Why Not Ban Car Radios While You're At It As Well?

from the can't-legislate-away-stupidity dept

There are huge problems with driver distraction laws that try to, one-by-one, ban each and every possible type of driver distraction. As we've pointed out, they're really all trying to legislate away stupidity, and unfortunately that doesn't work. There are always more distractions... and more stupidity. The latest is that an auto safety group is asking regulators to require the various telematics systems (like OnStar) that automakers put in cars to not work while the car is in drive. It's not hard to see the problems with such a law. While dealer-installed systems are increasingly popular, there's a huge aftermarket for these things, and the regulations being pushed don't cover those. Even if they also regulate the aftermarket, it still seems likely that there will be a thriving blackmarket to make these things continue to work while you're driving. Also, if you look at the text of the proposed regulation, it certainly sounds like it could easily be extended to things like the radio as well. There are always going to be things in the automobile that are distracting to drivers (including passengers). Trying to ban each and every one isn't a solution. Focusing on better driver education and laws against bad driving make a lot more sense.


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  1.  
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    Chris, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 3:53am

    Ban on Big Macs...

    The biggest distraction we all know and love is eating and driving. I work on the road, and no other one things distracts me more, causes more knee driving incidents than eating while driving if im too busy to stop for lunch. So, why dont we ban the drive thru... It's all ridiculous. As the article says, cant ban stupidity, and morons on the road are by far the majority of the problem...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 4:01am

    Other items that distract driving

    While we are at it, these things also distract, maybe they too need to be banned?

    Speedometer
    Climate control
    Turning on and off windshield wipers
    Turning on the rear defrost
    Finding the way to turn on lights
    Passengers
    Turn signals
    Other cars
    Other drivers
    Wet roads
    Icy roads
    Snow
    On and on and on

     

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    Another Chris, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 4:01am

    Other items that distract driving

    While we are at it, these things also distract, maybe they too need to be banned?

    Speedometer
    Climate control
    Turning on and off windshield wipers
    Turning on the rear defrost
    Finding the way to turn on lights
    Passengers
    Turn signals
    Other cars
    Other drivers
    Wet roads
    Icy roads
    Snow
    On and on and on

     

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    DreadedOne509, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 4:07am

    Ban Police Radios

    ..and don't forget to ban the police and fire rescue radios. Having an officer or fireman driving at a high rate of speed, combined with chattering on a radio is a death via vehicle waiting to happen. Let's not let our law enforcement or fire rescue people get distracted on thier way to work either!

     

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    ScytheNoire, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 4:15am

    ban children

    i think they should also ban children. how many accidents have been caused by a driver looking back at their children, whether they are fighting, sleeping, or whatever. parents are always doing this, and my mother got hit by a woman doing this. so we should definitely ban children.

     

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    magicdiablo, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 4:16am

    auto drive

    I guess the only way to beat stupid drivers is to get cars that drive themselves. They already have made some (still prototypes).

     

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    Wiley, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 4:22am

    Ban women

    Sorry but someone has to fall on the sword...
    Ban the traditionally bad drivers;
    Anyone under 30
    African Americans
    Asians
    Women anyone older than 65...You know, the groups of drivers that are most likely to cause an accident.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 4:23am

    Children in the back seat can cause accidents.

    Accidents in the back seat can cause children.

    Life is funny.

     

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    Enrico Suarve, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 4:41am

    A little too far this time maybe...

    but in general I still think that legislation against the more obvious acts of stupidity is reasonable

    The individual is always going to argue they have the 'right' to use a phone while driving but what about my 'right' not to get hit by some prat who mounts the pavement whilst trying to thumb through to a phone number?

    Theres been plenty of research showing that phones are a major driver distraction and plenty of press coverage on this however people still use them - heres just one http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=524&id=958062006

    I remain a bit sceptical regarding exactly how distracting a phone conversation itself is but it should be obvious to anyone that having one hand on a phone or concentrating on a gadget is going to reduce your ability to drive safely

    Since the public are proven to ignore the advice (its out there, its clear, I still see people trying to navigate complex junctions, shift gears and steer with one hand on a phone) I personally think this is exactly the point you legislate

    No you won't remove all possible stupidities and no you won't stop it completely but again you are reinforcing the message "this is a dumb idea" and in the event of an accident responsibility is clearly defined in law

    My only hope is that they are careful with the systems referenced in this post and work with the manufacturers as I believe Ford etc are truly trying to reduce the impact of such gadgets on peoples driving, it would be a shame to throw out the baby with the bathwater

     

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    stan, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 4:53am

    Follow the money

    "Theres been plenty of research showing that phones are a major driver distraction"

    This "research" by the radio industry is a little self-serving. Radio listening plummets as cellphone rate plans decrease in price. The "solution"? A ten-year PR campaign about the "dangers" of cellphones.

