Lawmaker Who Is Against Driving While Yakking Gets Into Car Accident... While Using Phone

from the whoops dept

Over the years, we've had many stories about the various efforts to ban "driving while yakking." While there's no doubt that driving while talking on a mobile phone can make you less aware, it's attacking the wrong problem, which is bad driving decisions. We already have laws against reckless driving, and the goal should be to enforce them, rather than focusing on banning every possible distraction one by one. The problem with banning each distraction, rather than focusing on educating drivers to be better drivers is that they just move on to other distracting activities. In fact, research has shown that since putting the various driving-while-yakking laws in place, there's been no decrease in accidents. Instead, it seems like most of these laws are passed not to protect people, but for political expediency. It's one of those laws that gets the politicians who support it plenty of attention. So, with that in mind, it can't look good that one of the backers of such a law in California crashed her SUV into another car while trying to answer a call, taking her eyes off the road (via The Raw Feed). The point here is that the law really isn't the issue: common sense is. Drivers shouldn't need laws to point out reasons why they shouldn't take their eyes off the road. Update: This story just gets better. It appears that her claim that she had just picked up the phone is now in question, as prior to the accident at least six drivers were so worried about the careening SUV with a driver talking on the phone that they had all called the police to report her bad driving -- including the fact that she'd bounced off the center median prior to the accident. Oops.


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  1.  
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    Gary, May 22nd, 2007 @ 4:44am

    Lawmaker's don't follow laws

    A similar thing happened years ago, I think in New York. A congressman had a film crew in his car (no distraction there) and was driving around while talking about the dangers of being on a cell phone in traffic. When his cell phone rang, he answered it on camera, while driving.

     

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    Sue, May 22nd, 2007 @ 5:22am

    Law isn't followed

    I live in NY, one of the states that ban hand-held cellphones while driving. Since the law went into effect, a day has not gone by without me seeing multiple people breaking this law. Perhaps this is why the statistics don't see a decrease in accidents, perhaps not. What I can say, is that the reason I notice these people is because they're doing something stupid at the time. Driving erratically, drifting across lanes, cutting people off, you name it. The article is perhaps right...that there are many distractions on the road and banning them one by one is going to be fruitless. But from what I've observed there is good reason for the hand-held cellphone ban.

     

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    Kurt, May 22nd, 2007 @ 5:22am

    Cell Phone Accident

    Wby do you not name the lawmaker so they can be contacted?

     

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    Wolfger, May 22nd, 2007 @ 5:29am

    Just ban cellphones, period

    The cellphone is one of the worst inventions, ever. They cause accidents, they promote rudeness (who hasn't had a conversation interrupted by somebody suddenly needing to answer their cell?), and are just in general a horrible idea (people talking on their phones while sitting on a public toilet!!?!). Cell companies are increasingly convincing parents that children "need" a cell phone, despite generations of children who did just fine without even having their own land line. Worst of all, they promote the idea that we are all available 24/7. People get upset with me if I don't answer. Sorry, but I own the phone. It doesn't own me.

     

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    Matthew, May 22nd, 2007 @ 5:41am

    No Citation received

    From the Article

    The senator was given a breathalyzer test, which showed she wasn't under the influence of alcohol. No citation were issued, which is typical for minor accidents like this that have no other independent eyewitnesses, [CHP spokesman Marvin] Williford said.

    OK that's total BS. California will ticket you for laughing at the scene let alone being involved in the accident. Since its a tax-payer-provided SUV (ugh), who does he (the victim) sue for damages?

    And to Kurt, go read the actual articles for details.

     

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    Enrico Suarve, May 22nd, 2007 @ 5:45am

    While common sense comes up short...

    We need laws

    Face it the whole article is invalidated by one obvious glaring problem

    She crashed while she was messing with her phone - so the stats are wrong, they are measuring the wrong thing or something else has occurred

    The one thing that this proves categorically is that using a mobile phone while driving causes accidents

    Most countries, and as far as I am aware US states, already have laws against dangerous driving, and I agree with you that most people should have the common sense to see that driving whilst messing about with a phone constitutes this. Unfortunately as proven by this article common sense can be lacking

    Using a mobile phone is not a necessary part of driving, is proven to distract people from driving and is easily distinguishable (and proven) as something you are either doing or you are not - it makes sense to ban it, if for no other reason than to reinforce the message

    If laws against dangerous driving did not exist and this was the only one then yes it would be stupid, but as an addition to other laws it makes sense

     

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    the amazing me, May 22nd, 2007 @ 6:10am

    Re: Just ban cellphones, period

    I agree about not answering. I got my mobile for my convenience and no-one else's.

