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. icon
    nasch (profile), 12 Oct 2010 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mandatory seatbelt or car won't start

    It's the same as wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle, some states require them, but I can't understand under what authority.

    I agree with you about motorcycle helmets, there is no good reason for those laws. Though why you would want to drive a motorcycle without one, especially on the highway, is beyond me. Supporters probably trot out something about burdens on public health care when people get hurt and their insurance doesn't cover it. I wouldn't find that to be justification. Perhaps require adequate insurance in order to register a motorcycle, and that would solve that problem.

    Also, don't text while driving a motorcycle. :-)

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