    Here's a news flash... some drivers are safe drivers. Some are unsafe drivers. Cellphones don't change that.

    I'm not sure if the print media echos the radio industry's propaganda out of sympathy or ignorance. Certainly, in-car conversation is as much (or more) distracting as cellphone conversation.

     

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    JD Hamilton, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 5:13am

    Driving distractions

    We should deny driver's licenses to morons. You should have to have an IQ of at least 80 to get one. Also, we should require an IQ of at least 100 to have children... that would address the long term issuses.

     

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    junglejim0745, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 5:17am

    Distracted driving

    I operated for many years with no less than two, two way radios, a police scanner, am/fm, cassette, and an old fashioned dial up two way telephone in vehicles. I worked for uncle sam and he provided all the distractions for me. Yes they were at time distractions, but I had to be aware and alert enough to realize whether to pull over or keep driving while using the multiple distractions in my vehicle.

    We took driver education out of all the schools that I know of, which was not the best program on the planet but it did teach some common sense for drivers and I see very little of that on the road today. Now at whatever age 16, 18, a person is allowed to get a drivers license, they are immediately propelled into our traffic with ipods, telephones, gps systems because most can not find their way around the block without a gps, and an assortment of other distractions that are in main stream today.

    Most climb into a toy car that will do 100 mph plus with no experience behind the wheel or in the classroom, and most have never heard of the movie Death On The Highway, which is an eye opener in itself. Yes we complained and kabitzed about having to take driver education in high school, but some of the lessons it taught could not help but impress themselves on our runaway teen age brains, which kept pace with our hormones.

    Detroit and other auto maker cities are trying to more and more make autos idiot proof, but so far have failed dismally in their efforts.

    I think we are reaping the lack of driver education for our young people on our roads today in a big way.

     

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    coffee4kev, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 5:17am

    Is it the car...

    Why stop with the “things” in the car. We just need to just ban the car itself therefore there will be no traffic and no accidents. Everybody will have to just walk or rid the bus.

    For those out there that believe that it is their “right” to drive, please remember it’s not. Driving is a privilege that is why we have a licensing system. Yea we should probably ban that too. Obviously they have failed and let the stupid people get licenses too.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 5:34am

    Re: Ban women

    let me guess....You're a nice responsible white guy? Just because YOU think a certain population segment can't drive very well doesn't make it a truth. Get over yourself

     

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    tk., Jan 24th, 2007 @ 5:40am

    Re: Is it the car...

    Who's going to ride the bus?

    Wouldn't people on there be a distraction too?

    So.... everyone walks.

    I hope to God they ban stupid, we need a new president...

     

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    Enrico Suarve, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 5:44am

    Re: Follow the money

    "This "research" by the radio industry is a little self-serving. Radio listening plummets as cellphone rate plans decrease in price."
    Do you not think thats just a little bit tin-foil hat? I've not yet come across a piece of research by the radio industry (although I did come across several national road safty organisations)
    "Here's a news flash... some drivers are safe drivers. Some are unsafe drivers. Cellphones don't change that"
    Sorry but yes they do - anything that takes one of your hands off the wheel or distracts you by forcing your eyes to wander off the road makes you less safe and less able to respond quickly to an event - yes this includes eating food etc
    A common falicy of many drivers is they believe that because they are good drivers they are ready for anything. If it makes you feel any better and allows you to keep your ego intact 'anything' can include other peoples dumbassed mistakes - you need to be able to respond quickly to these as well
    Finally just because I can't resist a save the children reference - do you think you would respond better to a small child stepping from behind a parked car in front of your vehicle if you
    a) Were looking at the road with both hands on the wheel
    b) Were dialling a phone number into you phone at the time

     

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    Rigger, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 5:49am

    Let's be honest

    I'm not sure a ban is the right way to go but we have to be honest with ourselves a little. Talking on a cell phone certainly hinders driving in cases where the driver isn't using a hands free device. I don't need a study to tell me that. All I need is the idiot in front of me on the highway whose driving 15 to 20 miles below the speed limit with a cell phone glued to their ear. I can't speak against on tar or similar systems because I can't tell when they are being used.

