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keg in kc
06-26-2001, 12:03 PM
From the AP wire,

JUNE 26, 03:53 EST

NY Assembly Approves Cell Phone Ban

By MICHAEL GORMLEY

Associated Press Writer


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The first state ban on motorists talking on hand-held cell phones has gotten final legislative approval, but it may be months before yakking drivers are treated like outlaws in New York.

If Gov. George Pataki signs the bill, as he has said he would do, the ban would begin Nov. 1, although drivers caught using hand-held cell phones will be issued only warnings during the first month.

And violators could have their tickets dismissed until the end of February if they present the judge with a receipt showing they bought a hands-free cell phone system.

The measure, adopted 125-19 in the state Assembly on Monday night, was approved by the Republican-controlled Senate last week. The governor will sign the bill into law this week, said spokesman Michael McKeon.

Opposition lingered into Monday's night's lengthy floor debate in the Democrat-controlled Assembly. Opponents said the law would be unenforceable and there was no proven need for it.

``We're putting the cart before horse,'' argued Assemblyman Thomas Kirwan, who complained the measure called for studying accidents involving cell phones after making their hand-held use illegal.

First-time violators of the ban would face a $100 fine. A second conviction calls for a $200 fine and every subsequent violation would cost $500.

The legislation allows for an exception for making emergency 911 calls but does not address the issue of dialing while driving. Speaker phones and CB radios are permitted.

At least a dozen localities have established bans, starting in 1999 with Brooklyn, Ohio. Bans have been proposed in 40 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And at least 23 countries, including Great Britain, Italy, Israel and Japan, bar drivers from using hand-held cell phones.

There are about 115 million cell phones in use in the United States and more than 6 million in New York state, according to industry figures.

A 1997 study in the New England Journal of Medicine said the hand-held phones posed about as much of a problem for drivers as drunken driving. The study found the chance of an accident was four times greater when using a hand-held cell phone.

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz said a ban on such cell phones is needed to end a patchwork of local laws that restrict or outlaw the use of car phones by drivers.

Pataki and New York's legislative leaders joined the push after an April poll from the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute found 85 percent of New York voters favored the prohibition.

``The benefit is quite large in the number of deaths that we will avoid,'' Assemblyman Steve Levy said.

But critics noted other distractions like eating, drinking coffee and applying makeup posed at least as much of a concern. They suggested a broader driver distraction bill would be better.

``To think that we're going to do this when at the same time I can still use my laptop, I still can read a paper, I can still change my pants while driving 65 mph, I think there's just something wrong,'' Assemblyman Patrick Manning said.

``We seem to be reacting to polls more than relying on scientific evidence,'' Assemblyman Brian Kolb said. ``We can't eliminate stupidity.''

And Assemblyman David Townsend, a former law enforcement officer, said the ban would set ``a trap'' for out-of-state drivers since it doesn't mandate highway signs warning of the law.

``This bill is totally unenforceable in the real world,'' he said.

Rausch
06-26-2001, 12:06 PM
GOOD.........

phillfree
06-26-2001, 12:27 PM
Is this more dangerous then sitting a coke between your legs and a Big Mc on your thigh holding a bag of fries and eating and driving at the same time. Don't think so. Another case of knee jerk reactions leading to more stupid laws. This has got to stop.

PhilFree :cool:

Phobia
06-26-2001, 12:56 PM
I hate it when people are distracted by cell phones as much as anyone else but when is enough legistlation enough? I think our legislative branch needs to STOP adding new laws, revisit laws that infringe upon our rights/privacy, and ENFORCE the existing laws that are quite legitimate. Then, they should disband for few years before they begin adding more ridiculous laws to the books. There are so many laws right now that I could read them for the rest of my life and probably not catch up with the pace they are setting.....

KCTitus
06-26-2001, 01:00 PM
My first reaction when I read this is 'good' because Im so tired of being held up by some yutz driving 55 or slower in the left lane gabbing on a cell phone. After I let the emotion subside, however, Im reminded of another stupid law as well, the seatbelt law.

This is just another in a long string of stupid enfringing laws that should never have been put on the books.

I guess it will be interesting to see if some woman is pulled over and taken to jail for talking on her cell phone...

philfree
06-26-2001, 01:23 PM
Also consider that cell phones are part of business. I have guys on the road and I call them frequently. They're in route to one location and sometimes I call them to say stop by so an so and fix this. How much time would I lose if every phone call my workers had to pull over and stop. Perhaps they could call me back but by the time they find a decent place to pull over they have already missed the turn and now they must back track costing me money. Also do we really need motorist to litter the shoulder of the road so they can chat. This too could create a dangerous situation. Please No More Dumb Laws!

PhilFree :cool:

Clint in Wichita
06-26-2001, 01:38 PM
Yes, this is more dangerous than putting a coke between your legs, having a cigarette, adjusting the radio, etc., unless your using a hands-free.

People that can't get through a commute without using the telephone are just obnoxious, anyway. Either they're still trying to prove how important they are (even though every unemployed teen now has a cell phone), or they're such a trap-flapper that they must speak with another human at every possible opportunity.

Clint in Wichita
06-26-2001, 01:39 PM
There is no excuse for not owning and using a hands-free phone.

Phobia
06-26-2001, 01:51 PM
Hands free doesn't solve ANYTHING. When I talk on the phone in the car, the most distracting time is actually trying to place the call. Handsfree doesn't solve that.

FWIW, I've found that to be as safe as possible, take your cell phone and place it above the steering wheel so you can watch the road and dial simultaneously. Fortunately, most my numbers dialed are on one-touch speed dial now.

alanm
06-26-2001, 02:01 PM
You know as a cop I use a cell phone as much as I use a radio. So I'm kinda ambivalent-sp about the whole thing. This is nothing but a revenue enhancement law. Which was probably the driving force behind the whole thing. :(

KCTitus
06-26-2001, 02:01 PM
My sprint pcs phone stores about 20 voice dial numbers. It comes in handy on the road.

Bwana
06-26-2001, 02:08 PM
Another "feel good" law. Great NY, now you passed it, how in the hell are you going to enforce it? LOL.....

Iowanian
06-26-2001, 02:19 PM
getting road hummers will be illegal :rolleyes:

Phobia
06-26-2001, 02:21 PM
Iowanian,

The second that happens, I'll move elsewhere.

Iowanian
06-26-2001, 02:23 PM
and here is the affordable Iowanian solution....get your kit now for only $14.95 + shipping of $4.99 :D

htismaqe
06-26-2001, 02:27 PM
I agree with Clint...nothing pisses me off more than someone not paying attention while driving. They stop for 5 minutes at one stop light and don't stop at all at the next.

I once pulled over a cell-phone-driver and told her if she didn't stop talking on the phone while she drove I was going to stick it up her ***...of course, road rage is a different topic... :D

alanm
06-26-2001, 02:34 PM
Iowanian, Too much!! :D I passed pop thru my nose on that one. LOL Man that burns :D

BIG_DADDY
06-26-2001, 03:22 PM
More laws, more laws followed by more laws. If you can't drive and and make a phone call you are quite simply a moron. Is that what you are for Clint? As a society is that how we are going to make laws? The basis being ALL laws must be written up as if we are all morons to protect us from the few that are. In reality it's all about revenue. Now drivers in NY can do 3 things. Drive, make a phone call and look out for cops. Freaking stupid law.

BIG DADDY

It is safe to assume I do not back this law as well as 90% of the rest of them.

