Archive for Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Phone ban loses favor

Traffic safety panel rejects prohibition on calls in vehicles

June 6, 2006


Can you hear me now?

For Lawrence motorists who use cell phones, the answer is still yes.

The city's Traffic Safety Commission on Monday narrowly rejected a proposed cell phone ban that would have been the stiffest in the country because it would be the first to ban both hand-held and hands-free devices.

"I think there would be some real enforcement issues," said John Ziegelmeyer Jr., chairman of the commission. "I'm real concerned about the hands-free enforceability of the ordinance. I just don't know how an officer is supposed to know if you are singing, talking on the phone or just mumbling.

"And from what I've heard, I think the citizens feel very strongly that this is a bad ordinance."

Now it will be up to city commissioners to pass judgment. The Traffic Safety Commission's action served only as a recommendation. City commissioners will have the issue on an agenda, likely in the next two to three weeks. Commissioners have not publicly stated their position on the issue, and none attended Monday's meeting, which did not end until nearly 11 p.m.

Traffic safety commissioners on Monday mainly heard from people who were opposed to the ban. Commissioners heard from a dozen people opposed to the ban and only two who supported it.

"If Lawrence wants to kill economic development, ban cell phones," said Robert Lewis, a retired farmer and financier of several high-tech companies. "Biotechnology companies will not come to this community if you ban cell phones. This is technology we're talking about."

The commission also heard from several small business owners who said the ban would have serious implications for their businesses, and also from citizens who said the ban was an intrusion into personal freedom.

"I know what my limitations are. That is my personal responsibility as a citizen," said Michael Clover, a Lawrence truck driver, who said existing laws were already in place to punish bad drivers regardless of whether they were using a phone. "I know I can't pick up the phone while I'm going around the corner."

Traffic safety commissioners opposed the ban on a 5-4 vote. Several commissioners said the enforcement issues were no greater than many other traffic laws. And several said they were convinced by studies that showed accident risks increased with cell phone usage, although there is no data to suggest how many accidents the devices cause in Lawrence.

"This (ban) would send an important message that safety is more important than personal convenience," Traffic Safety Commissioner Paul Graves said.

Commissioners, though, did support a second ordinance that would double the fine for inattentive driving if a person is involved in an accident while using a cell phone. That would increase the fine from $60 to $120. That passed on a 6-3 vote, with some commissioners voting against it because they wanted offenders to be required to go to a safe driving class rather than being fined.

That ordinance also must be approved by city commissioners before becoming final.

Monday's meeting did include comments from two regional executives for Sprint and Cingular, two of the larger wireless phone companies in the country. They told commissioners that because the ban would be the first of its kind in the country, the industry was committed to opposing it.

"This is a very big issue for us," said Patrick Fucik, a director of state legislative affairs for Sprint.

Traffic Safety Commission briefs

Man arrested during cell-phone debate A Lawrence man was arrested Monday evening at City Hall after he screamed at a woman who was speaking about a proposed cell phone ban, and then disobeyed instructions from a police officer. Mark Cline was forced to the floor of the City Commission chambers by a Lawrence police officer after Cline jumped from his chair and began yelling at a woman who was addressing the Lawrence Traffic Safety Commission about a proposed cell phone ban. Lawrence Police Officer Tracy Russell was at the meeting as a liaison to the Traffic Safety Commission. He put his hand on Cline's arm as he approached the woman and asked him to step out into the lobby. Cline resisted and instead went back to his seat. Russell at that point used his cell phone to call for police backup and waited several minutes for officers to respond. Cline, according to several witnesses, during a break in the meeting attempted to leave the chambers. Russell told him to wait. When Cline ignored that order, he was put face down on the floor until officers arrived and handcuffed him. He was booked into the Douglas County Jail for disorderly conduct.

Speed limit change on Sixth St. advances The city's Traffic Safety Commission unanimously approved an increase in the speed limit on Sixth Street west of Wakarusa Drive from 40 mph to 45 mph. Commissioners on Monday approved the change after receiving a recommendation from the Kansas Department of Transportation that the speeds would be safe for the four-lane road. City commissioners must now give approval to the change before it takes effect.


lunacydetector 11 years, 8 months ago

the fact that the vote was so close is reason enough for all citizens to take note. next election cycle, vote out these so-called progressive commissioners so normal people can appoint normal people to these various committees. lawrence has made the national news more than its fair share. the eccentrics are giving lawrence a very bad name.

i am tired of explaining away our leadership's behavior EVERYTIME i go to another city.

cms 11 years, 8 months ago

Wow, drama at the Traffic Commission meeting. I am curious to know what the woman was talking about to bring Mark Cline to such an outburst. Anyone know?

lunacydetector 11 years, 8 months ago

i don't know but it wouldn't surprise me if she spoke against the cell phone ban. rule through know, letter to the editor campaigns against candidates who want to bring jobs to lawrence, blocking massachusetts street with couches to protest corporate america, destroying the construction equipment on the first leg of the SLT, taking away our know, stuff like that.

ksmattfish 11 years, 8 months ago

"Biotechnology companies will not come to this community if you ban cell phones. This is technology we're talking about."

