California Court Rules It Illegal To Check Maps On Your Phone While Driving

from the judging-distracted dept

For years, we've discussed the problematic nature of "distracted driving" laws that seek to outlaw things like talking on your phone or texting while driving. It is not that we don't think these behaviors are dangerous. It seems clear that those activities can take one's attention away from driving and potentially increase the likelihood of an accident by a significant amount. However, the laws are often broad and inconsistent -- and, worse, they can have serious unintended consequences. As we've noted there are lots and lots of things that can distract a driver which are still considered perfectly legal, such as changing the radio station, talking to passengers, eating, etc. Trying to ban each and every distraction one by one is a ridiculous and impossible task. In fact, studies have suggested that bad distracted drivers will often just find a different distraction to occupy their time. And, thanks to these laws, those drivers are often still texting while driving, but are simply holding their phones even lower, taking their eyes further off the road, so as to avoid detection... actually making the roads more dangerous. The real answer is to focus on stopping bad driving, not trying to call out specific activities.

Anyway, all of that is preamble to a new court ruling in California, found by Orin Kerr, saying that using a mobile phone to check a mapping/GPS program violates the state's law against distracted driving. The driver had argued that the laws are about talking on a phone and/or texting/surfing the internet, but that clearly using a mapping program should be allowed. The court disagreed, even as it acknowledged some of the oddities of what that meant, and said it's really the job of the state lawmakers to figure out what they want to do.

The ruling doesn't totally rule out using a phone's mapping program, but does suggest it needs to be set up in a manner where it is done handsfree, where the driver does not need to hold or touch the phone. Basically, the ruling suggests that it's mostly illegal to touch your mobile phone while driving. The driver noted that this interpretation didn't make much sense, since the legislature had felt the need to add a specific clause to outlaw texting/messaging on phones, but if the overall bill banned any non-hands-free operations, then that would have already been covered. The court disagrees, claiming (oddly) that the added provision also served the purpose of banning non-telephone mobile devices. That may be true, but doesn't explain why that provision also called out messaging services for telephones.

All that said, I generally agree that if you are using mapping software it is probably a hell of a lot safer to somehow have it mounted on your dash, rather than in your hand -- but still this ruling seems to once again highlight the oddities of these particular laws, and how confusing and ineffective they can be.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 7:45pm

    I understand why they did it though. You see tons of people being dumb on cell phones and causing accidents.

     

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    BearGriz72 (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Driving Distracted

    So, now it is legal to use a paper map, but not a software map, and this MAKES SENSE to you?!?

     

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    Kiwini, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 7:52pm

    Re: tons of people being dumb on cell phones

    And it's getting worse.

    Every time a new hand-held device gains popularity, the cagers become less aware of the outside world.

    Driving while dialing/yakking/texting/map-gazing has been proven to be at least as dangerous as DUI, and should be treated in the same way: handcuffs and a tow to the impound lot.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 8:05pm

    The really funny thing is that California outlaws windshield mounts for cell phones, so they're that much harder to use safely while driving.

     

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    velox (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 8:07pm

    That is also the law in Oregon. You can use a dashboard GPS because it doesn't send out radio signals, but you can't use GPS on your phone because the phone does.
    Dumb law.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 8:09pm

    Re: Re: tons of people being dumb on cell phones

    Should ban driving with kids in the car too! No more school buses! No more transit buses! And anything requiring a dispatcher! Like taxis, firetrucks, ambulances, and police!

    And bees! Ever get a bee in the car? Pandemonium!

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 8:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: tons of people being dumb on cell phones

    I remember when I was a kid riding with my dad. We were just coming back from the beach and he did not have a shirt on. A bee flew in the window and ended up making its way into his pants (he is also allergic). He was stepping on the gas, the brake and was swerving all over the place before pulling over to the curb and jumping out of the car. Pretty awesome memory that you just brought back.

     

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    Chillin, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 8:56pm

    It's the same in BC...

    Here it is illegal to use an electronic device (of any type) if you are holding it or if you touch it more than 3 times in a row.

    So if your phone/GPS/blender is in a dashmount and you are using voice control you are good.

    But there is Also separate distracted driving laws that cover driving while distracted by anything.

    I think this is perfect and makes complete sense (despite the fact that I use my phone to text/surf/etc while driving).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 9:08pm

    Can't think, must drive

    Eventually we'll be forced to not think while driving - lest we zone out and not pay attention...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 9:24pm

    Is it also illegal to touch a paper map while driving?

     

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    PRMan, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 9:29pm

    Re:

    Not true. GPS mounts have been legal in California for over 3 years now.

    http://gps.about.com/b/2008/09/30/windshield-mounting-of-gps-legalized-in-california-but-the res-a-catch.htm

    Basically, it must be in the lower left corner of your windshield.

     

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  12.  
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    dese1ect, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 9:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: tons of people being dumb on cell phones

    Seriously, my kid is the worst distraction ever.

     

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    PRMan, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 9:41pm

    Re: Re:

    Very misleading, Mike.

    He was holding it in his hand constantly, instead of having 2 hands on the wheel. If he had simply had it down and tapped it once and then immediately went back to 2 hands on the wheel, he would have been fine according to the judge.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: tons of people being dumb on cell phones

    :)

    I've had bees in the car (sister sat on one during a trip when we were kids). Also had to do a high-speed highway pullover when what I thought was my own hair touching my face turned out to be a fricken spider. And the sweet early summer evening drive that went nearly crashing into a closed gas station when a stag beetle zoomed into my hair.

    Gah! Bug ban, hurry!

     

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    Wally (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 9:52pm

    Re: Re: Driving Distracted

    You're misinterpreting the new law and its reasoning in VERY puffed up and exhaustively exaggerated way. Tell me how tracking where to go next by looking down with no voice prompt on a phone map isn't distracting as you drive...then you have an excuse to berate this AC.

    Now before you decide to cite GPS Units, GPS units by default carry a voice prompt and usually come with a dashboard mount.

    The other sad reason why this law came in is because you have idiots using there phones like GPS units in this world. Most cellphones use cell tower triangulation to figure out where you are and not satellites so even then, it can be a bit unreliable compared to a dash mounted GPS.

     

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    Jake, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 9:58pm

    Re: Re: Driving Distracted

    You know, I think that's illegal in this country as well, only it's covered by a couple of general offences; Driving Without Due Care and Attention (equivalent to reckless driving in the US) and Not Being In Proper Control of Vehicle. The latter has allegedly been used to hand someone a fine and a license suspension because they sneezed and lost control of the car...

     

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    BearGriz72 (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 9:59pm

    Re: "That is also the law in Oregon"

    >

    I live in Oregon, I've never heard of this law. I routinely use the mapping function of my phone without a problem, and I have discussed the handsfree requirements (Bluetooth sends out radio signals BTW) with the cops I know & this has never come up.