Lzen
06-26-2001, 03:23 PM
For those of you who think these kinds of laws are stupid, perhaps you should take a look at this article that was a story on Dateline NBC last week.http://www.msnbc.com/news/588716.asp
I own a hand held cell phone and I never thought too much about it. I always try to keep phone calls in the car to a minimum. Actually, it's rare for me to have a phone call in the car. Even when I do, I try to keep it to a minimum. After seeing this, I've decided that a phone call isn't important enough to not pull over first. Maybe I'll just get a hands free cell phone. I don't care what you say, it is difficult to drive and talk on your phone. You should use both hands to drive. I think people should get hefty fines for causing accidents while on their phone. That would at least punish the people who shouldn't be talking on their phones while driving. You know what I mean....the ones who can't walk and chew bubblegum. As far as computers and faxes, those shouldn't even be allowed in an automobile.

Hoover
06-26-2001, 03:25 PM
I have a hands free, however I hate these kinds of laws. What is the difference between holding a Big Mac to my mouth or a cell phone to my ear? I am very busy, and sometimes the only time I can make calls and not get interupted is on the road. Plus the new cell phones make it better as well with phone books and voice calling. I only have a problem when I have to dile a number thats not in my phone.

Hoover

Clint in Wichita
06-26-2001, 03:29 PM
What did you do before the advent of cell phones?

A Big Mac doesn't require you to listen to it, think about your answer & talk back.

Ir we're not going to worry about unsafe practices at the wheel, let's get rid of speed limits and do away with DUIs.

Sometimes it's just more convenient for me to drink ON THE WAY to work, rather than wait until I get there.

htismaqe
06-26-2001, 03:31 PM
To me, stupid laws are the one's that penalize me for putting myself in danger...the so-called "victimless" crime...

If I want to drive without my seatbelt or smoke a joint in my home, I should be able to...

As someone who has lost an automobile and suffered injuries due to a distracted driver talking on a cell phone, this is NOT one of those laws...

KCTitus
06-26-2001, 03:38 PM
Dateline NBC...that's the same outfit that staged the truck explosions a couple of years ago, right?

Zebedee DuBois
06-26-2001, 04:27 PM
Iowanian,
I love that picture! I really did LOL!

I think most states already have a law covering inattentive driving. I see no reason that driving while distracted by a cell-phone would not fall under the existing inattentive driving law. (although I am not a lawyer, nor play one on TV)

Bwana
06-26-2001, 06:41 PM
Once Again I ask those of you who are getting all the warm fuzzies over the passing of this law. WHO IS GOING TO ENFORCE IT!?

This law is a ****ing joke and people who now use cell phones on the road will continue to do so. Do you think NY is going to set up a special "Cell Patrol Task Force?"

Stick to seeking out people doing the real crimes like Rape, murder and other things which matter.

milkman
06-26-2001, 08:29 PM
Originally posted by BIG_DADDY
If you can't drive and and make a phone call you are quite simply a moron.

The basis being ALL laws must be written up as if we are all morons to protect us from the few that are.

As a man that spends appx. 5 hours a day behind the wheel, let me tell you, there are more morons out there on the road than you can imagine.

From that perspective, I would have to say this would be a good law.
The problem, as has been pointed out, is enforcement.

Baby Lee
06-26-2001, 08:51 PM
I have no problems with making the use of a 'handsfree' unit part of your responsibility as a driver. What scares me is the agenda of many of the proponents of these kinds of laws. Its out and out activist and instrusive. Matt Lauer had an insurance rep/lobbyist on his show that morning who said, and I paraphrase [but pretty closely]:

Well, the ideal would be to legislate away all distractions, and impose a conversation-free driving environment, but that isn't practical right now.

JC-Johnny
- - looking forward to the day when I threaten my kids-to-be with "Shut up back there, or I'll pull over. . . and tell that policeman that you are ruining my conversation-free driving experience."

philfree
06-26-2001, 11:48 PM
Instead of seaatbelt laws and cell phone laws why don't we just legislate mandatory public transportation laws. Let's just make those mean dangerous cars illegal. That should save us all from ourselves. She's got a cell phone.....RUN!

PhilFree

Phobia
06-27-2001, 12:30 AM
I think we should just install electrodes in the seats of all vehicles. If you turn up your radio or speak, it shocks the hell out of you....

Oh - wait, after they pass the law, it's realized that the shock is actually causing 150% more accidents than before....

Gosh, what are we gonna do with all these electrode equiped automobiles?

KCPHILLY
06-27-2001, 12:39 AM
If you can't drive and and make a phone call you are quite simply a moron.

Fine... Then I think they should simply call this "the moron law" and push it through. It amazes me at times to see how people turn into total veggies behind the wheel once they pick up their phone. :rolleyes:

I don't have a problem with it although I see a big problem with enforcement as others have stated.

TheFly
06-27-2001, 12:46 AM
I've had so many near misses out here in SoCal thanks to stupid drivers who don't pay attention... Especially cellphone users. And to top it off, my daughter was knocked off her bike on her way to school by, you guessed it, a driver using a cellphone not watching wear she was going. And that assinine cellphone user was my daughter's girl scout den mother!

:o

Hoover
06-27-2001, 08:49 AM
Clint,

I stalking to someone next to me difficult while I drive then? I think cell phones are just as bad as smoking, drinking, and eating. There are not going to be laws against doing any of those any time soon. I understand that there are some really bad drivers when they talk on the cell phone. But I have known people who are just as bad that eat, drink, and smoke.


Hoover

KCTitus
06-27-2001, 08:55 AM
I nearly spewed coffee out my nose laughing as I opened my paper this AM, on the front page was the headline about the cellphone issue.

Accompanied with that, was this picture:

http://media.gatewayva.com/photos/rtd/06272001/0627celg.jpg

That handsfree device really makes her a lot safer while she's looking away from the road dialing that phone. Heaven forbid it's long distance which would require dialing 11 digits instead of 7.

Lzen
06-27-2001, 10:24 AM
KCTitus,
I'll assume you didn't actually read the article. Instead, you choose to attack the validity of the source. Regardless of your opinion of Dateline, they couldn't fake the woman who has taken this to Congress. Yes, you are right about the fact that it's hard to dial a cell phone while driving and yes, the enforcement would be difficult. I'm merely suggesting that the police give cell phone using motorists who are driving recklessly a nice little fine. Not only that, this motorist who ran the stop sign because he or she was on their phone should receive a hefty fine and possibly be brought up on manslaughter charges. I don't care what you say about freedom. This has nothing to do with that. What about the people who get injured or killed because of these idiots who selfishly feel that they need to use a distractive device while driving. What do you say to these families that have to lose a loved one because some idiot wasn't paying attention to their driving. If a couple of them were put behind bars, a lot of people would become much more responsible with their cell phone usage.
That's what these laws are designed to do.
Maybe if you read the article on Dateline, you'd have a better understanding.

KCTitus
06-27-2001, 10:38 AM
Izen:

Several points.

First of all, laws affect your freedom as well as mine. So it IS about that no matter how you wish to dress it up. Ben Franklin once said that those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.

Second, there's no need to read an article from a source that has lost credibility with me. The fact that the American Populace has the attention span and memory of a goldfish does not mean I must sheepily follow suit. I refuse to watch or listen to Dateline programs because they have ZERO credibility with me. THAT much I do understand.

Last, people were killed and injured from car accidents long before the cell phone and they will continue to be killed and injured in car accidents after the cell phone. My freedom is affected because certain morons cannot operate a phone and drive safely.

Bottom line, this is nothing more than legislating away risk in society at the expense of our freedom. I guess you dont hold your freedom in the same regard I do.

Rausch
06-27-2001, 10:42 AM
I'M GLAD it got passed....