Uhhh, we're already on all the biotech companies' lists for trying to ban evolution. They won't be coming.

cowboy 11 years, 8 months ago

hey LJW , how about a vote summary , we'd like to know who voted how !

speakingout 11 years, 8 months ago

To CMS: The man got upset when the woman speaking blamed the child who got hit on Massachusetts street for being struck by a car, rather than the cell phone user who struck him. The child was in a designated cross walk. The cross walk light was red and the driver hit him because she was distracted--using her cell phone. The woman speaking was saying that she had an eight year old child and that her child had enough sense to stay safe while downtown.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 8 months ago

It obviously really pies you guys off that this didn't pass, doesn't it? Not because you wanted the ban, but because you want a reason, any reason, to pi and moan. But you demonstrate this morning that you don't need any reasons.

Rick Aldrich 11 years, 8 months ago

oh woops! there was 11 comandments. i for got thou shall not talk on cell phone and drive. my bad.

cowboy 11 years, 8 months ago

Id like to see some reporting on the ban proposals. These should be public records, who requested the agenda item , who is bringing these items forward , how about some sunshine on these "activist" commissions. This for example is really a public safety issue that should be adressed with information not ordinace in my humble opinion.

pinkrose 11 years, 8 months ago

Kudos to the Traffic Safety Commission for using sound judgement! I pray that the City Commissioners will heed their suggestion and not pass this ridiculous ban. I however do support an increased fine and willing to pay if I am involved in an accident while using my cell phone. Note I haven't received a moving violation ticket since 1985. I'll admit to receiving a ticket for expired tags in 2000. I am happy to continue to use the cell phone while driving.
Have a great day everyone!

Noweigh 11 years, 8 months ago

Congrats on a return to sanity and reasonableness in this town. Maybe the tide of madness is subsidding.

KsTwister 11 years, 8 months ago

Bozo......why is it every day you P**S and Whine??? Enough,go to your room. People can express with just as much freedom as you exercise and they usually can do it with addressing the real issue. Now go away while I make a 911 call on my cell phone.

Dixie Jones 11 years, 8 months ago

seen the funniest thing last night on 6th , there was this driver who was on her cell obviously not paying attention to her driving as she was all over the street , when i got the guts to slide past her i viewed the side of her vehicle i nearly ran off the road in laughter there was not a spot i could of laid my hand that the car was not dented and banged up.... when she went into the other lane to turn away from me the other side was just as bad maybe the TSC should of used her as a example as to why SOME ppl (not all) should not drive and talk ,,,im not sure this chick could walk and chew gum without running into something....i know i have a hard time talking and driving so i just dont do it for the safety of thoes around me and for my kids sake .. i think people can be better judges of themselves that the city can... god bless and drive safe.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 8 months ago

"I know what my limitations are"

Every kid I knew who drove drunk in high school said that. It sounds correct, but it's wrong.

So, are we going to now legalize driving and drinking? It's safer than talking on the phone while driving. I would think the Cork & Barrell guy would be all over that.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 8 months ago

Well, KsTwister, point would be taken, if I could figure out what it is.

KsTwister 11 years, 8 months ago

They argue about the argue about them.

PointofView 11 years, 8 months ago

While traffic safety is of course important, I have not seen any concerns about the safety of the driver, especially females.
Females, more so than males, are stalked, harassed and are victims of domestic violence. There are also circumstances where a driver could use a cell phone to report an accident but not risk stopping if in an area or situation that may result in harm to the driver.

It would be preposterous to think potential victims of a crime could not be driving in their vehicle, or would need a vehicle to avoid a harmful confrontation. A cell phone is a tool for safety. Most safety recommendations familiar to me, urge potential victims to 'get away from' potentially harmful situations. What about reporting an accident or other 'crime in progress' witnessed by a driver that does not want to stay in the area of that situation for personal safety reasons? I believe this is an important considertation that may be getting overlooked and should be reviewed before we disarm potential victims of their link to safety.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 8 months ago

"They argue about the argue about them."

