Transportation Secretary Wants To Ban All Driver Talking (Except To Other Passengers)

from the yeah,-that'll-work dept

Just after new evidence has come out showing that various driving-while-texting bans have had the opposite effect, by causing people to just keep on texting, but do so by holding their phone lower so cops can't see it (but also so they are paying even less attention to the road), Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood now wants to make our roads even more dangerous by trying to ban pretty much all driver talking in a car, with the exception (so far) of talking to other passengers. He wants to ban all mobile phone talking by drivers, even if it's handsfree, and he wants to extend that to vehicle information systems like OnStar or GPS systems.

Again, we've discussed repeatedly that we agree such things can be quite dangerous, though you can argue if talking to OnStar or to someone on the phone is really that much more dangerous than talking to a passenger. However, it's becoming increasingly clear that these sorts of laws don't actually help. They don't stop people from doing these actions, and seem to only get more people doing them in even more dangerous ways. Continuing down this path, that already doesn't work, is a huge mistake, and you would think that someone in a position like LaHood would actually pay attention to the evidence that this isn't working, and wouldn't suggest making the problem worse.

Of course, if this ban does go into effect, and the reports of accidents continue to rise, how long will it be until LaHood also bans talking to passengers in your car?

Filed Under: driving distractions, hands-free, mobile phones, ray lahood


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 12 Oct 2010 @ 8:25am

    Something to it - not talking while driving

    They call id DWD - Driving While Distracted. The only time I ever had an accident involving another vehicle (over 40 years ago) was when I was distracted by talking with some Latina hitchhikers I picked up on the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Perhaps we should just put the driver in a sound-proofed compartment with no view of the passenger area... Distractions happen. It is the driver's responsibility to keep their attention on the road and conditions. Nothing that outside agencies do can change that, and there will ALWAYS be things competing for our attention.

    So, I guess I am saying that regulations should punish drivers ex post facto - after an accident - if they are guilty of exhibiting bad judgment, but not before the fact just because there is something distracting in their environment.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.