     

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    fuse5k, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 5:50am

    why not just ban the destractions.

    Trying to legislate away the stupidity of some people is impossible...

    Even if driving while you are on the phone is illegal, people will still do it.

    So why not introduce driving bans for people caught behaving in an irresponsible manner while driving.

    For example if a driver causes an accident and they were distracted by something at the time, why not simply take away their license.

    Being allowed to drive is not a right, its a privilage, and the sooner that the stupid drivers are off the road, the less traffic there will be, and the liklihood of accidents is reduced.

    Possibly something like if you get caught once you can consider it a warning, if you get caught again, or cause an accident the only thing you will be driving will be a moped.

     

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    Sanguine Dream, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 5:55am

    Go ahead and ban my radio...

    as long as the people pushing such legislation give something to the people that use the radio, cell phone and other things to stay awake. I could really see night time car accidents going up if "distractions" they use to stay awake are taken away.

     

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    MissingDC, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 6:06am

    Washington DC

    The Non-state of Washington DC has already done something similar, they have enacted negligent driving laws that ban anything distracting, like talking on the phone without a hands free device, eating, drinking, and possibly smoking (I dont recall if that one was part of the law, but I see a ton of people light up right as they leave DC.) We should do that across the nation. It may make long road trips suck for many smokers, but we would be a lot safer overall. Expecially if the fines for each additional occurance got stiffer until the 3rd occurance where you lose your privelige to drive for 3 months.

     

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    haywood, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 6:07am

    Re: Follow the money

    "Here's a news flash... some drivers are safe drivers. Some are unsafe drivers. Cellphones don't change that."

    Actually they do. The difference is that the safe drivers have a margin to sacrifice to the distraction and still perform reasonably well, the unsafe drivers don't.

     

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    Les, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 6:12am

    Re: Other items that distract driving

    Right on!!! I was actually thinking of the stupidity of it all and realized the real thing that they could and probably should add to this list is the steering wheel as it takes up 100% of your attention. Talking about a distraction?
    Actually it is not gadgets and it never was and never will be. The problem is the amount of vihicles on the road today as compared with how many were on the road when it was so much safer "without the gadgets/high tech goodies". It is time to give ground traffic a nitch in the air just as airwaves are assigned to other tech and lets get on to "Back to the future", now that would take care of ground traffic and give us even more high tech vehicles that would just drive themselves. As we already know high tech gear is smarter and more safer...

     

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    Britonius, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 6:19am

    Self Driving Cars

    I agree trying to ban any or all possible distractions is pointless and I also agree that making people accountable for themselves and their actions (bad driving including) is always the best, most sensible option. We can't protect the world against every possible issue, people have to be accountable. Unfortunately lawyers and politicians both want to try to save the world from everything and force us to warn or protect us from every possible scenario. It's impossible to do, so just keep it simple stupid (KISS).

    Any way, let's get on with developing self driving cars, whatever that may look like, then we can have all the distractions we like as we won't be driving but instead will be a passenger.

     

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    Amerin, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 6:20am

    Why dont they take it like DUI

    Instead of trying to ban phone use in the car, make like they do with DUI's, Driving while distracted, DID, if you have an accident that is caused by you bring distracted, IE your on the phone not paying attention, your get your DL revoked except for work, if it happens again, one year no DL, if it happens again, no DL for 5 years.

    Go with the don't punish the whole group for the act of those not able to multi-task while driving.

     

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    Jeff, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 6:26am

    Simple fact is driving is a privilege

    If you don't like the laws, don't drive. Its not a right. Cell phones SHOULD be banned while driving. It is probably just as dangerous as driving after drinking. Don't believe me? Ok, do a test. Turn on the television and then call someone on the phone and have a conversation. Then tell me what you were watching on tv. You'll be completely lost.

    Why do so many people pause their Tivo or DVD when they get a phone call, but think its ok to keep driving?

     

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    Just a Simpleton, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 6:26am

    Re: Ban Police Radios

    I have to agree with this on kind of. Not so much as the police radio, but the computers they have in their cars. A couple months ago, I almost got ran off the road by a State Trooper who drifted into my lane because he was using the computer in his car while DRIVING. When we pulled up to the stop light he did appologize for the incident, and all I could think of was what a moron and he should be setting an example of how we are suppossed to be driving.

     

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    someguy, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 6:48am

    Re: Ban women

    lets ban ignorant bigots too. they distract me while reading sites and cause accidents at my computer

     

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    Xiera, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 6:50am

    We need an amendment to the Constitution: "Citizens have the right to be stupid, so long as their stupidity does not interfere with the well-being of others."

