German Judge: If Sex While Driving Is Legal, Why Isn't Driving While Phoning?

from the those-deep-philosophical-questions dept

Six years ago, we noted in passing that a court ruling found that driving while having sex is perfectly legal in Germany (separately, it's apparently a popular practice in Russia). Part of the point was in discussing the troubling trend to try to pick off each and every "distraction" to outlaw -- and it seems like a judge in Germany is wondering the same thing. The judge, issuing a fine for a driver talking on his cell phone, started questioning whether it was legal at all to fine drivers for talking, noting how many other driver distractions were perfectly legal -- including sex, masturbation, shaving, changing the radio station and others. The judge isn't necessarily saying it's good to do those things (in fact, he notes the opposite), but he's questioning the constitutionality of banning just one of many distractions, and has apparently sent the issue to Germany Constitutional Court to examine the issue.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 1:03pm

    The Future

    My question is why aren't the cars doing the driving for us yet?

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2009 @ 1:06pm

    Re: The Future

    Because they keep discarding the environmental data and smashing into walls.

     

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  3.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 1:07pm

    Re: The Future

    "My question is why aren't the cars doing the driving for us yet?"

    Not to mention the humping. I don't have time for that shit, just call me when it's time for the orgasm...

     

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  4.  
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    yozoo, Aug 24th, 2009 @ 1:07pm

    What ever happened too

    Generic Distracted Driving laws (they got me for this once in HighSchool for wearing headphones) . . driving while distracted should be the violation. We dont really need anything else?

     

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  5.  
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    RD, Aug 24th, 2009 @ 1:07pm

    Obvious, really...

    Because....its TECHNOLOGY! See, talking to a person sitting next to you, someone who can point, nudge, or otherwise distract you in a very literal way, is not NEARLY as HORRIBLE as that devious and evil device...the CELL PHONE. Technology makes EVERYTHING an act of EVIL. Sex while driving? OK! Sex while driving on a cell phone? BAD! EVIL! BAN! See kids, you can talk to a person in the seat next to you, no matter how distracting it is. Hell, you can even stick your tongue in the ear of your GF/BF while they are driving, and thats OK! Just dont even THINK about COMMUNICATING with another human being verbally over an electronic device! That is WRONG and will lead to the destruction of society as we know it, and turn the highways of our great nation red with the blood of innocents! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2009 @ 1:08pm

    Re: The Future

    because everyone would rebel at the idea of having control taken away from them, there would be little point to the massive income that is driver's licenses, the under X age restrictions, and criminals would hack the system for their nefarious reasons.

     

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  7.  
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    Ryan, Aug 24th, 2009 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: The Future

    there would be little point to the massive income that is driver's licenses, the under X age restrictions

    Umm...since when did licenses and restrictions have to make the slightest inkling of sense? I wouldn't worry about driver's licenses losing utility, they could just require car licenses. I don't think it is humanly possible for a license to ever be more completely asinine and pointless as T.V. licenses in the U.K.

     

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  8.  
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    Ryan, Aug 24th, 2009 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: The Future

    Sorry U.K., I guess they got them in lots of places. Human stupidity knows no bounds...

     

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  9.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: The Future

    Environmental data...meh!

    Smashing into walls...population control!

     

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  10.  
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    Bubba Gump (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 1:39pm

    Re: The Future

    "My question is why aren't the cars doing the driving for us yet?"

    Or, more importantly, the masturbation...

     

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  11.  
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    zaven (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: The Future

    Clearly the trick is to develop a car that can go through said walls.

     

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  12.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Obvious, really...

    hahahaha

    i can't stop laughing over the imagery in this one. I see lots of flames behind an old librarian/nun type wagging their finger at you while being 15 feet tall and towering over you.

     

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  13.  
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    antimatter3009 (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 2:03pm

    Re: The Future

     

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  14.  
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    zcat (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Obvious, really...

    no.

    Because cellphone conversations (handheld or handsfree) are an external distraction. When you're talking to your passenger and they see a pedestrian step out in front of you or some other thing that you need to focus on, they'll instinctively stop talking and let you focus on driving. The person talking to you on the cellphone has no idea of your driving environment and will keep talking, and will expect you to be listening to them.

    I am particularly aware of this because my wife doesn't drive, has never learned any driving skills and therefore frequently keeps talking at times when I need to concentrate, and it's bloody distracting.

     

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  15.  
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    boost, Aug 24th, 2009 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: The Future

    Clearly, most "drivers" are too busy talking on their cell phones and checking their e-mail to be bothered with actually operating their vehicles. So, I really don't know why people would mind at all giving up the responsibility of navigation and control to the "hands" of an adaptable, multi-sensory, failure reduntant control system? The benefits would be immediate profound as collision rates would plummet and fuel efficiency would climb.

    You'd only need the driver to be made aware of situations in the event of a mutliple system failure. In which case the vehicle would be able to communicate to other vehicles nearby that the vehicle is now in human hands. Electronics are going down in price all the time, so I don't really see this being too far out there.

    Obviously, you'd have some obsticals to over come in terms of data security, but nothing that couldn't be overcome.

     

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  16.  
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    TheStupidOne, Aug 24th, 2009 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: The Future

    I'd really welcome not having to do the driving. Only 2 reasons I don't take public transportation (In San Diego) are that the routes aren't very good and I don't feel very safe on them.