     

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  18.  
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    Wally (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 9:59pm

    Re:

    Did you ever consider that it is easier to triangulate your position based on the information on your cell phone from a remote location than it is with a standard GPS unit? To elaborate on that, most cell phones carry a device identifier and anyone can figure out who it belongs to just by asking around...individual GPS Units are only traceable through the unit which means a local or physical connection (such as LoJack) to another unit is required for a remote detection of your whereabouts.

     

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  19.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 10:01pm

    Re: Re: "That is also the law in Oregon"

    That was supposed to say {{Citation Needed}} at the top of my previous comment.

     

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  20. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 10:07pm

    you HAVE to be joking Masnick, you DO NOT WANT LAW that make for safer roads ??

    Do you think if you can make excuses for these people that somehow makes it ok?

    To suggest these measures do not help makes driving safer, you are a fool. No wonder you don't do a real job, no one in their right mind would hire you for ANYTHING !!!

    To change the radio, or the gears, or talk to a passenger does not require extended periods of time with your eyes away from the road, gee, you can even eat and drink and NEVER take your eyes of the road..

    But try to read or write a text or LOOK AT A FUCKING MAP, and see if you can do that 'at a glance'.

    Most people (with at least half a brain) when they know something is illegal (particularly something important) will simply stop doing it.. NO, they will not continue to do it but hide it.. They will STOP DOING IT..

    Would you like an airline pilot texting his girlfriend during a landing ?

    You have children right Masnick ?? how would you feel if one of them was hit by a car where the driver was using his phone and trying to read a map instead of looking out for people running on the road ??

    If you were a normal person, and responsible parent you would nail his balls to the wall.

    I'm sure you would not say:
    'it's ok you killed my child, I don't believe you looking at a map on your phone contributed to you not seeing my child run onto the road'.

    Of course statistically there are SO MANY people causing accidents by eating a pie while driving compared to using a phone !!! /sarc

    So are you saying you have to take your eyes off the road for an extended period of time to take a sip from a can of drink ? or to say something to your passenger ?

    I love it when you tramp out statistics when they 'sort of' support your argument, and say stupid things (your opinion) when the statistics indicate your a dick.

     

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  21.  
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    Digitari, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 10:07pm

    Re: GPS phones?

    what do you mean Phones have no GPS or voice??

    My wife has a Samsung Andriod SCH-R720 with skyvi and google maps, she talks to it, it talks back it not only gives directions but street names as we pass, she Never touches her phone. and those apps are FREE. the phone came out 3-4 years ago. she can even message me without touching it, let alone call me

     

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    Digitari, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 10:10pm

    Re:

    I bet you speed, a LOT

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 10:10pm

    the only time I touch my phone when driving is the reject any incoming calls, if I don't let it just go to message bank.

    how much is a GPS that talks to you, that can give you directions hands free, and without you having to look away from the road.

    What's wrong with just pulling over for 2 mins, if you don't know where you are and have to refer to a map, then what is the point of continuing to drive ?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 10:11pm

    Re: Re: GPS phones?

    we all know Mansick is not really up with all this new, modern technology !!!!!!

     

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  25.  
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    Digitari, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 10:15pm

    Re: How much

    200$ last year now it's on sale for 99$ with No contract

     

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  26.  
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    Digitari, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 10:20pm

    Re:

    I drive the a healthcare center, I drive all over texas, to pick up new residents drove 5 hours to midland and back today, we have a TomTom that is 3 years old and the maps are outdated, google maps are free on my wife's phone and are updated all the time, 2 weeks ago I drove to Hearne Texas 11 hours round trip, it's my Job............

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 10:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't know a single person who drives with two hands on the wheel at all times.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 10:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Of course he does. He thinks he's better than everyone else. Those types always speed.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 10:26pm

    Car dock manufacturers everywhere cheered as their business is propped up by California law.

     

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  30.  
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    Nigel (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 10:26pm

    Re:

    You missed the entire fucking point of the post.
    Unless my sarcasm meter is broken you need to go sit in the corner and STFU.
    Nigel

     

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  31.  
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    Chillin, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 10:53pm

    Re:

    In BC it is yes.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 12:20am

    Re: Re:

    It's darryl. darryl misses the point of everything posted. He's got half the brainpower of an amoeba.

     

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  33.  
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    James Burkhardt (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 4:10am

    Re: Re:

    GPS mount =/= Phone mount. Since the bill sepcificly calls out GPS and not cell phones, I'd expect to get hit with a ticket on that one. And given that the mount's locations are a source for increased danger as well, who knows how valuable that would be. Moreover, in response to your reply criticizing the 'misleading' aspects of Mikes report, Voice control is notoriously unreliable. Great strides have been made, but voices outside the bell curve of standard vocal pitch and inflection (or with a strong accent) have significant issues. Increasingly so when you encounter strange street names. Also I often have to over-ride my gps manually when it starts misplacing me, or decides that Grand Rd. is the best way out of Pheonix (its not) and will fight me for the first half hour of my trip, until i get to a point where it decides back tracking is no longer worth it. But that requires manually checking the full GPS route often to see what it comes up with when it changes.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: tons of people being dumb on cell phones

    Clearly we need to ban wearing pants while driving and fine bees if they distract drivers.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 5:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: tons of people being dumb on cell phones

    Clearly we need to ban wearing pants while driving and fine bees if they distract drivers.

     

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  36.  
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    Elohssa (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 5:31am

    We need to hold people accountable for the impact of their behavior, rather than attempting to control the behavior directly.

    If you cause an accident in your car due to reckless driving, it shouldn't matter the details of how you are being reckless.

    In short, this is already covered in the law, and amounts to CA politicians pointing at nothing and demanding thanks for all their hard work.

     

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  37.  
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    William Bonner, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 5:31am

    Patchwork of state laws...

    This is one more example of problematic laws for frequent travelers.

    Where is it legal to make a left turn? A U-Turn? Talk on a cell phone while holding your phone? Talk hands free? Not talk at all?

    Does it vary by state? County? City?

    Ignorance of the law is not an excuse, but some places make knowing the laws inconvenient.

     

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  38.  
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    Richard (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 5:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Driving Distracted

    You're misinterpreting the new law and its reasoning in VERY puffed up and exhaustively exaggerated way.

    Pot - meet kettle!

    Next time check what he actually said.

    Tell me how tracking where to go next by looking down on a PAPER map isn't distracting as you drive.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Driving Distracted

    "Pot - meet kettle!"

    In an even more exhaustively and exaggerated way.

     

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  40.  
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    Wally (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 7:23am

    Mike there are several very good reasons why you should not complain about this specific ruling.

    For one, when one checks their phone's map app...they have to manipulate through menus to check it. IF the passanger was checking the maps for you and relaying the information then there would not be any issue. I live in Ohio Mike...our interstate highways here have a slightly larger lane girth than those in California. That being said, traffic patterns can average roughly 70 to 80 miles per hour. At that speed, there is no way any average person can concentrate fully on driving while manipulating a phone to check where they are.

    Secondly, it is equally dangerous as a driver to alter your destination on a GPS unit while driving at any given time.

