Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.



For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.







Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!






E-mail us here.

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 20, 2007 2:31 PM. The previous post in this blog was A herd of white elephants, coast to coast. The next post in this blog is I am giving up blogging for Lent. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Archives

Links

Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
TaxVox
Tax.com
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Conglomerate
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
myCorporateResource.com
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Utterly Boring.com
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
HinesSight
Onfocus
Jalpuna
Beerdrinker.org
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
Sansego
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
Mireio
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
{AE}
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Althouse
GirlHacker
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Frytopia
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
StumptownBlogger
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and Drink.com
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion
LoveSalem

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Misterblue
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
Twisty
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
Pinktalk
Mellow-Drama
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Rosenblog
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Blort
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Maukie
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
KGW-TV
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
KOIN
Willamette Week
KATU
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB
Topix.net - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
KPTV
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

Music-Related
The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Seal
Sting
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Another year in Salem

I see that the new, improved Oregon legislature can't even pass a ban on holding a cell phone to one's ear while driving a car. Instead, we're going to get some shinola about a general driving-while-distracted offense -- an unenforceable standard that the resource-strapped police will never use. Ginny Burdick's in charge of that one.

Sometimes you wonder why we even bother having an Oregon legislature (other than to stimulate the economy of Maui, of course).

Comments (29)

They're almost as pathetic as Democrats in the US Congress. I mean, Dems won the election on a pull-the-troops-out-of-Iraq platform, when are they going to pull all war funding?

Are mealy-mouthed, non-binding resolutions the best they can do?

No. They are going to pass a law strictly prohibiting the President from "doing bad stuff."

I agree with you that what's likely to come out of the legislature is shinola. I'm OK with that 'cause we've got enough sh** already.

Sounds like the ultimate pretext stop excuse. "Uh, you appeared to be distracted. Now I'm going to search your car."

What's wrong with using laws that are already on the books? If you're distracted, you're distracted. Does the method of distraction make a difference?

The problem is that most people think "I can still handle a cell phone and drive -- I won't be distracted." And most of them are wrong. It's like driving after drinking -- we have a mechanical test based on blood alcohol content, because anything more subjective proved utterly unworkable.

Ginny Burdick should be on an investigative committee of one, checking out the mental hospital from the inside, with the keys thrown away. She is what makes the dimmos so laughable, in a pitiful manner..

Would an insurance company use a ticket to raise someone's rates and simultaneously exclude coverage for someone who had been distracted? That looks like a win-win scenario, which is the MO for you know who.

Suppose someone introduces a poison pill amendment that prohibits insurance companies from raising rates because of a distracted-while-driving ticket or, heaven forbid, prohibits them introducing as evidence in a court case any cell phone use, treating it as per se not distracting, or at least not any more distracting than so many other things. Would the insurance lobby drop the push?

I can picture an accident by someone that needs to immediately drop their phone because they got distracted by a cop.

If a legislative declaration of a fact is OK here is it OK too as to greenhouse gases, where the means to implement a remedy is to perhaps ban the production distribution and consumption of meat; along with the trans fats.

How long before a forced march is OK to, as healthy.

The forced march is a great idea -- we wouldn't need so much public transit to keep the car traffic down.

I think people realize that when they phone while driving (or drive while phoning) they are impaired -- they just need a law against it to help them give it up. In parts of the world where driving is regarded as a serious activity, worthy of concentration, that law has been in place for some time. Here, when a driver runs down a few pedestrians or cyclists through inattention it's just, well, an unfortunate accident. Oregon doesn't even have a vehicular homicide law, which is a pretty good indication of the standard of care applicable to those who take the wheel.

Not to mention a booming legal trade in putting drunk drivers back on the road.

Yes, I think using a cellphone, hand-held or hands-free, while operating a motor vehicle should become a citable driving offense. The empirical testing seems to indicate that using a phone while driving reduces your ability to concentrate, particularly upon peripheral objects. It creates a type of "tunnel vision". It's not whether the hands are free, but whether the brain is free to respond to appropriately to stimuli that are literally a matter of life and death...rather which toilet paper to pick up at the store.

I'd like to see other foolish behavior while driving cited, as well. But the number of morons who read the newpaper while driving is not expanding at a seeming exponential rate, like cell phone use is.

Can we ban unnecessary trips? I think that is something for which a court could take judicial notice of as eliminating the risk of an "accident." It has the added benefit of reducing congestion. We could enforce a requirement to maintain a log of all trips and the purpose. Failure to have the log could net an automatic six months suspension of the "privilege" to drive.

Please. Talking on your cell phone while driving is not like drinking and driving.

I think the legislature go it right this time.

Allan L. Let make even more laws. How about prohibiting changing your car radio or CD while driving or talking to someone in the back seat. Or maybe it should be a citable offense if you look in any direction but straight ahead while driving. Maybe it would be easier to say if your cell records show you were on the phone at the time of an accident you are ticketed.

"Talking on your cell phone while driving is not like drinking and driving."

Perfectly true except that, statistically, it is. You can look it up.

Cell phone usage has been proven to cause many, many accidents. It's as bad as drinking and driving -- some people can handle it, but far fewer than those who think they can -- and it needs to be outlawed.

Jack: what do you have to say about this:

While cell phones have recently sprung up as a common cause of car accidents, a study, the largest to date on crashes involving distracted drivers, found that rubbernecking causes far more accidents than cell phone use.

The largest number of accidents was caused by drivers looking at other accidents, traffic or roadside incidents. Comparatively, cell phone use ranked as the sixth highest cause. The study included data on more than 2,700 accidents involving distracted drivers between June and November 2002.

Moreover, some 98 percent of the accidents reported involved a single distracted driver.

