Taking Suggestions: What Else Should We Ban While Driving?

from the we-obviously-need-a-list dept

With California's law banning driving while talking on a mobile phone without a handsfree device set to take effect next week, the author of the original bill is already working on a followup to ban driving-while-texting as well. He says this is necessary because driving-while-texting "wasn't an issue" when the original bill was put forth. Of course, there are an unlimited number of different driving distractions -- so if we really need to come up with a law for all of them, why don't we put our heads together to come up with a list. After all, we've already heard of worries that involve driving while using a laptop, driving while using OnStar, driving while faxing (which also includes something about driving while playing a video game). And, of course, everyone's favorite: driving while having sex.

Rather than coming up with all these laws banning each particular action, why not recognize that you can't ban stupidity, and just focus on already existing laws against reckless driving? If you're doing something other than driving that puts others at danger, that should be plenty. We shouldn't need a list of "banned" activities while driving. We should just be focused on teaching people to actually drive when they're driving.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    DRM Suxx, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 7:51pm

    I think the best idea would be to ban driving entirely. Then we we would only have to worry about people who put on makeup while texting and having sex while riding a bicycle.

     

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      Ban Me?, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 10:23am

      Re:

      We don't need to ban driving. Just remove everything not essential to the operation of the car. One steering wheel, one switch on the column (Pull forward for high wipers, up/down for turn signal,) one switch on the dash (heat on/off) and window cranks. - headlights are always on, no radio, lighter, seat adjusts, cd players, mirror adjusts, automatic transmissions or other unneeded devices. The car should be lined with RF shield material to stop all transmission in/out of the vehicle.

      There's no key, either.

       

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        ehrichweiss, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 11:24am

        Re: Re:

        In today's energy crunch, leaving the lights on will drop mileage significantly. Most people think we get the electricity from the alternator for free but that's not the case at all.

        Also, what does one do if trapped in their car in, say, a snowstorm if cars are built like a Faraday cage and no signals can get out?

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 10:34am

      Re:

      We have a failed education system. Have had for a long time. The morons that text or other similar actions, while driving simply don't understand. TOO STUPID. Why else would we have warning labels on hair dryers that say don't use int he shower? Why should Preparation H actually have on the label DO NOT TAKE ORALLY? Because we have MORONS.

      They stopped teaching common sense about 2 decades ago.

       

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      erik, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 2:15pm

      Re:

      yes! driving should definitely be banned. just spent a wonderful weekend on a car-free island, now back in the city and wishing i was back on the island.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 7:40pm

      Re:

       

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    Jake, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 8:09pm

    How about just amending pre-existing reckless driving laws to forbid 'engaging in any activity that diverts a majority of the driver's attention from the road' and letting juries interpret it according to the circumstances of the case; isn't that kind of the point of a jury?

     

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      Josh, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 8:28pm

      Re:

      In most states there already is.

       

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      Josh, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 9:50pm

      Re: Jury's job

      Actually no. It is the judge's job to interpret and instruct the jury on the meaning of the law. It is the jury's job to decide if the law, as laid out by the judge, has been broken beyond a reasonable doubt. Do you rally want every texting teen, and mascara applying soccer mom in front of a jury? The legal system is clogged and slow as is.

       

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        Havaneiss Dei, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 4:56am

        Re: Re: Jury's job

        >> Do you rally want every texting teen, and mascara applying soccer mom in front of a jury?

        If someone is injured as a result of that person's negligence -- *oh heck yeah!* I want the victim to sue the proverbial pants off the offender and, to the extent they are culpable, the offender's enablers.

        That means either arbitration, a bench trial or a jury trial.

        Generally, arbitration means the offender decides how much it thinks it should pay the victim it hurt (either nothing or next-to-nothing). Court-recommended arbiters specialize in minimizing losses suffered by the worst offenders.

        A bench trial is generally decided on motions; the party not prevailing is ordinarily subject to liability somewhat greater than that associated with arbitration. However regarding proof, the victim has a much greater burden in a trial than at arbitration. Judges tend very strongly to minimize losses suffered by the worst offenders.

        Only upon prevailing in a jury trial does the victim stand a reasonable chance of seeing the offender held accountable in any meaningful way.

        "Tort reform" has gutted the ability of juries to render judgments proportional to the culpability of the worst offenders, but jury verdicts still come closer to justice than either bench verdicts or decisions of arbitration.

         

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        Jake, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 10:21am

        Re: Jury's job

        Do you really want every texting teen and mascara-applying soccer mom in front of a jury?
        If they've caused enough injury and/or property damage to justify being charged, yes; either a jury or a panel of three or more magistrates depending on the procedures of that jurisdiction. But I stand corrected on the relative roles of judge and jury.

         

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        Dave, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 4:03pm

        Re: Re: Jury's job

        Actually the jury's job is to also interpret the law as they see it as well as compare their interpretation with the judge's to see if they are similar. If they are not then the juror can simply nullify the law by voting for their interpretation. Jurors can also nullify the law if they simply don't agree with the law on any grounds. Take a look at FIJA (Fully Informed Jury Association) if you don't understand.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 4:31am

      Re:

      This is about traffic offenses. In almost every jurisdiction, the court having jurisdiction is a "Justice Court" -- a court in which the judge deciding the law applicable to the case isn't even an attorney: educationally, all he or she has to have is a GED, high-school diploma or other equivalent.

