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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's about time

The Oregon Legislature has finally gotten around to banning handheld cell phone use while driving. The bill's not perfect, but it's better than nothing. Hang up and drive!

Comments (19)

Honestly, I dont see how this will make much difference. If you use a headset, you still arent completely paying attention to your driving if you are talking on the phone. Not to mention you still have to look at most phones to dial numbers.

Next will be a ban on talking to passengers.

If you can't use a handheld, some of the ditzes who are currently screwing up traffic while on their cellphones won't use them at all -- and that's a good thing.

True...hopefully no more idiots driving 45 on the freeway while talking on the phone.

Now texters will hold the phone low and out of sight when using it, instead of up near their line of sight. Better or worse?

I can't tell what the final text of the bill is, so I can't figure out if using a cell phone can be a primary reason for stopping you, if if it can only be a secondary issue.

Yeah ... sorry legislature, but I will not be talking less in the car.

I will, however, be using my "totally awesome" bluetooth headset. This way, I'm having the same conversation only instead of holding the phone, I'll have my arm resting on the door AND I can still look like a complete douche with my psuedo-borg implant.

Or I can use my now free hand to smoke a cigarette while I'm talking on my bluetooth.

Or wildly gesture through my conversation.

Or eat a burrito.

Or drink a slurpee.

Or put on guyliner (i hear its all the rage).

Or pet my dog.

Or have a seasonal milkshake from Burgerville.

Or ... suggestions?

Note that, among a reasonable list of others, these people are nonsensically exempted:

"a person operating a motor vehicle in the scope of the person's employment if operation of the motor vehicle is necessary for the person's job;"

ORS 811.507(3)(g).

Next up is a ban on listening to the radio in your car and coming soon you will not be allowed to have any passengers in your car. The State of Oregon is becoming a big time nanny state...it's disgusting.

Anyone else hear about the phone companies possibly trying to get this onto the ballot?

The libertarian talking points machine really gets cranked up on this. This is a great law. The parade of horribles you describe isn't going to happen. Hang up and drive.

No need for it. I actually agree with Lars Larson on this. If I live 20 minutes away from work, and I am listening to Talk Radio or calling my wife with voice dial, it is about the same level of distraction.

I think they should make it like rearending someone. If you are talking on the cell, you are at fault. I can see the logic in this.

The conversation is the distractor, not the phone itself.

Cellphone conversations are more dangerous than passenger conversations, because at least a passenger might see a hazard and alert the driver.

And there's no way that listening to a radio is as distracting as talking on a handheld cellphone.

This common-sense law is long overdue.

This law has made my entire summer. Oregonians can't seem to drive well anyway (most "polite"). Throw a cellphone into the mix and they go over bridges into the Willamette.

Hopefully this will take care of drivers of SUVs swinging wide around a corner while attempting to hold the cell to their ear and steer simultaneously.

"Hopefully this will take care of drivers of SUVs swinging wide around a corner while attempting to hold the cell to their ear and steer simultaneously."

Cellphones are not the cause of people buying and subsequently driving vehicles too big for their particular skill set.

My personal favorites are the morons who hold the phone to their left ears with their right hands and use their left for steering. I was nearly taken out about three months ago by one such dolt who tried to look over his left shoulder and ended up whipping across two lanes on the highway before he regained control.

(I personally wouldn't have any problems with people using cell phones while driving if they'd just take responsibility. Unfortunately, between the yupsters who simply can't hang up and the bozos who decide to pay their bills and argue with their banks while driving, this is why we can't have nice things.)

This is a slam dunk. It's a law that will result in viewer accidents, injuries, and deaths. And hey, needed $$ for government agencies from the fines. My informal survey the other day as I was standing on the sidewalk along S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway? ONE IN SIX DRIVERS TALKING ON A CELL PHONE! And the fines for texting should be triple. Great move by Legislators.

I used to think this law was a good one. After reading many studies that boil down to distracted driving is the problem I no longer agree. Targetting one cause of distraction while driving just is a waste of everyones time and wont prevent accidents.

A law that allows police to pull you over for distracted driving is probably the best way to go. Toss in some money for a public education campaign like they do for not wearing your seat belt to top it off.

This statute is about one thing and it's NOT traffic safety. It's revenue, baby.

Suggestion for next cashgrabbing cockamamie statute... $90 primary enforcment fine for putting on makeup while driving... unless, of course, your job requires you to put makeup on in the car or you're able to do it with a hands-free device. After that we can levy the same fine for, I dunno, eating a bowl of Froot Loops or your ever-so-yummy ham-and-cheddar Hot Pocket while driving. The possibilities are endless.

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