I don't know concrete numbers but I SERIOUSLY DOUBT more than 10% of cell phone users ACTUALLY OWN ONE for their job. MOst cell phone users are teenagers(terrible drivers anyway), women(again, terrible drivers:D ), and men who like to think that people will assume they are important if they own a phone at home AND in the car...wow.....impressed.


And that stranded on the side of the road BS excuse is just that. People have had cars break down for almost 80 years now in the middle of nowhere and the human race has progressed just fine.

I hate phones to begin with, and if not for my dish I wouldn't even own one. Then the already signle digit IQ of the general public is further inhibited by haveing only HALF of thier attention paid to the road. Right, like that's a good idea.


There should be more laws to curtail the actions of stupid people who F#(% my day up, consistently, from 8 am to 1:30 pm....Women putting on make up, slam, ticket....Teenagers who think it's cool to get 2 INCHES OFF YOUR @#$%^&* @$$ at a stop light, bam, ticket....There are rules of the road, no one follows them, and no one punishes them. Period.

My town is just as bad. Our local PD would rather pull over "suspected drug trafficers" than actually DO ANYTHING....


Day four of quitting smokeing....:D

phillfree
06-27-2001, 10:50 AM
If you run a stop sign you should be punished for running a stop sign. If was because you were signing to the radio or talking on a cell phone makes no difference. You weren't paying attention so you ran a stop sign. If you killed someone doing so couldn't you be brought up on manslaughter charges anyway? I hope my State Government doesn't waste their time on this so called issue.

PhilFree :cool:
I know! We could use cameras placed in strategic locations to catch these nasty cell phone users and we could send them citations with costly fines. We could then take all that money and purchase semi-automatic weapons to use on future violators.

KCTitus
06-27-2001, 11:00 AM
Yes, philfree, that is correct. In essence the cell phone laws could be like hate crime laws.

Run a stop sign and kill someone: manslaugher 5-10 years in jail

Run a stop sign and kill someone while on a phone: manslaugher 25 to life.

Iowanian
06-27-2001, 11:13 AM
I'm leaving for a meeting an hour away at lunch and intend on making 2 business related calls during my interstate drive. I do attempt to avoid calls in traffic, but don't see anything wrong on open HWY or the interstate.

I'll pull the "wan't me" defense if a cops stops me for it....how can they prove it?

Clint in Wichita
06-27-2001, 11:22 AM
I do agree that passing cell phone laws are unnecessary.

Just ticket them using existing "inattentive driving" laws and avoid this whole mess.



If cell phones are no more dangerous than smoking, eating, etc., then why do those schmucks on phones do things like swerve in and out of their lane without even realizing it?


Try this: Watch TV (I mean actually absorb what's coming out of the TV, not just stare at the screen) while eating dinner. Simple.

If you smoke, continue watching while you have your after dinner cigarette. Even easier.

Now, try having a telephone conversation while watching a TV program. Impossible without ignoring either the TV or the phone.

I'm sure many people can handle controlling a car and a telephone at the same time, but there are many people that can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Housewives, nerds, senior citizens, fat businessmen, bimbos & clumsy, scatter-brained teenagers come to mind.

IMO a soccer mom in a Suburban (a sickening enough sight as is) with 3 kids in the back, using a cell phone, is nearly as dangerous as a drunk driver. I don't want them anywhere near me.

Baby Lee
06-27-2001, 11:35 AM
Now, try having a telephone conversation while watching a TV program. Impossible without ignoring either the TV or the phone.

The difference is, in a word, dialogue. Of course you can't carry on a conversation AND pay attention to the plotline of a TV show.

Last time I checked, highways don't talk to you.

phillfree
06-27-2001, 11:47 AM
There is one place that people should be prosecuted for using cell phones. The Golf Course! Anyone caught with their cell phone on the course should have to shag balls while someone hits low flying 1 irons at them.

Clint, Your beef seems to be more with stereotypes then cell phone abusers.

PhilFree :cool:

Phobia
06-27-2001, 12:12 PM
Clint,

Normally, your analogies make a lot of sense. This one does not. Let's throw out something more realistic - instead of just watching any old tv show - make it a football game. You don't need to hear or follow the announcers. I've talked on the phone MANY times during a football game. No problem because I'm not trying to hear 2 different things simultaneously.

Rausch
06-27-2001, 12:13 PM
FACT: IN the state of missouri more traffic accidents occur with persons using a cell phone than persons under the influence of alcohol.

Talking impairs your driving. Simple. You don't have to agree with it, it's fact. I worked for the Missouri division of Highway safety for 11 months...It IS fact. Check the borchures that just came out.

Another interesting fact is that the same area of the brain that handles speach recognition/translation of sound to word meanings causes a degredation of depth perception. If you are concentrating on the meaning of a word or phrase, your depth perception is decreased.

Otter
06-27-2001, 12:13 PM
This law doesn't bother me. There are enough idots who can't drive a car let alone operate a cell phone while driving a car.

Maybe the DMV should incorporate some sort of training on how to safely dial a cell phone and put on makeup while driving a car.

Sounds like our goverment in action to me!!!

Phobia
06-27-2001, 12:14 PM
I'm going to write my state representative in order for him to sponsor a new law for deaf people.

They should not be allowed to converse while driving. It requires them to use their hands to sign and since they can't be smart enough to save their conversation for a safer time, we need to legislate this.....

When will it stop?

Rausch
06-27-2001, 12:15 PM
Oh, and for the record, that last tid-bit of useless info came from PBS's "Mysteries of the Brain".....not Mo Div of Highway safety! :)

Rausch
06-27-2001, 12:20 PM
THis is what KILLS ME!

There is no logical reason that a cell phone MUST be used by ANY person, of any profession. Whatever job you have was successfully handled before the advent of the cell phone. Life happened before MTV, the cell phone, and special clubs that make you feel better about yourself.

No cell phone = more time. You are impatient. No one is sooooooo important that they can't wait that extra 10 minutes to get wherever to talk to whomever. I didn't even have a phone in my house until I bought my dish for Sunday Ticket. Guess what? If it was important, someone came to my house. If not, it wasn't too important and useless jibber jabber calls from an infinite number of pseudo-friends was eliminated.

You can wait, in the grand scheme of things your life IS NOT that important anyway. Take your time, enjoy it, relax, and PAY ATTENTION to the road. :D

BIG_DADDY
06-27-2001, 12:20 PM
What about the people who get injured or killed because of these idiots who selfishly feel that they need to use a distractive device while driving. What do you say to these families that have to lose a loved one because some idiot wasn't paying attention to their driving. If a couple of them were put behind bars, a lot of people would become much more responsible with their cell phone usage.

This is a prime example of the high price of the warm fuzzies I have been talking about forever. While I will agree that there are a number of morons out there that can't dial and drive at the same time I think you have to approach the legislation by penalizing those that screw up as opposed to everyone in general. There is just a certain amount risk we all bear upon being born. I have some news for you " we are all going to die " nobody is getting out of here alive. That being said we do not need a bunch of uneccessary legislation that cannot be enforced anyways. Frankly, women putting on their make up while driving scares me substantially more than a cell phone. What is next, making laws for every single potential hazardous activity that we can possibly fathom some moron hurting someone else or themselves with? IMHO, it all sounds like a bunch of crap to me. It is legislation promoted by the insurance companies to save a few bucks and has nothing to do with concern about the citizenry.

Otter
06-27-2001, 12:23 PM
Kphobia,

Am I sensing sarcasm?!?!

I do agree the law is ridiculous. Operating a cell phone and driving is no more difficult than operting the radio/CD player while driving.

The law is a symptom as to how many bad drivers there are on the roads. And speaking from experience, NY and NJ have some of the worst offenders.

You should be able to put sombody in a cell for being an idiot, not for using a cell phone while driving.