      Want to talk about conflict of interest? In some jurisdictions, the judge is an actual employee of the Chief of Police. In many jurisdictions, the "Justice Court" is denominated as a "Police Court," often in the same building as the PD.

      There isn't a jury. The court can get up to 33 percent of its *entire* budget from speeding tickets alone without triggering an audit (which, under the Bush administration, would be a sick joke, anyway).

      The ticket is a sworn affidavit respecting the alleged offense. The cop issuing the ticket is a sworn officer. The prosecutor for the jurisdiction is an attorney that works with the judge on pretty much a daily basis.

      Even if you're an attorney and you have obtained separate legal counsel, odds are that anything you say will be disregarded by the judge unless the prosecutor actively affirms the veracity of your comment.

      It has been truthfully said, "Justice Court is neither just nor court." The judge expects honest guilty people to confess, and dishonest guilty people to contest either their guilt, the severity of their respective sentences, or both.

      Perhaps some small fraction of the blameless are acquitted, maybe a few others receive reduced sentences, but the vast majority of people not genuinely guilty are unrighteously accused, adjudicated and processed as though they were guilty.

       

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        Microsoft Vistasux, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 12:42am

        Re: Re:

        Actually, 70% of the budget in north Mississippi jurisdictions comes from traffic offenses (all types, so you may be correct about speeding).

         

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      N1ck0, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 7:22am

      Re:

      How about just amending pre-existing reckless driving laws to forbid 'engaging in any activity that diverts a majority of the driver's attention from the road' and letting juries interpret it according to the circumstances of the case; isn't that kind of the point of a jury?




      Just think of all the guys that will be so relieved to be pulled over, and have an officer tell their wife to shut the hell up while their husband is driving.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 8:21pm

    Kids

    I was recently in a car with a parent driving and a five year old in the back seat. Very little attention was actually paid to driving, much less than would have been if the parent was on the phone and eating...

     

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    Paul, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 8:34pm

    I believe that in California its already illegal to have an open laptop in the front seat of a moving car. (A powered laptop, but cops are jerks and like to pull you over anyway)

     

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    Roy Lofquist, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 8:41pm

    Driving distractions.

    That master of the droll, Rush Limbaugh, caused quite a stir by saying that a major cause of traffic problems was women farding. Farding means applying makeup.

     

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    A Definite Coward, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 9:03pm

    Hmmm, how do I put this?

    Once, eons ago, my wife and I were, well, kinda, you know, well I was driving but she was .. ahhh, .. yeah, like in broad daylight. We were YOUNG for crying out loud! And, Truth Be Told, I was thinking (as well as I could think at the time) ... I was thinking, I Sure As Hades Hope I Don't Get Into An Accident!

    Honest ... True Story! But EVERY TIME I come across these very specific "YOU CAN'T DO SO-AND-SO WHILE DRIVING!" I think of that short time and wonder how they would codify THAT one!

    Never done it since but it really was NOT proper driving procedure. But there are a MILLION things you can do which qualify for that title. Do we expect for the corresponding million nuances in the law? I hope not!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 11:52pm

      Re: Hmmm, how do I put this?

      That was the most useless, self-serving post I have ever read on Techdirt.

      I shudder just thinking about you thinking about posting that.

      Anyways, this does not seem like a huge deal to me. I realize that by specifically banning things they are implying other things are okay; but, the lawmakers are probably just as worried about an ambiguous law such as "driving while distracted", a ticket for which a mentally disabled sixteen year-old driver could easily argue his way out of in court. At any rate, today must have been a slow news day.

       

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        Havaneiss Dei, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 3:58am

        Re: Re: Hmmm, how do I put this?

        I'll bite: Let's see your example of what "a mentally disabled sixteen year-old driver" could submit to the court in order to easily argue his way out of a "driving while distracted" ticket.

        What? You don't know? Surely you're more sophisticated than "a mentally disabled sixteen year-old driver," aren't you?

        Hah! No answer? Go back to watching Faux News and listening to What-a-Rush Limbaugh! Your fetid garbage "facts" are the worst form of BS.

         

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      peter tang, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 12:40pm

      Re: Hmmm, how do I put this?

      What did Bill C. said, " that was not sex "

       

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      JoJo, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 8:20pm

      Re: Hmmm, how do I put this?

      Ok, I remember those days...many many moons ago.:) I was the passenger. Now I think they covered this with the seat belt law for front seat passengers. They carry a hefty fine around here and I love my partner,....but can't afford to love that much. lol

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 10:21pm

        Re: Re: Hmmm, how do I put this?

        @ JoJo

        Seriously? Did you really just post that?

        When I read your concluding "lol" I just wanted to shoot myself to take my mind off the pain that was your joke.

         

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          Mort, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 8:27am

          Re: Re: Re: Hmmm, how do I put this?

          Pain? What pain? If that joke caused you pain, I think shooting yourself is a good idea.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 9:07pm

    "Laundry list" laws arise because of that a basic constitutional requirement known as due process. Of course, when due process is satisfied, but laws keep getting enacted that cover conduct already specifically declared unlawful, then your point has merit.

     

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    Sal, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 9:09pm

    Ban Lawyers Instead

    It's not the stupidity you really have to ban, they usually take care of themselves eventually. Unfortunately it's lawyers who keep arguing that there is no law expressly forbidding conducting a post mortem while driving (or some other such stupid activity while operating a motor vehicle) so even when police officers write tickets for these things, their lawyer gets it dismissed.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 3:46am

      Re: Ban Lawyers Instead

      "Stupidity" isn't a "they", it's an "it".