    What I fail to understand is how anything got done before we had mobile phones, given how many people seem to think the world will stop if they're not answering that call right now regardless of what else is going on, or that they absolutely must have their phone on as soon as the plane is on the tarmac?

     

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    James, May 22nd, 2007 @ 6:12am

    HAHAHAHA!!

    She was p0wned by her own law!

     

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    MissingFrame, May 22nd, 2007 @ 6:14am

    This is why we need the law

    She was only using her cellphone because it was legal, and needs to be made illegal. We better outlaw tattoos and belly-button piercings because that's what she's gonna do next!

     

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    Sanguine Dream, May 22nd, 2007 @ 6:41am

    Hold on...


    The senator was given a breathalyzer test, which showed she wasn't under the influence of alcohol. No citation were issued, which is typical for minor accidents like this that have no other independent eyewitnesses, Williford said.


    I'm with comment #5. This sounds like a Senator pulling rank on a cop. I live in NC mind you but I got rear ended back in Feb. 2006 and (in NC at least) if someone is rear ended the rear ender is almost always at fault. No citation my butt. That Senator more than likely intimidated the cop/trooper on the scene.

    Now if that had been average Jane/Joe citizen that rear ended someone while yakking on a cell phone then you can best believe that they would have gotten a citation of sort and more than likely would have had to pay for the victims damages. But since politicians have an, "Everyone but me" attitude when it comes to obeying the law this does not suprise me at all.

     

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    Andyj, May 22nd, 2007 @ 7:01am

    Re: While common sense comes up short...

    Your comment shows everything that is wrong with modern society. We need a minimum of laws. What we need much more is good education, proper upbringing and the teaching of initiative and how to use it.

    Idiots who bleat that we need a new law every time some jackass finds a new way to be stupid are just trying to pass the responsibility elsewhere.

    Do you honestly believe that the mere existence of a law means that people will therefore adhere to it? We have speed limits, drink-driving and other laws, so clearly no one speeds or drives drunk any more...right? WRONG!

    Law or no, most people should know how to behave. That is NOT where the problem lies. It lies with the morons who cannot think right and take appropriate decisions before acting. Legislation does not solve this problem, it just creates more damn lawyers and more crazy judges.

     

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    TheDock22, May 22nd, 2007 @ 7:03am

    Might just be me...

    Doesn't this seem a little skeptical? I mean, she is preaching about the dangerous of being on a cell phone and driving...and then suddenly gets into an accident by being on her cell phone?

    I think she got into a car accident because she is an airhead and then blamed it on her cell phone to help out this law she is trying to pass.

     

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    Amy in Michigan, May 22nd, 2007 @ 7:13am

    Hmm...

    Oh irony, sweet irony!

     

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    Lionel Mandrake, May 22nd, 2007 @ 7:29am

    Driving Under the Influence of Lenin

    Only one thing to say:

    "Instant karma's gonna get you...."

    LM

     

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    InkChemist, May 22nd, 2007 @ 7:29am

    perfect solution

    Use of cell phones while driving can be stopped almost totally. Make the cell phone companies re-write their software so that cell towers can track a phone that is off-line, but once it is active (dial tone), lock it to that tower. If the call gets out of range of that tower, drop it. With the GPS in many phones, the software could easily determine that a phone is in motion and not allow it to make or receive calls.

    Many may object that passengers in cars, on trains and on buses should be able to make cell calls while in motion. I say put your ego in a box and wait until you reach your destination.

     

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    Lionel Mandrake, May 22nd, 2007 @ 7:35am

    Re: Cell Phone Accident

    >>Why do you not name the lawmaker so they can be contacted?

    It's the famous Marin County Trotskyite, Carol Ruth Migden.

    A woman who would like all of us to be "better controlled"...

    Controlled? Her exact words.

    Lionel Mandrake
    Uncontrollable

     

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  17.  
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    Jon, May 22nd, 2007 @ 7:38am

    Re: While common sense comes up short...