Phobia
06-27-2001, 12:24 PM
I respect your opinion, Brad - but IMHO, you are wrong. Cell phones are very real today and the FACT is they increase productivity. If I can check voicemail and respond to 3 or 4 people during my commute, then that's 30 minutes I've saved while at the office. You obviously don't have a cell phone so you couldn't possibly understand this. There are countless other examples I could use to exhibit this point. I've been in 2 or 3 places at once due to my cell phone.

Cannibal
06-27-2001, 12:25 PM
"Try this: Watch TV (I mean actually absorb what's coming out of the TV, not just stare at the screen) while eating dinner. Simple.

If you smoke, continue watching while you have your after dinner cigarette. Even easier.

Now, try having a telephone conversation while watching a TV program. Impossible without ignoring either the TV or the phone."

I think that's a great analogy and I'll take it a step further.


Has anyone ever been looking for an address while driving?

I am sure you have. Have you ever noticed that while doing this, that you instinctively turn down the radio?

I think that has a lot to do with what Clint and CAUDLE are talking about.

Rausch
06-27-2001, 12:27 PM
BIG DADDY,


Ok, I was wrong. YOu do have a good point. We shouldn't penalize the masses because most of them are senseless idiots. Penalize only the idiots...

The trick is the punishment. Heck, let people drive with a cell phone. They paralize someone while using it, Jake "The demolitionist" takes a sledgehammer to your back, and now you're paralized. Seems fair.


I'm not Christian, and for me the legal system DOES use the "an eye for an eye" system, so why not just make it more practical?

This is getting off topic, but I like the idea of repeating the crime against the criminal that committed it. Eye for an eye.....


I don't see how anyone can even consider being racist when there are sooooooooo many stupid people of every race and color out there.....

Phobia
06-27-2001, 12:27 PM
me - sarcastic?


NEVER!!!

Phobia
06-27-2001, 12:30 PM
Cannibal - driving alone, looking for an address or anything else?

NEVER - I've never done that.

Now, if I'm in the car with someone and we're both looking for something, then I'll turn down the radio so I can hear their retort if they see it before I do.

I think you just have some kind of problem multitasking. :D

Rausch
06-27-2001, 12:31 PM
"There is no logical reason that a cell phone MUST be used by ANY person, of any profession. Whatever job you have was successfully handled before the advent of the cell phone."

"No cell phone = more time. You are impatient."


That was the point I was trying to make. Cell phones are not instrumental in doing your job, they are like computers, they help you do it quicker. I have no clue what your profession is, but 15 years ago I'm sure someone did it very well without the use of a cell phone. Unless of course you work FOR a cell phone company..:D

Cannibal
06-27-2001, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by BIG_DADDY


This is a prime example of the high price of the warm fuzzies I have been talking about forever. While I will agree that there are a number of morons out there that can't dial and drive at the same time I think you have to approach the legislation by penalizing those that screw up as opposed to everyone in general. There is just a certain amount risk we all bear upon being born. I have some news for you " we are all going to die " nobody is getting out of here alive. That being said we do not need a bunch of uneccessary legislation that cannot be enforced anyways.

Okay maybe we should let people drink and drive and do away with the laws that prohibit these actions. Yeah... just let everyone rome free on booze and drugs. Who needs laws to protect us from that? And since "we are all going to die anyway" I guess you won't care when a drunk driver, or inattentive driver kill your mother, father, child, sibling or friend.

Rausch
06-27-2001, 12:33 PM
I do that every time...:rolleyes:


KPhobia,


i think i need more neuro-RAM or something.....:D

Cannibal
06-27-2001, 01:01 PM
CAUDLE,

Don't feel bad, the vast majority of people do this IMO. I think it's an instictive reaction. There are exceptions to the rule probably, like Kloster. Of course many
who are crying about this new law will say they don't do it, even if they really do.

KCTitus
06-27-2001, 01:11 PM
I get a kick out of the comparisons between cell phone useage while driving and drinking and driving.

There may be no logical reason for having a cell phone while driving, but Im required in my job to carry a phone and be reachable 24 hours a day. Not my choice and frankly, I hate my cell phone.

I have never known of a job that requires you to drink alcohol to increases one's productivity, but for those whining about how great this law is that compare cell phone useage to drinking and driving know of these jobs that require alcohol consumption, can you hook me up too?

Clint in Wichita
06-27-2001, 01:18 PM
Like I said earlier, the law was unecessary.

Just ticket the careless dimwits who lack decent hand-eye coordination for INATTENTIVE DRIVING, which counts as a moving violation on your driving record and against your insurance rates, and avoid this legislation.

As for my analogy, the road may not "talk to you", but operating a motor vehicle takes far more concentration than following the complex plot twists of "Walker, Texas Ranger".

If you can't follow the plot of a TV show which is most likely directed at simpletons while on the phone, how can you negotiate rush hour traffic?

phillfree
06-27-2001, 01:19 PM
Cell Phones save lots of time and money in relationship to business. And just because it was alright before doesn't mean that it's not better now. After all we ere doing allright before Henry Ford invented the automobile. Perhaps we'd all be safer if we went back to traveling on foot and horseback. Same goes for the Wright Borthers and aircraft. .....Ridiculous.

PhilFree

Otter
06-27-2001, 01:19 PM
My job didn't exist 15 years ago in the mainstream industry and neither did cell phones.

I'm a product of my environment.

A job that requires you to drink alcohol to increase performance.... Hmmmm, that may be a whole new post!

Drool Manufacturing
Subordinate Golf Partner
Urine Specimen Provider
Cheesy Come-On Line Producer….

KCTitus
06-27-2001, 01:23 PM
Clint: I do agree, and Inattentive Driving is usually ticketed as 'Carless and Imprudent' or 'CNI' for short. It carries the same weight as a DUI ticket as far as the courts and insurance companies are concerned.

Other laws that should be enacted:

Impeding the flow of traffic/failure to yield the left lane: minimum $100 fine.

Slowing to look at an accident on the other side of the highway: minimum $1000 fine.

Stopping on an entrance ramp instead of accelerating to merge: 5 years in jail and regular beatings with a tack hammer, loss of license.

No retired persons allowed on the Interstates within the metro area during morning and evening rush hours.

Clint in Wichita
06-27-2001, 02:01 PM
If I were in charge, I'd sign that bill immediately!

KCTitus
06-27-2001, 02:08 PM
LMAO @ Otter...those are pretty good. Especially the 'cheesy come-on line producer'

Baby Lee
06-27-2001, 02:12 PM
I have no clue what your profession is, but 15 years ago I'm sure someone did it very well without the use of a cell phone. Unless of course you work FOR a cell phone company..

They also did those jobs without the internet or the fax machine. There are any number of jobs for which productivity expectations have risen exponentially in the past two decades. Commute time has risen exponentially as well.

Phobia
06-27-2001, 02:23 PM
10 years ago, I did less than 1/4 what I get done now in a day due to cell phones, the internet, and other productivity assist devices.

Very funny, Cannibal. I really don't do what you described. Regardless of what I think of this "law".

Aren't you tired of all the nonsense laws?

Bwana
06-27-2001, 02:47 PM
Once again, it doesn’t matter if this law was passed or not. There is now way in hell the NYPD can enforce it…..period.

I am an auto broker constantly on the move flying all over the country. Yes, the cell phone makes my life a lot easier and saves me a lot of money and time and boosts my productivity off the map.

