New Study Shows Texting Bans May Make Roads Even More Dangerous

from the unintended-consequences... dept

For many years we've questioned the wisdom of various "distracted driving" laws -- such as bans on talking while driving or texting while driving. It's not -- as some people have accused -- that we think texting or using a mobile phone is a good idea while driving. We don't. In fact, it seems to go without saying that trying to send a text message while driving is one of the dumbest things you can do, and I'm amazed that anyone even considers it. My concern has always been that I don't believe the laws work. And, now, it appears that we have some more evidence to support that. A new study has shown that state laws banning driving while texting have not reduced accidents, and in some cases may have even resulted in more accidents. How could it have increased accidents? Because people who want to text anyway -- especially unskilled young drivers -- begin holding their phones lower to avoid detection, making it that much more difficult to control the car and be aware of their surroundings. The study compared before and after stats in states that implemented texting-while-driving bans, and then also compared the findings to neighboring states that didn't have such laws.

This seems like a classic case of politicians not understanding unintended consequences. Politicians love to ban stuff, but they never take into account the actual response to those bans, and just assume that if the law bans something people will stop doing it. Instead, they may continue to do the action in an even less socially acceptable way -- and that can put a lot more people in danger.

The article quotes someone who makes the point that I've been trying to make for years:
"The trouble is that texting and using a cellphone while driving is definitely hazardous. Nobody argues that. The danger in putting all the emphasis on laws is that it is being done to the exclusion of something else that would be more effective."
No one is arguing that texting while driving is a good thing -- just that these laws aren't helping (and may even be making the problem worse). Instead of pretending we live in a perfect world where if something is banned by law, people will stop doing it, why not focus on looking for solutions that actually make people safer?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    R. Miles (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:20am

    Let's fix the problem completely.

     

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  2.  
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    R. Miles (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:21am

    Re: Let's fix the problem completely.

    (stupid enter button)

    Mandate Faraday cages be put into every vehicle.

    No texts. No calls. Just driving sans the make up application, newspaper reading, music tuning, and other "eyes off the road" distractions. My favorite being vehicles equipped with Sync.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: Let's fix the problem completely.

    Better yet, let's just take people out of the equation entirely. Mandate that all cars must be equipped with a 'tamper-proof' (*snort, tee-hee) autonomous driving system.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Let's fix the problem completely.

    Then who do you blame for the wreck, because you know it will still happen.

     

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    sehlat (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:28am

    It's called "grandstanding".

    1. Oh, LOOK! We've "done something"! Quick, donate to our reelection campaigns!

    2. An *actual study* of the consequences? Who cares?

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's fix the problem completely.

    Pish! Blame is barely the relevant factor. They ticket both parties for 'failure to control their vehicle' because that law will still be on the books and in effect despite its being nonsense and then let the civilians' insurance companies hash out the blame in civil court proceedings.

    Why should the state care who is to blame when they can just get money from both parties?

     

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    rabbit wise (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:34am

    here's my problem with these specific laws - ok, i will not text while drive. got it. but it is perfectly legal for me to play sudoku or word mix, right? because there is no law that states specifically that driving while sudoku-ing or word mixing is illegal. what if i am just typing a calendar entry?

    we need a whole other law for non-voice, non-interpersonal communication "data input"...and it just keeps going...and going...and going.

     

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    MrWilson, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:34am

    Despite the fact that I was perfectly capable of driving and talking on the phone without allowing it to distract me, I was happy when such a law passed in my state. There are so many people who you can tell are talking on the phone just by the way they are driving. They drive slower than necessary, break earlier than even my mother, and often swerve halfway into other lanes.

    Unfortunately, the law did nothing to curb the activity. I've not actually heard of anyone getting a ticket for it. And I still see people talking on their cell phones while driving just about everyday.

    There are some people who can't drive well to begin with. They don't need another distraction. Unfortunately, if all of their driving experiences are near-misses and the laws aren't enforced, they'll keep on doing it.

    But what's the solution? Turn citizens into profiteering vigilantes by getting people to turn in fellow drivers for the promise of a cut of the ticket? Big Brother is watching you because Big Brother is everyone.

     

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    Grimby, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:43am

    I see people rear-end other cars while texting and driving all the time. Usually 2-3 times a month. In rush hour, it's so easy to watch it happen.