You obviously have very low standards as to what constitutes "arguing about the issue."

happyone 11 years, 8 months ago

PointofView--Have you been to Lawrence??
"There are also circumstances where a driver could use a cell phone to report an accident but not risk stopping if in an area or situation that may result in harm to the driver." Such an area may exist in Topeka or KC but not here

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 8 months ago

Pointofview-- good point, but an exception for emergency calls could easily be included in any ban.

The real problem is that private autos as a system of mass transporation are inherently dangerous. A very large percentage of drivers out on the roads lack the necessary skills or ability to operate a vehicle safely. But since this society has been built up on that model, requiring a higher level of competence among licensed drivers is highly unlikely.

sandrat7 11 years, 8 months ago

happyone, you are incorrect. there are many instances where I would not want to stop in Lawrence, day or night. Do you live in Lawrence?

topekan7 11 years, 8 months ago

Inattentive driving is already a crime. Enforce this law and there is no need for a mobile phone ban...period.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 8 months ago

POV: How many times in your LIFE have you ever dialed 911 from behind the wheel of a moving car because pulling over would have been too risky? We need to allow the VERY DANGEROUS practice of using phones while driving so that someone can report a crime in progress? So, the driver is reporting a crime in progress that they are witnessing from their car window, but the cop giving them the ticket for talking on the phone didn't witness the same crime or address the crime issue? Your "what if" scenarios are not very likely.

As I brake, weave and pray my way to work while trying to avoid the dangers of the "blah blah" crowd, I'm quite confident that none of those people who are risking my life are dialing 911, curing cancer or giving birth in their cars. Most of them are just talking crap and risking my life to do it.

Why are we so opposed to this ban? Because we are selfish! We want safe roads, but we don't want to inconvenience ourselves in any way in order to be safe on the road. In Lawrence there's a parking lot every 20 ft. Pulling over to talk is NOT that difficult to do.

What part of "more dangerous than driving drunk" don't we understand? The arguements being given against this ban are IDENTICAL to the arguements against drunk driving laws that we were hearing 30 years ago. And, for the same reason: too many people wanted to party and drive. They didn't want anyone cramping their style (or these days, "how I roll").

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 8 months ago

S. Rat posted "there are many instances where I would not want to stop in Lawrence, day or night"

Clarify. Name a part of town where you could not feel safe pulling over and dialing your phone. Am I to understand that you fear a carjacking in the middle of the day in some part of Lawrence?

Linda Endicott 11 years, 8 months ago

I thought it was rather ironic that the officer used his cell phone to call for backup during a meeting concerning cell phone use. Of course, he wasn't driving at the time.

I also wondered what the problem was, awoc. If they simply wanted the man to quiet down, it seems that sitting back down in his seat accomplished that. Just because the officer asked him to go to the lobby, and instead he sat down again??

Another cop on a power trip, it seems to me.

KsTwister 11 years, 8 months ago

OldEnuf2BYurDad said"How many times in your LIFE have you ever dialed 911 from behind the wheel of a moving car because pulling over would have been too risky?" During an ice/snow storm in 2002-11 calls for people in ditches and stranded. Pulling over was not an option even in the SUV. Hiways out of Topeka were closed,behind us.

happyone 11 years, 8 months ago

Sandrat7 yes I live in Lawrence and have for almost 18 years. I have lived in all areas of Lawrence during that time.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 8 months ago

Er, if you were in a ditch or stranded, I don't think your vehicle was in motion at the time.

Liberty 11 years, 8 months ago

It is becoming a real safety issue for businesses or people just trying to visit Lawrence with such extreme people like are on the 'safety council' and city commission.

You don't know if you visit Lawrence if you might end up in their jail fighting the corrupt system instead of just doing business or visiting a friend or relative. The fireworks ban is similar because it turns the police force against the people exercising their freedom.

These people on these safety councils are communistic in their thinking and bad for Lawrence and the United States because they would spend your freedoms by exagerating their authority (which they have no right to do and no jurisdiction to do it) just as fast as they can by abusing the police powers and putting the police force in a position to be against the people of Lawrence, instead of serving them. It is not just a matter of whether a bad law can be enforced, but why you would even consider enforcing such a freedom stealing law in the first place. The military in Iraq would be shocked at the communistic behavior from the city leaders in Lawrence if they came back from defending our freedoms in Iraq and instead found that they are being stolen here by the people in office.