Having said that, I hate the never-ending ringing piece of crap and it drives me up the wall most of the time, but it is very helpful irregardless of the annoyance involved. The fact of the matter is, I will be in the PA and NY area the week after the 4th buying loads of cars and the cell phone will be with me and if it rings, I will answer it. Worst case scenario, some NYPD super cop pulls me over and hands me a $100.00 ticket. No big deal, because on a buying run of five or six truck loads, the money I will save from the calls will make the $100.00 a drop in the bucket.

The simple fact of the situation is they are trying to reverse technology with this law which someone pointed out in another post with the example of the airplane. Passing a law to try to suppress the technology of a cell phone for the good of mankind may, or may not be a good idea, but enforcing such a law is unattainable.

Clint in Wichita
06-27-2001, 03:07 PM
Maybe the govt. will begin a multi-billion dollar "war on cell phones", even though it can't be won.

Rausch
06-27-2001, 03:33 PM
Clint,

good point!



Bwana,

also a good point...Enforcement will be just like speeding, if the cop wants to he does...

Speeding still exists, so will idiots on Phones. Not a slam to all you guys, just like I said, the IDIOTS that are on phones...

Beepers.....Cell phones, laptops.....All these things speed up the work required in all your named professions. No doubt about it. They have also invaded your privacy and deprived you the few moments of peace and realaxation (car drive, plane ride, train, etc...) and allowed you to essentially be at work even when you aren't.

Your days off there is a cell phone, or a computer, or a pager, or a palm, or some device meant for your employer to suck just a little more production out of you than the normal 9-5...Computers were supposed to reduce our work time and allow each worker to be more effecient, instead employers are realizing that a person can effectively complete twice the normal workload and half the normal payroll.....


Yeah, it's a tech complaint. Not my problem. Until some self-important 19 year old driving daddy's car runs the light cause he's too busy talking to some bimbo with the intelligence quotent of a tree rat and nearly takes off the front end of my aluminum honda without realizing that I haven't had a smoke in four days and would love nothing more than to rip his skinny little neck off.....


Again, it's who uses 'em. Like guns I suppose, but should DEFINITELY punish the inability to properly use them....:)

Lzen
06-27-2001, 03:33 PM
Wow Kyle,
You probably had no idea this was gonna stir up so much controversy.
You people who cry about the law and how it takes away your freedom are just plain selfish. Hey, I would love to be able to drive 120mph and get to work in about 2 minutes. That isn't possible because the speed limit is 35mph. Does that mean that I should be pissed at the government for taking away my freedom. Some of you guys are like ostriches putting your heads in the sand. Brad had some very interesting facts and you just ignore them or trivialize them. The facts are that driving and using a cell phone causes more accidents than driving while intoxicated. Still, nobody can come up with a valid argument or defense for this. For those of you saying that your productivity had been so much improved and that taking away your cell phone in the car privileges will hurt you; hey, as has been pointed out before, you did fine before cell phones. Nobody will have an advantage on you. Theirs will be taken away, too. Everybody will adapt. All I'm saying is that those idiots who cause accidents because of inattentive driving (whether because of cell phone usage, putting on makeup, driving while intoxicated, or whatever ) should be punished. Hefty fines will be enough of a deterrant for most motorists. Yes, some people won't care because they more $$$ than they know what to do with. Those same people don't have to worry about the speed limit, either. If you know a better way to punish these morons, please tell us. I'm sure we'd all like to hear it.

Lzen
06-27-2001, 03:38 PM
Maybe we could take away the liscenses of idiots who cause accidents while talking on their cell phone. Oh wait, no, we couldn't do that because that would require more legislation and that would be stupid, right.

KCTitus
06-27-2001, 03:38 PM
The classic argument for the dumbing down of the populace.

For every study that says cell phone accidents cause more accidents than drinking and driving, I'll bet one could find the same number that refutes it.

I am VERY selfish about my freedoms, what makes me sick is the 'world owes me a living crowd' that takes theirs for granted. Im sure that someone in China would be more than willing to trade places, since freedom is no big deal to you.

This all boils down to common sense and courteousy and just because the idiots in our society cant handle this aspect of their lives all normal people must suffer.

BIG_DADDY
06-27-2001, 05:06 PM
Cannibal,

Without getting into a debate about every single law I appose it will suffice to say that I know society will never go for having anywhere near as few laws as I would like to have. That being said YES I feel that these are ridiculous petty laws that will not accomplish a dam thing. I will NEVER obey them and I feel most others will not as well. We reached the over saturation point in legislation long ago. The effect of passing so many petty laws at this point is people quit respecting the law and do whatever the duck they want.

BIG DADDY

Lets get back to the basics.

Cannibal
06-27-2001, 08:32 PM
Originally posted by BIG_DADDY
Cannibal,

Without getting into a debate about every single law I appose it will suffice to say that I know society will never go for having anywhere near as few laws as I would like to have. That being said YES I feel that these are ridiculous petty laws that will not accomplish a dam thing.

So you are saying we should do away with drinking and driving laws?

bkkcoh
06-28-2001, 07:15 AM
I bet they will go after them very aggressively because of the additional revenue to be gained. It sounds like it would be like speeding tickets, Not written to make the roads a safer place, but for revenue enhancement!!!!

bkkcoh
06-28-2001, 09:43 AM
Check out this link. This city in Texas had to declare bankruptsy because of owing the State of Texas so much money because of the proportion of speeding-ticket revenue to budget was distorted.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/aponline/20010628/aponline080003_001.htm

Lzen
06-28-2001, 10:15 AM
Titus,
I guess just because I disagree with you, you think I'm another dumb member of the populace. Well, you're way off base, pal. I give up. Keep putting your head in the sand and maybe all the bad things will go away.

philfree
06-28-2001, 10:19 AM
I have not seen anywhere one here were someone suggested we do away with drinking and driving laws. And people who want laws passed against every little thing that might cause an accident at the expense of our freedom are selfish. There are no guarantees in life and I am tired people thinking that the passage of a stupid, trite law will give them a guarantee of safety. It's bull****. Have the drinking and driving laws we have in place stopped drinking and driving? Can anyone prove that these laws have saved any lives? The answer to both these questions is no. We need drinking and driving laws and I support them for the most part but to compare cell phone usage while driving to drinking and driving is ridiculous. <In my humble opinion>

PhilFree :cool:

NaptownChief
06-28-2001, 10:19 AM
I haven't had the time to read this link so this might have already been said. If they are going to legislate against cell phone use while driving then they better be legislating against make-up application while driving cause that takes a hell of a lot more concentration to safely pull that off than it does to talk on a phone while driving....

philfree
06-28-2001, 10:23 AM
At the end of my last post I put <In my humble opinion> why is not there now?

philfree
06-28-2001, 10:24 AM
In my humble opinion--must have been those arrows I used

KCTitus
06-28-2001, 10:28 AM
Not at all, Izen, but do I appreciate the aspersions on my opinion as a 'head in the sand' approach. Hi pot, Im kettle...you're black too. I never inferred you were dumb when I referred to the american populace.

People will do dumb things and they will pay for it with existing rules. There's no need to add additional laws that affect those of us that are smart enough and have the ability to handle these complex motor skills.

Matter of fact, I DO recognize that bad things will happen and they will continue to happen when an idiot is behind the wheel. NO law will protect you. It is up to you to protect yourself. I might recommend not driving or owning a car if you want to rid yourself of ALL risk with regard to auto accidents.

Maybe Im not the one with his head in the sand.

Brock
06-28-2001, 10:36 AM
bkkcoh - you are right, it's just another "revenue stream".

BIG_DADDY
06-28-2001, 10:36 AM
bkkcoh,

You are exactly right. It is all about revenue. Insurance companies push these kind of laws as well.

