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cell phones + driving dont mix(56 posts)

cell phones + driving dont mixlnin0
Apr 26, 2001 9:08 PM
Well, after laying off from road biking for the better part of 10 years I decided to take it up again.

I live in a pretty big city but can ride about 10 minutes and find some quiet country roads. On the way home I have to cross one big intersection. A left turn at a pretty busy light. Tonight it spelled doom.

I make the section with the light and no cars are behind me. I cross over and get into the left hand turn lane right as the light turns green. I singnal. I am following right behind this green toyota as we turn left and then I make my way over to the right side of the road. As I'm doing this I notice the Toyota, whoes driver is on a cell phone, is now suddenly slowing and I'm almost right up next to it. Then I realize it is going to take a right hand turn onto a small access road - WITHOUT SIGNALING.

I slam on my brakes and lock the tires as the car turns in front of me. I manage to slow myself down enough to use my left arm to slap the car so my bike doens't. Without even having a foot come loose I turn right down the access road between the car, which has by now stopped, and turn around.

A middle age lady pulls up with her window down and cell phone still in hand. I don't know if it was my short temper or the 90 minutes of riding or the adreneline from the near miss or all of them but I couldn't think straight and just laid into the lady with a few choice (to say the least) words about her inability to signal and her unsafe use of a cell phone.

Then, as if nothing had happened I throw my ass back on the seat, acknowledge I'm ok to some others who witnessed the entire thing and ride off.

So, now I am even more pissed at myself for not doing more. I would like know where I can get more info on making it illegal to use a cell phone while oporating a car. It is no different than driving drunk - maybe even worse because of the shear nubmer of people doing it. How many people will have to be injured or killed by people on the phone while driving a car before the government decides to step in. We cannot rely on the companies making billions off these products to seriously regulate them.

BTW: Ive been hit twice by people on cell phones...once in a car and now this on my bike.

http://www.geocities.com/morganleepena/rebuttal.htm
Here is an ideaX
Apr 26, 2001 9:27 PM
Ok...this might sound morbid but it could work.

I think a lot of these state "representatives" don't feel the need to ban cell phones in cars because they are not educated about the dangers of them.

Maybe it would help if people would go out to their local representative neighborhood and drive wildly through his streets while talking on a cellphone. Then, when someone runs a red light and mows down a grand kid he might change his thoughts about cell phones.
There is hope..PaulCL
Apr 27, 2001 5:02 AM
..in the consumer, not in laws. Have you all noticed the increase in advertising for "hands free" cell phones. For car use,these are either with speaker systems (like my wife has) or with headsets. Also, the new voice-activated phones are getting cheaper and cheaper.

My point is this:by the time we could convince our governments to ban cell phone-in-car use, the market would have made it obsolete anyway. Why? the average life of a cell phone is about two years. If it costs no more to have hands-free ("OOH Honey, look..a free hand to change radio channels, do makeup, pick your nose, or that all important finger for cyclists"), the consumer will take the new gizmo.
The NEW American way:Hershel Krustofski
Apr 27, 2001 5:28 AM
Because there are SOME that are reckless or abuse any certain activity (such as cell phone use while driving) we shall make it illegal foe ALL.

The rights of society supercede the rights of the individual!!!

That's just what our founding fathers wanted, isn't it?
The NEW American way:Hershel Krustofski
Apr 27, 2001 6:26 AM
You have a bit of Socialism in you, don't you?

With your thinking ("they wore whigs and had slaves!) didn't have cars, computers or automatic weapons capable of bringing down small aircraft...."), maybe we should just trash the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, they are outdated.

Do you not recognize a difference between automatic weapons and cell phones?

To paraphase: "Those who give up a little freedom to preserve the peace lose a little of both and deserve neither".

In our American society we CAN vote and legislate away all of our freedoms and rights.
driving a car is not a FREEDOMlnin0
Apr 27, 2001 6:31 AM
It is a previlage. Maybe you should go back to drivers ed?