    The not-so-smart person will have their cellphone down in their lap thinking they're being all sneaky about it and they don't notice the guy in front of them slam on their brakes, and smash.

    It sucks because at least when they used to hold it at eye level, I wasn't held up in traffic and late getting places as much as I am now.

     

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    TheRemains (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:44am

    In reality there is no alternative

    Governments must pass laws like this because the alternative is more regulations on industry which raises the ire of lobbyists and conservatives across the country. It's much more likely that the legislature will be able to solve their issues using local laws and are completely incapable of getting Congress to muster the strength to change national policy on multi-national corporations.

    Really, the only other way to do this is to either ignore it or mandate changes directly into the cars or cell phone devices. And that just isn't going to happen.

     

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    A Dan (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:45am

    Re:

    There's nothing wrong with driving slower than necessary (how do you judge what's necessary?) or braking early. Both are safer and more cost-effective ways of driving. Driving substantially under the speed limit should, of course, be discouraged. But don't get mad at people because they're trying to obey the law, despite how stupid you or they believe the law to be. It's very difficult to drive within the speed limit and keep it within a mile under at all times.

    Swerving into other lanes is, of course, awful. And no competent driver should ever hit the rumble strip unless avoiding an accident or navigating construction areas.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:48am

    Automated solution:

    Since cell towers already triangulate, a bit of math on two positions reveals distance traveled: if over a given rate, disconnect. (That's the minimum: fines are easily possible.)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:48am

    My state's aggressive driving law.

    Within one mile, commits all of the following: 1) speeding; 2) at least two of the following: failure to obey traffic control device, passing on the right off of paved roadway, following too closely, lane violation, failure to yield right of way; and 3) creating an immediate hazard for another vehicle or person.

    Seems to about sum up anything you would do while distracted to me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:50am

    Re: In reality there is no alternative

    There is another alternative: education campaigns.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:50am

    Re:

    Or we could start enforcing a few laws that we already have, like reckless driving.

    We could get cops out running the roads and paying attention to how people drive instead of sitting, watching a speed readout.

    In Pittsburgh, it's not speeding that causes the most problems, it's cutting people off, tailgating, illegal turns (irresponsible construction schedules). Excessive speeding can be a problem, but going that fast is rare and can be picked up by a rolling cop.

     

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    Kilroy, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:51am

    The people are the problem ...

    people who lack the integrity to obey the laws. A long time ago we called them criminals ...

     

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    Kilroy, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Re: Automated solution:

    fines could be added directly to the phone bill ... not bad.

     

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    rabbit wise (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re:

    exactly.

    what really needs to happen here is the human race needs to take one for the universal team.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:54am

    Re: Automated solution:

    That's actually a bad idea. What about the passengers? I have security software that sends SMS messages if I lose my phone. I wouldn't be pleased if some law cost me my $600 phone.

     

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    A Dan (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:54am

    Re: Automated solution:

    Some people travel with passengers.

     

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    Rusty Eulberg, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:55am

    Motorcycles

    As a motorcyclist, I realize that I have made my commute more dangerous.
    I now feel less threatened driving in the bar district after last call than I do during rush hour.
    Driving while impaired, I don't think it matters if it's alcohol or screaming kids or your phone. you should lose you license on the spot.

     

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    A Dan (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 9:58am

    Re: The people are the problem ...

    Criminals are people committing felonies, not infractions. People doing Criminal Speeding are arrested.

    These are simple infractions, not actual crimes, hence the people are not criminals.

     

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    Mike C. (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:00am

    Perhaps we should penalize the consequences...

    As I was reading this, I was thinking that no law will ever stop distracted driving because some people will always feel that they can "handle" the distraction.

    How about we repeal ALL the "distracted driving" laws and pass a new one that adds a citation/ticket for "accident due to distracted driving". It would not be a primary offense that you could get pulled over for, but a supplemental ticket at the scene of an accident on top of any other offenses (i.e. speeding, failure to maintain lane, etc). It could carry a large fine ($1000... $5000?) + points against the drivers license + automatic assumption of fault for insurance purposes.