Cannibal,

Since you insist on pushing the DUI thing. What I would do with that is probably increase the minimum level up to .10 and also increase the penalties for those who cause accidents intoxicated. Drinking and driving can hardly be compared to cell phone use. That is really a sssstttrrrrettttcccchhhhhhh there buddy. ;) It is just a shame that a society who's taxation boarders on criminal feels the need to prey on the citizenry to creat a little more revenue.

BIG DADDY

Still looking for that all cash business on the side. :cool:

philfree
06-28-2001, 10:38 AM
My wife is leaving for Branson to see a show and I am so glad that she has a cell phone. She can call me when she starts home and it will give me peace of mind. I will call her about 30 mins later and check her progress. If she doesn't answer I will be worried because 65 hwy is dangerous with all the traffic and buses. I would also hate to think of her pulld over on the side of that hwy just to return my call. How dangerous!

PhilFree :cool:

Brock
06-28-2001, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by lzen

The facts are that driving and using a cell phone causes more accidents than driving while intoxicated. Still, nobody can come up with a valid argument or defense for this.

If I am talking on my cell and some idiot runs a stop light and creams my car, hey, wow, yet another accident caused by driving and yakking, right? Your insurance-company funded studies are BS.

Lightning Rod
06-28-2001, 12:33 PM
Lets see what happens when the raise Insurance rates on women that have children. I guarantee you kids are distraction and cause accidents. Think that will fly?

Cannibal
06-28-2001, 12:35 PM
Well what do you know?

Big Daddy thinks we need DUI laws. He's actually advocating a law that takes away the "freedom" to get tanked and operate a motor vehicle. You commie bastard! :D

Lzen
06-28-2001, 12:51 PM
Brock,
Apparently you didn't read Brad's post. It also referred to a show he saw on PBS called mysteries of the brain that explained how......ah screw it, I'll just repost it.

FACT: IN the state of missouri more traffic accidents occur with persons using a cell phone than persons under the influence of alcohol.

Talking impairs your driving. Simple. You don't have to agree with it, it's fact. I worked for the Missouri division of Highway safety for 11 months...It IS fact. Check the borchures that just came out.

Another interesting fact is that the same area of the brain that handles speach recognition/translation of sound to word meanings causes a degredation of depth perception. If you are concentrating on the meaning of a word or phrase, your depth perception is decreased.
Oh, and for the record, that last tid-bit of useless info came from PBS's "Mysteries of the Brain".....not Mo Div of Highway safety!

Ok everyone,
Yes, I agree that there are plenty of people driving who are morons. They are a danger to the rest of us good drivers. You put cell phone in the hands and they are even more dangous to us. A lot more dangerous as a matter of fact. These laws are designed to punish them. You can't dispute the facts here. All you guys can do is to attack the credibility of these facts. That doesn't fly. I have a cell phone and I know friends and family who have cell phones. I don't want them to necessarily take that privilege away completely. Just take them away from the people who cause accidents while using them. If you think the laws that are in place now can accomplish that, fine. I just don't think they are enough.

KCTitus
06-28-2001, 12:55 PM
Wrong, Izen, a law applies to everyone not just the morons. They will take away the privilege of everyone. Please explain to me how you think these laws only apply to those that cannot handle this situation.

As far as credibility of those studies, like I said, I'll be one could find a study with the direct opposite outcome.

Naturally cynical, Im a little dubious about a government study that proves more laws need to be put in place to protect us from ourselves and will generate mucho money in the state and local govt coffers at the same time.

Cannibal
06-28-2001, 01:03 PM
It's really very, very simple.

If you want to make, or answer a cell phone call, PULL THE *F* over into a parking lot, or an alley, or a side road.

If you wear make-up, get your lazy *** up an hour earlier and paint your mutha fuggin ugly grill before you get in the car!

If you eat breakfast, get your sorry lazy *** up an hour earlier and stuff your grill before you get in the fuggin car, or if you eat drive through, wait until you get to work to eat that greasy, disgusting dog feces!

That is what these people should be doing whether there is a law or not. And if these utter dipsh1ts did these things this way, they wouldn't even have to worry about these laws.

Phobia
06-28-2001, 01:09 PM
LMAO

That statistic about more accidents caused while using the phone that DUI is bunk. In fact, it's akin to those stats thrown out about at team that rushes 30+ times per game wins 90+% of those games. Well, hell yeah - that's the nature of the game. If you are nursing a lead and running out the clock, guess what - you RUN THE BALL.

I'm guessing cell phones are accessible to 75% of drivers. MANY of these people spend much time talking while driving. Any accident that takes place while a driver HAPPENS to be talking on the phone is not necessarily DUE to the driver talking on the phone. Could it be that the accident would have happened whether he was on the phone or otherwise? Am I the only one that sees this logic?

Clint in Wichita
06-28-2001, 01:12 PM
I'd bet that I could drink a pint of whiskey in 2 hours or less and still be a safer driver than someone who's using a cell phone and driving an SUV.

Actually, why am I saying "I'd bet"?

I've already done it numerous times. Not recently, but I've done it many times.

Lzen
06-28-2001, 03:50 PM
KPhobia,
That's really reaching.

Cannibal,
Right on, brotha! LMAO!

Lzen
06-28-2001, 03:58 PM
KCTitus,
You say "I'll bet one could find a study with the direct opposite outcome". Fine, do it then. Show me proof. Facts. We present facts and you criticize them because they don't suit your agenda. If you can show me facts, I'll be open minded(something you should try). Like I said in the first place, I never really thought much about the danger of using a cell phone in the car until lately with these reports and that segment on Dateline. I also told you that I'm just as guilty of using it in the car(albeit very little). The morons are the ones who'll get the tickets because they are the ones who will cause accidents. I didn't say give the cops the right to pull you over for using a cell phone. I'm still kinda undecided about that one. However, I fell that if your'e talking on your cell phone and are distracted by it and you cause an accident, you should be held accountable. Now, if that happens to you, then you are one of those morons. If not, don't worry about it.

Lzen
06-28-2001, 04:01 PM
Geez,
I'm gonna have to change my name. It's supposed to be LZEN which is short for LivinZen, which is the name of my band. For some reason, a lot of people mistake that for an I, doh!

KCTitus
06-28-2001, 04:04 PM
Lzen: I said 'one', Im not interested in looking up other studies. Your usage of the word 'fact' is a little loose.

An open mind, puhleeze, you're buying the hype and you accuse me of not having an open mind. Hi Pot, Im Kettle...you're black too.

I didn't say give the cops the right to pull you over for using a cell phone.

Maybe if you understood something, the laws that are being passed prohibit cell phone useage while driving a car. They do not get an 'extra' ticket after they commit an accident. NO ONE is allowed, now, to drive and use a cell phone--that's what these new laws are stating. It might help if you actually READ the first sentence of the topic post. The operative word is BAN.

Lzen
06-28-2001, 04:12 PM
I was reading over the original article that started this topic when I noticed that this segment:
A 1997 study in the New England Journal of Medicine said the hand-held phones posed about as much of a problem for drivers as drunken driving. The study found the chance of an accident was four times greater when using a hand-held cell phone.
Do you guys suppose that the New England Journal of Medicine is working for those evil insurance companies?
This excerpt was funny: ``To think that we're going to do this when at the same time I can still use my laptop, I still can read a paper, I can still change my pants while driving 65 mph, I think there's just something wrong,'' Assemblyman Patrick Manning said.
He does have a good point.
But critics noted other distractions like eating, drinking coffee and applying makeup posed at least as much of a concern. They suggested a broader driver distraction bill would be better.
A broader driver distraction bill makes more sense, I suppose. Of course, we already do have laws in place for inattentive driving. Perhaps the police should just give more tickets for this.
And at least 23 countries, including Great Britain, Italy, Israel and Japan, bar drivers from using hand-held cell phones.
These countries do just fine with the ban. Why can't we?