      Surrender your driver's license and return to grade school.

      The roads are safer now.

       

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    Stute, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 9:22pm

    I got it. It's the greatest idea ever.

    Ban holding round objects while driving. Also manipulation of any objects with feet should be banned.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 9:48pm

    What else?

    What Else Should We Ban While Driving?
    Alcohol! We should ban driving while intoxicated!

     

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      Smirky Paul Perpernokificeteran, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 6:32am

      Re: What else?

      Ban Alcohol? If we ban driving while intoxicated, where else am I going to get the courage to drive 100mph through a school zone while hanging out the window waving Old Glory.
      Geez, I guess you probably think I should stop doing the drugs too?

       

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    Anthony, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 9:53pm

    Manipulating the object isn't the problem. It is the conversation on the phone--the research supports this assertion. The law is misguided not because it bans something, but because it bans the wrong thing. Government actions are about making people FEEL safer without actually making people safer. As for crying about "banning" things, something has to be made illegal to be illegal, otherwise, it is legal. I prefer straightforward laws - you may not use a cell phone while driving - than ambiguous "inattentive driving" laws. How the hell does the cop know when I am or am not attending? Using the phone is something that can be seen. Laws need to be specific, period. The existence of poorly worded, ambiguous laws as status quo does not negate the need for specific laws to make it clear that something is not allowed. We simply need to make illegal interacting with a phone while driving.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 10:50pm

      Re:

      Using the phone is something that can be seen.
      If I'm using a voice-controlled hands-free speakerphone, just exactly how can that be seen?

       

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      Bret, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 9:49am

      Re: specific?

      I disagree. Laws should point towards the use of common sense. There is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law.
      I recall years ago there were some bullets called "cop killer" bullets. If I were to go around shooting people but used "regular" bullets...well, then I damn well should go to jail (at least). I should not be set free because I followed the specific law forbiding "cop killer" bullets.

       

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    Chunky Vomit, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 10:27pm

    Old people come to mind.

    Oh, and Asian women.

    But but banning sex? What is this nation coming to?

     

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    None, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 10:35pm

    What Else Should We Ban While Driving?
    - Makeup

     

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    Ben, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 10:42pm

    Monkeys

    When the cell phone ban in NY was under consideration, one of the politicians remarked that riding in a car while being attacked is also dangerous and wondered if that should be banned as well. I say yes, being attacked by monkeys while driving should be outlawed. But only New World Monkeys.

     

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    Bose, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 10:51pm

    ...old news

    Alaska recently passed an anti-texting while driving law that goes into effect in september...but according to the newspaper article the state "isnt ready" for a handsfree-only law...It's not uncommon for me to drive with my knees while texting, and after years of this have not even had a close call. HOWEVER on a daily basis I see other drivers doing the same thing and seemingly trying hard to cause a major pileup

     

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      observant. . . ., Jun 29th, 2008 @ 11:10am

      Re: ...old news

      Given that you are an avid texter while driving it would not surprise me to find out that you have had quite a few close calls that you were oblivious to. I take your 'no close calls' observation with a grain of salt. . . and a shot of cuervo gold. . .

       

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    No Name, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 11:05pm

    Dry Cleaners

    One more way to get into your pockets, the Librales in Fresno seat every day and think how get your hard earned money, i can name at least 100 more importnt things to do...but Arnold is in Florida today talking how he will "save" california. In Los Angeles they ban Ballons, next you cant go outside your house if you didnt change your underwhere...
    3rd. world.....thats what we getting to be.
    Fools

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 12:41am

      Re: Dry Cleaners

      @No Name: Tell us wear do you were your underwhere?
      What are "Ballons"?
      What are "Librales"?
      Why are they in Fresno?
      Whom do they seat?
      Please name just 10 more important things to do.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 9:53am

      Re: Dry Cleaners

      In the 3rd world there is no respect for anything, people just do what they want regardless of the law. There is no respect to other people's rights. Here is the US we live in the "1st world", but we are screwing it up trying to create a law for everything, and dealing stupid sues, such as the McDonalds coffee, or the judge trying to get millions from a dry cleaner for his suit.

       

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    mike allen, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 11:18pm

    UK

    we have had this one in the UK for years Radio ie CB or HAM taxi etc are OK

     

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    wasnt me, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 1:25am

    holding the phone isn't the distraction its actually talking. The hands free devices will not do that much of a difference, and if something similar along the way comes into play how far will be that some1 decides talking (yes plain talking) should be banned as well?

    If they want to make a difference they probably should ban using mobile phones while driving period, main problem such bans aren't really enforceable.

    Enough with the don't bother thinking we will think for you what should be done instead of creating new laws to ban what is deemed bad, they should consider something called common sense.(or am i asking for too much?)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 1:52am

    Simple

    There's on offense in the UK which is something like "Driving without due care and attention", that pretty much covers everything, but for some reason they also introduced a specific law against driving while talking on a phone, go figure!

     

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    Boyed, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 2:59am

    Band Road Rage with big fine, This would help the USA thanks

     

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    August West, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 3:31am

    N.C.

