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Ron Czapala
12-12-2011, 08:35 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/driver-texting-missouri-traffic-pileup-201841737.html

Driver was texting in Missouri traffic pileup

WASHINGTON (AP) — A 19-year-old driver was texting just before his pickup truck, two school buses and a tractor truck collided in a deadly pileup on an interstate highway in Missouri last year, the National Transportation Safety Board said Monday.

Two people — the pickup driver and a 15-year-old student on one of the buses — were killed and 38 others were injured in the Aug. 5, 2010 accident on the interstate highway near Gray Summit, Mo. Nearly 50 students, mostly members of a high school band from St. James, Mo., were on the buses heading to the Six Flags St. Louis amusement park.

The chain of rear end collisions began when the pickup truck rammed the back of the tractor truck, the board said. The pickup was then rear-ended by a school bus, which was in turn struck by the second bus.

The board is scheduled to meet Tuesday to hear the results of an investigation into the accident and to make safety recommendations. The meeting will focus on the "distractive effects of portable electronic devices when used by drivers," the board said in a statement.

The board has previously recommended bans on texting and cell phone use by commercial drivers, but has stopped short of calling for a ban on the use of the devices by adults behind the wheel of passenger cars.

The problem of texting while driving is getting worse despite a rush by states to ban the practice, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said last week. In November, Pennsylvania became the 35th state to forbid texting while driving.

About two out of 10 drivers overall — and half of American drivers between 21 and 24 — say they've thumbed messages or emailed from the driver's seat, according to a survey of over 6,000 drivers by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

And what's more, many drivers don't think it's dangerous when they do it — only when others do, the survey found.

At any given moment last year on America's streets and highways, nearly one in every 100 car drivers was texting, emailing, surfing the Web or otherwise using a hand-held electronic device, the safety administration said. And those activities spiked 50 percent in over the previous year.

The agency takes an annual snapshot of drivers' behavior behind the wheel by staking out intersections to count people using cellphones and other devices, as well as other distracting behavior.

graffix
12-12-2011, 08:46 PM
sounds like following to closely is a key factor here.tragic in deed

Ron Czapala
12-12-2011, 08:53 PM
sounds like following to closely is the key factor here.tragic in deed

If the driver had not been texting, there would have been no accident!

graffix
12-12-2011, 09:00 PM
it could have been a tire failure maybe not in this case.all to often you hear of a big pile up on the highway.Im not defending texting while driving.Though it will be the only disscusion here.

W9GFO
12-12-2011, 11:44 PM
The pickup driver was texting and rear ended the bobtail, texting would be a factor. The school bus then rear ends the pickup, no excuse for that, separate problem. Both school busses were following too closely.

Tragic accidents like this are almost always a result of multiple things going wrong. Remove any one thing and the outcome is drastically different. Professional drivers carry a higher responsibility, and professional drivers entrusted with transporting children should be held to the highest standards and safe driving practices. If the bus drivers were following at a safe distance, as is the law, and just good common sense, then the only injuries would be to the texter.

Dr_Acula
12-13-2011, 12:32 AM
You are not allowed to use a phone or text while driving here in Australia. People still do of course, but it is being policed more now as a result of so many accidents being linked to texting and driving.

The map here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texting_while_driving shows all the differences amongst US states.

Sadly it probably takes a tragedy like this to change the rules.

sylvie369
12-13-2011, 01:33 AM
I'm 50. I never had a cell phone until I was about 44, and I never texted until I was about 47. I lived more than 40 years without a phone in my car, and so did, I suspect, most people here. We survived.
Ban the use of cell phones by drivers while on the road. This is an easy one.

W9GFO
12-13-2011, 02:31 AM
If we ban everything that can cause harm, what kind of society would we be living in? The thing is, there are already laws that address these issues but they are not well enforced. Operating a motor vehicle is looked upon as a right rather than a privilege. Anyone with poor enough judgment to be texting while driving is likely to be a hazard to others when not texting as well. Bans are a patch that don't really work. Cell phone use is illegal here now but that does not stop people from using them while driving, it's those people that are most likely to be a danger to others. And of course you see the police using cell phones - special training I guess.

