CA to ban most popular form of entertainment in cars

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by Arroyo, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. Arroyo

    Arroyo Member

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    CALIFORNIA TO BAN DRIVERS FROM HOLDING CELL PHONES
    September 15, 2006

    California is about to ban the most popular form of electronic entertainment in cars today. No, not morning talk radio.

    Hand-held cell phones.

    Many so-called studies have been bandied about to back up supporters and detractors of cell phone bans. In the end, two appeared to be the most persuasive to California lawmakers: One is by the Accident Analysis and Prevention journal that concludes the risk of death is nine times greater for drivers who use a cell phone while driving. The second is from the California Highway Patrol's own data from 2004, which shows police reports for 775 accidents in which a driver at fault was using a hand-held cell phone. There were only 28 reports of accidents in which drivers using hands-free phones were to blame.

    Pundits have been predicting that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will veto any legislation banning hand-held cell phones while driving. However, yesterday, the governor's office said he will sign the bill in Oakland today, reports Nancy Vogel of the Los Angeles Times.

    "Under the new law, which does not take effect until July 2008, Californians risk a minimum $20 fine for driving while talking into a phone -- unless they are using a headset, speaker phone, ear bud or some other technology that frees both hands while they talk. Drivers in emergency situations would be exempt," according to the Times report.

    "Public safety is the governor's No. 1 priority," said Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson, "and this bill will make the streets and highways of California safer by ensuring that drivers have both hands available for driving."

    California will join New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the District of Columbia in banning drivers from using hand-held cell phones.

    According to the Times, the bill's only official opponent was the Sprint-Nextel cellular phone company.

    - Back Seat Driving, LA CAR

    http://lacar.com/modules.php?name=News&amp...cle&sid=685
     
  2. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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  3. daronspicher

    daronspicher Active Member

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    Even with the bluetooth thing in your ear, you're mind is not on the road as much as it should be. I'm not sure what the new law in CA will look like... most go for a hands free thing being ok. I think they should write it in the legislation that if your cell phone was active when you caused an accident, you are substantially more liable in both civil and criminal cases.

    You drive down the tollways in Chicagoland, you see way too many people with no clue they are on the road. Cell phone in one ear, big goofy engaged in their conversation s-eatin grin on their face and one finger on the wheel.

    You have a few people who can talk and drive ok and every single person claims to be that person... but we all know the other drivers really aren't paying attention because we all really know how much it distracts us when we are on the phone.

    So, when you kill someone else by causing an accident while you were on the phone, jack up the seriousness by about 3 notches and go for the jugular. Maybe people start to see other people getting some real jail time for having killed that family of 5 when they should have been driving instead of talking, less people will have BS nonessential conversations while driving.

    Every call I make while on the road is a choice... every one I answer is a choice, how long I stay on the phone is a choice.. I choose to talk and cause a crash while doing it and I should be responsible for that.
     
  4. Oxo

    Oxo New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Arroyo @ Sep 15 2006, 12:44 AM) [snapback]319944[/snapback]</div>
    They'll find it difficult to enforce this. The UK has had a national ban for some time and police have prosecuted a few offenders but on any journey of more than a couple of miles you'll see at least one driver using a hand-held phone. This law is like speed-limits, almost impossible to enforce properly. But then I suppose that applies to most laws.
     
  5. miwaku

    miwaku New Member

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    The US government has already done this. On all military posts, it's now illegal to drive & use a cell unless it's hands-free, and the training posts have taken that one step further, banning its soldiers from using anything but hands-free while driving OFF post, as well. Harder to prosecute, but like seatbelt, adultery, and sodomy laws, they'll tack it on whenever you're busted for something else... (weird connection, I know, but think about it; it's true)
     
  6. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    From what I've read, it's the mental distraction of talking on the phone more than having one hand occupied, that raises the liklihood of an accident. Likewise for other forms of distraction.

    It would be hard to enforce a ban against hands-free phones, however, because it would be hard to spot. The hands-on phones would be easier to spot and give tickets for, but maybe the effect would be simply to push people towards the hands-free phones.