    Just to demonstrate this for a GPS unit, I have a couple of images for you.

    This is the typical view I get on my dashboard:

    http://i.imgur.com/KlXU2fH.jpg

    Notice the GPS unit mounted via suction cup on the far right? That is the average placement for dash mounted GPS units. In order to reach it:

    http://i.imgur.com/R3pzjAn.jpg

    I have to lean over. Now, when you bend over to reach for these things, certain leg muscles that are meant to be extending upon the break or gas peddle automatically contract to balance your torso out. It is common sense that when you wish to adjust something on a drastic scale on one of these things, to pull over and do it then.

    Now you should note that the GPS unit is placed just outside my peripheral vision so I do not get distracted by it. The only time I adjust it is for detours, otherwise it recalculates the route. The point is that this thing is meant to automatically adjust directions on the fly from within the unit. The only data being exchanged between this device and satellites are a few numbers indication where you your avatar should be on the map which is stored on the unit itself...which locally stores maps.

    Now imagine using Google Maps....on your phone. This data is constantly updated and when there is no signal, GPS chip or not...the map information is not stored locally, but is stored in temporary cache. It constantly updates the map based on where you are now and due to limited space of the devices you are using, the device will only show a certain portion of the map at any given time. The issue is that when there is no signal...you have no map.

    So does this have a point to what I am saying? Hold on and let me you my point. It is far more distracting to navigate through a maps app on a phone when you deviate from course...because the alternate route is usually not uploaded to the phone as quickly as the GPS unit can use with its locally stored data. You have to manipulate your phone more than you do a GPS unit.

    Granted it is distracting adjusting a GPS unit, but it is far more distracting reaching down or glancing at a phone to do it. It makes me sad to see these rulings. Not because of how the law interprets them, but the simple fact that people lack the common sense not to check out and manipulate their maps app while driving.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: tons of people being dumb on cell phones

    "Driving while dialing/yakking/texting/map-gazing has been proven to be at least as dangerous as DUI, and should be treated in the same way:"

    There shall be random DWDYTMG check points put in place to cross check vehicle black box logs with cell phone tower logs in order to verify compliance with vague and ill conceived laws. If convicted, one will face mandatory fines, community service and possible jail time. This is obviously a much more heinous crime than crashing the global economy and must be snipped in the bud so to speak. As a bonus, your privatized prison stocks will see a boost. Over all it is a wonderful proposal as certainly nothing can possibly go wrong.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 7:34am

    Simply for the purpose of having the sections of California law pertaining to the use of cell phones in hand, the following comprise such sections:

    23123. (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.

    (b) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense.

    (c) This section does not apply to a person using a wireless
    telephone for emergency purposes, including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services agency or entity.

    (d) This section does not apply to an emergency services
    professional using a wireless telephone while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties.

    (e) This section does not apply to a person driving a schoolbus or transit vehicle that is subject to Section 23125.

    (f) This section does not apply to a person while driving a motor vehicle on private property.

    (9) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2011.

    23123.5. (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication, unless the electronic wireless communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation to dictate, send, or listen to a text-based communication, and it is used in that manner while driving.

    (b) As used in this section "write, send, or read a text-based communication" means using an electronic wireless communications device to manually communicate with any person using a text-based communication, including, but not limited to, communications referred to as a text message, instant message, or electronic mail.

    (c) For purposes of this section, a person shall not be deemed to be writing, reading, or sending a text-based communication if the person reads, selects, or enters a telephone number or name in an electronic wireless communications device for the purpose of making or receiving a telephone call or if a person otherwise activates or deactivates a feature or function on an electronic wireless communications device.

    (d) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense.

    (e) This section does not apply to an emergency services
    professional using an electronic wireless communications device while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties.

    23124. (a) This section applies to a person under the age of 18 years.

    (b) Notwithstanding Section 23123, a person described in
    subdivision (a) shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone, even if equipped with a hands-free device, or while using a mobile service device.

    (c) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense.

    (d) A law enforcement officer shall not stop a vehicle for the sole purpose of determining whether the driver is violating subdivision (b).

    (e) Subdivision (d) does not prohibit a law enforcement officer from stopping a vehicle for a violation of Section 23123.

    (f) This section does not apply to a person using a wireless
    telephone or a mobile service device for emergency purposes,
    including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services agency or entity.

    (g) For the purposes of this section, "mobile service device" includes, but is not limited to, a broadband personal communication device, specialized mobile radio device, handheld device or laptop computer with mobile data access, pager, and two-way messaging device.

    (h) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2008.



    23125. (a) A person may not drive a schoolbus or transit vehicle, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 99247 of the Public Utilities Code, while using a wireless telephone.

    (b) This section does not apply to a driver using a wireless
    telephone for work-related purposes, or for emergency urposes, including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency service agency or entity.

    (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a violation of subdivision (a) does not constitute a serious traffic violation within the meaning of subdivision (i) of Section 15210.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I don't know a single person who drives with two hands on the wheel at all times."

    There should be a law then. We can not have individuals running around thinking they can do what ever they please. Keeping your hands at 10 and two is the best policy and therefore everyone should be forced into 10 & 2 zero tolerance compliance.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re:

    "individual GPS Units are only traceable through the unit"

    Some GPS units are called receivers. This is because they receive RF signals but do not transmit. As you stated, these receivers can be used in conjunction with a transmitter given they have an appropriate output.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 7:44am

    Re: It's the same in BC...

    OMG, he touched it three times in a row.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 7:52am

    If followed, this particular limitation to human activity should be taken to its natural conclusion, the elimination of all possible distractions upon an operator of a motor vehicle. This would include all billboards, electronic sign devices, tall company signs, etc.

     

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    Wally (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Driving Distracted

    "Tell me how tracking where to go next by looking down on a PAPER map isn't distracting as you drive."

    You missed the sarcasm in that.

    In spite of your blatant attack towards me over something you clearly did not pick up on, and that the comment was sarcastic snarking with a side of strawman, I will answer your question brought upon by your blatant stupidity.

    When you LOOK DOWN AT YOUR CELL PHONE, you are looking at the virtual piece of paper that is the map. Back in the day, when we actually used trip ticks from the AAA....we either memorized the route form point to point using landmarks and resetting the odometer...or had a navigator reciting it for us. They were typaically small and were mapped out by res areas so you could easily do calculations, write them down if you wished and get going while you were

    Now we have GPS units on a phone...with a maps app...and data is not typically stored locally unless it is web cache...that is how Google Maps works. The simple fact is that when you just have a GPS unit there is a lot less fiddling around. When they came out, accidents were reported because people were either A) Not used to the technology and followed each instruction extremely literally and at an OCD level (because the treated them like Trip Ticks rather than navigators or navigation devices), or B) blamed the software int he GPS unit to cover their own dumb ass.