    Staerting July 1 in North Carolina, it will be illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving unless it is a hands free phone. Apparently holding the phone up to your ear is too much of a distraction. However, texting while you drive is totally OK.

    I wonder what the hell is wrong with the people that pass these laws, wonder what they were thinking, and I am also very worried because the idiots that passed this law also operate motor vehicles on the streets of N.C. and are probably breeding as well.

     

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    Crazy Coyote, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 3:32am

    My first car was a 57 Buick Special. There was no need to ban anything. No PS or PB. Strick attention and muscle was the rule. The distance for following to close was about a mile. Cars today are to damn easy to drive. No lawyer can help you when you break the laws of physics.

    We could ban coffee shops, and fast food joints as contributors. Remove the drivers seat, as an empty milk crate will do. Maybe we could just tatoo a warning label on the drivers forehead! That would solve everything. Did I forget to mention Attention Deficit D-D-D-Disorder?
    Honey... Where's my Prozac!

     

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    Italian Revolutionary, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 3:34am

    What Else Should We Ban While Driving?

    You know, it is SO difficult interpreting tone,intent, subtlety, or just plain stupidity here. Libertarians are all about personal freedom. A good working example of Libertarian thought came from my father: "I can drive drunk any time I want, as long as no one else is on the road." A critical lacuna in many of the sardonic comments here is the effect on other people: "Yeah," you may say, "if someone is stupid enough to text while driving and gets in an accident there are laws on the books already that will solve the problem; we don't need any more." What you're missing are the laws whose goal is to prevent harm from occurring to innocent people. These laws are meant to dissuade behavior which has a relatively high probability of damage to others or property. Innocent Coward's [you're really Phil Ashio, right?]example is pertinent: if his wife was an expert and Phil got off 30 feet from a line of cars at a stop light, carnage would have ensued. If only cellphones were banned; he'd walk on the B-job. What, on the surface seems idiotic, may be idiotic, or there may be a reason for its existence. Look at an insurance policy: usually there is a clause about "strikes, riots, civil commotion and acts of war." Each word or phrase was added over a period of 400 years to clarify exactly what was excluded from the policy. Not so stupid when 400 Roll Royces are sitting 10 fathoms deep because a ship, in the Straits of Hormuz, has a 10 foot hole in the hull from an Exocet missile. Italian revolutionary

     

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    Brian, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 3:45am

    The problem is simply the stupidity and laziness of the majority. Unfortunately, that won't be stopping until we're extinct.

    Retarded laws like this will continue to be passed until we can do nothing at all but rot in our one-room boxes. This is not progressive; it's not improving anything; it's just worthless.

     

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    Havaneiss Dei, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 3:47am

    Start by banning officials setting a bad example:

    While driving at the posted speed limit (70 mph) on the Interstate, I was passed by a Mississippi State Trooper (in uniform, in the MHP Crown Vic') that was reading a newspaper.
    >
    The unfolded paper reached from about the tops of his legs to about the ceiling of the car, and as he jiggled the paper, I could tell that he was holding a section that was several -- as in maybe 8 or more -- pages thick.
    >
    There's no way he could have seen where he was going or what was going on around him. I'm guessing he used his legs to steady the wheel and blindly trusted his car would go in a straight path.
    >
    Others moved out of his way, but what if he had rear-ended someone? Cops set the bad example; bad monkeys follow their lead.

     

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    gear, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 4:51am

    Prime Example

    One day while coming back to Long Island from New Jersey, I see a lady in the slower traffic lane next to me READING A BOOK!!! Now I understand that traffic can be boring, I really do, but so help me god, if I get rear-ended by someone trying to finish off their copy of "War and Peace", they are going to wish they were reading the fine print on their insurance policies...

     

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    Revolutionary1, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 5:33am

    Talking to blind passengers,
    Talking to anyone,
    Having children in the car,
    Day dreaming,
    listening to the radio,
    channel surfing,
    phone calls,
    mirrors,
    books,
    sleeping,
    eating,
    thinking -- big one,
    pissing in a jar,
    sex,
    masturbation,
    reading road sides,
    looking at other cars,
    looking at the scenery,
    looking at the road - can get mezmorized by the lines,
    scratching,
    makeup application,
    singing,

    How's that for a starter list of things we have to ban while driving?

     

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      Chunky Vomit, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 7:33pm

      Re:

      Now we can't piss in a jar?

      Fuck.... I don't like can's because they cut my pecker.

      But if I can't use jars, then I'm out of luck.

       

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    EdK, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 6:00am

    I swear I saw a woman yesterday curling her eyelashes while driving. Since this is not technically farding, we must add it to the list.

     

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    numnut, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 6:10am

    To me I think the government should ban any drivers whose hands are on the steering wheels while the vehicle is in motion....
    WTF what else are they gonna ban. Those idiots should ban themselves for dreaming up bans. Seriously speaking.

     

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    Lil Booger, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 6:39am

    I've got one !