According to the study, rubbernecking accounted for 16 percent of accidents reported. This was followed by driver fatigue, which was responsible for 12 percent, looking at scenery or landmarks (10 percent), passenger or child distractions (nine percent), adjusting the radio, tape or CD player (seven percent), and cell phone use (five percent).

Distractions from inside the vehicle accounted for 62 percent of the distractions reported while distractions from outside the vehicle accounted for 35 percent, and three percent of the distractions were undetermined.

Of the crashes that occurred in rural areas, nearly two-thirds of the crashes reported, common causes included driver fatigue, insects entering or striking the vehicle, or animals and unrestrained pet distractions.

In urban areas, automobile accidents caused by distracted drivers were often due to drivers looking at other crashes, traffic or vehicles, or cell phone use.

Researchers say that the findings likely apply to many regions in the United States because the study included a mix of rural and urban counties, a diverse ethnic population, and varying road conditions and types.

The Washington Post March 17, 2003

I just looked it up. And talking on your cellphone does not compare to drinking and driving.

Burdick is bought and paid for as evidenced by her recent city council campaign. She knows her bill is unenforceable and is engaged in classic mis-direction

I would still want to place the fact of risk in the section of legislation typically known as findings of fact that necessitate some sort of remedial measure - and thus reserve the conclusiveness of the cause of any accident up to a jury on a case-by-case basis. The notion of the introduction of the Contributory Negligence comes immediately to mind, as a once newly recognized defense so as to split the risk. Courts have routinely rejected any call to pry into the minds of legislators to glean any discriminatory intent (or I'd say graft) on the part of legislators that is not found within the text of any measure, and where findings of fact are often just useless bits of legislative dicta type stuff that betray no ill intent. (Inquiry into bad intent on the part of legislators is a problematic exercise at best.) I like the attempt at demanding clarity by the Landau concurrence in Young v. State of Oregon, (A100530, June 2, 1999). It is the height of absurdity here to convert Contributory Negligence to that of Strict Liability merely by way of misplacing the findings of fact section of legislation into the guts of the operative law. This would limit the legal bills of insurance companies dramatically. Shall we further declare all findings of fact in legislation as assertions of truth, by way of legislative edict? Can it be accomplished merely by relabeling the findings of fact section as operative law, prospectively for new legislation? I think I could reach the concerns of the court as to the issue of the defined roles of the legislative versus judicial branch. Why even have a court at all if all law and legal reasoning can instead be drafted in such minute factual detail that mechanical formulations will suffice for all, where reasoning is nothing more than "X be bad" because we say so? Prove X and thereby Prove Bad. You might as well throw out the right to a jury trial all together for all civil matters, rather than just for those below 25 or 50 grand where private parties are forced into arbitration. An insurance company would surely like to treat the need for a jury as a mere "privilege," so long as they have the upper hand in nearly every legislative body across the entire country. (See "Strict Liability" Landau)

I just looked it up. And talking on your cellphone does not compare to drinking and driving.

Really? Cause I just looked it up on the google (cellphone drinking and driving) and got pages and pages of links to reports and studies that say just that, including two different studies on the first two links I checked. So where exactly did you look it up?

Meh. I read those survey's and I'm not persuaded.

Let me just say again, the legislature got this one right.

WHO CARES if cell phone usage causes as many accidents as drunk driving? Just comparing those two causes is an asinine argument. Assuming Richard S's stats are correct, you can see that cell phones cause fewer accidents than messing with the radio. So I guess we better enact a specific Paws Off Your Radio law. And only half as many as child distractions - so obviously we need a Ban Bratty Kids From the Family Truckster law. C'mon already.

A few years ago the legislature felt compelled to pass a "Road Rage" law even though the existing reckless driving laws would apply. What they failed to grasp was that idiot motorist's obstructing traffic flow because they were preoccupied with their cell phone conversations were the direct cause of the aforementioned Road Rage!

Just because there are bigger causes of motor vehicle accidents than cell phone use doesn't mean that cell phone use while driving shouldn't be banned. There are bigger causes of accidents than drunk driving, too, but at some point you compare costs and benefits, assess fairness, and decide what's worth prohibiting as a safety measure.

One thing's for sure: what Burdick's committee is writing now is a joke.

A couple of additional thoughts:

1. How much money do the cell phone companies pour into Oregon political races every other year?

2. If there were a ballot measure banning cell phone use while driving, I bet it would pass 3 to 2.

Is the problem that people are holding the physical phone - and thus can't react quickly? Or that they are chatting and are thus mentally distracted?

If the former, we should ban them from holding anything - including drinks, food, phones, ipods, etc.

If the latter, we should ban them from talking on the phone, with or without a hands-free device.

Unless it's the intersection of the two. But then what about the person talking on a hands-free device while holding a soda?

For one thing, you don't have 20 tiny, shiny buttons on a soda that you can get very distracted trying to punch in some sort of complicated sequence. Or a small light-up screen with all sorts of animated displays.

I think that even with a hands-free device, the phone conversation can be quite distracting. But we're talking about trying to enact a law that police will actually be able to enforce. The phone held to the ear is usually quite obvious.

I used to live in Singapore, where because they aren't bogged down with messy democratic processes, one day they just flat out banned talking on cellphones while driving. End of story. $500 fine if you get caught. No debates, no soul searching, and nobody talking on their phones while driving anymore. Or chewing gum. Got to love a dictatorship- they get things done pronto.

Just because there are bigger causes of motor vehicle accidents than cell phone use doesn't mean that cell phone use while driving shouldn't be banned.

I don't recall you using this line of reasoning about Randy's trans-fat ban.

But then, there's much that I don't recall.


Sponsors


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009

The Occasional Book

Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 280
At this date last year: 129
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


Clicky Web Analytics