Archive for Monday, January 12, 2009

Total cell phone ban while driving sought

January 12, 2009


— A national safety group is advocating a total ban on cell phone use while driving, saying the practice is clearly dangerous and leads to fatalities.

States should ban drivers from using hand-held and hands-free cell phones, and businesses should prohibit employees from using cell phones while driving on the job, the congressionally chartered National Safety Council says, taking those positions for the first time.

No state currently bans all cell phone use while driving. Six states — California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Washington — and the District of Columbia ban the use of hand-held cell phones behind the wheel, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Also, 17 states and the district restrict or ban cell phone use by novice drivers.


Ragingbear 8 years, 1 month ago

I totally agree with this study. First offense should be a forced loss of cell-phone service for not less than 1 year. After that, they should be charged as if they were DUI.

Nikki May 8 years, 1 month ago

I don't think it should be banned. Honestly, there are people that are bad and dangerous, but there are people who aren't. I can see giving a person a ticket for inattentive driving if that's what's going on, but I'm not for a complete ban. It's too slippery slope. So many people get distracted by food, radio, passengers, drinks, scenery. Ultimately, we'd have to ban driving if we got rid of the distractions.I'd also like to see the statistics of the states that have banned the use and those who haven't.

Ragingbear 8 years, 1 month ago

Punkrockmom, that is the same type of argument presented by those who drink and drive. It's all well and good until you get the dreaded call that a cell phone was largely responsible for a crash that your kids were in.

gccs14r 8 years, 1 month ago

We need much more rigorous driver training and testing and State-certified annual vehicle inspections. If we made sure only skilled, qualified drivers were driving known-good equipment, driver distractions would decrease all on their own. We'd have to have excellent public transportation in place first, though, because fully half the people currently driving wouldn't be able to under the new guidelines.

fu7il3 8 years, 1 month ago

The problem is that nearly everyone you see driving in Lawrence is on their cell phones. It's not like it is an occassional thing or just for a second in an emergency. People are literally always on the things.

mom_of_three 8 years, 1 month ago

Cheeseburger is right! If they cause an accident while driving inattentively, the penalty should be the same. I don't understand the ban on hands free cell phones. You are just talking to a device and not holding it. how is that different than talking to a passenger, or asking your kid how their day was?

Flap Doodle 8 years, 1 month ago

Ban banning! Well, except for things I personally don't like.

number3of5 8 years, 1 month ago

Driving is a priveledge. If everyone who uses this priveledge would give their undivided attention to driving, we would not need bans. I never in all of my years driving read the newspaper, put on makeup in the car, changed clothes in the car; I did however talk to my children who knew to sit down and be still while in the car. Anything that takes your attention off of your driving should be discontinued.

SMe 8 years, 1 month ago

number3of5 that's right! Driving is a privilege not a right as most seem to think. It's time to start requiring people drive their vehicles once again not ride in them.

Chris Ogle 8 years, 1 month ago

MADDATT- Mothers against drunk drivers and texting teens

gogoplata 8 years, 1 month ago

Do we really need to give the police more reasons to intrude into our lives?

Jennifer Forth 8 years, 1 month ago

What's the parenting rule? Two under five, shouldn't drive. If you can't focus, you shouldn't drive no matter what the reason. Everyone thinks it's somebody else that has the problem, not them. Until the accident occurs.

Confrontation 8 years, 1 month ago

Don't you just love how some fools think that they are immune to driving poorly while using a cell phone? You might not notice it (especially if you are a moron), but everyone else around can see it.

jaywalker 8 years, 1 month ago

Banning hand-helds I have no problem with; hands free , voice activated should be allowed.

kmat 8 years, 1 month ago

I drive K-10 everyday and see moron after moron chatting away, swerving all over the place and changing speeds constantly. Put the darn phone down and drive! Also had two idiots that thought they should make out while driving and were swerving from lane to lane. They finally got the idea to stop when I had to just keep my horm blared and turned on the brights. I couldn't even pass these idiots because they were all over the road. Can't you just wait to get some when you get home instead of going at it in a moving car?I'm in Cali a lot. This summer they started a cell phone ban. It does make a huge difference. Hopefully this will pass in KS as well.

jonas_opines 8 years, 1 month ago

cheeseburger: "gogo - they don't intrude without reason or cause!"Reason and cause, however, are highly subjective.

situveux1 8 years, 1 month ago

I also think people should take an IQ test and if they don't measure up, they can't drive. And we should ban eating while driving, and listening to the radio while driving and talking to other people while driving and really, thinking about something else while driving. And to facilitate enforcement of the new laws, I think every car should have a camera and speaker that can be monitored at any time.

