The lost art of signalling

    Amen, brother!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, Jun 19th, 2006 @ 8:32am

    I disagree...

    I have nearly been killed by drivers of SUVs (and on one occasion a Semi) who nearly ran me off the road because they thought that signals were optional.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2006 @ 4:06pm

    I agree that "Cell phones kill" is a stupid motto.

    I'd prefer "Kills those with cell phones."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Tim Barnes, Mar 15th, 2007 @ 8:58pm

    Technology

    CELL PHONES KILL! DESTROY ALL CELL PHONES! CELL PHONES SUCK! PEOPLE WHO USE CELL PHONES ARE IDIOTS! FUCK TECHNOLOGY!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This