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  1. #1 U.S. ban sought on cell phone use while driving 
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:08pm EDT

    * Drivers of any vehicle would be covered

    * 3,000 U.S. fatalities from distracted driving last year

    * Approach to compliance akin to anti-drunk driving campaign

    By Jim Forsyth

    SAN ANTONIO, April 26 (Reuters) - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called on Thursday for a federal law to ban talking on a cell phone or texting while driving any type of vehicle on any road in the country.

    Tough federal legislation is the only way to deal with what he called a "national epidemic," he said at a distracted-driving summit in San Antonio, Texas, that drew doctors, advocates and government officials.

    LaHood said it is important for the police to have "the opportunity to write tickets when people are foolishly thinking they can drive safely or use a cell phone and text and drive."

    LaHood has previously criticized behind-the-wheel use of cell phones and other devices, but calling for a federal law prohibiting the practice takes his effort to a new level.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 3,000 fatal traffic accidents nationwide last year were the result of distracted driving. Using a cell phone while driving delays reaction time the same amount as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08, the legal limit, the highway agency said.

    But Gary Biller, president of the National Motorists Association, said laws banning specific actions like talking on a phone or texting are not necessary because those actions are already covered by existing distracted-driving laws. It would be more productive, he said, to invest resources in campaigns that discourage inattentive driving in general.

    "It shouldn't matter if the driver is distracted by a conversation with another vehicle passenger, tuning the radio, eating a snack, or talking on a cell phone," Biller said in a statement. "Existing laws cover all those distractions and more."

    LaHood said, however, he was not as concerned about people who eat, apply makeup, or perform other distracting activities in cars because "not everyone does that."

    "But everyone has a cell phone and too many of us think it is OK to talk on our phones while we are driving," he said at the summit, sponsored by insurance company USAA, the Texas Department of Transportation and Shriners Hospitals for Children.

    LaHood was joined by people who have been hurt in accidents caused by motorists talking on cell phones, including children in wheelchairs who were paralyzed. Such accidents are "100 percent preventable," he said.

    He compared the situation facing the United States today with the problem of drunk driving 20-30 years ago.

    "It used to be that if an officer pulled you over for drunk driving, he would pat you on the back, maybe call you a cab or take you home, but he wouldn't arrest you," LaHood said. "Now that has changed, and the same enforcement can work for people who talk on cell phones while driving."

    Thirty-eight states have laws restricting or outlawing the use of electronic devices while driving, LaHood said.

    LaHood said his department was researching the effect that hands-free devices and new systems like Ford Motor Company's Sync have on distracting drivers. He said he has called the CEOs of major car companies and encouraged them to "think twice" before placing too many Internet-based systems into new cars. (Editing By Corrie MacLaggan and Philip Barbara)
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8FQOK820120427

    This is none of their business, just like their55 speed limit.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Generation Why?'s Avatar
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    If we outlaw everything that could harm us, what will be left to do? Wouldn't be allowed to breath in Los Angeles.
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    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Generation Why? View Post
    If we outlaw everything that could harm us, what will be left to do? Wouldn't be allowed to breath in Los Angeles.
    I am all for California liberals to go without breathing, I think they should make an organized attempt to live on sunlight only.
    The difference between pigs and people is that when they tell you you're cured it isn't a good thing.
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    Festivus Moderator ralph wiggum's Avatar
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    Let's just ban anything in a car that might be considered a distraction. No radios, no more interior temperature controls...not to mention no coffee or pop allowed either. And no talking either. When does it end?
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockntractor View Post
    Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:08pm EDT

    * Drivers of any vehicle would be covered
    Police cars too? My nephew tells me that police officers drive past him all of the time in California on the phone, while mere mortals are forbidden. And while we are on the subject, I nearly got sideswiped by a Pinellas County Sheriff deputy the other day because he was playing on the dashtop while driving.

    They'll need to define "driving" much better than the ridiculous DUI laws which allow prosecution of someone sleeping it off in a private parking lot. I'd be OK with a definition of driving which was limited to operation of the telephone while in the drivers seat and conducting the movement of a moving vehicle. But if you're just as guilty if you pull over to take the call (as I do from my 83 year old mother or my minor niece) , then fuck it.
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph wiggum View Post
    Let's just ban anything in a car that might be considered a distraction. No radios, no more interior temperature controls...not to mention no coffee or pop allowed either. And no talking either. When does it end?
    You let people eat and drink in your car?
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockntractor View Post
    This is none of their business, .....
    My newish smartphone is an amazing piece of equipment. One thing it isn't, it isn't as easy to use as a phone as my old Sony Ericsson. It's actually rather difficult to drive and dial the Galaxy, as it is too big for one hand and you have to look at it rather than feel a standard speed dial. Yes, I could make it voice control, I suppose, but I don't like the permissions required to do that.
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  8. #8  
    SEAduced SuperMod Hawkgirl's Avatar
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    I agree with the law. I'm tired of driving behind idiots who are either texting or talking on their cell phone, not paying attention while changing lanes or driving very slow so they don't make a typo. Screw them.
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  9. #9  
    Festivus Moderator ralph wiggum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
    You let people eat and drink in your car?
    I usually have something to drink in my vehicle...food, not so much.
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  10. #10  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkgirl View Post
    I agree with the law. I'm tired of driving behind idiots who are either texting or talking on their cell phone, not paying attention while changing lanes or driving very slow so they don't make a typo. Screw them.
    There's an easier way. Simply mandate that in the event of an accident, the person talking or texting on a cell phone is automatically deemed at fault and liable for all damages, just like if you hit someone from behind, you're automatically liable. Persons who have accidents under those circumstances would see their premiums rise as a result. And, the beauty of cell phones is that you can't deny being on the phone when the accident happened, because the phone has a log and the carrier keeps the log.
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