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Driving with electronic device

Discussion in 'The OT' started by kevinturcotte, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. Apr 27, 2012 #1 of 384

    kevinturcotte Active Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    I know a lot of states have laws that prohibit driving while using an electronic device. I understand that as far as talking on a cell phone or texting. However, I sometimes use my cell phone as a GPS. Is this not allowed? I mean, I don't set it up while I'm driving-I'll put in my destination and get everything set and then start driving. I do however occasionally check it when I'm getting close to a turn (ESPECIALLY if it has me turning onto a street that doesn't have a sign, or isn't labeled correctly). Should I not be doing this?
  2. Apr 27, 2012 #2 of 384

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

    Sep 27, 2007
    Lake Norman, NC
    Certainly not!! Keep those hands on the wheel at 10 / 2. . . . actually 4 / 8 now that we have airbags!

    I'm sure the individual state / community legislation will be grey enough to allow or not allow the use of a phone as a gps. In fact, Chapel Hill here in NC has just passed NOT allowing even hands free (speakerphone) use of cell phones while driving.
  3. Apr 27, 2012 #3 of 384
    Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Mar 30, 2007
    New Jersey
    I use my iPhone as a GPS (using the TomTom software, which is AMAZING)...I got TomTom's suction cup windsheild mount for the iPhone. It holds the phone for GPS use, supplies power, and functions as a speakerphone.

    AFAIK, that's legal in nearly all states.
  4. Apr 27, 2012 #4 of 384

    kc1ih Legend

    May 22, 2004
    Hudson, FL
    If they ban using all electronic devices in cars I’ll have to go back to using a mechanical watch.
  5. Apr 27, 2012 #5 of 384

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

    Nov 16, 2005
    Wylie, Texas
    I'm glad they haven't outlawed laptops while driving...I'd be in trouble.
  6. Apr 27, 2012 #6 of 384

    scooper Hall Of Fame

    Apr 22, 2002
    Youngsville NC
    By the driver when he is alone. Doubt they would try to prosecute if the passenger was the one using the device.
  7. Apr 27, 2012 #7 of 384

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    My problem with laws banning using a phone while driving, especially banning hands free is do they also ban doing things with the radio etc? Though things like texting while driving is incredibly stupid and should not be attempted.
  8. Apr 27, 2012 #8 of 384

    trh This Space for Sale

    Nov 2, 2007
    NE FL
    There are some states that have banned mounting any devices on your windshield.
  9. Apr 27, 2012 #9 of 384

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    It's stupider than that if the article I read was accurate. It is legal to make a call to a spouse, parent or child. So the officer that stops you would basically need to search the phone to prove that was not who you were talking to, and the fine is $25.
  10. Apr 27, 2012 #10 of 384
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    Depends on where you live... I haven't been following in depth... but a neighboring city (Chapel Hill, NC) passed a local ordinance that will go into effect this June to ban all use of cellphones while driving. They specifically included in this ban a ban on handsfree technology AND such technology built-in to modern cars.

    I get not wanting people fumbling with a phone while driving... but banning hands-free use... they might as well ban the radio, air conditioner, talking to a passenger, and basically any in-car activity that isn't actively involved in navigating the vehicle.

    My personal view... has always been that something like cellphone use shouldn't be made illegal BUT it should be extenuating circumstances in an accident.

    Ex... Talking on the phone is ok as long as you don't cause an accident... but get involved in an accident and your use of the phone while driving could be used against you to compound the negligence charges.
  11. Apr 28, 2012 #11 of 384
    The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    The reason for banning all talking on cell phones, handheld or handsfree, is that studies have shown that when talking on the phone people tend to not pay as much attention to their surroundings. When talking on the phone, people tend to ignore what they are actually doing, whereas, if you are changing the radio station, since it is a physical function inside the vehicle, you tend to keep your eye on the road then.

    As an example, think of the last time you stood outside someplace and were talking on your cell phone. How much do you remember of anything that was going on around you once you were deep into conversation?

    As for using the cellphone as a GPS, most of the laws specifically mention that GPS units are exempt from the handheld device prohibition.

    - Merg
  12. Apr 28, 2012 #12 of 384
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    I don't buy this... From personal experience, I was driving home one night late and looked down briefly (nobody else on the road) to adjust the radio and I must have swerved a bit because next thing I know I was being pulled over.

    The cop asked if I was drinking (I don't drink) and he asked if I was tired and I said I was not. I did thank him, however, because I told him that I must have swerved a little when I adjusted the radio but I had not noticed because of feeling safer since there was nobody on the road... but that while I never drink, I had in the past been at the wheel when I was tired... and I would have appreciated being pulled over IF I was sleepy rather than causing an accident.

    As for the distraction of talking even on a handsfree phone... the problem there is, talking on a handsfree phone is no more distracting than talking to someone else in the car. In fact, when someone else is in the car you sometimes look over at them (and away from the road) whereas on a handsfree call you know the person isn't in the car with you (I hope).