With your way of thinking it should be ok then to drink and drive...drinking IS a freedom provided to us by the constitution...SO HOW DARE THEY SAY I CAN'T DRINK AND DRIVE!
The NEW American way:Hershel Krustofski
Apr 27, 2001 7:22 AM
"do you have patriotic music playing when you write this stuff?"

That saddens me. I feel very patriotic. Why don't you?
The NEW American way:Hershel Krustofski
Apr 27, 2001 8:06 AM
Listen to your hate-filled anger. What you say about others says a lot about yourself.
MJ :The Anti AmericanSteeve
Apr 27, 2001 11:18 AM
What communist country are you really from?
Hey MJ are you really Timothy McVey?Miscellaneous
Apr 27, 2001 8:57 AM
You sound like the type that hate Americans.
Hey MJ are you really Timothy McVey?SLM
Apr 27, 2001 9:30 AM
MJ, you do sound like you like dumping on our founding fathers and the militia and all.

Not cool.
The NEW American way:Jamm
Apr 27, 2001 3:36 PM
Hey MJ, The American founding fathers really kicked the British's as5 in the Revolutionary War didn't we? We kicked their as* again in 1812. But how things changed when we saved their as* in WWI. Wait just one more minute, we saved them again in WWII! There isn't even a British Empire anymore! They can even control their own island! Where do they rank now? Way behind Japan and Germany! It's true!
Agreed... and a rantKristin
Apr 27, 2001 6:32 AM
Cell phones, along with car stereo's and passagers, always distract drivers--no question about it. I'm an extremely alert and adept driver--yet, I've nearly run off the freeway trying to answer a hands free phone. And *gasp* I almost hit a cyclist once while I was distracted. It wasn't close enough that the guy even noticed, but it changed my perspective on the whole thing. I could have killed someone, destroyed a family and had to live with it the rest of my life because I was bored with a radio station. Cars should be used ONLY for getting from on place to another. Today their so comfy that we nearly take up residence in them. And we are way too relaxed behind the wheel.

Cell phones are a tempting gadget and quite convenient, but is it worth it? Do I have to answer that call at that moment, or can I return the call when I get a chance to pull over?

Sigh. I miss those pre-microwave days where a missed call wasn't the end of the world.

...end rant
MY AMERICAlnin0
Apr 27, 2001 6:27 AM
Apperantly you live in a different America than I do. One where people tend not to be self centered and take responsibility for their actions. Indeed, I don't think your America needs ANY laws.

However, the country I am in is full of self serving asswipes who could give two shits about the lives of any other person not directly related to them. People who don't care and are not about to change their habits, however bad, because someone (other than the government) cried foul. If everyone is so smart why did it take a proactive seat belt law to get the majority of Americans to buckle up even though the same majority probably knew it was bad for them to drive without a seat belt?

I don't see how you can say only SOME people are reckless drivers who use cell phones. It's like saying it should be ok to drive drunk because only SOME people cause accidents and kill people. Using a cell phone while driving a car is more dangerous than drunk driving and responsible for more accidents and deaths each year - all that go unpunished because unlike drunk driving..there is no method to track drivers using cell phones.

I am not against the use of cell phones (although having my night at the movies ruined by an arrogant jerk on a cell phone is another story). I only want the use of phones prohibited while oporating a car. Sure, their are a handfull (and this is a really small number) that can actually and truely justify a valid case for needing a cell phone but you know what - they can pull over and use it while stopped. Same for reporting accidents. Pull over, offer assistance to the people in the accident and then phone it in.

All in all the vast number of people using cell phones in cars DONT NEED TO BE and are putting others and themself in harms way. It does greatly distract from driving .. far more so than almost any other activity. I think if you read the link I gave you the first time you might better understand the facts.

http://www.geocities.com/morganleepena/rebuttal.htm
MY AMERICAHershel Krustofski
Apr 27, 2001 7:13 AM
Do you all also equate driving drunk and cell phone use?

There certainly are those activities that are so inherently dangerous that warrant them to be restricted by statute.

