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12/13/2011
06:43 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?

NTSB's controversial vote to ban drivers from using phones for any reason pits convenience against safety. Now it's up to individual states to pass and enforce any legal changes.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) voted Tuesday to ban all drivers from using cellphones for any purpose when behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. This was a controversial vote, but was it a good one?

I vote "yes," but first...

Distractions caused by smartphones can be tied to 25% of automobile accidents in the United States, says the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Are your workers driving distracted?

Chances are, the answer is yes--and that's what scares the NTSB.

Cellphones and smartphones continue to pose a serious threat to American motorists. A study conducted by the GHSA earlier this year sifted through the data from 350 scientific papers on the subject and concluded that drivers are distracted from the primary task of piloting their vehicle by one thing or another up to half the time.

Using a cellphone at all raises the chances that a driver will cause an accident. Sending text messages while driving is even riskier than using a phone to make calls while driving. The GHSA estimates that distractions account for between 15% and 25% of all crashes, which range from minor fender-benders to accidents involving fatalities.

[ Car accidents are not the only danger posed by cellphones. See Google Boots Fraudware Apps From Android Market. ]

"No call, no text, no update is worth a human life," said Deborah A. P. Hersman, chairman of the NTSB.

Despite all that has been written about driver distraction, there is still a lot that we do not know, said the government report earlier this year. Clearly, more studies need to be done to address both the scope of the problem and how to effectively deal with it.

The GHSA wants individual states to step up efforts to curb distracted driving. It recommends that all states ban texting while driving, as well as ban cellphone use by novice drivers in the car entirely. Further, it says states must do a more effective job of enforcing the laws that are already on the books.

Tuesday's vote by the NTSB takes this to the next level. It recommends that all states ban mobile use by drivers, which means no calls, no texting, no surfing the Web, no using cellphones for any reason when people are behind the wheel.

The issue, however, is up to individual U.S. states to enact into law and then enforce. The NTSB has not yet recommended, for example, that the federal government withhold highway dollars until states enact such legislation.

Businesses that have employees on the road need to take this issue seriously. While equipping fleet drivers, sales professionals, and other traveling employees with smartphones is often necessary, the smart enterprise can take steps to make sure they're not used at the wrong time. Setting up internal use policies is the least measure that should be taken. Make sure employees obey state laws regarding cellphone use in vehicles. Even if cell use isn't banned in your state, your business should probably prohibit it anyway. After all, it's not just the employee who is at risk.

There are plenty of tools available to business and consumer users alike that help manage cellphones when in cars. For example, T-Mobile has recently started offering a service called DriveSmart, which sends incoming calls directly to voicemail and sends canned "I'm driving now, let me call you later" responses to incoming text messages. Even these simple tools can help reduce the impact phone use has when your employees are on the road.

"This is a difficult recommendation, but it's the right recommendation and it’s time," said Hersman.

Speaking personally, this is an issue I pay attention to constantly. I walk around my town a lot. I often come to crosswalks or stop signs where pedestrians have the right of way. I can't count the number of times I've approached such an intersection and noticed a driver completely fail to notice my presence because they were preoccupied with their cellphone.

This is a real issue that, unfortunately, needs to be addressed.

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-- JHtest

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JimInPhila
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JimInPhila,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 2:51:19 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
I'll go along with prohibiting "talking while HOLDING a cell" and "texting."
I have an issue with not allowing a driver to use a Bluetooth. Might as well ban "talking" to a passenger in the seat next to the driver.
Ivan_the_terrible
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Ivan_the_terrible,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 3:27:36 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
This is the most overused knee jerk response. Research study after research study has shown there is a significant difference between talking on a phone (hands free included) and talking with a passenger. Learn to read and come up with a better justification if you can.
bose55
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bose55,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 4:09:31 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
And I've seen responses like yours over and over again. When in reality studies are not in agreement about this at all. Check out :

Examining the Impact of Cell Phone Conversations on Driving Using Meta-Analytic Techniques

William J. Horrey and Christopher D. Wickens

"In the comparison shown in Row 5, we note
that the distinction of in-vehicle or remote conversations
does not appear to have a differential
impact on the costs in RT performance (again,
using the boundaries of the 95% confidence intervals).
That is, the costs associated with a phone
conversation versus a passenger conversation are
roughly equivalent."

Yes, I know, there's a study from Utah with a different finding.

