Original Supporter Of Driving While Yakking Legislation Changes His Mind

from the too-much-to-legislate dept

Coming just days after a study showed more people than ever were driving while talking on their mobile phones, and weeks after a study showing that driving while talking makes you instantly “older” is this story about an early supporter of laws to stop driving while yakking who has completely changed his mind about the laws — which he now believes are a problem. Not only do the bans not appear to make the roads any safer, people are discovering the unintended consequences from the ban — mainly in the fact that there are plenty of other things more distracting in a car these days. In fact, many of the driving while yakking laws require “handsfree kits” which some think make the situation worse. By letting people have their hands free, they’re able to start fiddling around with other distracting gadgets while talking on the phone and (oh yeah!) driving at the same time. The real issue, though, is that there are so many distractions in cars these days, that legislation is unlikely to be able to keep up in any meaningful way. A better solution would seem to be education. Let people know just how bad they drive when distracted and then enforce other driving laws better.

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Comments on “Original Supporter Of Driving While Yakking Legislation Changes His Mind”

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Tim (user link) says:

Re: Re: all relative

It’s all relative: the problem is that accidents increase in rate and/or severity with distractions present. Now, if all that a driver merits is a loud yell from a pedestrian who’s had to scamper slightly faster out the way than they intended, what damage is done in that incident? Why should *that* be blamed on the phone when they could equally well have chosen the wrong moment to battle with the glove-box to hunt sweeties? etc..

Hence, I believe the best way to handle it is to recognize *contributing factors* adding to an existing law. Over here, we already have `driving without due care and attention’ or `dangerous driving’, both of which are employable on their own or as part of an actual accident incident. Effectively this makes it a scoring system: 2 marks for talking on phone, 1 for ferreting around for CDs when you can see a complex situation coming up ahead, etc. Then you can even choose a sentence based on severity of offence without multiplying offences themselves.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: all relative

Because searching in the glove box or whatnot occur infrequently.

I sat at a light and watched 12 cars turning left. 8 were on the phone (no hands free), one was picking his nose. The other three were driving (or if they were talking they had handsfree).

Driving while using cell phones is legal here, but I still yell at every one that I see doing it, (When they have their windows down and can hear me.)

66% were on phone with no hands free. 8.33% were ‘otherwise distracted’. 25% were paying proper attention to what they were doing. Of course that is a really small statistical universe.

My bottom line is, people take the time in the car to talk to people on the phone. Folks just need to hang up and drive. Save the phone calls, makeup application, eating and so forth for some other time.

Far East POV says:

Presumptive fault solution

It’s only a partial solution, as it doesn’t address vehicle/vehicle accidents, but here in Japan any motor vehicle accident which also involves a pedestrian or cyclist, the driver of the vehicle is presumptively at fault, 100%, end of story. The basic philosophy is that if you have the greater power, you must bear the greater responsibility, no ‘ifs’ ‘ands’ or ‘buts’. Penalties are stiff as well, including punitive damages, payment of supplemental and rehabilitative care and, in cases involving death, ALL PROSEPECTIVE FUTURE EARNINGS of the deceased, according to a standardized table. Insurance requires restitution as well, so if you hit a child, you are on the hook for the rest of your life in most cases, often for approaching $1,000,000. Stiff. People tend to drive more carefully, though…

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