    Now that you have a history lesson here is the point to this. Using a dash mounted built in GPS and adjusting it is physiologically the same action as adjusting the radio while you are driving down the road...just more distraction. People (likely those such as yourself) lack the common sense of actually pulling over and adjusting routes. You take your eyes off the road and then adjust it....then again adjusting the radio often involves little to no effort in basically switching stations. Using a GPS is a lot more involved than that because unlike FM or AM radio, it takes a longer time to enter in commands that have it calculate a route between point A and point B. That amount of involvement means more time off the road.

    So how much time do you spend looking at the road when you have to pick up your cell phone? It certainly takes more time than reaching over and sacrificing a bit of only one motor skill to adjust your GOS unit by hitting the "Detour" button...at least with mounted GPS units you can keep an eye on the road easier.

    When you grab your phone to adjust your map...you have to first take your eyes completely off the road to figure out whew your phone is. Some people have the common sense to actually pull over to do that...but most cell phone owners don't pull over. The risk is too great when your vision on the road is completely distracted while fumbling around on the phone.


    "VERY puffed up and exhaustively exaggerated way"

    Isn't that an indication of my understanding of the sarcasm??

    "Pot - meet kettle!"
    But at least I can call you kettle black dumbass...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: It's the same in BC...

    Really, talk about distraction!

    Did I touch it twice? Once? Does throwing it on the passenger seat count?!

     

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    Wally (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Driving Distracted

    "You know, I think that's illegal in this country as well, only it's covered by a couple of general offences; Driving Without Due Care and Attention (equivalent to reckless driving in the US) and Not Being In Proper Control of Vehicle. The latter has allegedly been used to hand someone a fine and a license suspension because they sneezed and lost control of the car..."

    Well that may be a worst case scenario, but it is a sad fact that we have to make a common law out of an absolute lack of common sense. Still, you make a good point about reckless driving.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 8:02am

    Strain on Court System and my Brain

    Isn't it more incredible that the courts even have to weigh in on this? That is exactly why I drive with 360 deg video cameras mounted on my vehicle 24/7.

     

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    Wally (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "This is because they receive RF signals but do not transmit. As you stated, these receivers can be used in conjunction with a transmitter given they have an appropriate output."

    The average receiver will only track and store routes of the user locally....that information can be downloaded on the fly through connections to a transciever....the transmitter. So by themselves, most civilian GPS units such as a Garmin Nuvi or a TomTom are receivers. The point is the data where the use's route can be tracked and stored locally on the device. Computers are capable of communicating with modern vehicle GPS units.

     

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    Wally (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    That is a bit extreme wouldn't you say? At least the billboards are at a distance and or angle where you hardly have to move your eyes from the road....and it is possible to mount a GPS unit at the right spot on a wind screen. The limitation isn't solely based on what one would see while driving. The problem is what drivers are doing with their cellphones in hand in stead of actually paying attention while driving down the highway.

    http://www.adslogistics.com/Portals/77106/images/distracted-driving.jpg

    http://www.examiner.c om/images/blog/wysiwyg/image/driver_distractions.jpg


    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/me dia/2009/12/distracted-driving.jpg

    That last one is a fucking pair phones mounted within the peripheral vision within 45 degrees of the left eye from the driver's view. This is not only the wrong way to mount your devices, it is also blocking a vital sot that is not usually a blind spot. Worse yet...most people living in the US read left to right. That place makes it much more difficult to track any activity going from left to right...when it happens even remotely neat that spot. So not only is it a matter of tracking, it is also a matter of focus and depth perception being affected as well.

     

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    Mr. Applegate, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 8:35am

    Re:

    For one, when one checks their phone's map app...they have to manipulate through menus to check it.
    Not true! When I use my phone for navigation it is always on a map, just like a GPS. There are mapping apps for android phones that do load the entire country, just like any GPS unit out there. They also announce turn by turn verbally, just like a GPS. There is no limitation due to the memory of the phone, 64GB could store all the maps of the world! The maps also have all the destinations, food, Fuel, Parks, Shopping..., oh and I can also call ahead to that restaurant to make sure seating will be available. If your phone doesn't do all of that, perhaps you should look at a new phone.

    The reason they want to outlaw phones is the cops can't tell what you were doing on them (texting, making phone call...) or if it was always just a map. Simple as that. It is not because the capability of the GPS is better than a phone, in fact it is just the opposite.

    The problem with all these laws is "You can't fix stupid!", which was Mike's point.

    When you try to idiot proof anything, all you do is create a bigger idiot. Mike's point is very valid. Rather than holding their phone on the steering wheel while texting (where they may see something on the road out of the corner of their eye), they now hold it in their lap (where the cops can't see it and thus can't site them for it, unless they have an accident and the cop looks at the time stamps of texts). The law does not prevent texting while driving any more than a speed limit prevents speeding. In fact the law makes in more dangerous, by causing people to attempt to hide the activity.

    I text when I drive all the time. I have an app that reads texts to me and allows me to speak the reply. I also send emails, command navigation, take and make phone calls, read emails (app reads them to me). That said, I also take into account how much traffic there is, if I am familiar with the area...

    In other words, my primary focus is always on driving, that is true even when talking to passengers, adjusting the radio, talking on my amateur radio, using my phone or gps, or whatever. Traffic is heavy, or road conditions are bad and my focus goes 100% to the road. I drive a lot more than most people do (about 50K a year). I haven't had an accident in more than 35 years, which was a one car accident from black ice (25Yrs X 50KYr = 1.25 Million Miles, actually more than that because I have been driving closer to 36 years). Why haven't I had an accident? Because my focus is always where it needs to be. I always know how many cars are around me and where. Who is gaining on me, who I am gaining on... I always see that idiot weaving in and out of traffic many cars behind me and know I need to keep an eye on him.

    If you are going to pass laws, then pass laws that matter. Test peoples ability to handle their vehicle under adverse conditions, while distracted... don't give licenses to bad drivers.

    Passing laws like 'No texting while driving', 'no phones for navigation'... do NOTHING to solve the problem of distracted driving. Stop treating the symptoms, and treat the disease, which was exactly Mike's point.

     

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    doubledeej (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 8:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Driving Distracted

    What are you talking about?!??!? Virtually every smartphone sold since the iPhone 3G has a real GPS chip in it! Phones use cell tower and WiFi to help establish a general location more quickly, but as soon as the GPS chip locks onto the satellites it takes over.

     

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    Mr.Applegate, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re:

    That last one is a fucking pair phones mounted within the peripheral vision within 45 degrees of the left eye from the driver's view. This is not only the wrong way to mount your devices, it is also blocking a vital sot that is not usually a blind spot. Worse yet...most people living in the US read left to right.
    Um, I am quite certain you didn't notice, but that last one is not in the US, and in fact the driver is on the RIGHT side of the car (look at the oncoming traffic, and the edge of the car and the wipers). So the GPS and phone ARE properly positioned! Further, looking at a map isn't 'reading' and that has little to do with it anyway. Reading left to right, right to left, bottom to top has nothing to do with removing your focus from the situation around you.

    The others, all prove my point. "You can't fix stupid" Is it illegal to apply lipstick, or drink coffee while driving? Does it need to be?