But some of you actually do agrue my point. This is paramount: All people should and must be held culpable and responsible for their actions and the consequences. THIS is where we are failing in America today. So instead be legislate away actions for ALL.

Biking is a dangerous activity for which all of society has pay the cost. Do you not realize there are those (who think just like you) feel riding bikes on roads should be illegal? "It is not a right, it is a privilege!" (You can replace road riding with any activity YOU like but others may not.) You can be bitten by your own snake.

The NEW America appears more and more like Singapore or maybe China/Iran/Iraq???

BTW, I have never heard that cell phone use while driving was more dangerous than drunk driving. I have read several reports and studies that driving while sleepy is more dangerous than drunk driving. I aslo read reports/studies about the use of OTC antihistamines while driving being worse than drunk driving. Where is your outrage against these actions? Why not make laws prohibiting them?
thought i'd seen it all, 'til...Haiku d'état
Apr 27, 2001 5:55 AM
the other day (driving home) a guy decked out in leather on a harley (you know the type; not hardcore, just after-office-hours and out of the tie, everything he's wearing says h-d, $25k riding around for some peace and quiet before the weekend's trip with the wife & kids in his ford expedition) answers the phone as the light turns green and he's on the front line. i'm behind him, waiting, as he has the cell in his left hand. needless to say, he can't get out of first gear.

disclaimer: nothing against motorcycles, i had 3 before i ever had a car, nothing against SUVs, my wife drives a small 'un, but hey -- use a little common sense! this kills me.
thought i'd seen it all, 'til...Ken56
Apr 27, 2001 6:38 AM
First, let me state that I am in favor of banning the use of handheld cell phones while driving. However, that's not the only thing that keeps drivers distracted from their driving. What do you do about those who are eating their lunch, putting on makeup, drinking their coffee, reading their newspaper, changing their socks (just kidding), or all of these things at once while out on the highway at 75 mph? Anything that claims your attention for even a few seconds can cause an accident. Granted that the cell phones are so prevalent, and conversations on them are usually long, so that the problems are exacerbated, but I think that drivers need to be educated in better driving habits. I don't know who's going to do that, and I don't have any answers, but these behaviors aren't going to change overnight if you pass a law banning the use of handheld cell phones while operating a vehicle.
thought i'd seen it all, 'til...Muriel Creer
Apr 27, 2001 7:24 PM
Driving needs to be separated from other activities under our legal system--even apart fro mgun ownership, car ownership and use is an underregulaged, undertaxed, over-freedomed condition of anarchy. I live in a town with a big, recent Russian immigrant community and whenever I see Russian men I keep wishing that our state patrol would try to find any ex-KGB employees--and recruit them to drive the black-and-whites! I think we need to get to where the idea is, want your rights? Ride a bike, walk, or take the bus.
thought i'd seen it all, 'til...Becky
Apr 27, 2001 6:50 AM
I think I can top that one (or at least equal it)... My parents live in Lancaster County, PA - home of many Amish- and I reside in Delaware. While returning home after a lovely visit with the family, I passed a young Amish man (about 16 or so) on his Rollerblades with his cellphone firmly glued to his ear! Last time I checked, the Amish don't use electricity, but evidently it's ok to use it to charge your phone battery. Now if that's not a commentary about the prevalence of cellular phones in today's society, I don't know what is! I wish I'd had my camera with me...
re: cell phones + cycling don't mix eitherrollo tommassi
Apr 27, 2001 6:36 AM
You are very right, and it's good that you got to yell at the lady. It is just astonishing how thoughtless people are - it probably never occurred to her that she was doing anything wrong.

What distresses me even more is the number of people cycling while talking on those Infernal Machines! (any Wild Wild West fans out there?) Overall, it's not the mode of transport that is the problem but the phone! I've had pedestrians walk out against a light as they were talking on the phone, people on rollerblades etc.