    "Using a mobile phone is not a necessary part of driving, is proven to distract people from driving and is easily distinguishable (and proven) as something you are either doing or you are not - it makes sense to ban it, if for no other reason than to reinforce the message"

    Putting on makeup, eating a cheeseburger and fries, disciplining children, whistling at women, dozing off, masturbating, watching video on an in-dash screen, fiddling with a GPS, and headbanging all meet those criteria, yet are perfectly legal. If you ban everything that might distract driving, then you'll be pulled over for just looking the wrong way while driving, giving already over-zealous traffic cops more reason to exert power.

    There are also plenty of people who use cell phones while driving and behave perfectly safely. You don't notice them because that's the point - to not notice them. You only notice someone who talks on a cell phone when they cut you off while driving or get into an accident, yet plenty of people cut me off and get into accidents that aren't talking on cell phones. So, that rationale is akin to banning video games because they promote violence - there's a correlation that's not equal to causation and there are plenty of people who play Doom who don't kill people, but they aren't notice because the correlation only happens when someone does something bad.

    The last thing we need is more laws. We've got plenty to enforce as it is.

     

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  18.  
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    Jon, May 22nd, 2007 @ 7:38am

    Re: While common sense comes up short...

    "Using a mobile phone is not a necessary part of driving, is proven to distract people from driving and is easily distinguishable (and proven) as something you are either doing or you are not - it makes sense to ban it, if for no other reason than to reinforce the message"

    Putting on makeup, eating a cheeseburger and fries, disciplining children, whistling at women, dozing off, masturbating, watching video on an in-dash screen, fiddling with a GPS, and headbanging all meet those criteria, yet are perfectly legal. If you ban everything that might distract driving, then you'll be pulled over for just looking the wrong way while driving, giving already over-zealous traffic cops more reason to exert power.

    There are also plenty of people who use cell phones while driving and behave perfectly safely. You don't notice them because that's the point - to not notice them. You only notice someone who talks on a cell phone when they cut you off while driving or get into an accident, yet plenty of people cut me off and get into accidents that aren't talking on cell phones. So, that rationale is akin to banning video games because they promote violence - there's a correlation that's not equal to causation and there are plenty of people who play Doom who don't kill people, but they aren't notice because the correlation only happens when someone does something bad.

    The last thing we need is more laws. We've got plenty to enforce as it is.

     

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  19.  
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    Jon, May 22nd, 2007 @ 7:38am

    Re: While common sense comes up short...

    "Using a mobile phone is not a necessary part of driving, is proven to distract people from driving and is easily distinguishable (and proven) as something you are either doing or you are not - it makes sense to ban it, if for no other reason than to reinforce the message"

    Putting on makeup, eating a cheeseburger and fries, disciplining children, whistling at women, dozing off, masturbating, watching video on an in-dash screen, fiddling with a GPS, and headbanging all meet those criteria, yet are perfectly legal. If you ban everything that might distract driving, then you'll be pulled over for just looking the wrong way while driving, giving already over-zealous traffic cops more reason to exert power.

    There are also plenty of people who use cell phones while driving and behave perfectly safely. You don't notice them because that's the point - to not notice them. You only notice someone who talks on a cell phone when they cut you off while driving or get into an accident, yet plenty of people cut me off and get into accidents that aren't talking on cell phones. So, that rationale is akin to banning video games because they promote violence - there's a correlation that's not equal to causation and there are plenty of people who play Doom who don't kill people, but they aren't notice because the correlation only happens when someone does something bad.

    The last thing we need is more laws. We've got plenty to enforce as it is.

     

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  20.  
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    Jon, May 22nd, 2007 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re: While common sense comes up short...

    Dude... that's the second time I've left a comment, pressed the submit button ONCE and had it submit 3 times... mods, help me out here.

     

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  21.  
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    Ambo, May 22nd, 2007 @ 8:29am

    Re: Just ban cellphones, period

    You are absolutely correct. Cell phones are the root of all evil. I mean it it wasn't for cell phones then people would never be in accidents, rude, or in anyway inconsiderate. I think they should definitely be banned. Cars cause accidents too let's get rid of them. Oh and then there are the people who are injured of die from accidental shootings. Let's ban guns. No, it's not the cell phone, car, or gun's fault. IT'S PEOPLE. And since we can't ban people, what can we do?

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 8:39am

    Start life on another planet.