Check out: AAA's distraction study,
Wierwille, W. W. & Tijerina, L. 1995,
The Carnegie Mellon study on listening/responding while driving
EVVJSK
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EVVJSK,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 8:30:26 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
How dare you actually site a reference or study! You should just throw out your opinion and let everyone assume you know what you are talking about (or even better make them go do research because they don't believe you know what you are talking about) ;-) !
catharsis
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catharsis,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 2:53:22 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
This is an excellent idea. Anyone that drives a lot and pays attention to their driving as religiously as they did when they were learning to drive already knows this. I see this every day when someone on their cell phone has their mind on their conversation and not on their driving. The problem is so apparent I can point out drivers on their cell phones about 50% of the time just by watching how they drive and without seeing the piece of plastic hung on their ear. Unfortunately it is only part of the problem. I've often thought drivers licenses could just as easily be obtained from Cracker Jack boxes, as easily as they are distributed. Many companies already outlaw talking on your cell phone while driving if you are on company business because they already know the severity of the problem. I can attest to even being distracted by having a conversation with someone in the car, much less someone I can't see. My mind is on the conversation, not on my driving. I know there will be a lot of arguing about this but if you are honest with yourself you know this is true. I can point you to numerous articles about policemen being struck by cars while trying to block intersections for funerals, etc where the drivers were on their cell phones and stated that they did not see the officers. How can you not see a police car or motorcycle blocking the street with their flashing lights on?!
DV6221
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DV6221,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 2:56:26 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
The entire issue is misconstrued and is further a distraction from the comprehensive dangers of exposure to wireless infrastructure of various kinds. Being in a reflective box with already heightened ambient "electrosmog" is a great public health danger. The exacerbating added distraction of actually handling a device is not needed to describe the danger. Focus only on phone use while driving serves to draw attention away from the greater overall danger. A Euro study determined that the worst public exposures are in public transit vehicles. In my Toronto, this year has seen an unprecedented number of transit accidents including fatalities and strange incidents. The brain effects of all the phones constantly transmitting, cell towers all around, "smart" utility meter system, pervasive wifi etc are all having their effect most notable in these poor transit drivers, out driving longer than everyone, who are wrongfully blamed. Cell telephony kills, period, enough to say that regardless of device use while driving.
Dr Lou
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Dr Lou,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 2:58:57 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
Ban everything...sit in a box...watch the tube...be fed inter venous chemicals made by DuPont and let those who reap the profits do whatever they please....how about that...How about we try harder to pay attention and own up to our responsibilities. One fact will always be true: In the Great Process of Living; Some people are gonna Die. Don't force the world to quit living, so they won't die...
feo
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feo,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 3:01:54 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
I think is a great Idea. ( no cell phone use while driving ).
go-paco
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go-paco,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 3:14:23 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
What about GPS usage? Is that not a distraction?
What about application of "Makeup" or shaving while driving?
What about eating a burger while driving?
How about that iPod?

@DV6221; So its electronic radiation that is making people stupid? That explains a lot, especially online commenting.
BodoP
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BodoP,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 3:21:02 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
Driving while talking is the same as driving drunk (Bt or not) and we see how well booze and driving mix...
Chris Spera
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Chris Spera,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 4:31:14 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
I'm sorry, @BodoP, but that's probably one of the silliest things I've heard in a while. If this is the case, I hope you ALWAYS drive alone, and don't have any other passengers in your vehcile(s).

YMOM100
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YMOM100,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 10:07:39 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
Was shown plenty of times including credible studies. Some even come to the conclusion that talking on the phone is worse than being legally drunk.
$ not = class
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$ not = class,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 3:21:39 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
Maybe if the embedded GPS sensed movement and disabled SMS/Voice. Textards are too stupid and low class. Haha Low class textards!!! The only good textard is a dead textard. Bobble headed garbage people.
$ not = class
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$ not = class,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 3:35:41 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
If I ever get rear ended by a bobble head textard I will make sure to subpoena their cell phone records when going to court.
EpicMelon
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EpicMelon,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 3:40:34 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
Or maybe, just maybe, we could hold people responsible for their actions AFTER they commit them.
YMOM100
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YMOM100,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 10:08:31 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
No, preventing people from doing harm is way better than punishing people for doing harm.
ArtWittmann
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ArtWittmann,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 4:01:51 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
Nanny state vs. Libertarianism... The nanny state view is: ban it and protect other drivers. Fair enough. The Libertarian view is to keep government out of the equation. That's fine too - you're insurance company can then write you a policy that makes the policy void if you're using a phone when you get in an accident or conversely writes you a policy that costs 10 times as much if you don't want that exclusion. After all, you're now 10 times more likely (or whatever the number is) to cause an accident.