    The law should simply state 'Distracted driving may be cited and fined X for the first occurrence and Y for each subsequent one.' Of course then people would cry that it was too vague...

     

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    velox (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Re: "That is also the law in Oregon"

    From The Oregonian, Aug 13, 2012: discussion of a ticket given for using a cell-phone map application while stopped at a traffic light. (look at the second half of the page)

    Here is the Oregon law in question: ORS 811.507

     

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    Mr. Applegate, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 9:32am

    Re: Strain on Court System and my Brain

    I don't have 360 degree cameras, but I do have forward facing and out each side and a rear facing camera. Probably close to 270 degree (missing the rear quarters). Cameras record 30 minutes and over write. I also record all ODBC data from my vehicle. Speed, RPM, Braking... as well as GPS data which also records location, direction of travel, speed, altitude...

    Why, mostly because it is a hobby, but also so there is a record in case of that accident, I hope never to be involved in.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 10:18am

    Re:

    Dealing with reckless driving after the accident is hard on the other people involved. Driving while carrying out any distracting action should be reckless driving. Further, whether or not it causes an accident, the punishment should be the same, that of causing death or injury by reckless driving.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Driving Distracted

    Wow ... someone needs to relax.

     

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    Wally (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re:

    "I text when I drive all the time. I have an app that reads texts to me and allows me to speak the reply. I also send emails, command navigation, take and make phone calls, read emails (app reads them to me). That said, I also take into account how much traffic there is, if I am familiar with the area..."

    This is purely strawman because they are combating those who do not use hands free phones.

    "If you are going to pass laws, then pass laws that matter. Test peoples ability to handle their vehicle under adverse conditions, while distracted... don't give licenses to bad drivers."

    How many people text during the actual driving test?

    "In other words, my primary focus is always on driving, that is true even when talking to passengers, adjusting the radio, talking on my amateur radio, using my phone or gps, or whatever. Traffic is heavy, or road conditions are bad and my focus goes 100% to the road. I drive a lot more than most people do (about 50K a year). I haven't had an accident in more than 35 years, which was a one car accident from black ice (25Yrs X 50KYr = 1.25 Million Miles, actually more than that because I have been driving closer to 36 years). Why haven't I had an accident? Because my focus is always where it needs to be. I always know how many cars are around me and where. Who is gaining on me, who I am gaining on... I always see that idiot weaving in and out of traffic many cars behind me and know I need to keep an eye on him."

    Good for you....problem is not everyone is like you and the people involved with these incidents involving cell phones do not have the same motor skills. Even if you are in a remote area you still have to watch for local large wildlife crossing the roads.

    " And, thanks to these laws, those drivers are often still texting while driving, but are simply holding their phones even lower, taking their eyes further off the road, so as to avoid detection... actually making the roads more dangerous. The real answer is to focus on stopping bad driving, not trying to call out specific activities."

    Sorry Mike, but calling out specific activities is the only way we can establish whether or not something is illegal to do. You cannot punish people for what a few have done by giving other the universal boot for things they have not done. This ruling is cut and dry...the defendant had looked down at the phone taking their eyes off the road for a significant enough amount of time.

    "Passing laws like 'No texting while driving', 'no phones for navigation'... do NOTHING to solve the problem of distracted driving. Stop treating the symptoms, and treat the disease, which was exactly Mike's point."

    It is a disease. The issue is that this person was lowering their eyesight to get around the no non-hands free phone handling rules already in place in California. The bottom line is that the person looked down at their phone to navigate through the menus on the phone to see where they were going. They did not glance at it from a well placed mount. They looked down.

    "The reason they want to outlaw phones is the cops can't tell what you were doing on them (texting, making phone call...) or if it was always just a map. Simple as that. It is not because the capability of the GPS is better than a phone, in fact it is just the opposite."

    Except when you don't have a cellular signal.....that means you do not get the map. Google maps and Google Earth both rely on a certain amount of cache to download the maps to your phone. Once you leave a certain range or area on the map that cache is deleted and the new data is loaded. That data is downloaded to the phone in browser cache...the entirety of those maps are not stored directly on the device.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re:

    Take a chill pill dude - it was definitely tongue in cheek.

    Although I have been witness to scrolling dot matrix electric signs on the side of the road causing drivers to slow, I assumed it was in order to read the entire message. If our esteemed law makers feel inclined to regulate activities whilst driving, they should not be selective based upon nebulous criteria. The line item restriction mentality is simply stupid and inefficient.

     

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    Wally (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Um, I am quite certain you didn't notice, but that last one is not in the US, and in fact the driver is on the RIGHT side of the car (look at the oncoming traffic, and the edge of the car and the wipers). So the GPS and phone ARE properly positioned! Further, looking at a map isn't 'reading' and that has little to do with it anyway. Reading left to right, right to left, bottom to top has nothing to do with removing your focus from the situation around you."

    So, it is still way too close to the steering wheel....by the way...that wiper blade in the picture...points right.

    " So the GPS and phone ARE properly positioned! "

    That is only milking your argument for every penny you think it is worth. If they were properly positioned, they would be centered away from the driver's focus..whether the steering wheel is to the left or to the right, you cannot have those objects A) That close to you, and B) within a 45 degree range of depth of field of your line of forward sight. They are within the immediate line of site where the rotation of the eye allows the iris to focus on them without adjustment..

    "The others, all prove my point. "You can't fix stupid" Is it illegal to apply lipstick, or drink coffee while driving? Does it need to be?"

    So let me get this straight......you would rather have these people lose their licenses to text and drive...yet when they try to ban a new behavior that is also threatening (looking down at your phone for navigation purposes rather than mounting it like you do) to human life as texting while driving without a hands free set......you would rather just let them be?

     

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    Wally (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sight seeing is human nature...I simply thought that your view was a bit less narrowed than what the subject was at hand. The point is that the person was looking down at the navigation app on their phone. They could have mounted it, but they didn't.

     

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    Wally (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Strain on Court System and my Brain

    That brings up a very good point. The reason you need the cameras now is that they are making cars with larger and larger blind spots in the name of sportiness. Look at the 1998 Toyota Camary vs the 2012 Camry. You actually have lees field of vision in the newer one than you do in the older one.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:17am

    Don't worry about it...

    We'll have a chance to vote for smarter politicians next time around and all this will be corrected.

     

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    Mr. Applegate, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "If you are going to pass laws, then pass laws that matter. Test peoples ability to handle their vehicle under adverse conditions, while distracted... don't give licenses to bad drivers."

    How many people text during the actual driving test?
    Your missing the point, you test a persons ability to stay focused on the task at hand. Not unlike a testing a pilot in a simulator. I can ride with someone I have never met and in less than 2 minutes I know if they are a good driver or not.

    ...It is a disease. The issue is that this person was lowering their eyesight to get around the no non-hands free phone handling rules already in place in California. The bottom line is that the person looked down at their phone to navigate through the menus on the phone to see where they were going. They did not glance at it from a well placed mount. They looked down.