StirrrThePot 8 years, 1 month ago

"Why not make it age related? People under 21 should have restricted privileges." Because inattentive driving due to cell phone use is not limited to age. I have seen adults who supposedly know better run stop lights, pull out in front of people, and nearly hit pedestrians because they were gabbing away on their phones. I almost got struck in a roundabout and I saw it was a gray-haired lady talking on her phone (of course getting struck in a roundabout can happen whether people are talking on their cell phones while driving or not).In Europe many car manufacturers don't even make cars with cup holders or CD cases because they are of the mind that when you are driving, that is ALL you are doing with your hands, eyes, and mind--driving a car.

womanwarrior 8 years, 1 month ago

And they are talking about getting rid of driver's ed. I think everyone should have to take a class in defensive driving, and perhaps a refresher course if they get a ticket - moving violation, of course.

jonas_opines 8 years, 1 month ago

cheeseburger: Doesn't make them not subjective, though occasionally legal. Just because its written down doesn't mean it's objective, true, or not subject to change.

jonas_opines 8 years, 1 month ago

But off-topic, I was thinking that what this headline needed, and by extension any headline that contains the words "total ban," was the phrase "with extreme prejudice."It's just miles different."Total cell phone ban while driving sought""Total cell phone ban while driving sought with extreme prejudice"or even"Total cell phone ban with extreme prejudice while driving sought"/although that last one ties my brain in a knot

KansasVoter 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm not sure about banning all cell phone use, but I agree with banning hand-held cell phones while driving.

torcia 8 years, 1 month ago

Talking on a cell phone while driving is downright dangerous. It would likely distract me from cooking my dinner on my center consel George Foreman Grill!

denak 8 years, 1 month ago

Personally, I would like to see cell phones banned while driving.I have had people pull out in front of me several times while chatting on the phone. However, I don't know how legal it would be to confiscate someone's cell phone if ticketed or even if they cause an accident. With so many people switching to cell phones and get rid of their landline, one could legitimately argue that the confiscation of their cell prevents them from working, doing business, communicating with family, and other essential things one does. So, I don't think that is going to happen.I would just fine the crap out of someone. Most people stop doing things when they lose enough money.Dena

ndmoderate 8 years, 1 month ago

Talking is bad enough while driving, but essentially no different than talking to a passenger (your eyes are at least on the road this way).What is exponentially worse to me is texting while driving. No eyes on the road, plus the distraction of a conversation.I'd like to see texting banned.

kuhusker 8 years, 1 month ago

They should have a law against reckless driving and enforce that.

yoornotmee 8 years, 1 month ago

Ragingbear (Anonymous) says…I totally agree with this study. First offense should be a forced loss of cell-phone service for not less than 1 year.----Cell phones aren't regulated by the government and thus our cell phone privileges can't be revoked. You don't have to have a license to own a cell phone, you do have to have a license to drive. ------------------The only time I talk on my cell phone while I'm driving is when I'm getting directions.

Calliope877 8 years, 1 month ago

I think there is a difference between talking/texting on your cell phone and talking to a passenger, eating, smoking a cig/etc. Speaking from personal experience, I don't find it distracting or difficult to drive while someone in my passenger seat is talking to me unless it is an angry discussion...then I pull over to finish that discussion if I need to; however, it is harder to focus on a conversation on the phone while driving. I think maybe a lot of that has to do with the fact that we as social animals rely heavily on body language, tone of voice, facial expressions -- things that most of us can process naturally in a split second without much thought and without having to look directly at that person throughout the entire conversation. A telephone is an unnatural means of communication. While talking on a phone, you are trying to process a lot of this information you would get naturally if talking to the person face to face, other than just the words the individual on the other end are saying to you; therefore, it is much more distracting to talk on a phone.Oh, and as far as the topic is concerned: yes, ban talking/texting on cell phones while driving. As another poster said: Driving is not a right, it's a privledge. So if you abuse that privledge by endangering yourself and other people on the road, then it should be taken away from you.

