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Increase demand to ban cell phones, while driving

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Fontano, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Jul 12, 2006
    Los Angeles
    Certainly everyone wants to have the freedom to talk on the phone while driving .. How hard is it to just get a headset and be done?
  2. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    It's not....but those that I see putting on their makeup, dressing themselves, shaving, and other things concurrently while driving have not adopted that common-sense approach yet. Those people are just scary on the road.

    Hand's free is now cheap and easy to use...everyone should have to do it - its a public safety issue.
  3. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

    Mar 22, 2004
    If, like me, you have your cell phone on a belt clip on your right side, chances are that removing it or reattaching it is difficult due to your seat belt (and possibly your jacket) being in the way. Merely trying to grab your phone to answer a call is distracting to the point of being dangerous. Making a call on your cell phone while driving is downright stupid. I'm constantly amazed by people who pull out of parking spaces, chatting on their cell. If the call is important, stay parked until done. If getting to your destination is more important, end the call so you can concentrate on driving.
    I've come to the conclusion that I'll no longer answer my cell phone while driving. Instead, I'll find a safe place to pull off and check my voicemail if the caller leaves a message. I had been thinking about getting a hands free device (not headphone, since I wear hearing aids), but I've decided against it.
    An;yway, I've discovered that the bulk of the calls I get while driving are from my grandkids, asking if they can play a game on the PS3 in my bedroom. :D:D
  4. tcusta00

    tcusta00 Active Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    I was reminded of a newer annoyance last night that's becoming more and more prolific these days. We were pulling out of a parking space and a girl tore out of the parking lot in front of us. She probably hit 30 in the short 200 yards from her space to the exit.

    So we filed in behind her and about another 200 yards up the street she was leaning over to set her GPS while swerving and doing 15mph under the limit. She was in such a rush to get in front of us and then had to slow down on the main road to concentrate on setting the GPS. :mad: :mad:
  5. Fontano

    Fontano Godfather

    Feb 7, 2008

    I am curious now:
    How would this apply to services such as On-Star ?

    Would they immediately have to suspend their phone-call service, or allow the phone call service when the car is reporting that it is in the PARK gear?

    My main jist for posting this was:
    -) What makes this so different then every other activity in the car: eating, makeup, reading, talking, changing the channel, and so on.

    Why doesn't it simply fall under the reckless driving clauses that pretty much every state/city has in place already

    Why speifically single out the cell-phone?

    I personally don't typically have long phone conversations while driving.
    But if I don't have the handsfree device, my phone sits in my car door.
    Where I can hear, see and reach it.

    Typically most car conversations are about where we are going, changes to plans, last minute information, emergencies ect.
  6. fluffybear

    fluffybear Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jun 19, 2004
    It has my vote. I have never been a fan of anyone who uses the cell phone while driving.
    When I get in the car, my cell phone is shut off and goes in the cup holder next to me. If I need to make a call, I will either ask a passenger in the car to make it for me or will find a appropriate place to stop and then make the call.

    I might be willing to bend a little for those with a wireless headset but that's the limit. I saw a woman this morning nearly hit a child walking to school because she was to busy driving her golf cart with her elbows (One hand was holding a phone and the other her coffee). Yes, the argument can be made if she did not have the coffee cup in her hand she could have been holding the wheel with at least one hand but it we can argue it the other way as well.

    Today, we have texting and that creates a whole new set of issues.

    I have no problem if the government steps in and puts the kabash on the use of cell phones while behind the wheel. Personally, I would not have a problem if the cops impounded your vehicle on the very first offense. Maybe a little inconvenience of having to and get your car from the impound lot will make drivers think before doing it again.

    BTW, I believe this type of penalty should also be used on idiots who drive in carpool (HOA) lanes illegally as well.
  7. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    Fontano, that's exactly the conversation that a lot of Californians have had. Why single out one reckless activity when the best thing to do is just enforce laws that are already on the books?

    Mr. Custa00's point is also excellent, and leads me to the question of how soon add-on GPS's will be banned. In fact, I believe that devices that stick to the windshield are already illegal in California unless specifically approved (like toll transponders). So although they don't know it, people in California with GPS's, radar detectors and satellite radio receivers are already breaking the law.
  8. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    California Vehicle Code:

    See Section 12 for where you can legally put a GPS. Has anyone ever put a GPS there?

  9. Fontano

    Fontano Godfather

    Feb 7, 2008

    IIRC they recently changed the law in California to allow Windshield mounted GPS, but they have to be on the side of the window (like to the drivers lower left) instead of in the middle of the windshield.
  10. fluffybear

    fluffybear Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jun 19, 2004

    The rule around our house is we set the GPS before we even start the car. If I have a passenger in the vehicle I may ask them to enter an address for me but when I'm behind the wheel, it's hands off.
  11. fluffybear

    fluffybear Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jun 19, 2004
    Personally, I will stick with my bean bag dash mount.
  12. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    Our posts crossed. I saw that when I researched the vehicle code, but let me tell you, it would be more of a hazard for me to have a GPS off to the side like that. It would take my focus off the road and be more of a distraction.
  13. Fontano

    Fontano Godfather

    Feb 7, 2008
    That is where I have my GPS now.
    But I have a very big windshield.
    I find it a lot less distracting there, then in the middle.

    The line of sight that is blocked, is only the slightest of issues when I am trying to get into a tight space. And if I must I just take it down.