    So if we got self driving cars in the US I'd be all over it. 20 minute naps to and from work :)

     

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  17.  
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    baditup (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 3:26pm

    really?!?!

    I never really understood the whole banning cell phones in the car thing. Do you think that a crop-duster gives a shit about the cars beneath him? It's still just as much of a distraction (if not LESS of one) than a cell phone. Some people look at "ooh, shiny" things and just can't help it. Might as well ban car stereos, drive-thru EVERYTHINGs, transporting children, spousal arguments, THE SUN, bright lights, all sound everywhere, CBs, HAMs, etc, etc....

    While we're at it, let's start handing out citations for talking during a movie because, after all, you're supposed to be concentrating on the movie and if some jackass is talking during it, it's distracting, right?

    Bureaucracy is bull$#!T

     

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  18.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The Future

    its called a tank ... fuel economy 2 gallons per mile

     

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  19.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re: The Future

    Just ordered you a big suck vacuum cleaner ... with optional 12 volt adapter ...

     

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  20.  
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    baditup (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 3:31pm

    I meant that a cell could be less of a distraction than a plane....

     

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  21.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Re: The Future

    See big suck vacuum joke above

     

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  22.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Re: Obvious, really...

    I wonder what he got caught doing as a child ... to even bring those images to the forefront... ROFLMAO ....

    ... Oh god .... Oh God .... Oh ... YES...YES!!!! ... wow that was fun ... technology is really evil ... I just had thoughts of phone sex while driving with a Nun, or was that driving into a Nun ... just the thought should get me arrested ... And I really liked the way she wiggled her finger ....


    ... Big Ole Grin

     

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  23.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 3:44pm

    Re:

    Yeah we got that

     

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  24.  
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    davebarnes (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 3:44pm

    Think of the children®

    masturbation must be outlawed

     

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  25.  
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    Michael (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 3:49pm

    ridiculous...

    Why do we even care what people do in there cars???

    Don't most countries have laws against reckless driving and other traffic incidents?

    Tired of new legislation just so stuffed shirts can say they're "doing something about _______".

    How about enforcing the existing laws?

     

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  26.  
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    Big Al, Aug 24th, 2009 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The Future

    Maybe it's worth it just to have at least one ad-free channel.

     

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  27.  
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    AnonCow, Aug 24th, 2009 @ 4:05pm

    You haven't driven until you've been on the autobahn at 200Kmh watching a schiesse video while getting blown by a hooker from the former East Berlin...

     

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  28.  
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    Paul Hobbs (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 4:58pm

    Where will it end?

    I realise that my comment is slightly off topic, but given our increasingly litigious society (I live in Australia and we are way behind the US in the litigiousness department, but we're slowly catching up), it seems likely to me that this will one day end up with a driver suing someone for distracting them (if it hasn't happened already). If someone can spill their coffee on their lap while driving, and then successfully sue McDonalds for making the coffee too hot, how long before someone sues Toyota/Sony/Apple/ for a billboard on the highway that was so effective it caused the driver to take their eyes off the road?

    I have long believed that billboard advertising by the side of roads should be banned. The whole purpose of a billboard is to take your attention AWAY from driving, even if only for a few seconds. But it is just another example of how commercial interests are placed ahead of those of the community. As far as I am concerned my "right" to drive in a relatively distraction-free environment (ie: the roads) trumps a company's "right" to stick yet another ad in front of me.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2009 @ 9:43pm

    Re: Re: The Future

    Machines already do this, you need to visit the appropriately inappropriate store.

     

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  30.  
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    lordmorgul, Aug 24th, 2009 @ 9:48pm

    Re: Where will it end?

    Well said. There truly is nothing but political agenda behind the cell phone bans; no legitimate data and clearly as you pointed out no track record of making substantial changes in the direction of increased safety... before the cellphone.

     

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  31.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 25th, 2009 @ 4:35am

    Re: Think of the children®

    "Think of the [knuckle] children®"

    There, fixed that for you...

     

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

  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2009 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re: The Future

    And what happens if the redundant control system is one of the multiple systems that files?

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2009 @ 6:51am

    Re: really?!?!

    Then we'd have to band rode-side signs/billboards, stores, etc... As drivers are distracted by these too

     

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  34.  
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    spaceman spiff, Aug 25th, 2009 @ 7:40am

    Driving while thinking

    I think a lot when I'm driving. Unfortunately, it causes me to become somewhat distracted from the driving process. I don't know what I'd do if I had to stop thinking while driving though...

     

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  35.  
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    Jeffrey Nonken, Aug 25th, 2009 @ 8:06am

    Re: Obvious, really...

    "Because....its TECHNOLOGY! See, talking to a person sitting next to you, someone who can point, nudge, or otherwise distract you in a very literal way, is not NEARLY as HORRIBLE as that devious and evil device...the CELL PHONE."

    Don't be ridiculous. It takes a lot more of your focus and concentration to talk on a cell phone than to talk to somebody next to you. And if my passenger starts poking me while I'm driving they can freakin' walk home. I may even stop the car before I let them out, aren't I nice?

     

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  36.  
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    mattarse (profile), Aug 27th, 2009 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: really?!?!

    Driving in Germany is actually quite relaxing without the billboards.

     

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


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