    The idea is not necessarily to prevent the action, but to make the consequences of causing an accident due to distracted driving so extreme that people will stop and think about whether or not the penalties are worth the risk.

     

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    Michael, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:02am

    Re:

    How do you fight fraud? I can tell them you were talking on your cell phone and now we have to go to court (I'm the witness) and the court has to decide I am believable and not just saying you were talking on your phone because you cut me off.

    Or perhaps we should have everyone that does not talk on their phone taking pictured of the people who are?

    I think we need to make the penalties worse. Studies have shown that talking on your phone reduces your capacity to control your vehicle as much as being legally drunk. Why not make the penalty the same? Take the license, put the driver in jail, mandate counseling.

     

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    DS, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re:

    "There's nothing wrong with driving slower than necessary"

    Nope. It's as dangerous as speeding. It's not the speed that usually causes the accident, it's the variation between the speeds of the cars on the road that cause an accident.

     

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    rabbit wise (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re:

    What state do you live in? Because I'm sitting here at my desk and in the next cube is a chick who has 7 DWI arrests, no jail time and still has her license.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:16am

    I'm sort of sorry for the caps.

    IT'S NOT THE LAWS, IT'S THE ENFORCEMENT.

    I believe the same study showed that areas that had higher enforcement of the distraction laws had a reduction in accidents.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:16am

    Please, share what this "something else that would be more effective" is. I am usually one to be weary of laws banning my freedom, but for once I am actually relieved that something is being done in an effort to stop the idiots I have to drive next to on a daily basis. I'm sick of studies showing that things MAY cause something else. Until you show me something that is more effective, I don't want to hear cries revolving around ambiguous MAY happenings... Good grief.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Re:

    well that is it's own problem. Lets treat drunk driving the same was we treat shooting a gun into a crowd ... not much different really

     

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    A Dan (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    As dangerous as speeding, perhaps, but it's the only way to drive legally.

    What are people supposed to do if they want to obey the law and also be safe? Is the variance in the speed more the fault of the person obeying the law or the person breaking it?

    I, personally, think that in those situations the speed limit is unreasonable and unsafe, and should be raised. But that doesn't seem to be happening.

     

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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:22am

    Au contraire

    When slower moving traffic is in the faster lanes it causes a back up as traffic builds behind the slower vehicle. As another post mentions it is the variance in speeds that eventually causes the accident as faster moving traffic unexpectedly encroaches on the slower vehicles. There are laws on the books for driving too slow for a very good reason. Keep in mind they are driving slower NOT for safety reasons but because they aren't actually paying attention which is the heart of the whole issue.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:24am

    Re:

    "Please, share what this "something else that would be more effective" is."

    Plenty of people have already given ideas on how to properly solve these and other possible issues without adding laws to our already bloated books.

    My personal favorite so far is the pink AC that posted just before you.

    "IT'S NOT THE LAWS, IT'S THE ENFORCEMENT."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re:

    All the alternate options will raise just as much criticism as the texting ban itself. And Law Enforcement, the first half of that suggestion is LAW.

     

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    Bapzzy, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:29am

    Put the onus on car makers, and cell phone mfg to have a standard connection for hands-free talk in all cars and phones.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Driving

    > There's nothing wrong with driving slower than necessary

    Actually there is. By driving slower than all the traffic around you, you become more of a hazard than a speeder.

    It's basic fluid dynamics-- laws of physics and all that.

    It's roughly analogous to a river. Even fast-moving water will move with smooth tranquility until you stick a big old boulder in the middle of it, then you get chaos and a raging rapid. A slow-moving driver in a river of fast traffic is that chaos-causing boulder.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:42am

    Re: Motorcycles

    > I don't think it matters if it's alcohol or
    > screaming kids or your phone. you should lose
    > you license on the spot.

    The problem is the issue of proof. It's easy to scientifically prove impairment with alcohol and drugs via breath/blood tests. How do you prove someone was driving impaired with a cell phone (or that the kid in the back seat's behavior rose to the level of impairment)? Unless the cop directly witnesses the use of the cell phone, there's no testable way to determine impairment. And even witnessing a kid in the backseat isn't going to prove that the driver was impaired because of it.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    We have plenty of laws already on the books created before any of us were born that apply perfectly to this situation. If someone's swerving on the road, driving in the wrong lane, running red lights, we already have laws that the police can pull over and fine these people for. The police just need to start F*#&@*g doing it.