Oddly enough, I've never seen anyone on a skateboard talking on a phone! Why is that?? Hmmmmmmmmm
while we're banning things...Dog
Apr 27, 2001 6:48 AM
Let's make society really safe. As long as we're banning things, why stop at cell phones?

Let's also ban while driving:

Smoking
Crying kids in the car
Listening to music
Taking photographs
Talking to passengers
Driving more than 8 hrs per day (could fall asleep)
Eating and drinking (even non-alcoholic drinks)
Making notes
Changing tapes and CD's
Programing the car clock and radio buttons
Looking at maps and directions

Maybe for cycling, too -- let's ban while cycling:

Talking
Drinking from water bottles (Camelbaks ok)
Using downtube shifters
Drafting (following) closely (technically, may already be illegal if vehicle code applies)
Eating
Removing and replacing things from rear pockets
Riding no hands

I, too, am fed up with bad drivers, those who cannot drive carefully and politely no matter what the distraction. Those who mess up should be severely punished. But why deprive the careful drivers of a sometimes important activity? Not sure where I land on this, but I do prefer consistency. IMHO.

Doug
this is why cellphoneslnin0
Apr 27, 2001 7:03 AM
They are devices that distract visually, mechanically and cognitively. Most of the other activities you mentioned do not affect our driving from some many perspectives.

I really wish everyone would take 5 minutes to read this article before they spend five minutes posting. Are you afraid a little education might make it harder for you to stick to your unsubstantiated arguements?

Anyway...I better get some work done. YOU ARE THE WEAKEST LINK GOODBYE
this is why cellphoneslnin0
Apr 27, 2001 7:04 AM
They are devices that distract visually, mechanically and cognitively. Most of the other activities you mentioned do not affect our driving from some many perspectives.

I really wish everyone would take 5 minutes to read this article before they spend five minutes posting. Are you afraid a little education might make it harder for you to stick to your unsubstantiated arguements?

opps...almost forgot the link
http://www.geocities.com/morganleepena/rebuttal.htm

Anyway...I better get some work done. YOU ARE THE WEAKEST LINK GOODBYE
while we're banning things...jp2
Apr 27, 2001 7:16 AM
doug,

you cannot safely drive and talk on a phone at the same time. for an example of this, try carrying on a conversation with your SO while effectively reading your email or running a computer program. do you find yourself not hearing everything or rereading something because of the confusion and blurr? when driving with a cell phone, where do you think most persons are putting their attention, on the road or on the phone. afterall they had to answer it or make the call in the first place.

i believe there are studies showing that using a cell phone while driving is as bad if not worse than drunk driving. i recall seeing something on it on the news once.
I've got to agree...TJeanloz
Apr 27, 2001 7:52 AM
I talk on the phone in the car/on the bike all the time. It's not ideal, but it's the only way to find enough time lately. I don't believe that my driving is seriously impacted by talking on the telephone. I wish I could say that about eating. I've had so many near accidents while I was trying to grab a bite, that I don't eat and drive. I think it's a question of discretion. There are plenty of times when I'll end a telephone conversation because traffic is getting tricky, backed up, or I realize that the road needs my 100% attention. But let's face it, if you're cruising down I-80 in Nebraska, which has two curves in the whole length of the state and visibility of 10 miles in every direction- talking on the telephone is no more dangerous than talking to a passenger.
I agree w/ Doug and TJeanloz.Jimbob
Apr 27, 2001 8:00 AM
Its possible to still drive safely while talking. Now, there are some people who cant drive without a phone in their hand. Thats when it gets scary. What do we do about them?? Do all of us have to suffer?
MJ, I've got to agree...Selig
Apr 27, 2001 8:14 AM
that burger and cheeseball you just ate is unsafe. It is full of artery clogging fat and blood pressure rising salt. The point is is that it is unsafe, end of discussion.
MJ, I've got to agree...An American
Apr 27, 2001 11:55 AM
MJ, I'm an American that's read enough of your anti American vomit.

You can only guess what I'd like to do to you, and then plant an American flag into you like the US Marines did in Iwo Jima.