Those on the council that try to ban things, are clearly anti-freedom, to try to make a name for themselves at the expense of the peoples' freedoms. It is time to clean out the city government of rascals that like to over extend their power by trying to ban things. Repeal all city bans now and obey the Constitution. The people should throw out of office those that support any ban as a communistic terror threat against the people.

KsTwister 11 years, 8 months ago

Liberty I agree with you. Government cannot work on the real issues so they burden the taxpayers with this petty trite political crap to keep us from finding out how really incompentant they are.

KsTwister 11 years, 8 months ago

crazy, it wasn't my vehicle in the ditch with hurt or freezing passengers.

blackwalnut 11 years, 8 months ago

City commissioners:">p>,,,,

The suggestion that companies will not come to Lawrence because of a cell phone ban while driving is ridiculous.

Cell phones used by drivers will cost lives. It is only a matter of time. Let's hope we don't have to lose a life before people are willing to apply common sense in this regard.

Fatty_McButterpants 11 years, 8 months ago

I think that Marc Cline getting arrested seems far more interesting than the phone ban vote...

gerbilsniper 11 years, 8 months ago

So how is having a converstaion on hands-free cell device any different than having a conversation with someone sitting next to you in the passenger seat? What's next? Banning passengers in cars?

Laxman 11 years, 8 months ago

LIBERTY Says: "These people on these safety councils are communistic in their thinking and bad for Lawrence..."

Communism is a political theory favoring collectivism in a classless society. And whats so wrong with that? mmm mmmm good!

exagerating their authority (which they have no right to do and no jurisdiction to do it)...

Just like the rest of government yo! We're from the guberment and we're here to help. Terrorist threat is high...don't forget to send us your tax money so we can prop up big business.

The military in Iraq would be shocked at the communistic behavior...if they came back from defending our freedoms in Iraq...

YOU MUST BE KIDDING! They're defending big oil and their profits under the guise of FREEDOM!

Those on the council that try to ban things, are clearly anti-freedom...

you are so misinformed its ridiculous.

trying to ban things. Repeal all city bans now and obey the Constitution...


Frigging brian washed, bass ackwards, conservative jack azzes (you too marion).

/my first post! //loves me some slashies too.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 8 months ago

KS Twister

Once, 4 years ago, in an extreme situation ON A HIGHWAY. This ban would be IN THE CITY. Apples and oranges. If that had happened in they city, you would have had the opportunity to pull over, correct?

pacificmountainman2 11 years, 8 months ago


I was at the TSC meeting last night. The officer did an excellent job in diffusing the situation that escalated out of control. The Journal World reporter was present during the incident and didn't even report it accurately.

The chairman had called for a recess after Mr. Cline's first outburst. While in recess, the lady walked to the back of the commission chambers to console her daughter who was present when Mr. Cline verbally attacked her in front of everyone. The officer was standing next to the lady when Mr. Cline stood up from his chair and began walking towards the lady. The officer told him to stay put and then Mr. Cline started climbing over the chairs (two rows of chairs) going after the lady. The officer then took him to the ground and held him until other officers arrived at City Hall. This is a factual report of what happened from someone who was there.

I want to commend the police department for their actions last night as this could have been disastrous

KsTwister 11 years, 8 months ago

Two of the calls were in the city limits,and you cannot pull over when there is no place to pull over to. People are smart enough to figure out a situation,at least those of us with a brain who use it. Another instance,February 2004 ice all over the city,sliding off the road to slide back on is not an option. We don't need to let the world know that Lawrence citizens have to be given rules to live by because the intelligence level here is less than adequate. Hands free,on a call---WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? Even the hearing impaired can sign and drive at the same time.Go figure. What a bunch of pansies that need watching like children. Lawrence, Kansas as stupid as you think.

neopolss 11 years, 8 months ago

There's no need for a redundant law when there exists a law for inattentive driving. Cell phones on the road should be used within reasonable limits, ie emergencies, quick directions, reporting activity around the area. I do not say "no cell phones" because we don't need nanny laws to enforce our own personal agendas. We only need common sense, and enforcement for those who forgoe common sense.

Sigmund 11 years, 8 months ago

pacificmountain2 description of events is a complete and accurate account of the incident. much more complete than the reporting by the LJW. This was an assualt and possible attempted battery, not merely a violation of the rules of order, although there were more than a few of those as well.