     

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    Ll, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:43am

    Re: Automated solution:

    So, passengers (possibly on a bus) can't use their phones either?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:44am

    Another law is not needed. When the inevitable accidents occur, the phone company records will be investigated and the the culprits will be sued senseless. And will be no longer able to afford a car, let alone insurance.

     

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    A Dan (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Driving

    That's not slower than necessary. That's slow enough to be dangerous. The solution to that is to make it so it's not illegal to keep up with traffic, not to get mad at the people who follow the law. I hate needing to go 67 in a "Speed Limit 55" to keep up with the "slow" cars. That's risking a hundreds-of-dollars ticket to avoid being a hazard.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Do they really need to be doing these things before they are stopped?

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:47am

    Re: Perhaps we should penalize the consequences...

    > How about we repeal ALL the "distracted driving"
    > laws and pass a new one that adds a citation/ticket
    > for "accident due to distracted driving".

    Again, issue of proof. How does a cop responding to an accident know whether it was caused by a person on a cell phone (or tuning their radio or distracted by screaming kids, etc)? The mere possession of a cell phone in the vehicle can't meet that standard. Short of a direct eyewitness or a court later subpoenaing the person's cell phone records, there's no way to prove that the wreck was caused by cell phone distraction. And even if you go to those lengths, that only works if the person was making a call. All the other stuff, like fiddling with the radio, etc. can't be proven against the person at all.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If we should punish after accidents why not eliminate all laws prohibiting driving while intoxicated? After all, as long as they haven't caused any harm, we don't need to do anything. Similar concept to a lesser degree. If you are going to risk other people's safety and property in order to get that urgent text through, you're a hazard. The ban provides a more direct way to punish these people.

     

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    CaptainCode (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 11:00am

    Personal Responsibility is the forgotton key

    In all of these discussions regarding texting, I have to agree that the thing that is missing from politicians and most of the media, is the component of personal responsibility. Most people don't get in their cars intending to cause an accident, or worse. They get in their cars thinking that they need to go somewhere. And unfortunately, that is where the thinking stops. A text message comes in, and most people can't handle the temptation of wondering who it was, what did they want, or maybe someone is texting because of some emergency.

    I think at heart most people are good, and probably realize the danger to some degree that their actions pose to themselves and others, but don't think that anything can really happen to them. That is where the danger lies. We need to teach people to take personal responsibility for their actions. In fact, there are technical ways that can help in that regard as well. (Disclosure, I am an author of an app that helps in that regard) On Android, for example, there is an application called DriveSafe, that helps people to put the responsibility in their court by choosing to remove some of the temptations to text and drive. The application silences notifications of an incoming text message, and even will respond to the sender that you are busy driving and not able to see their message. That way you can choose to remove temptation, without having to worry about people thinking you are ignoring them, or what ever thought may cause people to hesitate.

    Now obviously, that application won't solve all of the problems that exist, but until people start to learn other behaviors, etc. it can help. But the most important thing is people learn to take accountability for their actions, good and bad.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Who the fuck said after accidents. Don't be an idiot. Cops need to pull their eyes away from the radar guns and actually pay attention to drivers. When they see someone swerving all over the road, driving in the wrong lane, running red lights, cutting people off, not using proper singles, pull them the fuck over. Drinking, texting, jacking off, whatever they may be doing these laws apply.

    Texting while driving can be hidden, the phone can be turned off or put away before the cop gets there, the law is pointless. Drinking while driving cannot be turned off, that law is not pointless.

    If we keep this texting while driving law, I demand we create individual laws for each and every single possible thing that can distract a driver. I demand laws for talking to passengers, yelling at children in the back seat, putting on makeup, brushing hair, adjusting the radio, scratching your nuts, eating, reading a book, reading a newspaper, smoking, winding down the window, looking at the wreck, shaving, honking at good looking women, solving math problems, reading billboards, looking at driving directions, driving drowsy, driving angry, am I pissing you off yet?

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    By the way, it's not driving drunk, it's driving under the influence of drugs. A broader definition that covers more then alcohol.