     

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    cells phones are not evil, May 22nd, 2007 @ 9:04am

    Re: Just ban cellphones, period

    So what would you do if you broke down in the middle of nowhere? Would you walk to the nearest town, or would you use your trusty cell phone?
    What about service technicians in any field? Don't you think it is so much easier when they can move to in front of the where they are working in case they need to call for support.
    Cell phones are a great invention.
    That being said,
    I agree that people do abuse their right to yak on the phone while driving.
    As an example, recently I found myself looking down at my cell looking up a contact phone #, and failed to notice the light turn red in front of me.
    Lucky for me and any other pedestrian or driver in the area, I was able to avoid an accident. But boy did I feel stupid.
    I realized then that not only is talking on a cell while driving is not only stupid, but it is a dangerous thing to do.
    I think new cars should come standard with a setup where you could plug your phone into your radio, and have microphones either on the headrest or somewhere in the car...and of course some sort of kit to install in older cars as well.

     

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    Hkdonphnks, May 22nd, 2007 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: While common sense comes up short...

    "What we need much more is good education, proper upbringing and the teaching of initiative and how to use it."

    Amen. And related to this topic, drivers education/testing in this country is joke. Making testing harder, maybe adding a commonsense section, would do wonders! But no, we can't do that because it would infringe on [stupid] people's RIGHT to drive. :rolleyes:

     

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    Casper, May 22nd, 2007 @ 9:43am

    Re: While common sense comes up short...

    If laws against dangerous driving did not exist and this was the only one then yes it would be stupid, but as an addition to other laws it makes sense

    Yes, lets worry about cell phones and ignore the fact that the people JUST CAN NOT DRIVE! Most of these people who complain about being tailgated, passed, or distractions are the very people causing the problems. When you have a pathetic driver, who already should not be on the road, and add a cell phone, it is only making the root problem worse. Removing the cell phone doesn't solve this problem.

    If someone passes you in the right hand lane on a freeway, you have done something wrong. No matter how fast they want to drive, you should not have been obstructing the fast lane. By forcing traffic to go around you, you have just added many more risks to the citation. If they are violating the law, then they will get a ticket, but you can not in turn violate the law by obstructing traffic because you don't think they should be violating the law by speeding.

    I commute over 100 miles per day and I race cars on my free time. From my experience, the most dangerous people on the road are the ones who think they are being safe. They are the ones driving 10 under the speed limit, the ones slowing down to a near stop to make a turn, the ones who will not change lanes because they are going 3MPH faster then the people in the slow lane. These people cause by far the majority of the accidents I witness. Everything from people having to slam on their brakes to dodge them to cars actually leaving the road to avoid hitting these people.

    Maybe one day we will figure out that not everyone should be handed a drivers license, and we will actually bring ability back into the equation.

     

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    Casper, May 22nd, 2007 @ 9:47am

    Re: Might just be me...

    I think she got into a car accident because she is an airhead and then blamed it on her cell phone to help out this law she is trying to pass.


    Everyone does. There is no such thing as an "accident", they are crashes. In order for a crash to take place, someone has to screw up. Just because you don't mean to, doesn't mean it's not your fault.

    Let's start making people learn how to actually "drive" before we tell them to navigate a vehicle from point a to point b.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: While common sense comes up short...

    So long as I am doing the speed limit and passing cars at a reasonable rate, I do not have to move out of the fast lane(which is not the fast lane, it is the passing lane.) If you should not be going over the speed limit and I am following it, you can not possibly justify that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 10:29am

    Re: perfect solution

    Wow talk about ego...everyone else bend to your whim...glad that isn't egomaniacal...You and the Senator would get along well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 10:33am

    something like 99.999% of all car accidents can be traced directly to bad driving idiots (i'm allowing for random acts of god like meteors, lightning, 'blue ice' from passing aircraft, etc). bad driving! people who can't drive! and are idiots! period!

    i have driven at least a million miles in my lifetime (years driving a taxi plus some hectic commuting). and (knock on wood), i have never had an accident.

    and over these ... 30 years I've driven, i've driven while yakking. and eating. and smoking. and fiddling with the radio. and with kids in the car. and while tired. and yes, i've even driven while buzzed. oh the horror! but with a little luck and a *lot* of deliberate effort put into making sure that i kept my eyes on the road and my attention on those bad-driving idiots out there, i've managed to avoid running into anything, or letting anything run into me.

    but i swear to god the next time one of those idiots has to swerve into the breakdown lane because they're not watching brake lights up ahead, which happens these about every other freakin' day these days, i'm gonna go off.

