Cell phones and driving?

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Re: Cell phones and driving?

Postby The Annoyed Man » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:46 am

RX8er wrote:Are there any Europeans here or someone that has lived there for a while? In many countries, Drivers Ed is a very long class period and is a privilege to drive, not a right. Driving is treated way different than here in the US where we feel that it is a right. I remember several (read that as about 15 years) years ago talking to a BMW designer and asking him why they didn't put cup holders in their cars. He looked at me and said that "A car is for driving and not eating or drinking" in and kind of scoffed at the idea that us Americans would want to do something else, other than drive.

The summer before last, my european french-born mother was traveling in France with her european polish-born boyfriend. Both are in their late eighties. He was driving. A mutual friend was riding shotgun, and my [then 87 year old] mother was in the back seat......not wearing her seatbelt AS USUAL.

Her boyfriend pulled out of a side road and made a left turn onto a major highway, whereupon they were struck by an 18 passenger van pulling a trailer with a bunch of canoes on it, traveling at highway speeds. The van's driver had no chance to avoid the collision because he had just crested a hill, so the side road was not visible, and the car bearing my mother was not visible until it was too late to avoid the collision. The van struck the back of the car on its right rear corner, rolling it over onto its side and throwing it into a ditch. Thankfully, my mother's boyfriend and their friend were miraculously unhurt, and nobody in the van was hurt. My unseatbelted european mother was knocked out, suffering a brain injury which has rendered her deaf, and she suffered a femoral fracture just above her knee implant, which destroyed the implant.

She spent the rest of the summer and the early fall in hospital and in convalescence, having her femur surgically repaired and and a new knee implant put in, before being flown home to the U.S. to complete her recovery.

All that european nanny-state statist crap does nothing to promote highway safety. At the end of the day, bad driving and ignorance of the seatbelt laws still result in accidents and injury, just like it does here in the U.S. The french have alcohol related traffic accidents at an even higher rate than we do, so where is all that vaunted "[d]rivers Ed is a very long class period and is a privilege to drive, not a right" that you mention? And by the way, driving in the U.S. is may be a right, but you can have your license suspended or revoked. And by the way, BMWs are the stuff of the upper classes there just like they are here. The average european drives an econobox, just like people do here. The 3 cylinder Citroen diesel inky-dinky-doo little car I drove when I was last there in 2004 had cup holders. And by the way, my mother's American purchased BMW has cup holders too. It's a standard feature. And some people who work for BMW are elitist snots. The vast majority of people all over the world buy cars for transportation first, and for the status they believe their choice of car imparts second, and not primarily for the entertainment of driving, which comes a distant third to the first two reasons. Just ask yourself what percentage of BMW owners actually take their cars to an open-track day on a paved road course. I'll bet that it is less than one half of one percent. The other 99.5% bought their BMWs for transportation first, and the status that they feel BMW confers to them second, and driving (as in an athletic participatory experience) a distant third.

Europe is NOT where we need to be looking for solutions to problems in this country.......if indeed we are having a problem.
Last edited by The Annoyed Man on Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:20 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Cell phones and driving?

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:47 am

E.Marquez wrote:
Charles L. Cotton wrote:
The NTSB has now issued a report claiming that all forms of distracted driving should be outlawed. They are demanding that the feds and states enact laws that criminalize or create civil fines for any act within a motor vehicle that is not directly related to the task of driving. What crap!! I presume this means you can't eat or drink a Coke while driving. I feel certain they claim a radio is distracting, as are talking passengers. If we buy into this "distracted driving" garbage, then there's no end to the limitations we'll see coming down the road.

I don't oppose such laws "just for the sake of it;" I oppose them because they are unnecessary, ineffective and yet one more way for elected officials to impose their personal preferences on citizens.

Chas.


Chas, then how does one effect and mitigate those that are a menace to other drivers, due to, well I know you dislike the term, but "Distracted driving"?
Only punishing after they have wreck, maimed or killed someone? Seems a little reactive..

I as well would not like to be told (punished) for inserting a CD when it DID NOT cause me to come out of lane, impede another driver or cause an accident. But I do want the driver that can not control the vehicle they are driving FOR WHAT EVER REASON .. talking, texting, calling, eatting,, to have his actions rebuked, and punished.. even if it does not cause an accident.

Perhaps there are enough statutes, laws on the books now for a LEO, ADA, Judge to charge and convict a person for these things.. I DONT KNOW :headscratch If so, them Im ok with doing away with ALL specific forms of law that deal with distracted driving.