If the government can't have a say in bad habits, then it can't keep your insurance company from having its say about them too. Oh, and the rest of us will have to have riders on our policies that cover against those who don't have texting insurance, just like we now carry uninsured motorist riders.

The net effect is the same. It's a very bad habit that costs everyone, we either ban it, or make it incredibly costly for those who practice the bad habit. It's one or the other.
YMOM100
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YMOM100,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 10:10:28 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
The problem with the Libertarian approach is that police has no means to stop a yapping driver BEFORE a serious accident might occur. Some insurance company dropping someone's policy after they killed a bunch of people may keep the government out of it, but it is a much worse and simply bonehead stupid approach.
Chris Spera
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Chris Spera,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 5:00:32 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
I see this vote as very misinformed as to the root cause of the problem - the distracted driver. Smartphones, tablets and other mobile computing devices are NOT going to go away. The better thing do to instead of banning them in the vehicle is to insure that they function appropriately in that vehicle while the engine is one and the vehicle is moving. For example,

1. Require bluetooth to be implemented in all mobile hardware (cell phone, smartphones, tablets, etc)
2. Requiring hands free car kits in all motor vehicles.
3. Implementing a method by which the driver's smartphone disables ALL, non-navigational data transmission (so the phone can't text, surf, etc.) while the car is moving.

While this may require software updates to existing and new phones, and may require additional hardware or accessories, this is the more appropriate mandate. It should be easy to implement given GPS hardware in most modern smartphones (and perhaps some high end feature phones). Specifically, it

* Supports the implementation of new jobs by employing additional hardware and software design, development and sales engineers.
* Saves current jobs by preventing the recall and disablement of existing hands free features in most Ford and other vendor's automobiles, thereby saving the jobs of existing hardware and software engineers and testers.
* Appropriately addresses the root cause of the problem by turning off the social networking features in mobile devices in a moving vehicle, and reenables them after the vehicle stops and is turned off.

OBVIOUSLY, in order to satisfy the intent of this recommendation - to save the lives of American citizens and tourists - its going to require individuals at the NTSB and all Mobile Communications Carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc.) as well as all mobile device hardware manufacturers to work together and think out of the box.

Amputating a leg because of an infected toe doesn't make sense. Treating the infection and/or localizing the amputation to the effected toe is more appropriate and still allows you to walk. If something like my above suggestions are NOT considered, then the issue of distracted driving must also include a recommended ban on

* Multipassenger vehicles
* Children in ANY vehicle
* Radios and/or any music or media playing devices in any vehicle
* Eating and/or drinking in any vehicle
* Applying make-up in any vehicle
* Any activity other than driving in any vehicle

I would like to challenge Deborah Hersman and her team at the NTSB to revisit this recommended technology ban. A better solution is to employ technology to control the technology, not to forbid its use.

I'm also available to help - advise, consult, etc. - should the NTSB like to explore this further.
NiteOwl_OvO
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NiteOwl_OvO,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/22/2011 | 6:25:27 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
I don't think the NTSB is suggesting a total ban on cell phones in cars, just for the driver and only while driving. Cell phones built into cars should be non-functional when the vehicle is moving. That should be easy to implement. Lots of cars have systems that alert the driver if they don't have their seat belt buckled or that lock the doors when the vehicle exceeds a certain speed.

Carrying on a conversation while driving is distracted driving. Hands-free devices are not a solution. In my case, my wife talking to me while I'm driving has resulted in several cases of missed exits, wrong turns, flat tires and driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Teenagers talking while driving causes accidents.

Amputating a leg because of an infected toe is appropriate when the toe has become gangrenous and therefore life threatening. If you don't amputate far enough ahead of the infection, you risk further spreading and possible death. Distracted driving is life threatening. Talking or texting on a cell phone while driving is distracted driving and has resulted in many fatal accidents. Maybe it's time to amputate.