     

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    RBahr, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 11:06am

    It hasn't stopped

    I still see people texting daily on the roads. The law did nothing to stop it and it cannot be enforced. What a waste of time and money by our government.

     

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    Rhynn (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 11:10am

    Ridiculous, Clueless, and Unoriginal Spin

    I can't believe people still attempt this kind of thing at this point. Anything to prevent people from reminding them that the cellphone has never and will never be as necessary as air. Both the world and its drivers have managed without cellphones for as long as the car has existed.

    Here's something crazy. Maybe the laws don't work because they're NOT ENFORCED, and they're not enforced because enforcement is NOT MANDATORY?! Ever think of that? In California cops can't even pull a texter or cell user over unless they're breaking some other traffic law. And when they do pull them over, the fine is $50. Who cares?

    Make the offense PRIMARY, change the first offense fine to $1000, and double it on each additional offense. Then come back and tell me how many people are hiding the phone under the wheel. The fine here for littering is over $1000 for crying out loud.

    And for those who want to use Nirvana fallacies to argue this, such as that it doesn't solve problems with people crashing because they're playing Jenga and other such nonsense, what say you about removing the drunk driving, speeding, and reckless driving laws because they don't solve those problems either? Give me a break.

    These laws exist because "me me me" Americans won't do what's right without being dragged by the scruff of the neck. They don't work because the fox is guarding the henhouse and the judges and lawmakers are breaking them too.

     

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    Suomynona, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 11:12am

     

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    Sean T Henry (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    Ecomodder also has a descussion on this topic http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/texting-ban-increase-accident-rate-14696.html#post196532

    I think that the ban is ignorant and the most reckless drivers I have seen texting and driving are the older folks.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think the point is that texting has become such an issue that legislate decided to create strict liability for doing it. When enough people start jacking off in the car that it because a daily hazard, maybe a law for that will be needed as well.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, I think there is a specific law against that. Several others that can be used in that situation as well. One of them gets your name added to the sexual offenders list.

    My main point isn't that texting while driving isn't a big problem, my main point is that this is just a reaction, not action. The law is fairly worthless. The cop has to see the person doing it and even then it can be argued. If a cop sees someone driving erratically and pulls them over, they can't write a "texting while driving" ticket if they find a cell phone in the front seat.

    If we actually want to keep people safe we could just enforce the laws we already have. If we do that we don't have to worry about the next thing that may become a problem, it's already been solved. That's all that I'm saying, that's all that Mike's saying. The only problem with that idea is politicians can't create a brand new problem to be solved every election.

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Alright, alright. I can agree that a worthless law that cannot be enforced doesn't do any good. But my intial irritation with the article was the idea that the law is causing MORE trouble. If we're arguing that the law isn't effective and shouldn't be used by politicians as a campaign point, then yes I agree. I don't think that completely superfluous laws and regulations are needed. And I intially said that I'm not usually in favor of limiting my freedoms.

    But I was annoyed with the concept that this law is creating worse drivers because they're looking down instead of up while texting. The law would ban either way of texting and if a few people wait to glance at their phones when it goes off in the car because of the possiblity of being caught, I'm happy.

     

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  54.  
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    Overcast (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 11:43am

    "Because people who want to text anyway -- especially unskilled young drivers -- begin holding their phones lower to avoid detection, making it that much more difficult to control the car and be aware of their surroundings. The study compared before and after stats in states that implemented texting-while-driving bans, and then also compared the findings to neighboring states that didn't have such laws."

    I usually don't talk on the phone while driving... Last time I was out of state, I had it mentioned that talking on the cell while moving was illegal.

    The attempts to avoid 'detection' were far more dangerous than just talking, lol

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Re:

    Talking and texting are different. Texting involves eyes. However you text while drive, you eyes aren't on the road. Whether they're looking at a phone thats nearer to their front window, or at their lap, both are just idiotic.

     

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  56.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The report is saying that the law is causing more people to crash. You didn't misinterpret that at all. I'm not going to agree with the report with just two months and a few states worth of data, the first time I read it I thought it was bull, I still do. Statistical anomaly at best.

    The point of the article is that the law didn't stop people from texting while driving, they're just (possibly) doing it in a more dangerous way then before.