In my first year in law school, I took a class called "Remedies." The professor made a statement that really stuck with me; "in a free society, not every wrong has a remedy." In this case, we have remedies when people injury, kill, or damage property while doing something negligent. If the act is sufficiently "wrong," then criminal penalties also apply. You want to criminalize acts that are done hundreds of thousands of times every day without causing injury, death or property damage, simply because they may (not certain, MAY) cause harm in a very small percentage of situations. I cannot support such laws. Again, I don't have a conceptual problem with texting and driving, but it would be an unenforceable ban for the reasons I stated.

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Re: Cell phones and driving?

Postby E.Marquez » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:50 am

Charles L. Cotton wrote:In my first year in law school, I took a class called "Remedies." The professor made a statement that really stuck with me; "in a free society, not every wrong has a remedy." In this case, we have remedies when people injury, kill, or damage property while doing something negligent. If the act is sufficiently "wrong," then criminal penalties also apply. You want to criminalize acts that are done hundreds of thousands of times every day without causing injury, death or property damage, simply because they may (not certain, MAY) cause harm in a very small percentage of situations. I cannot support such laws. Again, I don't have a conceptual problem with texting and driving, but it would be an unenforceable ban for the reasons I stated.

Chas.


Fair enough............. need to think on this....
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Re: Cell phones and driving?

Postby A-R » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:53 am

Charles L. Cotton wrote:In my first year in law school, I took a class called "Remedies." The professor made a statement that really stuck with me; "in a free society, not every wrong has a remedy." In this case, we have remedies when people injury, kill, or damage property while doing something negligent. If the act is sufficiently "wrong," then criminal penalties also apply. You want to criminalize acts that are done hundreds of thousands of times every day without causing injury, death or property damage, simply because they may (not certain, MAY) cause harm in a very small percentage of situations. I cannot support such laws. Again, I don't have a conceptual problem with texting and driving, but it would be an unenforceable ban for the reasons I stated.

Chas.



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Re: Cell phones and driving?

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:12 am

Abraham wrote:Yes, we all have very strong opinions regarding distracted driving, with texting while driving leading the pack and cell phone blabbing taking a solid second place.

Opinions vary on what to do about this newest driving distraction, but in the past I heard little in the way of the general public expressing a strong outcry against other distractions such as: driving while eating, tuning the radio, etc. Such distractions simply didn't loom large as a general public outrage.

Cell phone use while driving does...

So, for all you cell phone usage while driving apologists - why do you think this is so?


This is a media-created, media-driven phenomenon supported by lying "experts" who claim to have studies supporting their position against cell phones.

When this started a few years ago, the claim was holding a phone in your hand meant drivers couldn't drive with two hands on the wheel and this was dangerous. The solution was to outlaw holding a cell phone, but allow the use of hand-free devices. That was laughable! The majority of people I see driving use one hand and it's perfectly safe, regardless what my driver's ed coach told me almost 50 years ago.

The public didn't buy the one-hand danger, so the claim in vogue is talking on the phone is distracting so outlaw all use of cell phones while driving. If talking is truly a distraction, which it is not, then talking to passengers will be next on the hit list. Those supporting tighter laws counter the talking passenger point by claiming passengers can see what's going on and stop talking when the driver needs to devote his/her full attention to driving. (They should take this material to HBO Comedy Hour.) Most startled people don't get quiet, they scream or start shouting, so don't tell me a person on a phone that you can drop or ignore is a greater danger of becoming a distraction.

Opponents of stricter laws on cell phones also pointed out that people listen to the radio, change radio stations, load or change CD's, and read GPS maps while driving. These too are distractions, if one accepts the premises that the majority of drivers are incapable of multitasking. So the claim now is what we see coming from the NTSB; all devices and activities not directly related to task of driving should be unlawful.

The NTSB is a toothless tiger that does great detective work, but wants to apply Utopian remedies to everything they perceive as a problem. There's been a long running battle between the NTSB and the FAA. Frequently when the NTSB investigates an airline crash, they end by making recommendations to the FAA that would call for more regulation of airplanes and/or the air traffic system. When such recommendations are made, little thought seems to be given to the cost to the industry and aircraft owners (large and small). If the FAA went along with the NTSB's recommendations, none of us would be flying because there wouldn't be a commercial or general aviation industry in the U.S.

This is a slippery slope folks. What started with simply keeping both hands on the wheel and using hands-fee devices has mutated to removing all possible driver distractions. No food, no coffee, no phones, no radio, no GPS, no maps, no pets, no talking children, no talking to passengers (tell your wife to shut up and see how that works for you); are we willing to accept this? I'm not.

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Re: Cell phones and driving?