    At 65mph, anything that would be blocked by that small segment of view angle, I would have seen for a few seconds before that point.

    I have also found that the GPS helps me be safer in general.
    -) Just having something that is changing, helps keeps me alert in the car. I found that I get less bored/tired in the car drives when I am using the GPS. Even just the distance left to the next turn, keeps my mind thinking just enough to keep it alert.
    -) The voice, no matter how electronic, helps me keep my focus on what I am doing
    -) The speed indicator, turns a nice red when I am going way over the limit so I can evaluate the conditions and stay with the flow of traffic
    -) It has a fatigue, stop reminder. If it knows I haven't stopped for about 2 hours it starts to tell me that I should stop for a few minutes.

    I only wish that the car dealer didn't try to screw me on the in-dash version; I was supposed to have it as part of my purchase agreement, but they forgot and wanted to charge me after the fact: $3,500 for the indash, vs $250 for the TomTom
  14. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    My point exactly. You are doing what is safest for you, in order for you to avoid being reckless. I would expect nothing less. I'll tell you what, I'll try it in my little Toyota and see how annoying it is in my neighborhood before I take it on the freeway.
  15. machavez00

    machavez00 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 2, 2006
    You left out women farding while they drive.

    In Arizona, they are advertising we have a distracted driving law, which would cover a lot of activities.
  16. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Some thoughts:
    1) Driving under the influence (of drugs or alcohol) are specific reckless driving laws, because of their specific danger. So bans against (potentially) equally dangerous activities is not unreasonable. (Or just adding cell phones to the existing DUI laws.)

    2) There are driving situations where cellphones won't make much of a difference. When stuck in traffic gridlock, with speeds approaching 10 miles per hour, (usually finally getting up to 10 mph!) a cellphone does not seem very harmful at all.

    3) Skill does matter. Both skill at driving and skill at conversing. Age limits make sense, but are likely very hard to enforce.

    4) Cell conversations have been shown to be more distracting than in car conversations (tho I wonder how many teens were compared...). The study txtommy quoted makes a lot of sense as to why.

    5) In generalizing, we will always find exceptions and examples that will support either side of the claim. The point here is not that Fontano is a great driver with his cell phone in hand, but the vast majority of people are not.

    6) Many drinkers still get behind the wheel when they shouldn't...

    (Missed this one yesterday) Happy Organize Your Home Day (after) :)
  17. 4HiMarks

    4HiMarks Hall Of Fame

    Jan 21, 2004
    Laurel, MD
    I can't believe that is even considered necessary. How stupid can people be? Wait, don't answer that. Consider how stupid the average person is, then think about the fact that half the population is even stupider than that!

    I don't think anyone thought it was necessary to ban typing while driving. Why do people think they can text? Not only should texting and phoning be illegal, but so should eating, applying makeup, disciplining your kids, searching for a dropped cigarette, reading, watching TV or other video, and anything else other than driving!

    I would not object to banning automatic transmissions and power steering. Maybe having to pay more attention to what you are doing would force people to have a less cavalier attitude towards controlling (or lack thereof) two tons of hurtling metal.
  18. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

    May 28, 2007
    The problem with laws like this is that they take subjectivity out of the equation.

    For example, the first two miles of my commute to work takes me 15-20 minutes. That's an average of less than 8MPH in stop-and go traffic that hardly ever exceeds 10MPH. Basically, I never press the accelerator; I just regulate my speed with the brake.

    In this case, I really can't see where it would be a problem to use a cell phone. In fact, I have a built-in Bluetooth hands-free system with full voice control. I can place and answer calls by touching a single button on the steering wheel. My hands never leave the wheel and my eyes never leave the road. To suggest that using my phone in these conditions is as unsafe as drunk driving is simply ludicrous.

    Now, the remaining seven miles of my commute is on Interstate, generally at speeds in excess of 70MPH. Using a cell phone there, especially when merging and passing, would be quite unsafe. So, yes, I can understand a law prohibiting that. But then again, sometimes i drive across town or even across the state on open highways. Again, using a hands-free system with the car doing a steady speed down and uncrowded limited-access road is just not the same thing as driving drunk.

    So, prohibiting cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle might make no sense in many cases, but would be required in other. The problem is, laws have to be written in such a ways as to be all-encompassing and that's not what is needed. Since most (all?)states already have "distracted driving" and "reckless driving" laws, why not just enforce those? If you see someone sitting in stopped traffic using a phone, then no big deal. If you see someone holding a phone to the head while trying to merge onto a 70MPH highway, then write a citation for distracted or reckless driving. It's that simple.

    The problem is, enforcing those laws means the cops have to actually patrol and be "involved" in what's going on. Like I said earlier, they don't do that here. About the only time you see cops driving down our streets is when they are chasing after a speeder. I've always said that a cop driving down the highway at the speed limit (or safe speed) is the best deterrent to dangerous driving but unfortunately, it's also the most costly and the lease revenue-generating maneuver. I'll guarantee that if cell phones are banned in my area, that the cops will sit on side streets and watch people going by at less than 10MPH and start writing tickets. The "best" place to avoid getting caught driving while calling will be doing 80MPH down the highway.
  19. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jun 22, 2001
    I agree with Rodney. Enforcement is going to be a problem. If I'm driving down the road and talking on a hands free device, how is the cop actually going to tell? For all he knows I'm singing with my favorite song.
  20. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    All I can say is that people in California ignore lots of laws. The ones about talking and texting are just two of them.

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