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


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  1. identicon
    tbuskey, 12 Oct 2010 @ 10:03am

    Mandatory seatbelt or car won't start

    This reminds me of when seatbelts started getting required in the 70's.

    People were not using seatbelts while driving or as passengers. Air bags didn't exist yet. I don't think there were laws requiring people to use them yet. Kids didn't use booster seats.

    Some car makers started putting in sensors that wouldn't let the car start unless you were buckled in. Another had something attached to the door that moved up to your shoulder after you closed the door.

    People would leave the belt clicked and sit on top of it. Some figured out a way to slide out of it after starting. Some disabled the sensors however they could.

    Now we have airbags and a good portion of the population wears seatbelts. Kids and grand kids admonish their elders to wear them. They always wear the seatbelts. And cars no longer have ignition locks on seatbelt use. Just the buzzer that tells you you're not wearing one.

    This will happen to texting/cell phone use too....

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