    Sure, feel free to talk on your phone while driving, just stay in the travel lane (don't pass). Feel free to eat while driving. Feel free to change CDs while holding a cigarette and taking a sip from your water bottle. If your negligence causes an accident, however, you will be prosecuted for reckless endangerment.

     

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    Mikey, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 6:57am

    I should ban myself...

    I am typing online, while on the phone while driving with my knee. I work for a telecommunications company so numbers are the name of the game. If I stop everytime I get a phone call, or need to update something online, I would lose my job.

    I have been doing this for 8 years and have never been so much as honked at. Some people are great at multitasking, most aren't. I have had many run-ins with people doing such daunting tasks as looking for street signs to some guy towing his lawn mower behind his car by the trailer hitch and looking in the rearview to make sure it didn't come un-velcro'ed from his trailer hitch.

    On a side note.
    Most do not pay enough attention on the road. Most countries in the world have stop lights. Most. One place in Britain I believe, took out all stop lights. Traffic fatalities dropped significantly, and minor fender benders went up a little the first year it was introduced. It forced people to pay attention while driving. I doubt you will find many people on cell phones there. It also reduced the time it took to get through rush hour.

    Check this out...
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8434415824222638615&q=india+driving&hl=en

     

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  30.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 7:00am

    Re: Why dont they take it like DUI

    I think I'm starting to get at least some of my confusion re people stating legislation doesn't stop people doing things

    I'm from the UK - we have a system based on points and fines

    Do something wrong you get fined, if it qualifies you also lose points off your license, lose 12 or more points off your license in a 3 year period and you lose your license. Depending on the severity of the offence you may lose the right to reapply for a number of years or indeterminably. The number of points lost for driving on the phone is currently 3

    I'm getting the impression that perhaps this isn't the same in the US? We tend to legislate things like this as the law has some teeth and can do something about it. If there is no substance behind the law then yeah it probably won't do much (we just had to add the 3 point penalty to the legislation as a small fine on its own was proving impotent)

    I am not sure that banning radios is really a serious proposition anywhere (at least I would hope not) but full on hand-full phone conversations should be

    The suggestions that it should all be OK and that fines etc should only be imposed if you cause an accident are all very well and good but are akin to closing the stable door after the horse has bolted - by that time you already caused an accident. Its not unreasonable to suppose you just seriously injured/maimed/killed someone learning that you weren't as perfect as you thought - why should they suffer for your arrogance?

     

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    a, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 7:03am

    How many times have you been driving for quite a long time and then can't remember any part of the last 100 miles or so. Hell, I have driven through half of Iowa (about 400 miles) without being able to remember the last 6 or so hours.

    The top threat to a driver (or the cause of bad driving) is having to reach for something. Ranking right up there is having a bee in the car. Bee's cause a surprising amount of accidents.

     

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    Fungo Thwacht, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 7:45am

    good idea for most people != good law for all peop

    "Driving is a privilege?" I find it sad and defeatist when people adopt the attitude that the government owns the roads and we may only use them with its explicit permission. This forgets the important point that in America, we own the government.

    Saying that "driving isn't a right" doesn't solve anything -- it only twists the issue around to a "guilty until proven innocent" perspective. It's sort of like saying that voting isn't a right. The fact is, we all begin with an equal right to secure driver licenses and to make use of the pubic roads that our tax dollars pay for.

    I am a taxpaying citizen with no points on his license -- who's going to tell me I don't have just as much a RIGHT to drive on my public streets as any of the other license-bearing taxpaying citizens in my community?

    Yet I am even more discouraged by those who would legislate by statistic. I imagine it would be easy to produce studies that show an "average person" is more likely to commit a traffic violation when performing nearly any other particular activity, but real people drive in the real world -- not in the abstract speculations of overambitious social reformer's "research." It's my opinion that there is no such thing as an "average person" in the real world.

    We already have laws against unsafe driving. If I drive unsafely -- for any reason, regardless of the particular distraction you think may have led to my violation -- take away my license or throw me in jail. But keep the pretentious "I know you better than you do" legislation out of my car and out of my head. People are smarter than laws; laws that try to outsmart people never work.

     

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    Dawger, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 7:57am

    Re: Ban Police Radios

    Actually a lot of departments are getting rid of the computers in their cars. Typing while driving, now that is distracting.

     

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    Legislators can be such idiots, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 8:07am

    Let's make a new law.