    Ban picking your nose while driving

     

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    Jim Harper, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 7:16am

    Things to ban while driving

    Revolutionary1 got us off to a good start, but I don't think his list was specific enough. After all, general laws against inattentive driving don't list all the ways to be inattentive, which obviously makes them insufficient. Let's do this right!
    Children will die if every state's rules on safe driving don't include the following:
    - no eating of hard shell tacos
    - no eating of soft shell tacos
    - no eating of any taco with cheese grated or lettuce sliced so finely that it can fall into your lap
    - no eating of tacos with meat that is cut or ground in a way that allows it to fall into your lap
    But that isn't specific enough, so:
    - no eating of tacos with a ground beef filling wherein the viscosity of the ground beef/sauce/spice mixture is lower than a limit to be determined by the [jurisdiction's highway safety authority]
    - no eating of chicken tacos wherein the chicken pieces are cut to smaller than one inch along their longest dimension
    - no eating of tacos with a "spicy fiesta" sauce or other sauce wherein the viscosity of the sauce is lower than a limit to be determined by the [jurisdiction's highway safety authority], except that a low-viscosity sauce may be used if its quantity does not exceed 2.5% of the total mass of the taco at manufacture or if the low-viscosity sauce is combined during manufacture with other ingredients sufficient to fix the "spicy fiesta" sauce or other sauce to the taco, the ratios among the surface area of the other ingredients, the amount of the sauce, and the viscosity of sauce meeting a standard to be determined by the [jurisdiction's highway safety authority].

    I could go on. The astute reader has noted that I failed to address the shredded beef issue. (What can I say? I got hungry.)

     

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    Dawnea, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 7:24am

    Many things that distract you while driving

    It just comes down to this, make time to do these things at home or work. (call, eat, makeup, sex, laptops, etc.) Dont be stupid you cause a accident someone is going to get hurt, or killed. Then you would have to live with that guilt. There is enough distractions out there normally we dont need to add to the list. Be Smart and Drive Smart

     

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    FunCo, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 7:29am

    BAN

    Sr's (over 70)
    18 wheeler's
    Left hand lane drivers............. and most of all
    Asia women

     

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    Martin, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 8:04am

    Deaf people

    they're kind of fu*ked here aren't they.

     

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    Lucretious, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 8:16am

    Shut the fucking cell phone off while driving and pay attention.

    Its amazing how the world got by for years without the need to be jabbering away on your little toy nearly every waking moment. Its like obsessive masturbation for some of you.

    Knock it off.

     

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    Dr. John MacNicholas, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 9:54am

    OK, so people have been driving just fine for the past 60 years.

    What the hell changed in the past 10 years that dumb laws like this have to be necessary?

     

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    clock08, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 10:58am

    read something along those lines.http://bphouse.comhttps://login.yahoo.com/config/login_verify2?.intl=us&.src=ytff&.don e=http://yahoo.com/blaze/om

     

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    DRCray, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 11:25am

    Point system works across the board.

    Hey - I know!!! How about we establish a point system for the drivers who violate existing laws such as excessive speeding, red-light running, accidents, etc. I mean, a distracted driver is more likely to have more of these, right? Then when the points reach a certain threshold, the driver's insurance skyrockets, taxes on the driver's plate increase, or the driver's license is revoked! Isn't that a great idea?? Who needs a separate law for everything?

     

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    Tin Ear, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 11:45am

    You know, it's all those cupholders...

    In Germany, they make cars that are meant to BE DRIVEN. American cars are designed to be lived in, picnicked in and go meeting in. German cars don't even get cupholders because they are meant to be DRIVEN. The DRIVING is the total focus of German auto design. Not what you can do WHILE you drive, it's the 'point A to point B' aspect of driving. American cars are getting more and more designed toward what you can do while you drive. This needs to be stepped back in a major way. Let's all get back to the basics of driving and not all the stuff that can be done while you drive.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 4:57pm

      Re: You know, it's all those cupholders...

      Upon recent inspection of a BMW and a Mercedes-Benz, I can assure you that they do indeed have cupholders.

      Whether or not Germans tend to use them, I couldn't tell you. But, don't try to tell me that no German has ever answered their phone/eaten a schnitzel/drank a dunkel/hassled Jews/etc, while driving their fine automobiles.

      How dare you make generalizations about Americans.

       

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    John, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 12:01pm

    Too today

    Posters #38 and #42 have some good ideas, but they're too today. We need to think of ideas now, which can be applicable in the future. Here's my list:

    No driving while...
    -manipulating the holographic GPS navigational system
    -video-conferencing with anyone
    -watching a movie on the heads-up display
    -watching a holographic game on the heads-up display. Note: in the future, baseball and hockey will no longer exist since both of these associations will have sued so many news organizations that no one will broadcast their games any more.
    -playing a holographic video-game on the heads-up display
    -the car is in automatic mode. It knows where it's going, so don't touch the steering wheel.

     

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    Still Alive, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 12:17pm

    Because People Love Their Cell Phones More Than 5 Year Olds, Food or Even Sex

    The hands held cell phone rule creates a bright line test - not everything else does. The number of times I have driven in traffic, seen someone make an absolutely erratic or dangerous move --- and they are on a hand held cell phone!!!

    Think. Hand held cell phones require full attention - it is a several hundred dollar ego symbol that owners treasure more than their children. If they have to take an evasive maneuver, they are NOT letting go of that $400 iPhone.

    Talking on hands free, listening to the radio, and a few other things - dont involve the same problem - - because if I the driver need to give full attention to driving, I *can* just stop paying attention to the hands-free phone or radio. For the 15 seconds it takes to get through a crazy intersection, I can pay attention fully to driving and not the toy.

    I can never do that with an hand held. What's more, I wont. It is my toy and my ego. As the erratic driver, my iPhone means more to me than your life.