Go ahead now, trash the US Marines and our Armed Forces.
MJ, :Jamm
Apr 27, 2001 3:13 PM
MJ are you really a scrawnny commie?
There really isn't data...TJeanloz
Apr 27, 2001 8:15 AM
There are general studies that show that drivers on cell phones are more likely to be in accidents. But there isn't a study that I am more dangerous when I drive with a cell phone. I think it would be cool to have a test in a simulator or something whereby you could demonstrate your proficiency (or lack thereof) in talking and driving. That would be relevant data- it would show that I am more dangerous. The data you have is akin to saying: "18 year old men have the most accidents, therefore, ALL 18 year old men will be dangerous and should not be allowed to drive." This despite the fact that there are some safe drivers younger than 18.
you can lead a horse to water, butSteeve
Apr 27, 2001 11:26 AM
You can't make MJ think before he speaks or writes.
I've got to agree...Jonathan
Apr 27, 2001 5:27 PM
Damn straight.

You cant legislate common sense. Some people are just never going to have it, but we live in a democracy, which means the majority rules, and the majority of the population isnt stupid.
there can still be consistency in unequal treatmentET
Apr 27, 2001 8:42 AM
The state or fed gov't may decide to pass such a law not because the other things you list are necessarily any less dangerous, but rather because the use of cellphones is so widespread, or the gov't believes it is or will become, it might feel that passing a law is the only way to go to prevent a huge number of accidents. Or they may view one law as more enforceable than the others. That could still be viewed as consistent. "Those who mess up should be severely punished"? Which would you rather: give a cellphone granny life imprisonment for a fatal accident she never dreamed she'd cause, or pass a law which she would never consider violating?

I'm not a law-for-everything kind of guy, and didn't even give my own opinion, but it's not yet clear how bad and widespread a problem this is going to become. It seems like everyone around me is just glued to their cellphones. If it is or does become a big problem, there could be solutions short of an all-out ban, e.g. the roads permitting cellphones could have it pictured next to the speed limit, or perhaps the other way around, those not permitting it would have its picture x-ed out. Or perhaps a ban during rush hours.
Laws Won't be Enforcedgusriley
Apr 27, 2001 7:18 AM
I'm not an avocate of cell phone use while driving. I've seen and read so many incidences where the use of cell phones might be cause for bad driving. I too got hit by a car (while I was riding), right turn, no signal, etc, lady jabbering on a cell phone. All you have to do is take notice of who is signaling a turn and who isn't to realize how unsafe the use of cell phones are on our highways and roads.
Take notice some day of all the people traveling in thier cars who aren't wearing a seat belt. In most states this act is breaking the law. A law that isn't being enforced aggressively. I feel if anti cell phone laws are passed, they will be enforced equally as badly as the seat belt laws.
If passed, these laws must be enforced aggressively or they're a waste of time and money.
do these really make our lives better?DaveG
Apr 27, 2001 8:24 AM
I don't want to continue the debate over rights and what our founding fathers would say about cell phones. I do agree that they pose a great danger to cyclists when used by distracted motorists. My questions is really: what is so damn important to talk about that we can't put these away when we are driving? I understand the benefit to sales people and some business people, but is it really necessary to have a phone glued to your ear 24 hours a day? Personally, I WANT to be away from the phone and away from the intrusion of others. I'm sure you all seen folks walking through stores, down the street, ... whatever, yakking away on the phone, ignoring the friend/family member/whoever standing right next to them. The best is when these folks getting annoyed with people nearby for "eavedropping"! Maybe I'm getting old, but I don't know that cell phones have really improved the quality of life (and yes I own two cell phones). They are great for getting a ride when your bike breaks down though!
re: cell phones + driving dont mixRandy
Apr 27, 2001 8:30 AM
I have read your posts and have decided that we should ban biking.

Biking is a dangerous activity. Bikers get injured all the time. They also ride on roads that are for autos. Biking on the road is not a right, but a privelege.