    1. Cell phones are a distraction.
    2. On Star et al are hands-free, voice activated systems with minimal distraction ability.

    Logical conclusion? Let's ban On Star and make everyone go back to the hand-held cell phones we have to dial by hand! Perfect logic!

    By the way, Fungo, driving is a privilege - there is no God-given or Constitutional right to drive. Just try telling the judge you refused to take a sobriety test because you have a right to be there and you'll see how quickly that privilege is revoked!

     

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    J Gill, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 8:43am

    Send the driver a license plate message using Plat

    The solution is not let the government and politician's throw law after law at its citizen's. The internet has the power for everyone to come together as a community and by using social networking we can police these bad drivers ourselves. The libertarian's way of law and order. We don't need anymore government intrusion into our lives.

    If you see a distracted driver, remember their license plate and post a message to the public on Platester.

     

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    runaway, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 8:46am

    Funny you mention passangers . . .

    When I am cursed with having to drive somewhere with my mother, I always try to convince her that we should "take my car", meaning "I get to drive".
    She starts talking and her attention is completely removed from the road. I have to tell her every 10 or 15 minutes to stop driving 35 on the freeway, and we all hold on for dear life when she discovers she's about to miss a turn and drives across three lanes of traffic.
    All the while this goes on she continually repeats "I don't drive this way when I'm not talking to people". To which we reply "Don't talk to us then!"
    If we're legislating to the least common denominator, all cars are going to be single passenger in a few years.

     

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    Choronno S. Trigger, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Why dont they take it like DUI

    Yes there is a system like that in the US. For a violation you get points added onto your license. If you get 6 then it gets taken away. Speeding 10+MPH get you 2 points. a wreck (your fault) gets 3. Doing twice the speed limit will get your license cut up on the side of the road. These are just examples I have come across in my time. (I didn't do them)

    I can drive and talk on a cell at the same time without loosing concentration on the road. and yes I can talk on a cell and watch TV at the same time too. I am smart enough to know that if its crowded on the road then I don't pick up the cell phone. If I am on the cell phone I don't think too much about what I'm talking about, I think more about the road. I drive with one hand already, in fact, I get scared when I see someone driving with two.

    The main problem with driving today is that cops don't care. I have been driving and been cut off by someone not looking where there going. I did almost hit the guy but I was paying attention to the road. I slammed on my breaks and the cop behind me almost hit me. Did he pull the guy over for cutting me off? Did he even pull me over for stopping like that? No, he didn't even flinch. The cops need to start enforcing this stuff. No law will work if no one enforces it, even this stupid one.

     

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    mike, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 9:16am

    dialing isn't the problem!!

    doesn't anybody realize that its not the dialing of the phone its when people are talking on the phone when they are most distracted. hands free or not it really doesn't matter there distracted by the conversation.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 9:23am

    1) Cell phones are less dangerous than passengers. When I'm on the phone, my eyes are always on the road. With passengers, I may occasionally look at them to read nonverbal cues, out of habit.

    (What's that? I have to dial numbers? Funny, cell phones have this new fangled technology thing that let you say "Call mom" and it calls the phone number labeled mom. Huh...imagine that...)

    Also, have you considered that maybe someone driving while talking on a cell phone can have the presence of mind to be more careful _because_ of the distraction? Perhaps they go a little slower, or they leave a greater following distance.

    Now, this is not to say that most idiots on a cell phone aren't totally ignorant of their surroundings. I, thankfully, am not one of those idiots.

    2) #33, you say that going twice the limit will result in your license being cut right there. I was once given a bullshit charge for doing 2x the speed limit, and I had to actually appeal it. Apparently, you _can_ appeal traffic violations.

    Anyway, cutting the license up at the side of the road is complete and utter bullshit. There's this thing, it's called Due Process, and I think it's somewhere in this other thing called a Constitution...

     

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    Buzz, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 9:30am

    Ummm

    I disagree, mike (#34). There is something different about talking with both hands on the wheel and talking with one hand to your ear. I realize this statement can be abused (i.e. people use one hand to put food to their mouths, etc.), but hear me out. I have observed that people who drive with a phone to their ear are generally more oblivious than those with an ear piece or those holding a conversation with people in the car. Anytime I have an almost collision with someone, the other person has a cellphone to his or her ear. I can't quite dish out a full scientific explanation, but I believe that holding that phone to one's ear is a bigger distraction.