    But I applaud any laws against cell phones while driving.

    I give very high marks to the realtor who found me my house when I moved to Spokane: His phone rang a lot. When we were driving, he let the machine answer, and several times during the day, when we were stopped, he checked his messages. If it was his wife calling (which he knew from the distinctive ring tone) he found a safe place to park and called her back. Needless to say I liked him. Anyone buying a house in Spokane can PM me and I'll give you his name and number.
     
  7. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    Carnegie-Milon University in PIttsburg did a study some years back.
    - Drivers alone
    - Drivers talking on a hand-held phone
    - Drivers talking into a hands-free phone
    - Drivers talking with passengers

    They found that only drivers sriving alone were able to maintain consistent concentration on the road and sweeping retinal movement indicating alertness to their surroundings. As the drivers engaged in any form of conversation, their sweeping retinal movements deminished.

    Holding phones is already illegal in Chicago. Now it ranks up there with speeding as one of the most common illegal actions commonly ignored.
     
  8. sfatula

    sfatula Junior Member

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    I doubt anyone would claim you are as safe talking on a cell phone while driving as you are not doing so of course. But, I've never been convinced by this. I think it more has to do with the news and the constant harping over the years on the issue. BTW - I do NOT drive while using a cell phone before you think I do...

    Talking to someone in the other seat, telling kids to sit down, reaching in the back seat for kids, looking at your face (is it ready for work), combing hair, all sorts of things, probably hundreds cause equal distraction none of which are banned. So, for that reason, I've always been against such bans. It's just something to pick on.

    Have not known anyone who was in an accident while talking on a cell (though obviously there are many examples I am not saying there are not), have known of accidents with other distractions. A niece of ours drove our car (silly us) and was reaching in the back seat and went off the road for example and wrecked the car.

    For me, a ban on "unsafe driving practices" which is likely already in place is enough.

    Sorry to buck the trend! I don't agree at all with such bans. They are just the popular thing of the day. Don't make logical sense though as is.
     
  9. MarinJohn

    MarinJohn Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Godiva @ Sep 14 2006, 11:06 PM) [snapback]319952[/snapback]</div>

    I'll double the size of that and raise you.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(daronspicher @ Sep 15 2006, 03:02 AM) [snapback]319970[/snapback]</div>

    This post just goes to show that no matter how differently we think about things in life, we all have something in common. Good post Daron. How I wish we could find common ground and build on it for our every day lives.
     
  10. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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    Considering how cutting edge on legistration California is supposed to be, I'm surprised it wasn't in place years ago.
     
  11. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    I forgot to add to my previous post that yesterday on my way home a woman in a brand new bright red Mercedes turned right directly in front of me. I saw her approaching the intersection - phone up to ear on left side, keeping her from looking to her left for traffic - and she just blew through the intersection and turned right in front of me. Of course I honked my horn and got close just for effect.

    I was thinking to myself, "if I had a car similar to a Mercedes I would have just hit her on principal alone." But as it is, I didn't want to damage my Prius.
     
  12. rhodson

    rhodson New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Steve F @ Sep 15 2006, 10:01 AM) [snapback]320077[/snapback]</div>
    I tend to agree here. No matter all the evidence to the contrary, some people continue to believe that you can legislate away careless behavior. You can't, for the most part.
    By the way, the cell phone issue has some precedents. When window wipers were first proposed, it was a very controversial idea. Some people feared that the back and forth motion would hypnotize drivers, and thus be dangerous. The same goes with radios. This was also seen as a dangerous distraction by some, and thus inappropriate for a vehicle.
     
  13. koa

    koa Active Member

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    Compared to spiders I don't find my cell phone that distracting. The other day there was a very large spider (3" dia) on my outside rear view mirror tucked in and barely holding on at 65 mph. I figured I would just open the window a bit and take a rolled up piece of paper and knock it off. When I rolled down the window and I hit the spider it jumped onto the window and ran inside over my seat belt and onto the back door. I kept telling myself to pay attention and not worry about the spider. I got to the exit of freeway and pulled into the parking lot of a post office and found the spider on back door. I tried to swat it off but it ran to the outside of the open back door. Went around to outside and it ran inside. Did this inside outside thing a few times till I was able to swat it off the car. I must have looked like an idiot to people in the parking lot swatting my car with a rolled up magazine. Spiders should be banned from cars!
     