Brock
06-28-2001, 04:27 PM
Originally posted by lzen
KCTitus,
I never really thought much about the danger of using a cell phone in the car until lately with these reports and that segment on Dateline.

Your gullibility is showing. If I believed what I saw on Dateline, I would have sold my old Chevy pickup that Dateline said would spontaneously combust, when Dateline actually had to use an Estes Rocket engine attached to the gas tank to get their sample vehicle to blow up. Not that I'm complaining - I received a 100 dollar check from General Motors by deciding to keep it, thanks to the hysteria these media freaks like to stir up.

BIG_DADDY
06-28-2001, 04:40 PM
Izen,

Good god, yea that's what we need, broader legislation. :rolleyes: With all due respect, ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FREAKING MIND!!! The last thing we need is more legislation. Every year we get a few hundred more laws and none of the old ones are taken off the books. Penalize the people that screw up and quit making everybody pay for what a couple morons do. I have news for you, you can't legislate yourself into immortality, it's not going to happen!!! If you are really that scared to drive while people have access to cell phones maybe you should stay home or buy a sherman tank or something. :rolleyes:

BIG DADDY

Just giving you a hard time. I am still betting that you are not one of those thrill seaker types though. ;)

BIG_DADDY
06-28-2001, 04:41 PM
Brock,

BTW, great posts.

Herzig
06-28-2001, 04:46 PM
A very close friend of mine who I've known since high school lost her leg in an accident caused by a motorist who happened to be talking on a cell phone. She was 24 at the time of the accident. Try to tell her that people who drive while using mobile phones are not more prone to cause accidents...

I think many people here would feel differently about this issue if they were close to someone who was killed or seriously injured by someone who caused an accident who happened to be using a cell phone at the time of the accident.

Clint in Wichita
06-28-2001, 04:51 PM
I think we can all agree that if everyone used common sense (as in Cannibal's post), this whole problem would go away.

BTW, IMO the worst time to use a cell phone behind the wheel is during rush hour, BEFORE and AFTER the work day. In other words, most of these calls aren't really necessary. People are simply killing time during their commute.

Like I really need to be broadsided because some dolt is calling to ask his/her spouse what to pick up at the grocery store on the way home.

BIG_DADDY
06-28-2001, 04:58 PM
Greg,

Yes I would be VERY pissed at the moron that hurt them. BTW, I am very sorry to hear about your freind. My point is that you simply cannot legislate every possible activity where some moron could come along and hurt somebody.

KS Smitty
06-28-2001, 05:21 PM
Responding to mounting pressure to ban or limit the use of cell phones in automobiles, the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association on Wednesday called for more research and a "balanced" solution to the driver-distraction problem.

"We need to educate drivers on the consequences of inattentiveness caused by a number of activities," Tom Wheeler, chief executive of the CTIA, said in a statement. "We also need to encourage more data collection to quantify the problem and effectively address what current studies are showing are causing the most problems--activities such as changing a CD or talking to other passengers."

The CTIA's statements attempted to deflect blame from the increasingly ubiquitous cell phone as safety advocates and politicians raise concern over its potential dangers.

The U.S. Congress is also considering a bill that would curtail cell phone use while driving, requiring people to dial, talk and listen via voice-activated, hands-free devices and headsets. Forty states have also considered similar limits, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The cell phone crusade is led by a number of politicians whose constituents have been in accidents because of driver distraction. After her toddler daughter died in a 1999 cell phone-related crash, Pennsylvania resident Patricia Pena became an outspoken safety advocate and is urging politicians to pass a complete ban on cell phone use while driving.

The movement to ban phones in New York--where everyone from stockbrokers to cabbies gab on their cell phones--began in Brooklyn in 1996, when New York state assembly member Felix Ortiz saw a woman crash into a pole. Ortiz asked if the woman was drunk. She said she hadn't been drinking, but she was fidgeting with a cell phone at the time of the crash.

The CTIA's statements also come a day after supermodel Niki Taylor was released from the hospital after suffering life-threatening injuries eight weeks ago. The 26-year-old Cover Girl cosmetics spokeswoman and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, who left an Atlanta hospital for a private rehabilitation center Tuesday, suffered severe damage to her liver in April when she and two friends struck a utility pole in a 1993 Nissan Maxima.

At the time, 27-year-old driver Chad Renegar said he glanced down to answer his cell phone and ran off the road. Although Taylor has been recuperating in a private hospital since the accident and has not made any statements about cell phone use, her case has become a flashpoint in the national debate about a potential ban on the devices.

But the CTIA says that such concern is largely unwarranted.

Accompanying Wheeler's comments and the CTIA's statement was research by the American Automobile Association, which determined in May that wireless phones were not among the top five contributing factors in auto accidents. From the more than 32,000 accidents analyzed, wireless phones contributed to 1.5 percent of accidents, according to the AAA research.

The most distracting was an outside object, person or event, which contributed to 29.4 percent of accidents analyzed. AAA also determined that cassette or CD players were more distracting than cell phones, resulting in 11.4 percent of accidents analyzed. Distractions from another occupant in the vehicle, such as a chatty passenger or baby, contributed to 10.9 percent of accidents. Eating or drinking contributed to 1.7 percent, according to the AAA study.

Although it didn't concede that the cell phone could be a distraction, the CTIA also noted Wednesday that it has been actively promoting "responsible use of wireless phones" through a campaign dubbed "Safety--Your Most Important Call."

The CTIA also said cell phones might increase the safety of automobiles because of their ability to connect drivers and passengers with hospitals, ambulances and emergency contacts during an accident, storm or other catastrophe. The international group, which represents carriers, manufacturers and wireless Internet providers, said the cell phone is instrumental to the advancement of so-called mayday technology.

From CNET news

BIG_DADDY
06-28-2001, 05:35 PM
The most distracting was an outside object, person or event, which contributed to 29.4 percent of accidents analyzed. AAA also determined that cassette or CD players were more distracting than cell phones, resulting in 11.4 percent of accidents analyzed. Distractions from another occupant in the vehicle, such as a chatty passenger or baby, contributed to 10.9 percent of accidents. Eating or drinking contributed to 1.7 percent, according to the AAA study.

Cell phones only make up 1.5% of the distracted wrecks huh. Well I want to hear about some outrage about those evil CD players and babies. Let's have a ban on all yackos while we are at it. Sign me up for the baby ban.

BIG DADDY

Thinks we might need some more laws.

KS Smitty
06-28-2001, 05:41 PM
How about requiring drivers to be in an "isolation booth" while operating a motor vehicle. Oh and we shouldn't be allowed to chew gum either, our jaws might "pop" scaring us into running off the road. You can't legislate stupidity or common sense but the gubmint is doin it's best.

DanT
06-28-2001, 05:51 PM
Here's the abstract from the famous New England Journal of Medicine article:
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/336/7/453

Volume 336:453-458 February 13, 1997 Number 7

Association between Cellular-Telephone Calls and Motor Vehicle Collisions

Donald A. Redelmeier, M.D. and Robert J. Tibshirani, Ph.D.
ABSTRACT

Background Because of a belief that the use of cellular telephones while driving may cause collisions, several countries have restricted their use in motor vehicles, and others are considering such regulations. We used an epidemiologic method, the case–crossover design, to study whether using a cellular telephone while driving increases the risk of a motor vehicle collision.

Methods We studied 699 drivers who had cellular telephones and who were involved in motor vehicle collisions resulting in substantial property damage but no personal injury. Each person's cellular-telephone calls on the day of the collision and during the previous week were analyzed through the use of detailed billing records.