    Now, as for legally banning such practices... I personally am indifferent on this issue. I don't listen to the radio when I drive. I only recently obtained a cellphone; if someone important calls, I tell them I'm driving and that I'll call again later. It wouldn't affect me a whole lot if they banned everything from listening to the radio to eating food while driving. Granted, I don't represent 99% of the world; there are those who thrive on their cellphone because for many, driving is the only free time they have. Most of my friends would go INSANE without their car radios/stereos.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Daniel, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 9:34am

    hand held cell phones .. bad bad bad

    what gets me is the stupidity of hand held cell phones while piloting a 2 ton machine. The people doing so are:

    * dont have both hands free to steer in an emergency
    * are far less likely to use their turn signals - which would clue other drivers in
    * partially distracted by the act of actively holding something next to their head

    The problem is that their stupidity increases the chances they are going to have an accident with me. Now, I can balance this a bit because I have had years of high performance driving schools, and usually know how I can steer out of a problem. Perhaps that makes me that much more aware of what a bad idea hand held cell phones are.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    inevitable, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 9:44am

    I forsee greater issues

    I blogged about this very subject about a year ago and it still appears that it will eventually come true. First it's cell phones, then the in-dash GPS unit, the radio, then ??? (check it out)

    IMO, if you can't drive while on the phone don't. I can and have done it since cell phones weighed in at a .5 kg. Don't even think of removing my radio, as it prevents more road rage than accidents. Maybe those lacking the skills should check out these nifty things call headsets. They are sold EVERYWHERE!. It's just like talking to the person in the passenger seat. :)

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Lewis Salem, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 10:02am

    If your worried about unsafe drivers, just wait.

    Eventually we will relinquish total control of our cars to computers. First this will happen on the freeways. The technology is already implemented by automotive companies with adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning systems.

    These systems will eventually become mandatory in all vehicles just as air bags, seat belts, and now stability control systems are.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    nunya_bidness, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Ban women

    Let's ban sense of humor too.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Fungo Thwacht, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 10:04am

    Re: Let's make a new law. (#34)

    Legislators can be idiots:
    Then would you say that living in my home, and not in a penitentiary, is also a "privilege" and not a "right"? After all, I could be arrested for interfering with a judicially warranted search of my private residence.

    A few months ago I was arrested simply for walking near a jewelry store with a broken burglar alarm. I was released after the overzealous cops realized I wasn't a thief, but not before I was threatened at gunpoint, cuffed, frisked, and incarcerated in the back of a squad car for nearly an hour. Should I also consider walking down the street a privilege? Is it a privilege that I am allowed out in public at all?

    I respect your commitment to the cardinal platitude of every driver's ed class ever, but I think disputing the semantic differences of "right" and "privilege" sort of misses the larger point I was trying to make, about how the government is empowered to grant "rights" and "privileges" in the first place.

    The point was that we are the government. Since you mentioned it, the Constitution actually does have great influence over our laws -- including laws about who can and cannot make use of roads and other public property. But ultimately, regarding any new government policy, we each must consider whether our citizenship is a right for which we will take personal responsibility, or a privilege whose particulars we will tacitly abide.

    Sure "legislators can be idiots." But who voted them into office?

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Wolfger, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 10:21am

    Don't place the onus on the device, place the onus on the idiot.

     

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  47.  
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    PhysicsGuy, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 10:34am

    Re: I forsee greater issues

    I can and have done it since cell phones weighed in at a .5 kg

    cell phones don't weigh in kg... nothing has a weight in kg. a gram is a unit of mass, newtons are the unit of measurement of weight in the metric system. remember, weight is a measurement of force caused by gravity acting on our mass. a cell phone with a mass of .5 kg weighs 4.9 newtons. people often get confused with this: lbs and kgs do NOT measure the same thing. it's lbs and newtons (english system and metric system) that are the same type of measurement. slugs and kgs are the measurements for mass. IMO, if you're going to say stupid shit, don't open your mouth (or start you fingers typing.

    sorry for the rant, i've had a long day :P

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Norm, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 11:30am

    I don't believe the anti-cellphone zealots

    Simple facts:

    1. Very few people had cellphones in 1990.
    2. A very large number of people have cellphones now
    3. Cellphone usage has grown from 1990 to present.
    4. Cellphone usage in cars has also grown

    If cellphones are as dangerous as anti-cellphone zealots make them out to be, then the accident rates from 1990 to 2006 should have gone way up.

    From what I understand the accident rate per 100,000 miles traveled have dropped continuously over this time.