    You asked for a solution other then the law, we gave it to you.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 12:11pm

    Butler

    We need to have Jarvis from Iron Man installed in all our homes, computers, and offices. Then he could read and respond to our texts for us.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Sinkalip, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Ridiculous, Clueless, and Unoriginal Spin

    If the issue was really about safety, they would make laws with penalties like they have made for other forms of impaired driving.
    The governmemnt only wants the quick money from the tickets.

     

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

  59.  
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    AFAB (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 12:18pm

    How about a little social pressure. We all know how dangerous driving and talking/texting is. When one of my friends calls me and I think they are driving, I ask them to call back when they are off the road, and then I hang up. They quickly learn not to call me while driving. I know some of these idiot friends of mine just have to talk to someone and just call the next person on their list, but if most people did this, the problem would at least diminish. I also tend to blast my horn when the person next to me on the freeway is on their phone. Hear a car horn - hang up on the idiot. They will eventually get the message.

     

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  60.  
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    darryl, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    What about the many studies, that show ?

    That show that no matter what you are doing, either texting, or talking on a mobile you're attention and reaction time is MUCH slower than if you are not.

    They testing this with many drivers, in driving simulators, with many many runs of the same 'circuit'. They were times, and random incidents occured in each run.. A very good test.

    The people doing those test, were required to drive without mobile phone distractions, with passenger distraction, with phone, talking and texting.

    IN ZERO CASES, was any of the test subject able to respond as fast or FASTER when talking of texting on a mobile.
    Very little change when talking to a passenger, and massive delays with trying to text.

    NO ONE DID AS WELL OR BETTER when trying to use a phone, and the effect of trying to text was measured (and tested) to be equivalent to driving on a high level blood alochol content.

    And just putting out a new law will not immediately stop the incorrect and dangerous actions, it will take time, it will take education (get that you guys, an education), and awareness.

    All these things will come in time, its the same as seat belts, when they first came out there was an outcry with all sorts of crazies complaining, but statistics show that seat belt's and seat belt laws have saved thousands of lives.

    It will take some time for you Americican to work it out, and catch up with most other countries who this is a "NO BRAINER".

    It is clearly more dangerous to text while driving, and its a risk to others and not just yourself.

    And making laws agaist it, makes good sense, and it will save lives, and people will work out, (most will) that it is dangerous, to yourself or a small child, and with the laws against it, you might work out its dangerous a bit earlier, take appropriate and responsible action.


    If you think your personal rights exceeds the rights of those around you, justifying known dangerous activities then you do not deserve to be a part of any community.

    Do you get that ??

    You right to text does not trump the right of that 6 year old child you could of avoided if your reaction time was a few miliseconds quicker..

    I hope the message was not to your 6 year old child.. !!!

    Mike, trying to justify your personal freedom by claiming a law trying to make the community safer is somehow bad.

    And making the stupid claim that a law would somehow increase the problem is just ridiculous.

    You should be ashamed Mike, really its a bad look.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The solutions given were neither better than nor more effective than the law. In fact, they still revolve around the existence of the laws themselves. You're hope for stricter enforcement is just as much wishful thinking as the legistlature's bann texting laws. Besides, the article wasn't trying to explain how better law enforcement could fix the problem. It was blaming a new law for people's idiot behaviors. The law isn't making people text, its trying to prevent it. I think it's idiotic to rally behind this study and declare "ohhhhh the law is MAKING people text MORE dangerously." Please.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 1:01pm

    Re: What about the many studies, that show ?

    Yeah, the claim that the facts are real is ridiculous. Everyone should just base their rantings on made-up nothing!

    Like Darryl.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and by you're up there, I mean your. God damnit I hate errors

     

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  64.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

    im not against such laws because they dont ever work (which they dont) im against them because there are already tons of applicable "driving while distracted" types of laws on the books.
    why exactly cant we just start enforcing the existing laws we have on the books rather than making new ones?

    oh yeah, because of grandstanding politicians thats why.... silly me.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Boost, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The person driving a car should not hit another car no matter how slowly the other car is going. There is no excuse.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Boost, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Driving

    Just because you idiots are driving 75 or 80 mph on the freeway, shouldn't mean that I need to also. When you start paying for my fuel, maybe I'll drive faster.