     

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    Pro, May 22nd, 2007 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: While common sense comes up short...

    Sooner or later we'll come to the realization that driving is meant for computers and not people.

    Forget about cell phones, how about women and old people? They are both more likely to crash at any given time than a 30 year old male. Why shouldn't only 30 year old men drive? How can I be allowed to drive first thing in the morning? How can someone drive after 3 beers but not 4?

    Any law that is made will not protect against the real problem which is that people are too unpredictable. Fix the problem with technology.

    A) Turn the price of gas up to $10 / gallon. This will cause a shift where people do their job from home through the magic of the internet. Society just hasn't realized that their physical presence isn't required on site every day anymore.

    B) Use the tax money to research and retrofit the highway system with technology that cars could use to get themselves from point A to point B without human interaction. You can drink and talk on the phone in your car while it whisks you into the city for dinner, then home to bed. This is a technology that i could appreciate!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 10:54am

    Driving is a privledge, not a right.

    When you're given a license to operate several ton's at high speeds, where other people are out and about with their families, you'd better be focused exclusively on driving or someone may die.

    Do we need laws to keep people off cell phones while driving? Absolutely. Regardless of what statistics say, people driving and talking on cell phones are NOT paying 100% attention to operating their vehicle. For some reason, their focus on driving is WORSE on the phone than when they're talking to a passanger in their car.

    There's not 1 single argument that supports the need to talk on a cell phone while driving.

     

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    Life in the Fastlane, May 22nd, 2007 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re: While common sense comes up short...

    Sounds like you have some control issues.

    Just because 55 is the speed limit doesn't mean you have to be a horses rear and drive 55 in the "passing" lane.

    I think the point that the other guy was making was that people do things that are more dangerous than talking on the phone - like, being a self appointed traffic monitor holding up others just because he can.

    With your attitude you would be well suited for a position as a bouncer at a night club. Think of the power you would weild.

     

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    rEdEyEz, May 22nd, 2007 @ 12:10pm

    Failure to report

    ...the CHP didn't mention that SHE was also engaged in smoking a cigarette, putting on makeup, drinking coffee, fiddling with the CD player, tinkering with the GPS, and changing her soiled panties...

    Ah, the wonders of modern mobile multitasking...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 12:55pm

    You quote a link in the article that not driving while on the phone doesn't decrease the number of accidents, yet you directly talk about a specific instance here where a cell phone and a person's idiocy with it caused an accident.

     

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    anonymous coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 1:26pm

    how can you rear-end someone and NOT get cited for something? clearly the accident is her fault. it's not like the other car backed into her...

    this also proves how useless Midgen's law would be. She wasn't actually ON the phone, she was just distracted by it ringing. Maybe we should pass a law against having your phone on while in the car, even if you aren't using it.

     

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    Enrico Suarve, May 22nd, 2007 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: While common sense comes up short...

    Your comment shows everything that is wrong with modern society. We need a minimum of laws. What we need much more is good education, proper upbringing and the teaching of initiative and how to use it. Not sure how more initiative is going to help people to drive better but sure - why not? As for the rest - I'm just guessing but would it be right thinking folk like you who get to decide what constitutes a proper upbringing?

    Idiots who bleat that we need a new law every time some jackass finds a new way to be stupid are just trying to pass the responsibility elsewhere. I would agree to a point with this, it would be entirely true if it were just themselves they were injuring - hopefully Darwinism would start to kick in. Unfortunately as proven in this case it's often other people they injure and that's usually considered the point that the law starts to step in

    Do you honestly believe that the mere existence of a law means that people will therefore adhere to it? We have speed limits, drink-driving and other laws, so clearly no one speeds or drives drunk any more...right? WRONG! Good point, no a law does not automatically mean people will follow it (although I'm assuming your right thinking folks will) It does mean however that people can be held accountable for their actions and gives clearer culpability in the case of an accident

    Law or no, most people should know how to behave. That is NOT where the problem lies. It lies with the morons who cannot think right and take appropriate decisions before acting. Legislation does not solve this problem, it just creates more damn lawyers and more crazy judges. I fully agree more people should think right and I wish you every success with your campaign to make this happen, however in the meantime I would still rather people didn't talk on their phones whilst driving as in general I think it is an unnecessary distraction.