    What conclusion can be drawn other than the anti-cellphone zealots are wrong.

    A a check on the hypothesis, as cellphone use is restricted, the accident rate should SIGNIFICANTLY drop.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    PhysicsGuy, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 11:54am

    Re: I don't believe the anti-cellphone zealots

    Simple fact:

    you're excluding every other variable that has to do with car accidents while formulating your hypothesis.

    what conclusion can be drawn other than you're a complete moron?

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    a SAFE driver, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Follow the money

    " 'Here's a news flash... some drivers are safe drivers. Some are unsafe drivers. Cellphones don't change that'
    Sorry but yes they do - anything that takes one of your hands off the wheel or distracts you by forcing your eyes to wander off the road makes you less safe and less able to respond quickly to an event - yes this includes eating food etc
    A common falicy of many drivers is they believe that because they are good drivers they are ready for anything."

    No they don't. A SAFE DRIVER pays ATTENTION TO DRIVING, not to the
    distractions in the car. A SAFE DRIVER expends the attention to drive, and
    not to fiddle, preloads the CD player before leaving the driveway, and pulls
    over when they absolutely need to take/make that call.

    Someone who thinks they're good enuff to add distractions isn't a SAFE driver, they are a distracted driver.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: I don't believe the anti-cellphone zealots

    Given that in his/her hypothesis he/she states that accidents have gone down it is really necessary to call him/her a moron?

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Stick shift driver, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: Follow the money

    "anything that takes one of your hands off the wheel or distracts you by forcing your eyes to wander off the road makes you less safe"

    Like changing gears? Looking at the speedometer, or your mirrors?

    Geeze, people, get over it. 100% of people will never pay 100% attention to the road. In fact, I would say no one pays 100% attention to the road at all times.

    I would also wager that, while driving a stick shift in city traffic and talking on a cell phone, I am a safer driver than a significant portion of the population. Compare those driving and reaction times to the average elderly person in a similar situation (hell, give them an automatic), and you will see what I mean.

    I would contend that a SAFE driver knows their distraction tolerance and can accommodate for various situations.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Daniel, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 12:49pm

    @ stick shift driver:

    "anything that takes one of your hands off the wheel or distracts you by forcing your eyes to wander off the road makes you less safe"

    Like changing gears? Looking at the speedometer, or your mirrors?"

    Actually, if you are a good SSD, you would know that there are times when steering though a canyon run that you would not take your hands off the wheel to shift...

    And.. the OP said "wander", not "flick eyes to side to check".

    Even in track schools you are taught to check your mirrors, and to look out of the top half of the windshield...

    A real ssd :-)

     

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  54.  
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    A women over 50, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Ban women

    Excuse me, but it has been statiscally proven (and published just last week) that women are better drivers than men. And I believe the rest of your comments are quite racist...

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonym, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 1:34pm

    Ban young drivers?

    How about not having 16 year olds on the road? Nothing good ever comes out of that, and young people cause more accidents at the roads

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    lindab, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 1:37pm

    What about emergencies?

    So let me get this straight, when your car goes off the road into a ditch and you want to use your OnStar emergency button, you will first have to put your car in park (and maybe even turn it off), before it will work. But wait, you are hanging upside down by your seat belt. Hmmm, how will that work?????

     

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  57.  
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    StopFlapping, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 2:05pm

    You sound like a bunch of drunks

    You "I can use my cell phone when I want too" feebs probably sound a lot like drunks did before the DUI/DWI laws were enacted.

    Other people don't care how you can flap on a cell phone while driving so well. It's about safety; you're on a public road so your little self important life takes a backseat to the public well being.

    And the simplistic obtuse choads whom attempt to compare Cell phone conversations, to radio fiddlings and passenger conversations need to keep their droolings to themselves. Since they ignore the fact radio fiddlings and passenger conversations are extremely different. Radio adjustments are what like a few seconds where phone flappings are the order of minutes. Also a person on the cell phone is NOT putting their lives in the hands of the driver like the passenger, and they usually will be able to judge the conditions to determine whether or not it's appropriate time to demand an answer for the terribly important questions like; "What do you want for dinner?"

    Again the same mentality that allows drunks to think they can drive while impaired is being recycled by the phone flappers.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Glitch, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 2:22pm

    Ever see a bulletin board? The whole point of these advertisements is to distract the driver's attention from the road, and rather focus it on their product. Should these be illegal?