Further, I have had more than a few occasions to observe this police officer and even interact with him over a number of years; and while his name escapes me at the moment, he is to be commended for his professionalism generally and in particular last night.

Confrontation 11 years, 8 months ago

I was headed North on Iowa St. yesterday. When I was almost to 6th Street, the incredibly slow idiot in front of me (from Shawnee Cty), got in the west lane to head towards 6th St., instead of I-70. Then, as I got next to him, he decided he wanted back in my lane and started back. I had to slam on my brakes and honk at the idiot. Guess what? He was using his cell phone. Between the cell and his horribly long and curly hair, this guy could see nothing to the passenger side of his car. You'd be amazed at the blind spot that results from your hand blocking the right side of your face. Other than the fact that this fool was most likely from Topeka, I think he also needs to have his license taken away and good kick in the head. You bet your a$$ that I made sure this idiot knew how pissed I was by the time he headed towards I-70. He just better be glad I don't have my permit to carry a weapon, yet (I'm totally kidding on this one).

guppypunkhead 11 years, 8 months ago

Does it really matter if this ban passes or not? People will continue to talk and drive, just like people continue to drink and drive. Unless there is incredibly tight enforcement and very high fines, no one will care about the ban.

The what-ifs are out of control! If there was an emergency situation of any sort, you would clearly just go ahead and use the cell phone and call 911 or whatnot. If it is that much of an emergency it would be apparent to the officer if you got pulled over, and so would probably not ticket you but rather race off to the emergency you were reporting.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 8 months ago

"Hands free,on a call---WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? Even the hearing impaired can sign and drive at the same time.Go figure. What a bunch of pansies that need watching like children. Lawrence, Kansas as stupid as you think."

The problem? It's a scientific fact that even a hands-free phone is more dangerous than a drunk driver. Does that sound like a "problem" to you?

What fickle people we are. If this was a discussion about evolution, we'd be knee deep in scientific statements. But the hard science of the dangers of cell phone use is "dismissed". Bottom line: we want our phones when we want them even if someone's life is at risk. I cannot reach any other conclusion based on what I'm reading here.

tearanydawn 11 years, 8 months ago

First I just have to say I respect everyone's views and opinions that have made statements above. My biggest problem with this proposed law is almost every time I see a Cop driving around in Lawrence, they too have a cell phone stuck to their ear. Now if they are the one's that are to enforce the law, who is to say they won't be breaking it just as much as everyone else. And let's just say the law is passed, if I see a cop driving around with a cell phone does that mean I can find a way to issue what a citizen ticket or some other crazy thing like that?? I just don't feel that if this law is passed it will be justly enforced. Not to mention there is really no way to enforce the hands free part, because as it was mentioned earlier how do they know if you are singing or talking to yourself there really is no way at all to know. I hope that they city commisioners will see that this law even though it may seem good to help curb some crazy driving it won't fix everything. Until they can make it so people don't have road rage, or make-up to apply, screaming kids in the backseat, or just plain daydreaming while driving there is nothing more they can do then pull people over for inattentive driving. Which is a law we already have.

Laxman 11 years, 8 months ago

Pilgrim: "How many months did it take you to save up for that rant?"

It took all of 6 minutes to spew that rant out...thanks for asking! I be edumacated in Kansas Skewls.

DonQuipunch: "Since when were homosexuals a legitimate minority?"

Legitimate = Authentic; genuine: a legitimate complaint. Minority = A group having little power or representation relative to other groups within a society.

While I'm not a gay/homosexual person...I do believe they are a legitimate minority in our KUNTRY. Thanks for playing!


Laxman 11 years, 8 months ago

Since we're all in here ranting about how screwed up the government is (local, state, and federal) I thought the following article would be an appropriate addition:

It's quite long, but an interesting read regardless. If you thought that voting for these "officials" mattered then think again. It seems that the republicrats are out there tweeking the vote however they see fit. Rise up AMERIKKKA! Soap-box (failed), ballot-box (not working), ammo-box (now you're talking!).


/laxer ////Slashies for effect.

KsTwister 11 years, 8 months ago

Some people just can't chew gum and talk at the same time either, don't need a law that will be not only hard to enforce but will cost the city more than it will gain. I am beginning to think this city is broke and the commissioners are trying to figure out how to make a buck.

KsTwister 11 years, 8 months ago

Now, I am going to town with my iPod,cell phone and stereo on with the Mother-in-law in the back seat to drop off at the Senior Center. The only distraction I have placed in the back seat......Ya'll have a nice day.

