Surprises

by Mike Masnick




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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  1. identicon
    Far East POV, 23 May 2006 @ 5:19pm

    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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