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    PhysicsGuy, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 2:36pm

    oh...

    and anyone who says ANYTHING at all about ANYONE'S reaction time needs to stop. the most important factor for stopping in time is someone's brake quality and NOT their reaction time. granted, reaction time causes a longer stopping distance, but poor brakes actually cause an even longer stopping time. don't believe me? take a physics class... :)

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    PhysicsGuy, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Ban women

    it has been statiscally proven (and published just last week) that women are better drivers than men.

    statistics don't lie, but statisticians do...

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    SATAN, Jan 24th, 2007 @ 3:50pm

    Maybe..

    Maybe they can ban my wife from the car

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Enrico Suarve, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 1:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Follow the money

    Er no since changing gears etc is part of the actual task at hand (driving) and therefore does not distract you from it

    It probably does actually make you marginally less able to turn quickly to the right, but since its part of the very act of driving saying we should rule it out too is maybe being a bit schoolyard about this?

    Mirrors should not distract you from the road - if they aren't focused on the road anyway you may need alter their angle and stop doing your hair while driving

    Speedometers can help distract you from the road (hence all the manufacturers looking at HUDs these days) but are unfortunately a necessary evil to reduce accidents from another source – I would suggest if you spend that much time looking at your speedo that it severely impairs your concentration, you perhaps drive on the edge a little too often?

    Cell phones however are not an integral part of driving (no not even if you're getting directions) so should realistically not be added to the myriad of distractions you already seem to think there are

    I am quite sure that every driver who drives with a cell phone thinks he/she is a safe driver (in some cases right up to the point where they plough into another vehicle). Perhaps the solution would therefore be to only stop unsafe drivers using phones while driving?

    Wait no that wouldn't work cos the police would have to know who was who and the current state of your ego - so since cell phones are unnecessary and make you LESS safe its probably a more workable idea to ban these

    Safe driver (post #50) - I think you are agreeing with me and some of the others that a safe driver doesn't take calls while driving?

    In general roads are hopefully getting safer, in part due to technological improvements (brakes, air-bags, tyres etc etc), also in part to a group of people you elected passing laws to protect the whole by regulating what is an inherently dangerous activity. If these individuals stopped looking for improvements and facing up to changes in society which impact this safety they would be being negligent

    If you want absolute individual freedom to do anything (anarchy incidentally) start a revolution. Then see who cares when someone comes drunk out of a bar and slams into you at 150mph whilst chatting to his girlfriend on his Motorola

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Carl, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 1:12pm

    Ignorance is... Re: Other items that distract driv

    It must be nice to be able to dismiss real problems with a wave of your hand and continue in happy ignorance. Look, some activities in cars are dangerous because they demand your attention in ways that take your mind off driving. Other activities do not. Some activities are especially insidious because the driver doesn't even notice that their attention is reduced -- and having a phone conversation is a perfect example. Solid research shows that driving while deep in conversation is equivalent to driving drunk. Other research shows that drivers on the phone stop scanning their mirrors or peripheral activity and just "zone out" on the road ahead. All of this is dramatically different from momentarily breaking focus to turn on a control or glance at the dash.

    But hey, why let actual facts get in the way of righteous indignation and smart-aleck comments?

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Bill, Jan 25th, 2007 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Follow the money

    >Cellphones don't change that.

    Uh... yes they do. Cellphones make even the best driver into a distracted driver.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Everyone is not entitled to their own facts.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    inevitable, Jan 26th, 2007 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: I forsee greater issues

    see what happens when you use the Internet to get all your facts. Google said 1lb = .5 kgs. Evidently PhysicsGuy knows better.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    citizenw, Jan 30th, 2007 @ 1:24pm

    Re: good idea for most people != good law for all

    Actually, voting isn't a right in the US. It's a privilege. Look it up!

    Yeah, it should be a right, I think, but it ain't. I live in Washington DC, where we don't even have a congressman or a Senator (let alone two), and where we couldn't vote for president or vice president until 1961!

    Look up Minor v. Happersett (1874) or Dred Scott, or Adams v. Clinton
    http://www.dcvote.org/trellis/acting/avdmemomajorityopinion.pdf

    Nowhere does the Constitution guarantee the citizen a right to vote.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    the man, Feb 22nd, 2007 @ 12:48pm

    no ban

    we should not bann cel phones in cars or lotz of ppl wil get tickets

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    meg, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 10:54am

    cars

    phones shud be banned n cars

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Steve Burling, Jul 23rd, 2007 @ 5:12pm

    Police

    I had a police officer hit because he was not paying any attention because he was on cell phone.

     

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


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