    Basically, while I think it smarter to not have distraction while driving... I think there is a limit to what should be legislated.

    How many sing in the car to the song on the radio? Or yell at the talk radio host who says something you disagree with? These things could be distracting too... better get the radio out of the car!
  13. Apr 28, 2012 #13 of 384

    swyman18 Legend

    Jan 12, 2009
    I know it may sound strange, but I think it depends on people's personality. For example, I find myself extremely distracted when talking on the phone anywhere (even at home on a landline). I just hate talking in the phone. But I have no problem concentrating on driving while talking to a passenger. Don't ask me why. But obviously they can't enact laws based on each individual's cell phone driving prowess. Sad to say, but I know people who are masters at texting while driving!
  14. Apr 28, 2012 #14 of 384

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    May 17, 2010
    +1......I witnessed a woman who was using her cell phone and having a heated argument with the person she was talking to. She was afoot and walking rapidly, totally unaware of her surroundings. As she rounded the corner she walked into a telephone pole. Wound up on her ass with her forehead split open and a bewildered look on her face. One can only imagine what the outcome would have been had she been driving.
  15. Apr 28, 2012 #15 of 384

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    Jun 6, 2009
    They have. Many years ago. Along with cell phones (before they existed), eating burgers, making notes, reading printed maps, talking to the kids in the back seat, scratching your butt and anything else that causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle. States name them differently, but 'Careless Driving' or 'Failure to maintain control' usually cover most everything.

    Existing laws could easily be used instead of passing new ones.

    But while we're on it:

    Notable quote:


    As bolded above: 'for the police to have "the opportunity to write tickets' really means this is about generating revenue. Tickets mean fines. Fines are revenue.
  16. Apr 28, 2012 #16 of 384
    Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Mar 30, 2007
    New Jersey
    A friend of mine was driving in NYC recently (where there has long been a law against hand held phone use) and was pulled over by a patrol car. The officer said he observed her holding her phone to her left ear. In reality, the phone was in her pocket, and she was simply resting her head against her hand. She offered to show the officer her phone to prove no call was made at the time, but he refused to examine it. She went to court to fight the $150 fine, but the court found her guilty. The judge also refused to look at her phone, saying "how do I know that was the phone you had with you?"

    Oh, in addition, she drives an Audi A4 which has built-in hands free support.

    So, a lot of the push behind these laws is ABSOLUTELY about the additional revenue from fines.
  17. Apr 28, 2012 #17 of 384

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2006
    Here in WV they are using a 2-step approach to banning them while driving. This July the law prohibits drivers from using the phone without a hands-free device. But it is only a secondary violation. This means you can't be pulled over for it, but can be ticketed for it if pulled for some other violation or reason. Texting while driving become primary in July.

    Then in July 2013 it becomes a primary violation which means you can be pulled over for it. Funny thing is it seems whenever I pass police cars, the Trooper is on the phone and not hands-free. :eek2:

    One other note. WV for several years has had a law that bans teens (Under 18) from using any wireless devices in the car while driving. Can't disagree with that.

    My daughter gets annoyed with me if I get a text while driving because I will give her my phone to reply. But I make her use full words and not "text talk". :lol:
  18. Apr 28, 2012 #18 of 384
    Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jun 22, 2001
    All I have to say is good luck catching me. I don't text while driving but I play music, use GPS, and do hands free calling which is all built into my car. I think the laws are getting a bit absurd. What's next, you can't talk to other people in the car?
  19. Apr 28, 2012 #19 of 384
  20. Apr 28, 2012 #20 of 384

    fluffybear Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jun 19, 2004
    I have always thought that cell phones should be jammed while a car motor is running ( i will get into this reason in a second).
    Before we get to far, I also would have no objection if radio controls were locked while the car is in motion thus allowing someone to change stations, volume while at a stop light, stop sign, and so forth.

    I realize some of you use your phone for a GPS and such but my question to you is where is that phone while you are using it as a GPS? Is it somewhere you can keep one eye on the road while glancing at it? If the answer is NO then you should not be using it. I also do not believe GPS devices should be mounted on the windshield either. I have driven in vehicles where this is the case and personally think my field of vision is more distorted when the GPS is physically mounted to the windshield.
    I realize some can use their phones hands free and if given a choice I probably would not object as much provided they were truly hands-free. I notice a couple of people running around here with a wire hanging out of the ear and running to their shirt pocket, etc.. That may be hands free talking but it really is not hands free operation. Human reaction is to try and catch something if you drop it so fumble the phone in the car and your hands are off the wheel trying to save your phone.

    As I mentioned, I would like cell phones to be jammed while a vehicle motor is running and not in motion. The reason behind this has to do with a loophole some idiot discovered which states that you can only get a ticket if you are texting while driving so let's now sit at a stop sign for an extended period of time or pull into a neighborhood and block the road so they can text.

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