    No the disease is "Distracted Driving" The symptom is looking at the phone, or putting on lipstick, trying to retrieve a CD from the floor, or yelling at your kids in the back seat... It really isn't a difficult concept. You couldn't possibly outlaw every activity that constitutes distracted driving. Cherry picking them only encourages the other behaviors which are as distracting or more distracting. "Well it isn't illeagal to retrieve that CD from the floor" or "Not illegal to read a book while I drive" (You would be surprised how many times I see that on the road). The laws should simply state it is illegal to drive distracted, if you do you can be sited. Police cars have cameras and they can be used to show a driver was distracted pretty easily. No need to outlaw a specific activity.

    Except when you don't have a cellular signal.....that means you do not get the map. Google maps and Google Earth both rely on a certain amount of cache to download the maps to your phone. Once you leave a certain range or area on the map that cache is deleted and the new data is loaded. That data is downloaded to the phone in browser cache...the entirety of those maps are not stored directly on the device.
    Stop saying that, it is factually incorrect. You can instruct Googles Navigation to download maps for your entire route. In addition there are apps that load maps for the enter US. As I previously stated they want to outlaw phones for navigation because there is no real way for a cop to prove you were reading a text not looking at a map, that is the reason for the law, not because the map might not appear.

    Problem is none of this takes into account the built in screens in many cars, that allow not only maps and navigation, but phone calls, texting, selecting music, both radio sat radio..., and running most of the vehicles auxiliary controls. Those can be far more distracting if not used appropriately.

    The whole texting while driving mania is just that a knee jerk reaction to the latest problem, but it does little to correct the real problem of "Distracted Driving" It is a farce and it causes more problems than it solves.

    By the way, my name isn't Mike.

     

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    Mr. Applegate, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So, it is still way too close to the steering wheel....by the way...that wiper blade in the picture...points right.
    The direction of the wiper blade is not the point. The point is there is a blade on the right (drivers side) and a blade on the left (passengers side), not which way it points. You know where my GPS is, it is on my review mirror, it is not distracting at all. If you are going to look at a device while driving (and that includes gauges such as a speedometer) then they need to be easy to see and reach. Notice the radio isn't located in your 'ideal location'.

    So let me get this straight......you would rather have these people lose their licenses to text and drive...yet when they try to ban a new behavior that is also threatening (looking down at your phone for navigation purposes rather than mounting it like you do) to human life as texting while driving without a hands free set......you would rather just let them be?
    No, I would rather not try to outlaw every possible thing that makes up distracted driving. It isn't illegal to read a book and drive, just a text message, how stupid is that. Simply pass a law outlawing distracted driving and allow police and video evidence to cite each instance as appropriate.

    Furthermore what constitutes distracted driving in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic is not distracted driving on a freeway where there is no traffic within a half mile of you. I frequently drive in both situations.

    The point is you can't possibly outlaw every action that could make up distracted driving by making a list, it is a waste of time and money to try. Simply outlaw distracted driving.

     

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    nasch (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Driving Distracted

    Back in the day, when we actually used trip ticks from the AAA....we either memorized the route form point to point using landmarks and resetting the odometer...or had a navigator reciting it for us.

    I guarantee there are people who have looked at paper maps while driving, and some people who still do.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The line item restriction mentality is simply stupid and inefficient.
    Exactly!

    Look at the way the US Constitution is written, It says volumes without getting into specifics.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
    IF our politicians were to try to write that today it would be a 40 page document written single spaced in 8 point type.

    It doesn't say: You can be a Jew, Muslim, Catholic, Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Baptist, Lutheran,...

    You can look at a driver and tell instantly if they are distracted or not.

     

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    nasch (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: GPS phones?

    what do you mean Phones have no GPS or voice??

    Who said that?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 4:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "So, it is still way too close to the steering wheel"

    I'm confused. Are you saying it should be outside the driver's field of vision? But isn't the whole point that the driver can see it WITHOUT looking away from where they should?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 8:15pm

    if your memory, spatial abilities and situational awareness is so poor that you cannot look at a map PRIOR to your trip and form a mental picture of where you have to go and how to get there, then you should not be on the roads or driving at all.

    So you don't know how to get to point C, but you know how to get to point B, do you not have the brains to look at a map BEFORE you start to drive and work in IN YOUR BRAIN how to get from Point B to point C, you destination ?

    as for the quality of voice recognition, sure it was not reliable 15 years ago, but today, unless you are Stallone in Rambo ranting about pushing your mates guts back in, most GPS units have NO problems at all in understanding voice commands. Most humans also have little problems in understanding them.

    MOST people even with half the intelligence of an Amoeba can create a mental picture of a map in their heads prior to going for the drive, and not require a GPS at all.

    Sure, lots of people do lots of things that are not legal, but only an idiot would try to use that as an excuse to say 'well I can do something illegal too'.

    so unless your brain dead, have no memory at all, and cannot work out where you are and where you need to go, then you have no right to even attempt to get there.

    what do you do when you need to go somewhere and you don't know where that place is.. do you just get in your car and start randomly driving ?? waiting to find out what direction you need to go AFTER you are already going in some "random" direction ?

    these are the same brain dead people you trust with guns !!!

    for example, I live in Australia, but I could drive from Monmouth to New York, without a MAP at all, and I have never driven that rout, I have been driven that rout twice 15 years ago(one in each direction).

    So either Americans are very, very stupid or Masnick is.

    you also do not need voice recognition, you enter the location before you start the trip, and IT TALKS TO YOU. It does not have to recognise your voice to talk to you.. although you do have to understand English to recognise it.

    Did I hear someone comment that masnick was misrepresenting this case ?? we'll welcome to Mansicks world...

    Masnick is not interested in facts !!! he is interested in pushing his bias, facts just get in the way in Mansicks little pea brain.

     

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    Atkray (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 10:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Better yet we need the cars to be built so if there are not 2 hands with the same DNA on the wheel it will not function.

     

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    ChrisH, Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:11pm

    I can't for the life of me understand how anyone could actually get caught violating one of these laws. This guy must have been the most unlucky person in the world. I mean, what if it were legal to be holding your phone but not using it. Your telling me that someone sitting in another car (cop) that you're passing at ~60 mph can see that clearly? It'd be a stretch in perfect visibility. At night or in the rain, forget about it.

     

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    Togashi (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 11:42pm

    Re: Re:

    Hmmm, punishment of causing death by reckless driving... Let's just say we're in Georgia for the sake of easily available sentencing data. For those of you who don't know what the blue letters in the previous sentence are for, Georgia's law prescribes 3-15 years of imprisonment, with no parole for at least 1 year, for killing another person with your vehicle while driving recklessly.

    So with the above suggestion: Look at a billboard? 3 years in jail! Have a kid in the back clamoring for your attention? 3 years in jail! Glance at your phone to make sure which road you're supposed to turn on? 3 years in jail! Hell, look down to read the directions you've written down for yourself so you don't have to use your phone's GPS? You guessed it, 3 years in jail!