    Hand held cell phones creates a bright line rule of people who are engaged in reckless driving - they are alway engaged in reckless driving because they will not let go of the phone when they have to.

    This does not mean other areas are not reckless - it does not mean that where I *can* pay attention to my driving that I will - this just clearly delineates one class of darwin award winners.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 12:19pm

    Passengers, which can be a distraction. Emotions.

     

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    JG, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 1:39pm

    Nothing. We already have careless and reckless driving laws on the books which should cover the idiot texting while eating a bagel at 80 mph that runs into the back of someone. That way, those of us that don't have a problem driving while using a cell phone will not have to pay silly fines because of the few nitwits who can't.

     

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    Douglas Fletcher, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 2:37pm

    Let's focus on teachinig the machines to drive themselves. I'll just ride. More time to think.

     

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    Research God, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 3:04pm

    Talking on a CB is okay

    I love how it some states its illegal to talk on a cellphone while driving, but in those same states, there is no problem if you are talking on a CB.

    I talk all the time to truckers on my way to work - beats listening to the same crap on the radio. Plus, some of those guys (and gals) are a riot.

    Same argument goes for watching movies while driving - thats completely illegal but its okay to watch your little car on your GPS move along the virtual highway :rotflmao:

     

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    edd, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 3:08pm

    if you look into the science of traffic jams.. you'll understand why every idiot that is breaking often, not paying attention or not going to speed limit; or talking on their cell phone while doing all of the above creates traffic jams.. which is dangerous for a number of reasons.

    What to get home from work faster? You would if people were more concerned about driving the speed limit instead of whatever they have to be having that conversation about at right that moment.

    Next time you pass someone who is driving slow; it's either someone old, a family with young children in the car, or someone on their phone.

    Most traffic problems are caused by the cell phone and people not paying attention to keeping the flow of traffic constant.

    Look it up!

    Science of Traffic Jams.. or something

     

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    Research God, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 3:39pm

    I am in favor of putting a ban on a number of poor driving habits.

    However, they are completely useless bans if states arent going to enforce them.

    Many states that have no talking on your cell phone while driving laws can only pull you over for "regular" violations and can only cite you AFTER they have pulled you over if they notice you on your cell phone. In other words, cops cant pull you over just for talking on your cell phone - what the heck is the point then of that law?

    If states are going to put these types of laws on the books, then enforce them as primary violations. If a cop sees a teenager talking on her cell phone while driving, pull her over. If someone is shaving while driving, pull them over.

    Dont just cite them for those things after you first had to find someone to pull over for having a broken tail light.

    Lame.

     

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    Love these laws, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 3:55pm

    Loves these laws

    I know that talking on the phone and have a person talking to you in the car are different things seeing that one arm is off the wheel. But how many people actually drive with both hands on the wheel. Simple way to bypass these kinds of laws when driving, just put your phone down when passing by a cop if you're that worried about it. And about people who drive slower cause they are on the phone I've merrily driven along at speeds around 80 while on the phone. Once the government decides to force cell phone companies to restrict the ability to quickly handshake a call from tower to tower they'll get what they want since driving even 10 miles can bring through 3 different towers.

     

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    Sandra Possing, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 4:43pm

    More things to ban:

    Hand drumming on the steering wheel
    Flossing
    Changing clothes
    Changing the song on your iPod or radio
    Drinking coffee
    Masturbating
    Flipping people off
    Yelling at bad drivers
    Driving with fewer than 2 passengers

    Hell, let's just ban driving all together and walk everywhere. Then at least we'd save money on gas...

     

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      Lucretious, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 4:27pm

      Re:

      One difference between your list and talking on cell phones, all the aforementioned are mentally passive activities. cell phones require actively listening/understanding while forming a response to the caller. Big, big difference.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 5:25pm

    put a ban on "driving while being stupid." Traffic congestion around the world will be a thing of the past.

     

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    Don Wood, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 5:54pm

    List

    Unfortunately, in this country, if you don't specifically ban it, people will assume it is legal. That includes splitting hairs on the definition of 'reckless driving' because some of you might just have my kind of luck and get run over by the idiot that thought it was legal. Folks, it's this simple: a car is for the very singular purpose of driving and nothing else.

     

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    Aloha Treacy, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 6:23pm

    Can I get an Amen? We need another law to justify the jobs of these wackos who keep supporting each other by making more nutty laws instead of insisting police enforce laws already on the books. Pick a subject and we can find 50 laws passed as add-on's to the original rule. Whatever happened to that old line of the Jaycee Creed: "...Government should be of laws rather than of men...?"

     

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    AndrewB, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 6:57pm

    I am afraid use of mobile devices while driving is not just an American foible, though I confess, as usual, they raise it to an artform. "Good drivers just drive". After all the research at various universities around the world into the saftey of using mobile phones while driving only an idiot would do so, though Americans like their freedon to be stupid, and complain most bitterly when they aren't allowed to endanger themselvs and other road users. The number of times I see people riding mororbikes and pedal cycles without any head protection... be prepared to become a vegetable guys and a burdon on society because you are too stupid to think of anything but your own God Given Right to do whatever you damn well please with no thought about its effect on others (your family, wife, children, frends, and everone else).

     

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    LMR, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 7:23pm

    What else should be banned?