The time is now to ban biking.
weakness in your argumentET
Apr 27, 2001 8:50 AM
Assume the following two statements are true: Cyclists rarely hurt others. Drivers talking on cell phones are much more likely to hurt others, at least in the aggregate.

If one accepts these two statements, your argument doesn't carry as much weight.
weakness in your argumentRandy
Apr 27, 2001 9:21 AM
It matters not if bicyclists hurt others. They are not an island unto themselves, their actions affect all in society. We should make laws to protect them from themselves. We do it all the time.

We should also ban cell phones in cars.
Unrealmuncher
Apr 27, 2001 9:11 AM
Just saw a guy training on rollers in the back of a pick-up, talking on a mobile while riding, and watching Anne Robinson on a mini T.V. at the same time.

All this whilst driving though a "Ban the Bikes" protest rally, sponsored by the United Arms Manufacturers Association.

Do these people have no sense of responsibility - I was nearly late for my spell in the lab at a major nuclear vivisection research station?.......
goodone nmLnin0
Apr 27, 2001 11:29 AM
would hands free make a difference?Dog
Apr 27, 2001 9:22 AM
Seems like using a 'hands free' installed car phone would not be much different than conversing with a passenger. Anything wrong with that?

Doug
would hands free make a difference?muncher
Apr 27, 2001 9:32 AM
Guess it depends on what sort of talker you are. Passenger chat is generally low-concentration chit-chat that doesn't demand a whole lot of attention. Phone calls are more likely to be, I would have thought, attention demanding interrogatories, certainly for the business user - nothing more settling as a cyclist than the rep in a co car rummaging for a pen/paper in a case on the passenger seat at 60 on the road...

I can't get really uptight aboout rights issues here - just seems to be to be one more probably bad thing thing we could live without, given the number of people killed on the road each day, the huge (90%+ in the UK) majority of those deaths being occasioned by driver error?
that depends on the varietyKristin
Apr 27, 2001 9:59 AM
I have a hands free phone, but I still have to activate / answer it when it rings. That's what I was doing when I almost ran off the highway. I was distracted and scrambling and should've just let it go. It if was a phone that didn't require finding/pushing little buttons, then it would be safer than mine. But still a possible distraction.

I totally respect your opinions. I don't think that much ever changes through government regulation. The problem, IMHO, lies in our culture as a whole, and our love of luxury vehicles. The fault is with the big motor companies and their marketing strategies. Just look at some of the commercials. Most display numerous dressed-up traffic violations. Do you want to be cycling around any of the people driving in a car commercial? Do you think the guy who drove his car to the horizon, waits for the sun to set and then catches up with it again, was speeding??? What if there was a cyclist between him and his sunset? Would he have seen the cyclist thru all that glare. Could he have stopped in time?? Of course it was hyperbole, but its basically the message we're being fed about driving everyday.

Our culture is the problem and its probably not going to change. But I am going to try to change, cuz I want to be safe for myself and others around me.
gov't regulation can indeed change muchET
Apr 27, 2001 10:10 AM
Think about it: 15 years ago, smokers were everywhere, even on airplanes. Now smokers are almost outcasts, in airplanes, restaurants, public facilities, etc., due, yes, to regulation (and perhaps ad campaigns). Of course, regulation can have unintended consequences, e.g. less people dying by age 65 due to less smoking means a greater burden on the Medicare and Social Security programs. In fact, I believe some economic studies have shown that there is a net monetary loss to society with less smoking.
Alas, you are correct. What can I say... (nm)Kristin
Apr 27, 2001 10:39 AM
well, you can say...ET
Apr 27, 2001 12:00 PM
"Another bad post from ET. Just ignore." :-)
basic outlook on lifeDog
Apr 27, 2001 10:26 AM
I think that many people are basing their views on this issue upon their fundamental values and principles, sometimes whether they know it or not.

As for me, I value the maximization of individual freedom, but also individual responsibility. So, those principles guide me, and lead me to the conclusion that doing 'whatever' should be permitted, but penalties should be sure and severe for not being careful and hurting others. As least, pursue the issue as much as possible along that line.