Banning multi-passenger vehicles is unnecessary. Simply separate the driver from the passengers. Radios and/or music devices are typically not as distracting as talking. Eating and drinking are also typically not much of a distraction. Applying make-up, reading a book, watching TV, having sex, etc. while driving are already unlawful activities in some states.

Put the driver in a single-person cockpit with cell signal shielding to prevent cell phone use and an intercom so the driver can communicate with passengers at the driver's discretion. Add a collision alert system and call it done.

One more thing. Ban those annoying LED signs that businesses are putting near the street. Those things are blinding at night. Not to mention distracting.
JSHEPPARD122
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JSHEPPARD122,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 7:32:26 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
I watched a driver in a van talking on a bluetooth ram the back of a Beemer. No one else was in the van. Talking is not a hardwired function, so something else has to give way to such a highly complex activity. Talking to a passenger does affect driving but not, it seems, as much as using a phone. I agree with TSB on this. The bright side is that we will take a step backwards from increased productivity, which is too high as it is.
Madcow9597
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Madcow9597,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 7:41:40 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
I would agree to banning talking on a cell phone while driving because so called studies (as biased as they can be at times) claim that drivers are distracted. Lets do this kind of thing across the board. Lets ban police from turning on their lights or using flashlights. They distract drivers too. I was once driving at night in a snow storm and there was an accident ahead. The state police officer who was at the scene nearly caused me to hit him because his lights were too bright and he was flashing a flashlight at my windshield which prevented me from seeing the road and him. Another time I was in an accident because the person in front of me slammed their brakes on because a state police officer was three lanes to the right with his lights on. I hit the guy in front of me because in his words he was distracted by the police lights. I was even at a safe distance but like the guy in front of me I too was distracted by the lights. While we are at it lets ban listening to the radio or driving cars and go back to horse and buggy.
Leo Regulus
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Leo Regulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 7:55:53 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
NO - Do not ban using cellphones behind the wheel. CRIMINALIZE 'Driving while Distracted', of which, using a cell phone, texting etc., are cited among other things as examples of unlawful distraction. You don't want someone to get off because a 'Nook' , or applying makeup or equally distracting device or activity - perhaps not yet invented - is not specifically cited in the law. NIP IT IN THE BUD. Not fair? Think about that while that SUV crushes your 4-year old.

Acquaintances and others visiting here from other lands, are constantly amazed at people driving while using cell phones.
NiteOwl_OvO
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NiteOwl_OvO,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/20/2011 | 9:43:32 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
I've been to Taiwan and Malaysia, they do it even more than we do. I think it's a problem in most high-tech countries.

Carrying on a conversation, either by speaking or texting, while driving is too much of a distraction. A collision alert system would go along way towards addressing the problem. Maybe even automatically applying the brakes and/or cutting the throttle to reduce the impact would help as well. Crash avoidance systems and self-driving cars are probably coming our way, but I don't think they will be well received or entirely effective.

I would love for them to ban my wife from talking to me while I'm driving. Really.
Jetty
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Jetty,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 8:11:15 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
There are many people who completely zone out when on a phone cell phone or other. I think that they may try to visualize who they are talking to at the time. I almost got rear ended by a woman going to work and turning and talking to her car seat with no one there. I believe she had her phone on the car seat. I know some people believe that with a blue tooth that they are hands free but I still see people talking and glancing up to their visor. Not everyone is distracted while carrying on a conversation but if you think of some family members or office workers , you can stand right in front of them while they are on the phone and they don't see you. One second is too much time while driving
ANON1244120476502
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ANON1244120476502,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 8:28:43 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
As someone who has wrestled with the after effects of being slammed into at a red light by a texting teenager, I think it is a great idea. Distracted driving for whatever reason is dangerous. There will always be calls for exemptions for various "important" reasons but they are just smokescreens to say "regulate you and not me.". Why not just equip every vehicle with a cell signal suppressor?
NiteOwl_OvO
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NiteOwl_OvO,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/20/2011 | 9:57:28 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
While a cell signal suppressor might solve one problem it falls short of solving the distracted driver problem, which is really the root of the problem. Maybe the driver should be separated from passengers. Allow them to see the passengers, but not hear them. Block cell signals from the driver's compartment, then add a collision alert system and emergency auto-braking. Hmm. I think I like it.
EVVJSK
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EVVJSK,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 8:33:03 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
I would have to say I lean toward bans on Texting, Email, Twitter, etc.. while leaving in place the ability to use a phone for a phone call (think of all the cab drivers, police officers, etc... that communicate while driving on a daily basis). Hands free devices should be encouraged where possible, but not limited to factory installed (those things tend to be extremely over priced).
gjwills1
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gjwills1,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 8:33:26 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
As a Motorcycle rider, all I can say is 'It is about time!'. I lost two friends this year to distracted drivers and had five more friends injured. All these friends are members of Motorcycle Clubs and as such are very disciplined and experienced.
I understand the arguments about laptops, make-up, GPS devices etc, but you HAVE to start somewhere.
NTSB - THANKS!
Now let's get to work at the State level.
ANON1246375404037
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ANON1246375404037,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 8:40:25 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and Stupidity. Texting while driving is just another example of the latter. Anyone who thinks they can drive safely and use a hands on cellphone simultaneously should not be allowed to drive regardless of local laws.
ANON1246375404037
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ANON1246375404037,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 8:44:48 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
Now if we could just get law enforcement to put down their cell phones while driving - I observe this every day while driving. It sets a bad example for everyone else and is not safe. Maybe they just can't figure out how to use bluetooth.
Staten_Islander
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Staten_Islander,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 8:48:02 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
The problem is that most of us think we can multitask, specifically drive while talking. But most of us also think we are better than the average driver.