    Yeah, sounds pretty reasonable to me.

     

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

  76.  
    identicon
    Brandon Abell, Apr 7th, 2013 @ 12:02am

    Very misleading. . .

    Checking maps WHILE THE PHONE IS IN YOUR HAND, not a blanket prohibition on usage. I can't tell if you lack reading comprehension skills or are being deliberately dishonest as clickbait.

     

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

  77.  
    icon
    hopponit (profile), Apr 7th, 2013 @ 12:11am

    distracted driving

    A lot of folks will probably not agree with me but I have long felt the 'low' speed limits increase the number of accidents! Why? It is usually set low to keep the timid drivers from getting too afraid. This is too low to demand most folks attention. They get bored and do dumb stuff just because they have the free time and attention. At higher speeds they would have to focus on the task that matters, DRIVING! Yes, higher speeds will increase the effects of an accident! That's the reason more attention will be directed to driving. Deadly crashes can and do occur at fairly low speeds, higher speeds would be dangerous still but if drivers were paying attention because they had to it would decrease total number of deaths. No, it wouldn't eliminate them all. Traffic engineers set a higher speed for their roads, but the local politicians demand lower limits to look like they are doing something to "protect' the public. As always this is code for 'getting more votes'. This 'dumbs down' the driving most folks do cause they don't have to work at it. Goes back to the old saying "Build a system even a fool can use and only a fool will use it".

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2013 @ 1:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    When the punishment is dependent on the result of behaviour, people tend to continue with the behaviour if it only get a minor punishment occasionally. Is it reasonable to allow behaviour that is likely to kill and injure other people to continue. Maybe the suggestion is a bit harsh, but certainly a second offence should have significant punishment, such as several years driving ban.
    Gambling with you own life i high risk pastimes is one thing, gambling with other people lives as well is a very different matter.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2013 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Another reason to avoid Georgia

     

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

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2013 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The larger scope point, being made by many, is that regulation of everyday minutia via laws is quite counter productive. It has created multitudes of little known laws that are violated every day by almost everyone. This provides the potential to stop and harass anyone, at any time, anywhere - and here's the punchline - the perp has no idea they are committing a criminal act.
    Pretty funny huh. But yeah, let's continue down this road to hell paved with good intentions. It'll get great they said.

     

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

  81.  
    identicon
    DavyD, Apr 7th, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    I agree with you on many things Mike but not this one mate. As a professional HGV driver I have to say touching your phone for any reason whilst driving is just wrong on all levels. As is eating, smoking and even reading an old-fangled paper map. If you need to check you directions - then find a safe place to stop.

     

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  82.  
    icon
    toyotabedzrock (profile), Apr 7th, 2013 @ 1:00pm

    Handfree ban

    Maybe the bill meant to ban handsfree calling and txting?

     

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

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Apr 7th, 2013 @ 3:10pm

    Speaking of distracted driving laws being inconsistent...

    How about cops who drive around and every so often flip on their radar and look at the speed reading? Isn't that distracted driving?

     

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

  84.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Apr 7th, 2013 @ 5:27pm

    Card games are legal on 2nd tuesdays when it's raining.

    > Basically, it must be in the lower left corner of your windshield.

    In other words it has to be by law in the most disruptive place possible. You've not really refuted the other guy. Useful GPS mounts are still effectively illegal in California.

    They really get you coming AND going in the People's Republic.

     

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

  85.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Apr 7th, 2013 @ 5:36pm

    There is a double standard at play here.

    Cops lie. A cop can total make up stuff about you and it doesn't matter how absurd it sounds. Their word will be trusted over yours. All of this will play out in front of a judge with no jury. So you won't have any room for skeptics in the court room. The Judge will go out of his way to find for the state.

    So it doesn't matter if the cop's claim is absurd. Your word against his and he's the cop.

     

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

  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2013 @ 7:55pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    " Look at a billboard? 3 years in jail! Have a kid in the back clamoring for your attention? 3 years in jail! Glance at your phone to make sure which road you're supposed to turn on? 3 years in jail! Hell, look down to read the directions you've written down for yourself so you don't have to use your phone's GPS? You guessed it, 3 years in jail!
    "

    yes, KILL SOMEONE by driving like a moron,, 3 years in jail.. SHOULD BE MORE...

    your not spending 3 years in jail for trying to find out what road you need to turn on.. you go to jail FOR KILLING SOMEONE !!!!!!


    SO you not missing your turn off, is more important that NOT KILLING SOMEONE !!!

     

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

  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2013 @ 8:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    *you're

    oh, and I think you missed the point.

     

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

  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2013 @ 8:14pm

    Re:

    it's illegal to drive carelessly or recklessly, therefore no matter what you were doing, if that results in your driving carelessly or recklessly and that results in an injury or death. Then yes it is.

    So if you hit a person, and in court it was determined that you were trying to read a paper map while driving, and while driving over someone and killing them.. you would be charged with reckless driving causing death.

     

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

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2013 @ 8:22pm

    it's illegal to drive carelessly or recklessly, therefore no matter what you were doing, (using a phone, reading a map, eating, drinking whatever) if that results in your driving carelessly or recklessly and that results in an injury or death. Then yes it is illegal, and you will be charged for reckless driving resulting in death.

    So if you hit a person, and in court it was determined that you were trying to read a paper map while driving, and while driving over someone and killing them.. you would be charged with reckless driving causing death.

    clearly the courts and law makers have agreed that texting or reading a map while driving is defined as SOME of the possible actions that are considered reckless. There are many others, some defined some not.

    I you hit and killed a person when driving because you were trying to tie up your shoe laces, you would be charged for the same thing, as if you hit that person while texting.

    you were driving in a reckless and careless manner resulting in death. Go to jail.

    Is there a written law that say you cannot tie your shoe laces while driving ??? Probably not.

    end result is still the same, the law just says that reading a map or texting 'is one of those things' from a very long list of things that WILL result in you getting a reckless driving charge.

     

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

  90.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Apr 7th, 2013 @ 10:35pm

    Re:

    I agree with you on many things Mike but not this one mate. As a professional HGV driver I have to say touching your phone for any reason whilst driving is just wrong on all levels.

    I think you misunderstood. Mike didn't say it's safe to use your phone while driving.

     

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

  91.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Apr 7th, 2013 @ 10:41pm

    Re: distracted driving

    Traffic engineers set a higher speed for their roads, but the local politicians demand lower limits to look like they are doing something to "protect' the public. As always this is code for 'getting more votes'.

    I think you're nuts. Most people hate low speed limits. The only time a politician would try to win votes by lowering speed limits is if a particular road is noticeably dangerous, like weekly high speed accidents. In the normal case, if a politician makes a name for himself as the guy who's reducing speed limits around town he'll just get hate mail and probably, not even kidding, death threats.

     

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

  92.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ever heard of a gear stick (stick shift)? Or your indicators (blinkers?)? Or windscreen wipers?