Now, if the fact is that the activity is proven to be inherently unsafe, like driving with a .2 BAC, then that's different. At that point, essentially, there becomes a presumption that one is careless and it likely to cause harm. Driving 100 mph in a school zone is another example. However, driving 100 mph across the Salt Flats of Utah isn't the slightest bit unsafe, IMO. So, some activities are not necessarily always safe or unsafe; it depends upon the circumstances. Along that line, possibly there could be "cell free zones" where traffic is particularly bad or in dangerous areas. That may be an acceptable compromise.

Particularly as a cyclist who rides on busy rural roads quite often, I'd personally not only like to see no cell phone usage, but no driving at all! Or, at least reduce the auto speed limit to something like 20 mph. We cyclists would all be a heck of a lot safer. But, given the interests of society as a whole, that's obviously not reasonable.

So, I'm really torn on this issue. Personally, I'd prefer the increased safety that might come from banning cell phone usage, but I cannot justify the further reductions of personal freedoms. There is just far too much of that occurring in the world already.

Doug
There's already a law against it ...Java
Apr 27, 2001 9:38 AM
... it's called careless driving, dangerous driving, reckless driving or simple negligence depending on where you live.

As Doug and others have pointed out, there's simply too many activities that could be legislatively prohibited but it takes too much time and these are not black and white issues (if we can listen to radios and change stations, among other in car activities, why is using a speaker cellphone that much different?).

I believe that the best response to these potential threats to road safety are already addressed by the careless driving laws that currently exist. It's a losing battle to try to define and legislate every single instance of careless/reckless driving. What we need, and I suspect we already have, is a few well publicised cases of a person who was charged with careless/reckless driving for cellphone use, putting on make-up or eating their happy meal.

Inin0, you said that you wish you would have done something else at the time. Perhaps that was a great opportunity for a call to the police and a potential careless driving charge to be laid. The fact is that none of these laws will actually prevent people from doing these activities. Rather, they serve as forms of punishment when people are caught breaking them. Unfortunately, we live in a society where many tend to ignore driving safety laws (signalling, speed limits, etc) and its just way too difficult to police these infractions so as to prevent them altogether. Thus, the next time you're on the wrong end of one of these incidents, hopefully uninjured, call the cops and maybe you can help to set a precedent that will start to have some weight toward how people actually behave behind the wheel.
There's already a law against it ...Miklos
Apr 27, 2001 12:55 PM
I'm comming into this thread a little late, but as a cell phone user, I feel the need to voice my opinion.

I find talking on a hand held phone very distracting.
I find using a hands free set on the same phone to be much less distracting than talking to a passenger. With the hands free, I can carry on a conversation while watching the road, checking the mirrors, checking the gages, etc. While conversing with a passenger, people are compelled to at the least, make glances at the passenger to emphasize certain points within a conversation.

Answering a cell phone dangerous? Place it in a convenient location, easily within reach, programmed for any-key answer. It is then easier to answer a call than change the radio station.

The most dangerous thing that I see on the road is mothers in the mini van or suv paying much more attention to the load of screaming brats than driving. I have been ran off the road several times by said act.

What's up with driving with a dog on your lap. Thats a new one that I have been seeing lately. Dog on the drivers lap, window usually down with dogs head hanging out.

I vote to make illegal while driving:
1- Talking on hand held cell phone.
2- Kids in the car. Libral use of duct tape may rectify this problem.
3- talking to passengers, drive alone or shut-up.
4- Drinking or eating, unless of course it is alcoholic beverages because we all know we drive much better when intoxicated.
5- Dogs in the front. Thats what p/u beds and trunks are for.

But for Gods sake, leave us safe "hands free" cell phone users alone.