Also, as this accident was described, texting was not the real issue. What really caused the problem was following too closely - by the bus drivers. That's not stopping people from using it as an example of the dangers of texting though is it? Nothing, I repeat nothing that happens to a vehicle in front of you, short of traveling backwards, should be able to cause you to have an accident. If it does, then you were too close.

rod1963
12-13-2011, 04:52 AM
Texting while driving should come with harsh penalties,say $1000 on the first offense and vehicle confiscation with a some jail time. Bottom line, if someone is so stupid and irresponsible at to text while behind the wheels of a 1 ton projective(car) they deserve the book being thrown at them. And if they fail to learn, punish them hard. Because it's clear they have zero respect for the law and life of others.

It goes for cell phone use in vehicles as well.

SRLM
12-13-2011, 05:30 AM
I think similar punishments should be in effect if you have food or a woman in your car. Food and sex are the two most stimulating (and distracting) natural human motivators. I propose a penalty of $1000 for first offenses on these stupid and irresponsible crimes, and if they keep on having food or women in their car while driving then the only sensible thing to do is to remove the drivers from contact with all law-abiding citizens.

Freedom shouldn't be limited just because you don't do it.

graffix
12-13-2011, 07:52 AM
Im glad this progressed some I was a little uneasy about posting my first post. Its been said that texting while driving is worse than driving drunk. It puts your mind in a very similar state. How would we stop it that makes sense? Every thing I think of has complications of some sort. Like using the gps to disable anything other than hands free use?Say, oh your phone is going faster than thirty mph. Problem is what if your one of 50 passengers on a bus ,subway or a train. We could push for autonomous vehicles. Thats more problems one being, some people love to drive.Another would be lack of maintnance or malfunction. Even roller coasters wreck and there is no driver. Maybe a proximity sensor of some sort, that disables the phone when closer than 4ft to the steering wheel?Any Ideas?

Bean
12-13-2011, 11:21 AM
Do you realize how many millions of texts are sent and/or read while driving each day, and how few accidents are "caused" by texting each day ?

If we are going to outlaw "distractions", then why not outlaw: Eating, adjusting the radio, adjusting the heat/AC, talking to passengers, applying makeup, smoking, having passengers, glove boxes, driving in snow/ice, etc, etc...

Bean

graffix
12-13-2011, 11:43 AM
You bring up a good point Bean.That's why some states limit it to new drivers I suppose.As to the other I think enforcing it is the problem.If you could cure the problem without handing out tickets would be ideal. Try to be realistic.

Tor
12-13-2011, 11:47 AM
I watched an episode of a Swedish police/detective/crime TV show where the detective accidentally killed a 12-year old girl. The episode producers had put together a real eye-opener. The detective was driving along a street, not particularly fast, maybe 30 km/h. (20 mph or so). Anyway, the detective was holding up his cellphone, a bit to the side, and glanced at it just when the girl came out between two parked cars and ran out on the street. Bang.

It was brilliantly made. It was very realistic and from the camera view inside the car it was easy to see that if the detective had kept his eyes on the street and not fiddled with the phone then he would have had no problem with stopping the car in time. That one or two seconds he looked away made all the difference.

That vision of the accident as played out in that TV episode doesn't go away. I wish everyone could see it - it would make them think.

(But I've also been driving cars in Italy for years - there you quickly learn that if you don't keep your eyes on the road at all times then you're dead. I almost got killed once because I glanced down at the speedometer for a moment to check my own speed, and when I looked up again after just a moment all the traffic stopped to a screetching halt, going from 130 km/h to zero in no time. So that's one reason Italians don't bother with speed limits - it's much more important for safety to just watch the street and traffic at all times and not look away on instruments and whatnot. I'm not joking.)

-Tor

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 11:57 AM
Freedom shouldn't be limited just because you don't do it.