There is enough persuasive evidence that carrying on any conversation may impair a driver's attentiveness. If we don't have an outright ban, we should really make drivers accountable for their inattentiveness when they cause accidents. There's too much of 'it was just an accident". Heaven help a pedestrian struck by a car in a no-fault state.
golf25radioman
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golf25radioman,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 8:49:26 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
If they ban all cell phone use, especially hands free, then they will have to ban passengers engaging in conversation with the driver. If someone can't drive and converse that has gone too far. I support a zero tolerance to texting & driving, but hands free cellphone? You will have to ban radio use, GPS navigation, etc., then too.
SabunimB
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SabunimB,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 8:55:34 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
First, put it up for a vote. There is too much government regulation in our lives now. Hands free speech enabled devices should be mandatory. Before you know it you wont be allowed to turn on a radio. If for the folks that say just use a signal suppressor, what about the other passengers. Additionally why are cops allowed to use hand held cell phones when they are driving? Why do the speed when not on a call? There are all ready laws in place for careless driving, why create a new one that folks will not support. So, do we really let the government creep closer into our homes that they already have? This is a very slippery slop.....
YMOM100
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YMOM100,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 10:05:26 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
The NTSB didn't ban anything. All the board did was recommend to the states to pass legislation that would. There is a heck of difference!
tchall
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tchall,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/15/2011 | 1:51:21 AM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
Much as I HATE having to avoid idiots yakking on their cellphones while pointing their Land Yachts down the roads, and even worse driving in dense traffic doing the same thing... I've got to disagree with this recommendation!

This appears to be just another politically motivated (ambitious civil servants building empires), knee jerk, feel good, "We've got THE ANSWER" announcement that ignores that REAL PROBLEM

Blaming a tool for the workman's failure wouldn't fly anywhere else, and it shouldn't be accepted for this...

PEOPLE are the problem, not the lipstick, electric razor, radio dials, dropped pens (pictures of the cop that climbed a lamp post yesterday are circulating on line), cigarettes in the lap, milk shakes, HOT coffee, and a HOST of other items that cause accidents on a daily basis...

There will be no progress in eliminating "distracted driving" until those working the problem focus on PEOPLE instead of objects.

You can't legislate against stupidity... but you CAN legislate requirements for driver training, put "distracted drivers" on probation programs, and EDUCATE those who are not so willfully ignorant that they insist on being a threat to others...

You can't even see what the driver is doing in all vehicles, but you CAN observe the behavior of the vehicle and determine if the driver is acting in a reckless manner, or showing signs of distraction...

We have laws in ALL 50 states against "reckless" or "distracted" driving... Some states consider them as potential felony charges depending on circumstances.

Maybe we need to enforce laws that punish BAD DRIVERS for what they DO, not Citizens for what they MIGHT do... I would point out that Public Service, Amateur Radios, CBs, corporate mobile radios, and Radio Telephones had been used for decades before cellphones were small enough for users to carry...