Laxman 11 years, 8 months ago


"Six minutes to type. How long to gather those oh so cogent thoughts into coherent sentences? Or did you just cut-n-paste from moveon?"

Were they coherent sentences? After rereading my first ever LJW post, I found it rather confusing. I'm so glad you enjoyed it Pilgram. Not that it really matters in the whole scheme of things, but it took me approximately six minutes to read the comments posted and then type my "cogent" response. What's moveon?

I did cut-n-paste the rollingstone article written by Robert Kennedy Junior, which describes in great detail how the republicrats stole the 2004 (and 2000?) presidential election.

/luv ya! //even if'n you's gots the ghey! ///but, please don't try to give me the ghey! ////more slashies than you can shake a stick at! /////laxer

TheStig 11 years, 8 months ago

I drive more than most people around Lawrence, on K10, and in Kansas City. I drive past hundreds of drivers using cell phone everyday. It is rare that I am in a "near accident" with any vehicles, regardless of whether the driver appears to be using a cell phone or not. If you are in a lot of near misses perhaps it is not a problem with "everyone else's" driving. Like the saying goes, denial is not just a river in Egypt.

The studies are conflicting and not conclusive one way or another. Further, scientific studies are sometimes flawed and research can be (and in some recent high profile cases has been) faked to support the bias or prejudice of the researchers. Researcher bias can unintentionally creep into to the results of even the best intentioned researcher. This seems to be especially true when the subject of the research is highly charged, like cloning or global warming for instance.

If cell phone using drivers were truly impaired at the level of drunk drivers I would expect that the number of people killed by cell phone using drivers would equal the number of people killed by drunk drivers. Nothing in the data remotely suggests this is the case, even accounting for alleged under-reporting, and nothing in peoples experiences suggests it. I think it is safe to say nearly everyone has been personally touched by a death from a drunk driver yet almost nobody has been personally touched by a death from a cell phone using driver.

This is not to say that the use of a cell phone while driving has never caused an accident or death. There were 70,000 accidents in all of Kansas last year and a very few accidents (0.4%) were related to cell phone use while driving. Kansas is one of the few states which actually collect this statistics. Approximately 280 of 70,000 accidents in all of Kansas last year can be attributed to cell phone use.

Why not just ban all cars? 70,000 is a very large number after all. Because society has decided that the benefit provided by cars outweighs the problems created by cars. When problems do occur we take action against those people who are at fault no matter what the cause, cell phones included. We fine those drivers, take away their driving privileges, and so on.

Given the very small problem cell phone use while driving actually is, rather than what it theoretically might be, and while there are less restrictive means to appropriately deal with careless drivers regardless of the cause, and given the benefit provided by cell phones to the community, I believe the Lawrence Traffic Safety Commission came to the proper conclusion and would urge the City Commission to follow their lead. Please do not, as you have in the past, defy the will of the overwhelming majority of citizens, as represented by those who spoke at the meeting, only to pursue some well intentioned but misguided ideological agenda.

classclown 11 years, 8 months ago

Will you be driving while needing a tow? Or waiting for an ambulance?

tearanydawn 11 years, 8 months ago

THESTIG ---- Just wanted to say very well worded and filled with lots of great facts THANKS!!!!!

Bean 11 years, 8 months ago

I think you all are missing the point here. If there was a roundabout there, this incident never would have happened. Roundabouts save lives, just ask city commisioners.

Bean 11 years, 8 months ago

..........Did anyone ask if the kid was smoking? Let's consider the possibility that he may have been on the crosswalk because he was not allowed to smoke indoors.

Bean 11 years, 8 months ago

Had not thought of that one yet. There seem to be a lot of stones left unturned here. It could be the kid was smoking while talking on a cell phone and just thinking there was a roundabout there because he was distracted by his phone.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 8 months ago

Hey, I'm introducing a new giggle word to the forum-- roundabout is getting a little old and losing its punch.

Here it is-- Filbert!!-- pretty funny, huh?

And if you prefer a synonym, you can say Hazelnut!!

Pull it out randomly anytime things seem to dragging or you just can't think of anything pertinent to say.

Boy, is this gonna be fun!!

jayhawks71 11 years, 8 months ago


Can you provide us with accurate statistics on the the number of accidents where cell phones are implicated as a cause of the accident? No, you can't because there are no uniform, specific procedures in place regarding reporting whether a cell phone was involved in an accident. In Texas, new accident reporting forms listing cell phones as contributing factors were not available until April 2000.