Oliver Wendell Holmes - "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."

In other words, your rights end when they infringe upon the rights of others. Texting and other driving distractions endanger the lives of others - period.

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 12:04 PM
Do you realize how many millions of texts are sent and/or read while driving each day, and how few accidents are "caused" by texting each day ?

If we are going to outlaw "distractions", then why not outlaw: Eating, adjusting the radio, adjusting the heat/AC, talking to passengers, applying makeup, smoking, having passengers, glove boxes, driving in snow/ice, etc, etc...

Bean

Much of which you say is true - it proves that common sense isn't very common any more.

Why don't we put TV screens on the dash so drivers can amuse themselves as they cross the center line and into your car...

Oh, wait, some morons have already done that!


Do you realize how many millions of texts are sent and/or read while driving each day, and how few accidents are "caused" by texting each day ?


I'm sure that statistic will comfort someone who has lost a loved one due to a distracted driver using a cell phone.

ctwardell
12-13-2011, 12:41 PM
Behaviours, material items, etc. tend to be banned when the population at large demonstrates that it cannot perform that behavior or use that item responsibly to the detriment of others.
Texting and cell phones in general seem to now be in that category.

The real problem is that people have become so self absorbed that what they want to do trumps any thought for the safety or consideration of others.

I suppose the best answer is probably very high fines and allowing insurance companies to charge extreme rates to those that have been convicted of causing an accident through distracted driving. Oh, and parents need to learn to give kids a swift kick in the arse.

C.W.

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 12:50 PM
http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html (http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html)

In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in crashes involving driver distraction, and an estimated 448,000 were injured. (NHTSA)

(http://www.distraction.gov/research/PDF-Files/Distracted-Driving-2009.pdf)16% of fatal crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA)

20% of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA)

In the month of June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, up nearly 50% from June 2009. (CTIA)

(http://www.ctia.org/advocacy/research/index.cfm/aid/10323)
Teen drivers are more likely than other age groups to be involved in a fatal crash where distraction is reported. In 2009, 16% of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were reported to have been distracted. (NHTSA)

40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger. (Pew)

(http://www.distraction.gov/research/PDF-Files/PIP_Teens_and_Distracted_Driving.pdf)Drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Monash University)

(http://www.distraction.gov/research/PDF-Files/Effects-of-Text-Messaging.pdf)Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. (VTTI)

(http://www.distraction.gov/research/PDF-Files/Driver-Distraction-Commercial-Vehicle-Operations.pdf)Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. (VTTI)

Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use. (VTTI)

Using a cell phone while driving - whether it's hand-held or hands-free delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (University of Utah)

(http://www.distraction.gov/research/PDF-Files/Comparison-of-CellPhone-Driver-Drunk-Driver.pdf)Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. (Carnegie Mellon) (http://www.distraction.gov/research/PDF-Files/carnegie-mellon.pdf)

Bean
12-13-2011, 01:04 PM
I'm sure that statistic will comfort someone who has lost a loved one due to a distracted driver using a cell phone.

No, the statistics prove that the danger is not real. And the law is not needed.

I wonder how many more accidents will happen when kids start texting with their phones in their lap so the police can see them texting ? That is what I'm going to do.

Bean

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 01:07 PM
No, the statistics prove that the danger is not real. And the law is not needed.

I wonder how many more accidents will happen when kids start texting with their phones in their lap so the police can see them texting ? That is what I'm going to do.

Bean

Sorry Bean, the research studies carry a little more weight than your opinion that "the danger is not real".

jvrproductions
12-13-2011, 01:11 PM
Do you realize how many millions of texts are sent and/or read while driving each day, and how few accidents are "caused" by texting each day ?

If we are going to outlaw "distractions", then why not outlaw: Eating, adjusting the radio, adjusting the heat/AC, talking to passengers, applying makeup, smoking, having passengers, glove boxes, driving in snow/ice, etc, etc...