Postby E.Marquez » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:26 am

Charles L. Cotton wrote:This is a slippery slope folks. What started with simply keeping both hands on the wheel and using hands-fee devices has mutated to removing all possible driver distractions. No food, no coffee, no phones, no radio, no GPS, no maps, no pets, no talking children, no talking to passengers (tell your wife to shut up and see how that works for you); are we willing to accept this? I'm not.

Chas.

No sir I am not willing to except that..And I thank you for your discussion points.

But neither am I willing to except someone texting and driving(poorly) running me off the road. I dive a medium about of miles each year,, about 12,000 per car and 3-5k on the truck. Bikes see 2-4k per year x 3 bikes.
It is a DAILY occurrence that I am run out of my lane, off the road, cut off, see a car blow a red light or stop sign.. Each and every day I am in the US this happens at some point on my road ventures. ..I see this stuff . I do not buy it is a rare or uncommon occurrence. Some times I can visually see the drivers distraction.. cell phone in hand, looking down and to the right, left, back seat...

I refuse to except there is no workable solution besides NO LAWS, and overbearing laws.
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Re: Cell phones and driving?

Postby SewTexas » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:19 pm

If you drive in any decent size city you are regularly run out of your lane....OK???? stay alert! driving is dangerous! this isn't new.

ask any mom what the most dangerous distraction she's ever had in her car is....she would say it was a baby....so do we ban babies? Most cities/counties say you can't drive while texting. Many say that driving while distracted is bad...whatever that means???
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Re: Cell phones and driving?

Postby Abraham » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:22 pm

Chas.,

I understand each time an unreasonable restriction is proposed by the powers that be, we ultimately see it refuted, creating a new ratcheting up effect with those in favor of greater restriction doing the old try and try again approach.

I've only mentioned a few close calls I've encountered with those who drive while using their cell phone.

I'm not exaggerating to bolster my claim to say I've very few dangerous driving encounters with folks gnawing on a burger say, than in comparison to those driving while cell phone using.

If, as I think is being suggested, cell phone drivers (if you will) are on par with any other driver who talks to his passengers or does some other innocuous driving activity, then I respectfully disagree. I submit to you that cell phone use is THE most distracting activity while driving ever...

I don't think I'm being manipulated by the media. I have first hand, multiple encounters with cell phone drivers that have created close calls. I can't recall the last time (if ever) I had one that the driver had a burger in his hand and almost collided with me or was fiddling with the radio. But yeah, I've witnessed a cell phone driver mentally transported away from his driving duties to a plane of some other inattentive existence bearing no resemblance to his first duty, driving....

Am I campaigning for additional laws to address what I think is a rather new and quite real menace?

No.

I keep my head on a swivel and know if I survive a crash created by an oblivious bonehead cell phoner because his priority was chiefly addressing his phone, I'm going after him in every legally possible way I can.
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Re: Cell phones and driving?

Postby RottenApple » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:32 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:(tell your wife to shut up and see how that works for you)


If I do, I'm going to also tell her that you told me to do it! :biggrinjester:
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Re: Cell phones and driving?

Postby RottenApple » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:36 pm

E.Marquez wrote:No sir I am not willing to except that..And I thank you for your discussion points.

But neither am I willing to except someone texting and driving(poorly) running me off the road. I dive a medium about of miles each year,, about 12,000 per car and 3-5k on the truck. Bikes see 2-4k per year x 3 bikes.
It is a DAILY occurrence that I am run out of my lane, off the road, cut off, see a car blow a red light or stop sign.. Each and every day I am in the US this happens at some point on my road ventures. ..I see this stuff . I do not buy it is a rare or uncommon occurrence. Some times I can visually see the drivers distraction.. cell phone in hand, looking down and to the right, left, back seat...

I refuse to except there is no workable solution besides NO LAWS, and overbearing laws.


You drive a "medium" number of miles each year and it is "a DAILY occurrence that I am run out of my lane, off the road, cut off, see a car blow a red light or stop sign"? My friend, I drive an average of 250 miles PER DAY, 5-6 days per week, and go days without seeing what you are describing. And this is in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. So either you are seriously exaggerating in order to make your point, or perhaps, just perhaps, it's you who is being distracted and causing some of the issues.
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Re: Cell phones and driving?

Postby E.Marquez » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:41 pm

RottenApple wrote:
E.Marquez wrote:No sir I am not willing to except that..And I thank you for your discussion points.