  14. priusenvy

    priusenvy Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Oxo @ Sep 15 2006, 03:17 AM) [snapback]319972[/snapback]</div>
    New York has had their version of this law since 2001 and they'd issued nearly 300,000 citations through May 2004. Still, reports in the news were that overall use of cell phones while driving was actually up after an initial drop.

    Whenever I see anyone driving 10 mph slower than everyone else in the middle lanes on a freeway, they almost always have a phone pressed up against their ear. I encounter this so often I actually sprained my middle finger.
     
  15. sfatula

    sfatula Junior Member

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    It is a total waste of time though. Are you going to spend billions of dollars for each and every device anyone could use passing new laws like we don't have enough already? Does that mean it is ok for me to mount an X-Box in the front seat so I can play while driving? After all, it doesn't ban that. I could rattle off HUNDREDS of things that would be unsafe. It's great for lawmakers to justify their existence, but, wasteful for taxpayers.

    It's absurd to ban cell phones specifically and not anythng else that is distracting. While you guys are keying on cell phones just like the ignorant news media, I see people ALL THE TIME doing other things that are not safe as I am looking for them, you are looking for those evil cell phones only apparently.

    If a driver is driving in an unsafe manner, which could be anything, that should be an offense. NOT limited to specific devices. Here in Dallas, I see people driving like manics without cell phones.

    Again, don't get me wrong, cell phones can be very distracting. But so can hundreds if not thousands of other things. Ban them all, or, ban NONE.
     
  16. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Steve F @ Sep 15 2006, 01:18 PM) [snapback]320229[/snapback]</div>
    I think the point is that cell phones are the most common form of distracted driving. They should pass and enforce laws against "distracted driving," leaving the concept fairly open, but cell phones deserve a special mention for occupying the number-one place in the list of distracted driving habits.
     
  17. Bearcatzzz

    Bearcatzzz Junior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(daronspicher @ Sep 15 2006, 03:02 AM) [snapback]319970[/snapback]</div>
    Just because you are talking on a cell phone doesn't mean you caused an accident. You should be hit if using the phone caused an accident. This type of prosecution was done sucessfully against a person who was fiddling with their music and drifted into pedestrians.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(koa @ Sep 15 2006, 10:40 AM) [snapback]320165[/snapback]</div>
    Let's write a law. :D
     
  18. Bearcatzzz

    Bearcatzzz Junior Member

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  19. Alnilam

    Alnilam The One in the Middle

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(miwaku @ Sep 15 2006, 03:24 AM) [snapback]319974[/snapback]</div>
    They got adultery laws?

    That should clear the highways faster than a Sobriety Inspection Checkpoint!

    Combining the two:

    Years ago it was possible to listen to mobile phones on a Bearcat scanner. I had it on at one in the morning and heard this guy call his wife at home. "Real bad accident on the I-5," he explained. "I'm likely to be tied up for an hour or so." She said she was in bed and would see him in the morning. "Love ya...."

    Thirty seconds later the same guy makes a second call and a different woman answers. "I'll be over in ten minutes," he said.

    If they caught him with his seatbelt off it would have been a trifecta under the new laws.

    "Book him, Danno!"
     
  20. Alnilam

    Alnilam The One in the Middle

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Stan57 @ Sep 16 2006, 07:56 AM) [snapback]320503[/snapback]</div>
    When I was a teenager, a cop told me the most dangerous vehicle he could imagine was a car full of nuns. They had about zero hours of total driving experience, thought the good Lord would take care of them and couldn't see diddly with their heads back inside that cave of a veil they used to wear. And they're all numbing themselves into a coma reciting a group rosary.

    In all the years since, whenever I came across such a car, I'd pull into the nearest bar to avoid the upcoming accident.

    You have to do whatever is necessary to keep safe!
     
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