That's not justification for the idiots being allowed cellphones... but it is an indication that the problem MIGHT not be the equipment at all...
SkiMan01
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SkiMan01,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/15/2011 | 2:30:33 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
Year after year for many years the AAA would conduct surveys of accidents. In terms of accidents from distracted driving, the top reason was always children in the vehicle. Cell phones were not in the top three or even top five.
Then suddenly, someone wanted to pass a law and research studies started appearing from respected universities, and they all said that cell phones were the culpruts. We never connected the dots to see the government was the one paying the respected universities, and only researchers who supported those politicians got the research money.
We all know that it is not smart to text while driving, as it is not smart to read a newspaper or put on makeup or shave or whatever. We have always had laws for careless driving ane reckless driving, which may be the result of texting or other activities.
If we go after cellphones, then we should add to that list, UPS drivers that use a computer to plan their route, Truckers that use CB radios, Police that use a wide array of distractions in their cruisers - from large computer screens to two way radios that are not voice activated to dash cams and the like.
Or how about this, let's make it illegal to transport children in cars!!! That will prevent a lot of accidents.
I put this proposed law in the same category as I do the seat belt law. The government is trying to tell us how to live our lives and they are criminalizing any deviation from their straight and narrow path of acting smart. By the way, if the government is driving the car, children are not required to wear seat belts - namely school busses. If you do the same thing, the child protection services will be down your throat in a second.
Matt28
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Matt28,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/15/2011 | 2:54:20 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
Drivers need to be responsible for themselves. A ban or law is not the way to go. In my state the law (ban) is you cannot talk on a cell phone unless it is hands free but I always see drivers holding a cell phone while driving. The government cannot legislate this problem away. Instead of a ban more public service announcements are needed to make people more aware of the problem and let them make their own decision.

Everyone can agree cell phone use has increased over the last decade. Since cell phone use has increased distracted driving has increased as well. Therefore, accident rates should have increased due to more instances of distracted driving. But according to this census.gov report the amount of auto accidents per year has remained about the same. http://www.census.gov/compendi....

For those of you who think talking on a cell is worse that talking to a passenger check out this report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The percentage of drivers distracted by a passenger before a crash is 5 higher than being distracted by a cell phone.
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/P....

Matt28
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Matt28,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/15/2011 | 3:03:18 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
On a side note the 'Yeild to pedestrians in crosswalk' right of way law is one of the worst laws ever enacted. The law takes a person's responsiblity for their own safety and places it in the hands of the someone else. I can't count the number of times I've approached an intersection and noticed a pedestrian completely fail to notice my car's presence. They just walk out into the street. If I did not stop I would have hit them.

WHAT HAPPEND TO LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE CROSSING THE STREET!!

dellyn
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dellyn,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2011 | 3:33:58 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
Crosswalk, what crosswalk; around here they just start walking across the roadway where ever they like and we're supposed to stop on a dime for them.
Tronman
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Tronman,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/15/2011 | 7:41:43 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
$500 fine for the first offense, loss of license for the second offense.
Certifiable
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Certifiable,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/15/2011 | 10:27:41 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
Some very good points being made here about how far a cell phone ban should go when driving. Should all cell phones use be banned or allow hands free devices to prevail? Here is my technical question to the hands free advocates. How will law enforcement or even your cell phone provider know that you were even using a bluetooth device when supposedly making a hands free call that ended in a driving distracted accident and citation? While cell phone providers' call records show you making a call, will they indicate if you were in fact using a bluetooth earpiece or other hands free device? What tech proof can anyone provide for their hands free defense? Just having the hands free device does not prove that you were in fact using it at the time of your accident.

This truck size technical loophole may provide all the reason that the states need to ban all cell use in a car. Mind you, I want to be able to use my phone hands free while driving, but I am not sure how I would prove my hands free status. Any ideas or thoughts on this?
MediaTrustpete
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MediaTrustpete,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2011 | 11:41:03 PM
re: Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?
is this such a surprise when you see data like this http://ityb.it/UMoXct showing 33% of drivers text while driving or U.S. Department of Transportation Latest Faces of Distracted Driving Video http://ityb.it/cyhNN6 ? The main issue is going to be how on earth they regulate any of this. in NYC that banned taxi drivers from speaking on cell or head sets while driving. that lasted about a week. not to mention the new interactive dash boards going in to the new cars.... this should have been better thought our before the auto companies where given the green light... all in all a good idea. but next to impossible to in-force..
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