In Texas alone, between 2000 and 2001, there was a 44.1% increase accidents described as being "cell phone related" accidents. I have no idea how you were able to conclude that there was no "huge increase" in the number of accidents between 1985 and 2005. How many accidents attributed to cell phones were there in 1985, with 340k phones in use (and what proportion of those with the phones were using them while driving? an even smaller number). 10? 50? (who knows!) If one accepts 10, then in Texas alone there were 100 times that number in 2001; if one accepts 50, then there were 20 times that number. Between April and December 2001, the California Highway patrol reported 4,699 accidents were blamed on drivers using cell phones, and that those accidents killed 31 people and injured 2,786. How do you determine the increase with no data from your starting point? If taken to be zero, the increase is infinity!

Next, even if we had a uniform method for reporting whether a cell phone was being used at the time of the accident, one would likely rely on an eyewitness or even better, the driver to admit to using the cell phone when more socially acceptable excuses are available (I just looked down for a second to pick something up, versus, I was in the middle of an argument with my boyfriend on the phone.) People lie; are the number of accidents attributed to cell phones actually underreported? In fact, the CHP pulled back a report in 2000 because it dramatically underreported the number of accidents attributed to cell phone usage because they had no specific way of reporting it at the time.

Next, why not report the numbers (as flawed as they might be) on the number of accidents for each of those years. You claim that there hasn't been a "great increase" in traffic accidents since 1985 (first provide the numbers) yet you proceed as if the only thing that has changed since 1985 is the number of cell phones being used. Are cars safer today than they were before, resulting in fewer fatalities; is the widespread implementation of airbags, anti-lock brakes, increase in seat belt usage being ignored? The interior design of vehicles has also changed in 20 years due to human factors research. The radio and climate controls in my Honda are in a much better location than they were in the 1979 Buick my parents drove. The controls do not require me to take my eyes off the road to operate them.

Godot 11 years, 8 months ago

Cops arrive at a two car accident, people are injured or dead, and cell phones are found in both cars.
That would have be recorded as a cell-phone related accident worth two hatch marks on the list because both drivers might have been distracted by their phones.


jayhawks71 11 years, 8 months ago

Godot - doubtful. Provide your evidence.

Godot 11 years, 8 months ago

The KU psych prof should make a study of AF and Navy fighter pilots. I guarantee such a study would disprove his conclusion that humans are not capable of doing two things at once.

Bookie 11 years, 8 months ago

"Another cop on a power trip, it seems to me"

crazyks: I've been friends with this man for more than 10 years. Believe me, he doesn't have power trips. If you want an officer to assess a situation fairly and respond appropriately, you'll hope he gets the call.

jayhawks71 11 years, 8 months ago

Godot, the selection criteria for AF and Navy pilots is a tad more rigorous than motor vehicle licensing.

Oh, and by the way, Atchley never said that. In case you missed it the first time. :-)

jayhawks71 11 years, 8 months ago

Let's take a look at something that better represents what Atchley is saying, by virtue of it being a tad more complete than the LJW articles.

Godot 11 years, 8 months ago

"Godot, Atchley never said that."

If you say so. But that is how the Traffic Safety Commissioners are applying his study.

And, by the way jayhawks71, how is it you are so-o-o acquainted with the details of Atchley's work?

Godot 11 years, 8 months ago

How funny! Atchley's bio on reveals that he did cognitive studies on pilots! I did not know this when I made that comparison.

What a hoot!!!!! Maybe Atchley's earlier studies on pilots has increased his expectations of regular humans with respect to their driving ability. He is comparing our abilities to those of fighter pilots!!! ohmigawd.

jayhawks71 11 years, 8 months ago

Godot - you have misinterpreted what Atchley and the research says. It doesn't say people cannot do to things at once. How about we do this, you provide a quote in which Atchley says "people can't do two things at once" (one without the word "efficiently" which seems to be causing people problems, I suppose). It is not possible for me to PROVE the non-existence of a statement, so , you prove the existence a la Popper. I am not really here to defend him, rather, I have been pointing out mischaracterizations (and ignorance) of the literature.

Godot, I can read Atchley's work, it is publically available. I also have eyes to read and a brain to process the literature. Actually, I know the work of others much better than I know Atchley's work. When he states that the research shows something, he isn't simply referring to his own research. I also know a tad more about cognitive processing than the average LJW reader as well.

A better question is how you can have such strong opinions about the topic and yet be so UNacquainted with the work of Atchley, Strayer, Redelmeier, and others conducting empirical research in the area?