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Bjorn, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 2:23pm

    The real problem is a lack of enforcement coupled with penalties that don't fit the crime. The penalty for texting on a cell phone that you are holding on the floor while driving should be that you are not allowed to drive for awhile, 6 months, a year, it is just as dangerous as drunk driving but we penalize it like it is the same as going 60 in a 55.

    oh and for your amusement...
    http://www.kval.com/news/tech/103947448.html

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: Let's fix the problem completely.

    hmmm...a car is already a Faraday cage.

     

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

  69.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re:

    That's my main driving/legal beef. They enforce only what there are easy tools to enforce. They enforce the easiest infraction to measure, prove, and prosecute. Speeding.

    And they then build all kinds of tenuous arguments about how speeding is the *cause* of all kinds of accidents. But it's not a cause, it's a multiplier. But we ignore the causes, because thats *hard* to enforce.

    Now with red light cameras, they have a cheap tool for enforcing red light infractions. We see efforts to abuse that tool too.

    Oh, and the enforcement is always related to revenue.

    They do not enforce all the other infractions which are more dangerous.

    How did we get on this tangent..? Oh, yeah, TXT and driving is bad, and should be enforced with existing laws. Corporations and parents can "police" their staff and kids by using technological tools, like the one that I'm about to pimp for my client, Aegis Mobility:

    http://www.aegismobility.com/home/index.php

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Big Al, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Motorcycles

    "How do you prove someone was driving impaired with a cell phone...?"
    It's called 'Call Records'. Any police force can get these with a warrant and show exact times a call was being made or texts being sent.
    Then it's just a matter of match the call/text times with the accident/pull-over times.

     

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

  71.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: Automated solution:

    I've already pimped my client company once on this thread, so I won't mention them specifically again, but there are technology solutions that use some of the thinking out-of-the-blue mentions. But with four years of development and millions in start-up capital, innovators can overcome some of the limitations you guys imagined.

    A "safety service" that could be purchased by parents or employers for their field force can detect when the user is moving at road speeds, on roads, and the behavior is that of a person in a passenger vehicle. At that point, the system assumes the person is a driver, and redirects calls to a automated attendant who explains "The person you are calling is driving, please leave a message or press 9 for emergency pass-through." Similarly, text messages would just queue up, and outbound calls would be blocked. But an over-ride is build in and actually very easy to activate.

    However, the over-ride also triggers a message to the parent or employer indicating that the user over-rode the system, so that the parent or employer can ask for a good reason.

    Can it be hacked? Well, if it's just a phone app, or something your teenager can reach, then yes. But if it is built into the network like out_of_the_blue suggests, then not so much.

    Commercial solutions can have a positive impact WITHOUT LAWS. Not only would parents and field force managers use it, but insurance companies are serious about the possibility of offering discounts to their policyholders who activate such a service. Car wrecks cost money and have very negative economic "utility". This is the kind of problem that the market and technology CAN solve.

     

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

  72.  
    icon
    Craig (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 3:39pm

    Re:

    Here in my part of Canuckistan, we have "driving with undue care and attention" which would/should cover that.

     

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

  73.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 3:43pm

    Re: The people are the problem ...

    At this point, it would behoove us to question some of the laws on which you place so much faith.

    A long time ago, would you have called Rosa Parks a criminal?

     

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

  74.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 3:48pm

    Re: Re: The people are the problem ...

    BTW, it occurred to me immediately after posting above that I might be interpreted to have argued that what Parks did was akin to speeding. Barely so, of course.

    I meant to suggest that laws should be questioned. Frequently. And some laws just aren't right. Kilroy's blind adherence to law for law's sake is civic irresponsibility, IMHO.

     

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

  75.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Re: Motorcycles

    Yeah, so we over-enforce the measurable, and under-enforce the important.

     

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  76.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re: Perhaps we should penalize the consequences...

    Didn't the death penalty show that people aren't responsive to high-cost punitive measures only when you get caught?

    I'm really asking.

     

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

  77.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 29th, 2010 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It depends, then, if you're the kind of person who judges things by their INTENTION, or if you prefer to judge by OUTCOME.

    Masnick is consistent in judging things by the actual outcome.

     

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

  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Let's fix the problem completely.

    Uhm, no.