    Nose picking! It may not be dangerous to the picker, but it could make me vomit while I'm driving if I see it!!! STOP THAT NASTY STUFF!!!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 8:18pm

    It's very simple. Ban everything which is not related to driving, when/while you are driving. End of subject, if you pay attention to anything other than driving you are breaking the law.

    The mom driving her kids home will have to ignore the bickering, fights and such that her spawn get into on the way home from school. Let's see, how many times do arguments break out in a car during a boring drive between siblings? I'm sure this has caused as many or more accidents as any cellphone conversation.

    The guy that is smoking and accidentally drops his cigarette. You don't want a hole burnt into the interior so 10MPH or 100MPH really doesn't matter to the instant instinct to pick up the offending item. Oh, now smoking while driving should be banned. (Put any bets on how well that will go over?)

    Pick something up and accidentally drop it. Building on the above idea, I pick up a lighter and for some reason drop it. It should be illegal for me to search for that lighter because I'm in a moving vehicle. With common sense though, if I'm all alone on the road, search away, if I'm in traffic, wait and/or pull over to perform my search. Oh my god, common sense.

    Mike has been pretty blatant about how stupid it is to make specific laws which are covered by other laws. What I believe is lacking in coverage is the fact that every law made, enforceble or not, ends up usually "reducing" the application of the common sense laws.

    If I go out and cause a 50 car pileup, I can claim I was distracted by the cell phone. The fact that I caused this wreck through stupidity doesn't matter, a good lawyer will pick the best law and fight for that as the result. As such, limiting the punishment I receive and also probably avoiding the most appropriate punishments.

    So, in addition to saying these new laws are stupid, I would add that they are dilluting the ability to enforce the common sense laws. I'm driving along and get pulled over, I've been driving like a madman and deserve a ticket. The question is which ticket do I get now? I can now claim I was on the phone so give me that ticket rather than the more nasty ticket for reckless driving.

    The more options available in terms of how you describe a "moral responsibility", the worse this mess gets. The simple answer should be: "You were driving unsafe and you get a ticket for it". Grey areas and lots of additional laws should not be part of the system in the pristine world.

    On the other hand, "what is" driving unsafe? I see it everyday, people who are distracted by this and that and effectively running me off the road. Folks in SUV's just don't see someone driving something as small as a 350Z. In some cases, it's just flat out they didn't and can't see me due to vehicle size, in others though it is absolutely based on the fact that they are distracted by other things.

    Do I need laws to honk at someone though? Nope, I honk and usually the titans back off my little go cart because they reasses their surroundings. In the middle of traffic, where this mostly happens, where is the COP to give them that ticket for talking on the phone, not paying attention etc.

    We only really need the "reckless driving" law because even when folks are on autopilot they respond to external stimulus and mostly avoid issues. Anything not related to inability to drive is simply stupid and redundant.

     

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    Doug, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 8:28pm

    a complete waste of time. They should focus on a real issue, like governmental fiscal responsibility. People will always be .... people. I'm sure every state has the word reckless written in somewhere to some driving law already. Do we really need to connect every single dot to enforce something we already have?

     

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    novelismo, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 10:47pm

    Driving while ______ bans

    Banning cell phones in the car completely, even if used hands-free, would be a long step in the right direction. Banning cell phones in elevators, on buses, trains ... also a good idea. But ...

    Why not just ban driving completely on alternate days? We could start out with even numbers one day, odd numbers the next. Then, after six months or so, ban driving completely on alternate days. No. Driving. At. All.

    Why not just take the police out of their cars and let them go back to walking? Mobile cameras do a better job patrolling speeders anyway. And a redlight camera sure does cut down on running red lights.

    But ... ban driving while having sex? Why not just ban having sex while you're at it? This would suit the sorry asked totalitarians among us just fine.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2008 @ 11:42pm

    i fully agree with the bans.

    get the fuck off your phones. youre a fucking danger to me and other drivers.

     

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    Jeff Self, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 6:43am

    Why do people pause their Tivo when they get a phone call?

    Why? Because they can't concentrate on the tv show. So why is it ok to drive while talking on the phone? Remember, driving is not a right, its a privilege.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 7:30am

    SMOKING!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 7:31am

    We need a catchall like "Driving while distracted" that one is a judgement call.

     

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    numnut, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 8:22am

    Excellent here....1st is to ban.....

    Only one is needed here!
    is to ban people like yourselves who bashed others here ON THIS POST.
    All of you trying to make up bans while ALL of you break/have broken every single rules you tried to ban....WTF???!!!!

     

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    Bob Sieloff, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 9:00am

    How about driving

    How about people just drive when they are in their cars. I am so tired of sitting behind, maneurvering around,or waiting for people who are on the phone, doing their makeup, reading the paper, eating a big mac, checking their hair, playing with their kids, etc..

    I view people who do these things in the car like second hand smoke. Talking on the phone does not put me at immediate danger but puts me in indirect danger because they have lost focus and they are somewhere close enough to me that when they do realize a mistake they have made, by not paying attention to the road, and have a knee jerk reaction, that can be detrimental to both of us.

    Just put your eyes forward, be safe, and when you get to your destination, rest stop, half way point, etc.. engage in all the activities you want.

    My 2cents

     

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    smonkey, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 11:18am

    Just to be clear

    Talking on a cell phone while driving= illegal.
    Getting a blow job while eating a big-mac, while useing a hands free device = legal.

    They have laws on the books for this, it's called reckless endangerment, or failure to stay in your lane, or failure to signal, or in the worst case vehicular manslaughter.