Godot 11 years, 8 months ago

Maybe because I am just an ordinary citizen who resents this intrusion into my life. You, however, apparently have devoted hours of study, perhaps a career, to this topic.

Doesn't it just pi** you off that ordinary people do not just bow down to your brilliance and accept what you say, without question?

jayhawks71 11 years, 8 months ago

Hey Godot, you should look at Atchley's faculty page as well, specifically his research interests. I wonder if he has a clue about pilots. The odd thing is that this isn't about Atchley!!!

to whet your appetite: "I started my career in psychology conducting research at the US Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate Crew Station Research and Development Facility at NASA-Ames, Moffet Field, California."

jayhawks71 11 years, 8 months ago

Godot, I don't expect anyone to bow down to my brilliance; I realize that I am far from billiant. I don't ask anyone to blindly accept what I say and I invite question. In fact, part of the reason that I post so much on the topic is that perhaps one person (or more) will better understand the topic of cognition or might at least give more thought to the issue than they would have without reading and responding to me. So, just as you have mischaracterized the words of others, your inference that I am here to be "bowed down to" is misguided.

As for resenting intrustion, by government, into our lives, I am right there with you. However, I do not take the strong Libertarian stance that government has no role in society. I accept, as a member of a society that I will receive benefits from being in a society, but with those benefits come responsibilities. There are situations in which people shirk those responsibilities and consider their freedom to "do whatever I want" outweighs my right to live. Some actions are egregious enough to warrant a clearly stated law forbidding a behavior in clearly stated circumstances. (I get annoyed when people talk loudly on their cell phone in public; however, I do not support a law banning cell phones in public places; I have no right in society to go about "unbothered" by the actions of others.) Matters of courtesy should not be legislated.

The concept of liberty is often used synonymously with absolute freedom. In a society our freedoms extend to the point that they do not infringe upon the rights of others.

monkeyhawk 11 years, 8 months ago

Godot, obviously J71 did not pick up any summer classes, so he is compelled to lecture on this meaningless board. I am stricken by how J71 comes out of the woodwork any time a new ban is proposed.

Almost like a voyeur.

I generally don't bother to read the drivel.

james bush 11 years, 8 months ago

An ordinance may not be the answer but my bet is that cell phones are a hazard to be worrisome and will kill/has killed people driving on our roads! Just be watchful and you will see!!

Sigmund 11 years, 8 months ago

It is a mistake to believe that a science consists in nothing but conclusively proved propositions, and it is unjust to demand that it should. It is a demand only made by those who feel a craving for authority in some form and a need to replace the religious catechism by something else, even if it be a scientific one. Science in its catechism has but few apodictic precepts; it consists mainly of statements which it has developed to varying degrees of probability. -- S. Freud

jayhawks71 11 years, 8 months ago

monkeyhawk, get a real criticism. You criticize because I am selective about which topics I post responses to. As everything is obvious to you, that alternative doesn't fit with your attempt to discredit me. I would rather focus my comments on topics that I find interesting; perhaps your promiscuity is the problem, not my selectivity.

Sigmund, scientists know full well that they don't prove anything, let alone "conclusively" prove things. And as for Freud, he eschewed the scientific method in favor of the case study because it afforded him much more leeway to speculate. We can all speculate, but the human cognitive system uses evidence to make decisions.

monkeyhawk 11 years, 8 months ago

Sound Off: June 7, 2006

How did the voting go at the Traffic Safety Commission on the cell phone issues?

Jim Woods, John Ziegelmeyer Jr., David Hamby, Robert Hagen and Ken Miller voted against banning cell phone use while driving in city limits. Carol Jean Brune, Carol Bowen, Richard Heckler and Paul Graves voted for it. On the issue of doubling the fine for people involved in an accident when using a cell phone, Hamby, Hagen, Miller, Brune, Bowen and Graves voted for it. Heckler, Woods and Ziegelmeyer voted against it.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

what about the city commish?? still got to pass that hurddle

gphawk89 11 years, 8 months ago

News today from St. Charles:

ST. CHARLES COUNTY: Police: Driver reached for phone, struck boy 06/08/2006 A motorist who struck and seriously injured a 3-year-old boy Tuesday night had been reaching for her cell phone when she veered off the road, police said Wednesday. The 30-year-old woman, whose name was being withheld while police completed an investigation, was ticketed at the scene for careless and imprudent driving, but she could face other charges, St. Charles County Sheriff Tom Neer said.

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