     

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

  93.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:30am

    Re:

    Long time no see darryl. Sorry to see your reading comprehension hasn't improved.

     

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

  94.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Google Maps (at least on Android) has the ability to pre-download maps to cache - you'd be mad not to for your local area. Unless you have an old phone with no storage, it should be fine for immediate use, signal or no signal. You're more likely to struggle by being in a city with tall buildings killing your GPS signal while having many roads you could be on.

    As mentioned by Mr. Applegate, there are other mapping apps out there that load entire countries onto the phone. Similarly, there are apps like the aforementioned Skyvi that can give you voice control. And if you have your map & navigation pre-loaded then there should be no real reasons to touch your phone, or only to give it the briefest touches.

     

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

  95.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 2:44am

    Re:

    Thanks for admitting that you have half the intelligence of an amoeba. :)

    Apparently you either have a photographic memory, or don't drive very far ever. One of the points of GPS/maps is to help you find places that you don't know, or that are a long way away and which may not have simple routes. If people could just look at any map and 'memorise' the route easily, we wouldn't *need* GPS/maps - but we generally can't, especially if they are complicated. And what happens when you have to pick another route for whichever reason? Obviously you've never hit bad traffic or a blocked-off road.

     

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

  96.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re:

    Thanks for admitting that you have half the intelligence of an amoeba. :)

    I'm sorry to have to tell you this but... you just replied to darryl.

    ;-)

     

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

  97.  
    icon
    FarSide (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: tons of people being dumb on cell phones

    Bees in the car! Bees everywhere! God, they're huge and they're sting crazy!

     

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

  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Card games are legal on 2nd tuesdays when it's raining.

    But only if the card game is fizzbin!

     

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

  99.  
    icon
    Dorota87 (profile), Apr 9th, 2013 @ 12:07am

    I agree

    So it doesn't matter if the cop's claim is absurd. Your word against his and he's the cop.

     

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

  100.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Apr 9th, 2013 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But the other issue of looking down at your device, which is while you're driving with the device in hand...to check the phone. That is the only thing that they are adding. It has to be hands free like a normal GPS Unit for it to be acceptable. The reasoning behind the ruling still stands.

     

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

  101.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Apr 9th, 2013 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The human eye has a certain issue with depth of focus. If you focus on things right in front of you the objects beyond that point typically get blurry. Just use it like the passenger side rear view mirror...only quick glances and my god make it hands free....that is what the whole issue is about.

     

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  102.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Apr 9th, 2013 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "the perp has no idea they are committing a criminal act."

    Hence the comparative slap on the wrist they got. The person might have known it was illegal to text while driving with one hand on the phone and the other on the wheel, but what is the difference if you have to look down at a non-hands free non-mounted phone acting as a GPS....

     

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

  103.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Apr 9th, 2013 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Re: tons of people being dumb on cell phones

    > Driving while dialing/yakking/texting/map-
    > gazing has been proven to be at least as
    > dangerous as DUI, and should be treated in
    > the same way: handcuffs and a tow to the
    > impound lot.

    Problem is that if you want to legally treat them the same, you have to meet the same standards of proof. With DUI it's relatively straightforward science-- blood-alcohol level proves impairment.

    With a phone, it's not nearly as easy to prove someone was weaving because they were using their phone. If they were chatting with someone or sending a text, the time stamp and phone records might be able to prove that, but if there was anyone else in the car, they could easily say the passenger was using the phone, not the driver and the time stamps become meaningless. Things like web surfing or using a map app don't even generate time stamps, so the state would be at a loss to prove the criminal complaint, certainly not beyond a reasonable doubt, to the point where they could seize a vehicle or imprison someone.

     

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

  104.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Apr 9th, 2013 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Card games are legal on 2nd tuesdays when it's raining.

    > Useful GPS mounts are still effectively illegal
    > in California.

    I'm lucky that my dashboard configuration is coincidentally perfectly designed to hold an iPhone. The spot between the seedometer and tachometer is exectly iPhone-sized and the raised sides of both gauges hold it in place so it doesn't slide around. And putting the phone there doesn't cover up any of my other dasboard indicators.

    No mount needed and it's invisible to any cop eyes from outside the car.

     

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

  105.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Apr 9th, 2013 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: tons of people being dumb on cell phones

    "testified that, while driving, appellant was cited for looking at a map on his cellular phone while holding the phone in his hand.



    Question of....conduct violates section The 23123, subdivision (a).

    Section 23123, subdivision (a) provides:
    A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a
    wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically
    designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and
    talking, and is used in that manner while driving
    .
    When the underlying facts are undisputed, issues of statutory
    construction are subject to independent review on appeal."

     

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

  106.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 7:50pm

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

    What's next on the hit parade of senseless legislation, are they going to decide what type of sun glasses you are allowed to wear, maybe they type of clothing, or hat. Yes, it is all for your benefit because you are too stupid to know better - let us help you with that - here's a nice law that we can screw you over with. I'd tell you what it says, but it is a secret. Oh, and btw - ignorance of the law is no excuse and there are hefty property forfeiture provisions.
    Mwahahahahah Mwahahahahaha

     

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

  107.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Apr 10th, 2013 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: tons of people being dumb on cell phones

    > When the underlying facts are undisputed

    Except the judge is wrong. The underlying facts *were* disputed. He just declared them undisputed so he didn't have to deal with them.

    > A person shall not drive a motor vehicle
    > while using a wireless telephone

    Ah, but this defendant wasn't using a wireless telephone. He was using the map app. They are two separate devices encased within one container.

    If I take an old-style flip-phone and put it in a plastic bin alongside a Garmin GPS, the bin and everything in it doesn't suddenly become a 'wireless telephone' merely because one of the items inside it is a wireless telephone, nor would powering on the Garmin be 'use of a wireless telephone' merely because it's sitting in the same bin as a wireless telephone. It's the same thing with iPhones and Androids and the like. The bin is just a lot smaller, thanks to the wonders of technology.

    The fact that a judge either doesn't understand this (or is willfully ignoring it) hardly changes the fact that use of the map app on an iPhone is *not* use of a wireless telephone.

     

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  108.  
    identicon
    al0, Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 1:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Driving Distracted

    Your statement only demonstrates that your knowledge of modern phones is subpar.

    Most of modern smartphones (save, probably, cheapest ones) have true GPS sensors and are able to combine positioneing data from several sources (GPS, trangulation, ...), such provideing more precise and reliable location data than classical GPS units.

     

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

  109.  
    identicon
    levi, Aug 29th, 2013 @ 11:10am

    so does this mean looking at a paper map is illegal too?

     

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

  110.  
    identicon
    levi, Aug 29th, 2013 @ 11:10am

    so does this mean looking at a paper map is illegal too?

     

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

  111.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 9:46pm

    Re: Re: tons of people being dumb on cell phones

    You are an idiot.

     

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

  112.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2014 @ 6:32pm

    Did you guys read the latest ruling today which says the law does NOT apply to hand-held cell phone GPS use?

     

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


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