    Since the people currently causing the accidents obviously can't think right and there is no sensible way to determine who did and didn't have a proper upbringing there are only two realistic alternatives

    1) Ignore the problem and hope it'll go away
    2) Do the best you can by adding amendments to existing driving laws (since that's all they really are) - no it won't be perfect but I genuinely believe if it saves a few lives its better than nothing

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Law isn't followed

    I live in NY, one of the states that ban hand-held cellphones while driving. Since the law went into effect, a day has not gone by without me seeing multiple people breaking this law.
    Most of the laws against driving while yakking don't allow people to be pulled over for it. And even when the laws do allow it most police still refuse to enforce it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re: While common sense comes up short...

    There are also plenty of people who use cell phones while driving and behave perfectly safely.
    There are also plenty of people who can drink while driving and behave perfectly.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: While common sense comes up short...

    So long as I am doing the speed limit and passing cars at a reasonable rate, I do not have to move out of the fast lane(which is not the fast lane, it is the passing lane.) If you should not be going over the speed limit and I am following it, you can not possibly justify that.
    That all depends on where your are driving. In many places the behavior you describe is illegal.

     

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    Co Jeff, May 22nd, 2007 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: While common sense comes up short...

    So long as I am doing the speed limit and passing cars at a reasonable rate, I do not have to move out of the fast lane(which is not the fast lane, it is the passing lane.) If you should not be going over the speed limit and I am following it, you can not possibly justify that. I just couldn't ignore this comment. I run into people like you on the highway all the time. Why do you feel you need to monitor everyones speed. Who cares if I want/can go faster than you. Here in Colorado its illegal to stay in the left lane. We even have signs that say "SLOWER traffic stay to the right" I guess its too much to ask someone to read a street sign. I'm just sick and tired of getting the middle finger because I flash my brights to someone driving in the left lane. I'm also guessing your resonable rate is probably 3 over the limit.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2007 @ 3:14pm

    State Troopers Kiss Connected Ass

    From the referenced article:
    The senator rear-ended a 2005 Honda sedan, which was slowing to a stop behind a van that had already stopped at a red signal light...
    The driver of the Honda suffered minor injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital...
    No citation were issued, which is typical for minor accidents like this that have no other independent eyewitnesses, (CHP spokesman) Williford said.
    This reminds me of an incident from my youth. I was driving and was stopped on a two lane roadway waiting to make a left turn (signal and all) when I was rear-ended by a new Cadillac. My car was totally destroyed and I was almost killed. When the two state troopers got to the scene the driver of the Cadillac got out, could hardly walk and was so drunk he smelled like a brewery. The first thing he said to the troopers, as best he could through his drunken slur, was "I'm so-and-so, president of so-and-so oil company" and proceeded to try and hand them his business cards (which he dropped on the ground but they practically groveled to picked up). There were also independent witness to the accident at the scene who had been commenting oh how they couldn't believe how drunk he was. Now you might have expected the troopers to arrest him but nope, they didn't even give him a ticket. Instead they gave him a VIP ride home. Now when I see those billboards the state police put up warning people how drunk driving will not be tolerated I just have to laugh and think "Yeah right, depends on who you are".

     

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  42.  
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    Larry, May 22nd, 2007 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: While common sense comes up short...

    You are a "lefty". You drive in the left lane for no rational reason. You BELIEVE that you are helping to enforce rules when those "rules" are not steadfast in their writing or your understanding of them. YOU can be ticketed for driving "recklessly" by inpeding traffic.

    Driving the "speed limit" during storms, at night and/or during highly congested periods is more dangerous than driving in excess of the "speed limit" during clear/bright conditions with no congestion. You cutting over 3 lanes of traffic to get into the "passing lane" (where you obviously take great joy and pride in doing you twit) will eventually get you (but hopefully not anyone else) killed.

    To get back on point, talking on your phone while driving is pretty stupid for most people. I say most as there are people out there that can multitask. I'd say most cannnot, as most cannot catch a side line pass with a safety glued to you or toss a perfect no-look pass (I know I can't, which is why I don't). I try not to talk on the phone while driving, but sometimes it rings and I answer it. I give more attention to driving than to the phone though, so I usually tell the caller I'll call them back. Not that my personal solutions can be applied to all.

