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Monday, April 20, 2009

In her Fave Five

Looks as though the Oregon House is going to ban hand-held cell phone use while driving. It's about time. But don't worry, you right-wing crankies who oppose the measure. Now it will go over to the State Senate, where it probably won't get passed. Even liberals like Ginny Burdick, who takes many thousands of dollars from the cell phone companies for her campaigns, will see to it that nothing meaningful gets done.

Comments (12)

This measure needs to be passed if lawmakers are serious about getting people out of their cars. I won't ride a bicycle on the street until a ban is in place. I've seen too many close calls between cell-phone wielding drivers and bicyclists, and many reckless driving incidents.

Of course, there will have to be police to enforce it. In Portland, we'll soon have more streetcar operators than police.

Ginny Burdick isn't a liberal, she's a Neilist--talks like a liberal and then whores for the corporados.

The fine should be stiff enough to offset the lack of police presence--less chance of getting caught, but pay through the nose if you do.

The thing is, it's not the hands that are the problem, but the brain. With your concentration split between talking on the phone and driving, you still are operating the car in a severely impaired manner, even with a head set.

Maybe I can get a bailout bluetooth headset from the government.

btw, I have seen cyclists not paying attention, while using phones too. Also pedestrians. Even a Trimet bus driver.
Maybe we need to invent a phone that doesnt work when you are moving.

iPhone could probably have one soonest since it has the motion sensors in it.

The cell-phone-while-biking phenomenon is truly amazing. What a way to die.

Jon: Good idea. I've thought off and on about the idea of having the feds require a cell-phone alerting system using the "brake light" that was forced onto Detroit a few years ago (and which has more than paid for itself in reduced rear-end collisions). There would be a sensor tuned to cell phone transmission frequency that would cause that light to flash if the driver is using a cell phone (hands free or not, since the impairment is the same either way). Yours is a better idea -- have the phone generate the signal if it's in use while there is motion, and it triggers the rear light to alert those following.

Heck, I'd be up for having it trip a relay that causes the front parking lights to flash too, to give oncoming drivers and pedestrians warning too.

Cars that have built-in blue-tooth link to cell are great. So too the gadgets that clip to the visor. Either permits both hands to stay on the wheel and in control.

On the other hand, whether talking to a passenger or someone using hands-free, your still impaired, though less so than those holding a phone to an ear.

Don't forget to keep you hands off the radio/CD player controls the heating/cooling controls, or even the gear-shift.

And then there are those who simply talk to themselves, or sing-along to worry about next.

A ticket for those caught holding a cell-phone to their ear while driving will be easy pickings - just like in other states. A welcome intrusion to improve safety. It won't take many cops to enforce this one - easy pickings at almost any street corner.

Biker cell-phoners die; driver cell-phoners kill.

It won't take many cops to enforce this one - easy pickings at almost any street corner

I note they are already discussing making an exception for "... others who need to use a cell phone, briefly, for work". Care to explain how we'll enforce it with this loophole?

Jack's post expressed concern that in the end, nothing meaningful will get done. I'd say we're already off to a bad start.

already discussing making an exception

Ginny and the boys will have lots of exceptions.

I might have (R) next to my name but I'm all in favor of a cell phone ban while driving. Completely lost count of how many close calls there's been from somone yacking on the cell. Then there is that slowpoke driving 10mph under the speed limit that you finally get around just to see that they are, you go it, talking on their cell.

People need to remember driving is a job and has to be treated as such. No talking on the phone, reading the paper, eating dinner, putting on makeup, etc etc etc while driving.

As a side not, heard on the radio this morning that AAA did a study and is claiming ~50% of all accidents are caused by aggressive driving. My first thought was they were initially made mad by some idiot talking on the phone and not paying attention.

I expect that the cell phone ban on motorists will pass as a hand-held cell ban.

The reason? Cell phone manufacturers and retailers are reaching market saturation on hand-held units. Bluetooth and other handsfree units are the wave of the future. Why not have the state market for the manufacturers by requiring that drivers use a handsfree unit.

"You need a bluetooth unit to call while driving! You need two! One for each ear!"

The problem with cell phones is not related to hand-to-eye coordination, but cognitive dysfunction engendered by use of the cell phone. Engaging in conversations creates a kind of 'tunnel-vision' where peripheral vision is adversely affected. This increases the chances of being in an accident by a factor of four, being equivalent to that of a legally drunk driver. The biggest risk? Those in the peripheral areas of such drivers...like bicyclists, pedestrians entering the roadway, parked cars, and cross traffic.

BOTH HANDS-FREE AND HAND-HELD SHOULD BE BANNED. All the safety research worldwide supports this...NOT banning just handheld cell phones. I'd be happy to provide data...I just pulled another 120 articles off Medline.

While we're on it, why are video screens allowed within the driver's vision in any car? And now they're installing this crap IN THE FACTORY? Where has sanity gone?

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