Calliope877 8 years, 1 month ago

And, sorry I spelled privilege wrong not once, but has been a long day.

jonas_opines 8 years, 1 month ago

Just build steering wheels with 6 inch thick spikes sticking out of them. People will pay more attention when driving.

Calliope877 8 years, 1 month ago

Pilgrim2 (Anonymous) says… Calliope877 (Anonymous) says…Driving is not a right, it's a privledge. So if you abuse that privledge by endangering yourself and other people on the road, then it should be taken away from you.*******And those laws are already on the books. There's no need to single out cell phones. Just lump them in with any and all other distractions and punish accordingly.I've already explained why I think cell phones are different from the other distractions. When was the last time you read about someone dying in a wreck cuz they were distracted by their cheeseburger?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 1 month ago

As far as I know the city of Lawrence issued a memo forbidding use of cell phones while driving city vehicles with the exception of law enforcement and emergency services.

grimpeur 8 years, 1 month ago

Cells are different and more distracting than any of the other side issues of eating and so forth. Personally, I'd be happy if the cops issued a ticket every time they saw a driver talking on a cell phone under the current inattentive driving laws, but they don't. But I have to go now because I have to report the driver in front of me who is swerving into my lane.

gccs14r 8 years, 1 month ago

Heck, I wish the cops would write tickets for failure to signal, failure to execute a proper turn, and failure to obey a traffic-control device. There would be more money in the city's budget and the roads would be safer.

saoirseglen 8 years, 1 month ago

"grimpeur (Anonymous) says…Cells are different and more distracting than any of the other side issues of eating and so forth. Personally, I'd be happy if the cops issued a ticket every time they saw a driver talking on a cell phone under the current inattentive driving laws, but they don't. But I have to go now because I have to report the driver in front of me who is swerving into my lane."As soon as law enforcement lives by the same rules as us common folk then I might agree. I have been cutoff several times by law enforcement officers talking on cell phones doing what I presume is a "tacticool" technique of lounging back with an elbow on the driver door window sill, mirrored sunglasses on and driving with their right hand on the top of the steering wheel. I presume they watch where they are going, but it is hard to tell the way the drive and with the sunglasses on.I have fewer non-law enforcement officer drivers giving me grief with cell phones, though even those not apparently distracted drive like they obtained their license off the back of a cereal box.I have on my hands free headset and my phone is set for auto answer upon opening. When someone calls I just have to open it to talk with one hand. Anyone I must call can be speed dialed by a single number by touch or I can hit two buttons to call someone back.As for those who think that banning this and that is the best solution to reduce accidents, may they never be targeted for their peccadilloes or shortcomings while driving. No one is perfect. If you cannot multitask while driving then you better not be driving period because you must be able to handle the wide variety of information coming at you from all sides while using the vehicle controls and receiving feedback from the instrument cluster. If playing the radio, drinking something or having a passenger in a vehicle is too much of a distraction, then you better not be driving in an area of any population or on a highway lest you be driven to distraction by all the streams of sensory data.

Drew Alan 8 years, 1 month ago

a hands free device has no decreased effect on traffic accidents over normal cell phone use. driving one handed because you are holding the cell phone to your ear is not the issue. people drive one handed all the time (a manual transmission)the issue with all cell phone conversations is that the person at the other end of the line is not reacting to your driving situation. if the driving situation gets more intense, a passenger with you will recognize that and make the conversation a lower priority, so that you can focus on driving, because they (like you) do not want to die. the person with whom you are speaking on the phone is not affected by traffic/roadway/driving conditions, so they will not react in that manner, which is the overall distraction.Cell phone driving statistics Distraction from cell phone use while driving (hand held or hands free) extends a driver's reaction as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08%. (University of Utah) The No.1 source of driver inattention is use of a wireless device. (Virginia Tech /NHTSA) Drivers that use cell phones are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (NHTSA, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) 10% of drivers aged 16 to 24 years old are on their phone at any one time. Driving while distracted is a factor in 25% of police reported crashes. Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. (Carnegie Mellon)

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