But neither am I willing to except someone texting and driving(poorly) running me off the road. I dive a medium about of miles each year,, about 12,000 per car and 3-5k on the truck. Bikes see 2-4k per year x 3 bikes.
It is a DAILY occurrence that I am run out of my lane, off the road, cut off, see a car blow a red light or stop sign.. Each and every day I am in the US this happens at some point on my road ventures. ..I see this stuff . I do not buy it is a rare or uncommon occurrence. Some times I can visually see the drivers distraction.. cell phone in hand, looking down and to the right, left, back seat...

I refuse to except there is no workable solution besides NO LAWS, and overbearing laws.


You drive a "medium" number of miles each year and it is "a DAILY occurrence that I am run out of my lane, off the road, cut off, see a car blow a red light or stop sign"? My friend, I drive an average of 250 miles PER DAY, 5-6 days per week, and go days without seeing what you are describing. And this is in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. So either you are seriously exaggerating in order to make your point, or perhaps, just perhaps, it's you who is being distracted and causing some of the issues.

The fact you address me as "my Friend" and then imply Im lying ends the discussion with you.. As I will not be baited by a troll.

Have a great day.
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Re: Cell phones and driving?

Postby RottenApple » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:46 pm

Abraham wrote:I keep my head on a swivel and know if I survive a crash created by an oblivious bonehead cell phoner because his priority was chiefly addressing his phone, I'm going after him in every legally possible way I can.


And THIS is the solution. Not new laws; Not more laws; Laws that are, for the most part, unenforceable. Instead, hold people accountable for their actions. If they were indeed distracted and did indeed cause the accident, then hold them accountable for their negligence. But don't punish the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of drivers who did NOT cause the problem.

For my part, I am on the phone frequently during my daily travels. And, yes, I text while driving too. Admittedly, I text by voice (gotta love Siri), but I am still texting. I've had my license since I was 16. I put over a million miles on my rig as a professional driver. And now I own and drive for a company that provides transportation for the elderly and disabled. And I have never had a single accident (knock on wood).

My father taught me that it is MY job to prevent getting into an accident. You can't control other's actions or behavior. You should be looking and thinking several steps ahead of where you are traveling and planning how to handle anything that happens. I keep my eyes on the vehicles all around me and I astound my children when I point to a vehicle and tell them what it is about to do (cut us off, cut someone else off, dive across 3 lanes of traffic, etc) BEFORE they do it. If you keep your head in the game, nothing anyone else does around you will surprise you AND you can mitigate or negate any stupid actions they may take.
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Re: Cell phones and driving?

Postby RottenApple » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:50 pm

E.Marquez wrote: The fact you address me as "my Friend" and then imply Im lying ends the discussion with you.. As I will not be baited by a troll.

Have a great day.


First, I did not imply you were lying. Exaggerating and lying and two very different things. I implied that perhaps you are mistaken.

Second, I have been a member here for awhile and am not a troll. As long as you've been a member, and the number of posts that you have, I would think you would know the rules regarding personal attacks.

And finally, your complete overreaction to my statement implies that there is some truth to it that you know but are not willing to admit.
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Re: Cell phones and driving?

Postby Abraham » Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:48 pm

RottenApple,

I commend you for doing an up to date, safe, cell phone using job of driving.

I have to, at least to some extent, agree that all cell phone drivers aren't created equally. Obviously, some have more aptitude to use a cell phone and drive more safely than others.

That said, it's my experience there are a greater number of cell phone drivers whose aptitude for safe driving is deplorable, those these same folk can reasonably safely grind up a sandwich or put in a CD. Weird...

Why this is so, I don't know?

My speculation: It's far, (further emphasis) FAR more engaging for some to converse on a cell phone while driving.

As time passes thus engaged, this secondary activity insidiously becomes primary. This is especially so if a conversation continues uninterruptedly versus a quick, to the point message lasting less than say, a minute...
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Re: Cell phones and driving?

Postby JALLEN » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:01 pm

RX8er wrote:
Are there any Europeans here or someone that has lived there for a while? In many countries, Drivers Ed is a very long class period and is a privilege to drive, not a right. Driving is treated way different than here in the US where we feel that it is a right.


The only people who believe that driving is a privilege and not a right are those who work at DMV (DPS to y'all!).

Treating driving as a privilege officially will result in one otherwise unattainable good, a complete replacement of every Legislator who is in office when such a law is passed.

When I was last a resident of Texas I had heard that perhaps a third of Texans had bothered to get licenses. I remember checkpoints where every passing car was stopped to check for D/L's. I'm sure with the growing increase in needing ID to cash checks, use credit cards, etc. more than gotten them, but the old birds didn't bother.
Luckily, I have enough willpower to control the driving ambition that rages within me.
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