Results A total of 26,798 cellular-telephone calls were made during the 14-month study period. The risk of a collision when using a cellular telephone was four times higher than the risk when a cellular telephone was not being used (relative risk, 4.3; 95 percent confidence interval, 3.0 to 6.5). The relative risk was similar for drivers who differed in personal characteristics such as age and driving experience; calls close to the time of the collision were particularly hazardous (relative risk, 4.8 for calls placed within 5 minutes of the collision, as compared with 1.3 for calls placed more than 15 minutes before the collision; P<0.001); and units that allowed the hands to be free (relative risk, 5.9) offered no safety advantage over hand-held units (relative risk, 3.9; P not significant). Thirty-nine percent of the drivers called emergency services after the collision, suggesting that having a cellular telephone may have had advantages in the aftermath of an event.

Conclusions The use of cellular telephones in motor vehicles is associated with a quadrupling of the risk of a collision during the brief period of a call. Decisions about regulation of such telephones, however, need to take into account the benefits of the technology and the role of individual responsibility.

KS Smitty
06-28-2001, 06:01 PM
The figures from the NE Journal of Medicine average out to 3 calls per month per person. These numbers don't make sense to me and they're 4 years old. I am bad at math or do people really only make 3 cell phone calls a month? Those 669 driver's evidently can't drive if they had a wreck using a cell phone 38 times in 14 months.

DanT
06-28-2001, 06:10 PM
I think it's interesting that Redelmeier and Tibshirani did not conclude that hands-free devices are safer. Also note that they feel that the decision to regulate the use of cell phones while driving should take into account the benefits they offer, including their safety benefits.

BTW, two points regarding this study and its credibility:

(i) the NEJM is a peer-review journal, which makes its studies far more credible than those that appear in industry-sponsored, non-peer-review literature; indeed, among all peer-review medical journals, the NEJM is one of the most prestigious; and

(ii) Tibshirani is extremely highly regarded among us statisticians. One example of that is that he won the COPSS (Committe of Presidents of Statistical Societies) award in 1996. That's the worldwide award given annually to a person for outstanding contributions to Statistics before the age of 40. His CV is viewable at his website:
http://www-stat.stanford.edu/~tibs/

It's ok to be sceptical of studies and, especially, of how their conclusions are interpreted, but it's simply wrong to think that all studies are equally credible or that you can always find high-quality studies to support contradictory conclusions.

DanT
06-28-2001, 06:18 PM
Hey kcsmitty,

For each driver, they looked at phone calls for the day they had a collision and for the seven days previous to it. For these 699 drivers, those phone calls, taken together, covered a span of 14 months. But, for each individual driver, there was just two weeks of calls that went into the study.

KS Smitty
06-28-2001, 06:18 PM
Both points well taken Dan. Has a newer or follow up study been done since then? And I guess the credibility of a study is in the eyes of the beholders. I do think that cell phones are a distraction but as many others have pointed out there are other distractions and current laws in place for inattentive driving. My brother couldn't talk to ya when he was drivin down the road cuz he had to look at ya and where he looked was where he steered. Made for some interesting rides let me tell ya. What's that saying Figures lie and liars figure or something like that. As you said it depends on the source, they're impartiality and where and how they got the numbers. My ISP keeps cuttin me off, damn kids cloggin up the system;)

DanT
06-28-2001, 06:26 PM
Hey ksmitty,

I don't know too much about this area and whether any follow-up studies have been done. The few articles I've seen cited in the press coverage lately suggest that the 1997 NEJM article is being heavily relied upon. I believe that it is a great study but neither I nor, I bet, many other statisticians (including Tibshirani) think that it is the final word. Also, this study is dealing mainly with the risks of cellphone use while driving; before rational policy decisions and laws can be made, there needs to be some quantification of the many obvious benefits of that practice.


Also, I haven't read the study itself; just the abstract and a few interpretations of it. I probably should run over to the library and look it over! I just wanted to pipe up on this thread because of my high regard and confidence in Professor Tibshirani's work and my disagreement that it is merely as credible as some of the hackwork one sometimes sees enter into policy debates.

DanT
06-28-2001, 07:59 PM
Here's a link to the full text of the 1997 NEJM article:

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-13/driver-distraction/PDF/5.PDF

DanT
06-28-2001, 08:17 PM
Here's the executive summary from a cost-benefit analysis from some Harvard School of Public Health researchers that was published last year. The analysis refers to other important studies in this area, so it's probably a good place to start for anyone interested in learning more:

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-13/driver-distraction/PDF/Harvard.PDF

Executive Summary
This report assesses the risks and benefits associated with cellular phone use while driving. The interest of policymakers in this issue has been heightened by the recent decisions of
selected foreign countries and several U.S. localities to restrict or prohibit the use of cellular phones while driving.
The weight of the scientific evidence to date suggests that use of a cellular phone while driving does create safety risks for the driver and his/her passengers as well as other road users.
The magnitude of these risks is uncertain but appears to be relatively low in probability compared to other risks in daily life. It is not clear whether hands-free cellular phone designs are
significantly safer than hand-held designs, since it may be that conversation per se rather than dialing/handling is responsible for most of the attributable risk due to cellular phone use while
driving.

The benefits of using this communications device while driving appear to be important. They include benefits to the users, households, social networks, businesses, and communities.
Many of these benefits, which include public health and safety considerations, have not yet been recognized or quantified. Simple suggestions that drivers can “pull over” on the side of the road to make calls from cellular phones are unrealistic and, in certain situations, potentially dangerous. It is not known which of the benefits of cellular phone use would be foregone under
various regulatory scenarios.

Cellular phone use while driving should be a concern of motorists and policymakers. We conclude that although there is evidence that using a cellular phone while driving poses risks to
both the driver and others, it may be premature to enact substantial restrictions at this time. Indecision about whether cellular phone use while driving should be regulated is reasonable due to the limited knowledge of the relative magnitude of risks and benefits. In light of this
uncertainty, government and industry should endeavor to improve the database for the purpose of
informing future decisions of motorists and policymakers. In the interim, industry and government should encourage, through vigorous public education programs, more selective and
prudent use of cellular phones while driving in order to enhance transport safety.

KCTitus
06-29-2001, 07:15 AM
Lzen: And at least 23 countries, including Great Britain, Italy, Israel and Japan, bar drivers from using hand-held cell phones.
These countries do just fine with the ban. Why can't we?

Oh, Lord. Feel free to move over there and feel safer.

I'll bet you were one of those crying about that lady in Texas that was hauled into jail for not wearing her seatbelt. Whining about how it was a violation of her 'rights'...what? wait a minute, we as a society gladly gave up that right long ago in the name of 'safety'. Give the govt the power, they will use it.

DanT: I noticed the key phrase of the NEJM report in the last sentence:

Decisions about regulation of such telephones, however, need to take into account the benefits of the technology and the role of individual responsibility.

The last two words being the most important of all. Individual responsibility--where has this gone? When was it writtien that as a society, the panacea to all ills is new law?

This NEJM report assesses RISK and nothing more. It does not conclude that new laws should be enacted, nor does it go any further to state that cell phone useage while driving WILL lead to increased accidents.

The Harvard study concludes that: We conclude that although there is evidence that using a cellular phone while driving poses risks to both the driver and others, it may be premature to enact substantial restrictions at this time. They also state that: The magnitude of these risks is uncertain but appears to be relatively low in probability compared to other risks in daily life.

Two studies that dont really tell us any more than we already knew, it poses a risk and that risk is a part of life.

Meanwhile, Lzen, is happy to abdicate all his freedoms in the name of 'safety'.