     

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

  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 4:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Motorcycles

    Unless there was more than one person in the car... the driver may not have been using the phone.
    Also, you must prove that exact phone was in the car at the time, AND the SIM card has not been cloned. Basically, this is an unworkable burden of proof.

     

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

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: Ridiculous, Clueless, and Unoriginal Spin

    Exactly the same case as with red light traffic cameras.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Clueby4, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 6:12pm

    Wide Band Jammer.

    Just carry a wide band jammer. And to assuage any guilt you may have just use the following rationalization; no neutrality = no right of way.

     

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

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2010 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Motorcycles

    It is not at all an unworkable burden of proof. Circumstantial evidence is perfectly admissible.

     

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

  83.  
    identicon
    BBT, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:33am

    Re: Perhaps we should penalize the consequences...

    Ah yes. The penalty of death and/or dismemberment due to a horrific accident aren't enough to stop people...but a $1,000 fine might do the trick!

     

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

  84.  
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    Pete Braven (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 10:30am

    Texts and Darwin

    To be honest, of some really smart little geek feels the need to text behind the wheel of a ton of metal at 60 mph,.. let the natural laws of selection sort them out and take that link out of the gene-pool!

     

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

  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 2:56pm

    Re:

    Here they covered a lot by simply outlawing the act of pushing buttons while driving. Now it's illegal for me to turn on my headlights or lock my car door or roll down my window if my car is in drive.

     

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

  86.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Driving

    > When you start paying for my fuel, maybe I'll drive faster.

    That's fine, but don't claim it's "safer" to drive 20 mph slower than everyone else, because it's not.

     

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

  87.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 5:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Motorcycles

    > t's called 'Call Records'. Any police force can get these with a
    > warrant and show exact times a call was being made or texts
    > being sent.

    That only works for crimes. You can't get a warrant for an administrative violation, which is what most traffic offenses are these days.

    Even so, that only works for cell phones. It doesn't do anything to address all the other distracted driving scenarios, like screaming kids, talking to passengers, fiddling with the radio, eating and drinking, etc.

     

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

  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 9:35pm

    Re: Automated solution:

    You obviously put so much thought into it I'd love to see your plan on allowing passengers to use the phone, perhaps even to take calls for the driver who can remain focused.

     

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

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 10:01pm

    Re: What about the many studies, that show ?

    It's people like you that are dangerous because they trust instincts over statistics. In this case, you area wrong.

    Nice job pulling at the heartstrings with the 6-year-old story, but try actually getting the facts straight next time.

     

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

  90.  
    identicon
    kdkorrupt, Oct 4th, 2010 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Automated solution:

    so now it disconnects or you get a fine when your using public transportation too? Won't work sorry to say

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Bob D, Oct 6th, 2010 @ 9:50am

    textine & driving

    The report that laws against texting while driving are ineffective is based on flawed data. The research compared accident stats from states that had and did not have such laws, based on ALL accidents. The only meaningful data would be that comparing accidents caused by texting distractions.
    So we can discount these conclusions for now.

     

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

  92.  
    identicon
    tomas henriquez, Oct 10th, 2010 @ 2:18pm

    I think it should not be banned at all, a campaign could do much better. Social Consciousness can work as good as imposed law, and in this cases hopefully better.

     

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

  93.  
    identicon
    izgoi, Oct 11th, 2010 @ 7:19am

    a little common sense...??

    Has anyone stopped to think that maybe the reason there is an increase in REPORTED texted causing crashes is because now that it is illegal cops are more likely to write a ticket pointing to the fact that the driver was texting? Lets face it, if someone was in a crash four years ago and was texting while driving, how likely would it have been that the cause of the crash would be correlated to texting while driving? Even if the driver admitted it, would the cop have written it in the report? If there was no law saying they couldn't do it, why bother writing it up as such? Now that there are laws in place, police are much more likely to point to that as a cause, and more importantly for them, a reason to write a ticket. IF you don't believe me, just research other various laws and what happened to REPORTED cases immediately after the laws were enacted. It wasn't because more people were doing the activity after the law was enacted, it was a simple case of now that a law exists, awareness was increased. To say that the law CAUSED more people to text while driving is simply irresponsible.

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2011 @ 7:05pm

    this is stupid.

     

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


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