Miklos
Call your local Representative right NOW!The Jerk
Apr 27, 2001 12:59 PM
Wait, you can't get through? That's probably because your Rep is on their own cell phone talking to one of the hundreds of lobbyists for the cell phone industry who are promising said Rep a huge campaign contribution in exchange for a promise to squash any potential legislation banning cell phone use while driving.
GOD BLESS THE DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM!
re: cell phones + driving dont mixMCCL
Apr 27, 2001 1:23 PM
I do believe we have some foundation. If you go down to your local DOT and ask them for a Vehical Code Book you will probably find something under distractions. This code book is different from that IQ test they give you when you usually have to go. It is or was free and it is the code book by which you get slapped a ticket from. Also insurance co. use these things. It may vary from state to state but California has a distraction law. Are cell phone distracting, they must be because no one else out here is putting up a comercial besides them right now stating that they may, that is, may be distracting. But now who is going to be the first anti cell phone cop (my hero) to give these so called law breakers the ticket. As long as there is corporate America out there, thing's like this will not make it to the voting hatch. Beside's it need's to go farther then that. Public places, resturants, schools, etc. etc.
a couple of comments....Kinglouie
Apr 27, 2001 2:55 PM
In some ways I agree with Hershel (spelling?? sorry.)
First of all, the people who "almost" had an accident or performed some "dangerous" maneuver while talking on a cell phone are people who are accidents waiting to happen anyway. The cell phone is just an added excuse.
If listening to a radio makes you dangerous on the road, you shouldn't be listening to it while driving, have some common sense. The people who are "relatively" safe drivers aren't the ones swerving across the road generally. Phones, radios or not.

I've used the phone while driving, but I know better than on any kind of busy street or road. But it has even helped me when driving long commutes home late at night. But then, my phone has a speaker phone.
Also, a person should know better than to look away too long from the road while driving. Whether for phone, fries or picking a booger. Unfortunately, these "people" (everyone thinks they're the best driver), screw things up for others who are more safe.
This thing with "a law for everything" is getting out of hand.
New danger walking and cell phonesHwy 45
Apr 28, 2001 3:07 AM
When not riding my bike I like long walks. Here in Chicago the new danger when walking is from cell phone users on the sidewalk. It's the same as the highway erratic speed and weaving and bad lane use. I've also seen cell phone users walk out into traffic and almost be hit. Lucky for them at least the times I've seen it the people driving weren"t using a cell phone.
New danger walking and cell phonesSLM
Apr 28, 2001 10:22 AM
Great, now we must ban cell phones anytime the user is moving.

Oh, the H with it. Ban everything.
Can't outlaw stupidity...3kidney
Apr 28, 2001 1:53 PM
and it's foolish to try. There are already laws against reckless driving, reckless endangerment, etc. Cell phones are no more of a problem than makeup, hairbrushes, combs, newspapers, CD players, tape players, kids, pets, family arguments, old people, teenagers, drunks, rednecks, or minivans (especially with a jesus fish emblem--they seem to close their eyes and leave it in god's hands). And the list can be extended on into infinity.

The worst incident I have had was the result of some guy being pissed on his way home from church. Perhaps we should outlaw that too?

The worst bike incident I have ever heard of was 6 or 7 killed at once by some dumb c**t flying down the road digging in the back seat for a cassette tape. As I recall she was convicted of some major offense, but it just goes to show stupid people can find a way no matter how many laws are passed.

The only law that would make a difference is to eliminate liability insurance--particularly for punative damages, so if you do something particularly stupid or negligent, it's YOU that gets f**ked and not your insurance company.

The best prevention I have found is to ride early in the morning. Most of the worst never arise before 10:00am. Secondarily never ride on Fridays or Sunday afternoons since people are more crazy and pissed in general on those days.
re: cell phones + driving dont mixBikeNut
Apr 29, 2001 7:49 AM
The majority of problems with drivers using cell phones, eating, drinking, putting on make-up, etc. and also with those attempting to pilot land yachts would be quickly eliminated if cars, trucks and suvs were no longer equipped with power steering, power brakes and automatic transmissions. With this change, people would need both hands to drive and would have to pay a lot more attention to what they are doing than they have to do now. We would also see the end of 8,000 pound gas guzzlers.