     

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  43.  
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    nick, May 22nd, 2007 @ 4:16pm

    Ok first to the one that wants to ban moving cell phones: why would the service provider drop calls for safety not going to happen and they would have to spend money. For the rest of you People are only HUMEN and as we all should know humans can be a$ses and morons especially while driving. Has anybody looked to see where this senitor is on polution and reducing it? because driving an suv isn't going to help. I also think that you should take extra driving corses for certain vehicles and ones that knowen for low visibility. I also think that it is sad how the police are so corupt and how they will not charge peopel and let them be above the law. Morons. I mean I am only 14 so when I get my drivers licence and sombody with some power slams their car into me I will make sure that they buy me a new car and pay my hospital bill and my legal bills. I just got my cell phone a week ago and even though to get passt the new laws all you have to have is proof that you purchased a hands free kit and your good. You don't even have to know how to use the thing or know where it is.

     

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  44.  
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    nick, May 22nd, 2007 @ 4:18pm

    Re:

    You would still have PEOPLE

     

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  45.  
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    SailorRipley, May 23rd, 2007 @ 11:07am

    Driving skills

    I moved the US almost 2 years ago. When I arrived, I had my international driver's license (which is valid to drive around with for a while) and had a while before I could get an American one.

    Anyway, while driving around with my international license, I was just amazed at how many crappy drivers are out there on the road (compared with Belgium, and Western Europe in general, at least the countries I have been to). I really was amazed, that is until I applied for my US driver's license....

    It started with the brochure one gets in preparation for the written test. My wife had picked it up and when she handed it to me, my first and only question was: is this all???
    The manual I had to read (and know) in Belgium was far more elaborate and handled much more than that very general, very vague pamphlet (I refuse to call it a book or manual). The test itself, needless to say, was ridiculous as well.

    For the actual driving test, it amounts to little more than a standard drive around the block, didn't take more than 5 minutes (might not have taken more than 3 if we hadn't had a red light). In Europe, the drive takes about 20 to 30 minutes, every DMV has a dozen different routes , every route incorporates non-standard situations and to pass you have to demonstrate not only acceptable (physical) driving skills but also show sufficient common (driving) sense.
    This only after passing a test on the parking lot to show you handle 4 "standard" operational actions (including a parallel park and 3 point turn)...(you don't pass for the parking lot tests, you don't even get to take the road test.)

    Bottom line: putting on make-up, tweaking your radio, talking on the phone (regardless of hands free),... all make anybody less focused on the road and driving, so obviously should not be done. However, the vast majority of accidents, especially in the US, is because of crappy drivers and/or people just being/acting stupid, regardless of whether that's a temporary or permanent condition.
    So the most effective (as in would reduce the most) measure should be to drastically increase people's driving skills and be more strict on the driving test. Anything else can be a nice addition, but will amount to peanuts in comparison to this.

    PS: the scariest thing is: I had a (European) license and had been driving for 14 years, I still had to take both tests. If we ever move to Europe, all my wife has to do is take her US driver's license and a certificate from the US Embassy and she will just get a Belgian (or which ever country) driver's license.
    From safety perspective, it should be the other way around.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2007 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Driving skills

    I agree with everything you said and I'm even a former driving instructor in the US.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2007 @ 4:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: While common sense comes up short.

    I don't I simply do not have to get out of your way...end of story. Read my f***ing comment, if I am passing vehicles, I do not have to move for you.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2007 @ 4:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: While common sense comes up short.

    Jesus, you talk about me thinking I own the road, yet you expect everyone to get out of your way...again, if I am passing people I am not controlling everyone else's speed. Maybe you could actually read my post...I am not just driving in the passing lane.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2007 @ 4:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: While common sense comes up short.

    No where in this country is passing in the passing lane illegal, again did any of you three self important twits read my post? I am not just driving in the passing lane, I am passing and as such am not required to move out of your way. Once I have passed the cars moving slower than me I have to get out of the way. You talk about me having control issues...yet you expect the road, even those actually following the law to do what you want...Wow no control issues there.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2007 @ 4:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: While common sense comes up short.

    "Driving the "speed limit" during storms, at night and/or during highly congested periods is more dangerous than driving in excess of the "speed limit" during clear/bright conditions with no congestion. You cutting over 3 lanes of traffic to get into the "passing lane" (where you obviously take great joy and pride in doing you twit) will eventually get you (but hopefully not anyone else) killed."

    Where does it say anything about cutting across three lanes? I mean WTF? That has no relevance and can not be inferred from what was posted. You obviously expect everyone to kiss your arse since you are King of the road and drive better than everyone else.

     

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


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