    We don't have laws that say, it's illegal to stab someone to death,and it's illegal to hatchet someone to death, it's illegal to beat someone to death...It's all conveniently wrapped up with a nice little bow in a MURDER charge.

     

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    E Hodge, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 12:16pm

    No sex while driving!!!

     

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    Overcast, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 1:39pm

    Other drivers distract me, ban them as well.

     

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    Griper, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 2:58pm

    What about the huge billboards?

    In Vegas we have are hundreds of billboards with flashing lights. 75% of them are strip club signs, now tell me that isn't distracting. I pass the same ones everyday and I still look at them.

     

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    steveballmer, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 3:32pm

    iPods!

    iPods next!

     

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      Lucretious, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 4:18pm

      Re: iPods!

      actually most states have laws against listening to anything where ear-buds are necessary.


      your responsible for maneuvering a piece of machinery around pedestrians and other "soft" targets that weighs in excess of 2 tons folks, once again, put the fucking toys away and pay attention to the road. If it is so important that you need to talk on he phone, pull over and finish the call. End of story.

       

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    Jeffrey Watts, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 7:15pm

    Reckless Ops

    Many times we already have laws on the books that will help to protect us. From using your cell phone to eating your lunch if you are not paying attention to driving then you should be fined and if needed jailed for reckless operations. Another option would be if after an accident caused by someone using their cell phone if their phone records reflect they where on the phone at the time then sue them.

     

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    JoJo, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 8:26pm

    Get ready at Home for pete sake!

    Ok, I have watched about 10 accidents from my back porch in the last 6 months.

    Every one of them involved a teenage girl. She was either driving her friends around, putting on makeup, or blasting her radio & changing her ipod selection.

    Now, we are literally afraid for our backyard and our children because we are waiting for that one teenage girl, with a car loaded with friend, putting on makeup, talking on the phone, smoking a cigarette, and changing the radio station all at the same time. Oh! and let's not forget drinking her BFC monster!!

    How can we get these kids to just simply DRIVE and get where they're going in one piece?

     

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    McCrea, Jun 29th, 2008 @ 11:42pm

    Turning. Must ban turning, since most freeway collisions involve lane changes.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 4:33am

    I remember one morning in Seattle watching a guy who was shaving in his rear-view mirror slam into the back of a city bus. Fortunately for him it was an electric razor or he might have slit his throat too!

     

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    Kaiti, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 5:53am

    Limiting Driving

    Perhaps we should quit treating driving like a right and treat it more like a privlege. Just quit handing out licenses like they're candy to any idiot who can fill out a form.

     

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    Jeano, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 7:39am

    People are stupid

    The law exists because people are stupid. It seems many people don't understand that holding a cell phone, driving one-handed and talking is reckless driving. In fact, it is possible many policemen and judges are offenders too! So a law was put in place to protect the rest of us from the STUPID.

    Anyone who says you can't outlaw stupidity is right. And you can't have a law for each stupid act. But when there are so many STUPID PEOPLE driving potentially lethal machines, maybe that outlawing cell phones should be put into law.

    Just my opinion.

     

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    Sean, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 7:40am

    Texting while driving

    I don't understand how they want to prevent texting while driving. If I am going to send a text while I'm driving, I'm going to do it in my lap - a place the police cannot see. I can't believe people actually believe they can ban something that can't be seen when it is done.

    I also agree with the poster who said it is the conversation, not the physical phone that is causing problems. The plastic brick itself isn't a problem, it is the conversation which is taking away the focus from the road.

     

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    PRMan, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 7:51am

    How this law makes us safer...

    Before this law, if my phone rang I would simply hold it up to my ear and say "Hello". I usually drive with only my right hand anyway and I can multitask, so it's really no big deal.

    Now, when the phone rings, I have to:

    1. Take out my phone.
    2. Take out my Bluetooth headset.
    3. See that my phone has greyed out the Bluetooth icon...again.
    4. Click the Bluetooth icon and two checkboxes and OK.
    5. Turn on my Bluetooth headset by holding the button down for 2-3 seconds.
    6. Hit Answer before they hang up.
    7. Switch hands.
    8. Figure out how to get the Bluetooth headset on my ear.
    9. Throw the phone on the passenger seat.
    10. All this while driving!!!

    Thanks, California, I feel much safer now.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    ITDude, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 8:37am

    Best Idea ever

    We need to ban driving while being asian.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    EnOne, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 11:35am

    Driving slowly in the left lane?

    Driving slowly in the passing lane is much more dangerous than texting, talking, answering the phone, changing cds, trying to open a new CD, arguing with the DJ, singing along to music, eating a hamburger, connecting an iPod.

    Now that I think of it seeing traffic pile up behind a highway patrol car is also looks pretty dangerous so they should be kept off the roads as well ;)

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      N1ck0, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 2:07pm

      Re: Driving slowly in the left lane?

      The germans had the right idea... We should have lane based speed limits and strict enforcement. Along with cameras watching and ticketing distracted of offensive drivers (yes they ticket people for giving the middle finger).

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 10:21pm

    Techdirt

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    s, Aug 13th, 2008 @ 12:47am

    driving

    Well said.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 9:01am

    fuck you

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Adam P, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 3:59pm

    Is there a law?

    Is it legal to have sex in a car while driving in the state of NC?

     

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


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