Bean. What about if your family is part that "few accident"? You have the right to have a gun on Florida but that don't give you the right to kill a person. If you have a phone and know that text and drive can kill you or kill other person why don't made rules that force the people to do no text and drive? sorry for my English

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 01:27 PM
I wonder how many more accidents will happen when kids start texting with their phones in their lap so the police can see them texting ? That is what I'm going to do.

Bean

Gee, I had no idea that the content of your text messages was so important that it is worth putting your life and the lives of others at risk!

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 01:44 PM
http://Texting Teen Charged With Negligent Homicide

Texting Teen Charged With Negligent Homicide

A Brooklyn teen has been charged with negligent homicide after hitting a delivery man while she was allegedly texting behind the wheel. Nechama Rothberger hit scooter-riding Tian Sheng Lin as she made a left turn on Avenue P near East 17th Street in Brooklyn, which left Lin with severe head trauma. Lin was declared brain dead, and later died from his injuries.
Rothberger initially was charged with a misdemeanor of reckless driving and using a mobile phone while driving; she told cops she didn't see Lin, and police found a half-written outgoing text message on her phone at the scene. Rothberger's lawyer previously said that she "didn't hit him intentionally. It was merely an accident." Rothberger is free on $5,000 bail, and Lin's wife says she wants "justice for my husband."

http://www.ergoweb.com/news/detail.cfm?id=2145

Texting Driver Charged with Negligence in Fatal Accident

August 20, 2007
By Jennifer Anderson

A man involved in a three-car accident in Utah that killed two men in 2006 was charged in August with negligent homicide – for driving while texting. Lawmakers are beginning to hear the message from ergonomists and other experts that any cell phone use behind the wheel is a dangerous distraction. The Utah accident could lead to stronger calls for a ban, at least against DWT – driving while texting.

It is not difficult for prosecutors to prove. Defendant Reggie P. Shaw’s SUV crossed the center line as he made the early morning drive between the towns of Tremonton and Logan in September 2006, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. His vehicle clipped an oncoming car and caused it to spin into the path of a pick-up, which crashed and killed its driver and a passenger. Officials obtained cell phone records, which showed Shaw sent and a received text messages as he drove. The last message was sent just as he crossed the center line, clipping the oncoming car, according to the court records.

Nearly a dozen states are trying to outlaw text messaging behind the wheel, the Tribune noted.

http://madtownbicyclelawyer.blogspot.com/2011/05/wisconsin-texting-driver-charged-with.html

WISCONSIN TEXTING DRIVER CHARGED WITH NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, a young woman struck and killed a young man on East Johnson Street in Madison in October 2010. The collision happened just after noon after the young man stopped his car and had his hazards on. According to the WSJ story, the defendant told police she slammed on her brakes but there was no evidence at the scene of braking. Also mentioned in the story was the fact the the young woman's phone showed three (3) text messages were sent just before the time of the collision.

Texting and driving is becoming very popular. It seems every time I am at a red light and oftentimes whilst passing or getting passed by another driver-that person is texting. While Wisconsin does have a new texting law-enforcement is next to impossible. Since it is not illegal to dial a phone, it is difficult to prove that someone is texting and not just turning on their phone or dialing etc.

While there is nothing postive about texting while driving-people injured by drivers can often obtain the driver's phone records. Unlike a lot of other evidence that may be subject to multiple interpretations, text records showing exact times are very probative of negligence and in the case above even lead to felony homicide charges.

The lesson-don't text behind the wheel. You could kill someone and go to prison for up to 10 years.
Wisconsin Homicide by Negligent Use of a Motor Vehicle: Wis. Stat. 940.10(1)
(1) Whoever causes the death of another human being by the negligent operation or handling of a vehicle is guilty of a Class G felony.

To prove the above charge, the State will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
1. The defendant operated a motor vehicle;
2. The defendant operated a motor vehcile in a manner that constituted criminal negligence;
3. The defendant's criminal negligence caused the death of the decedent

Criminal negligence means:
1. The defendant's operation of a vehicle created a risk of death or great bodily injury;
2. The risk of death or GBI was substantial and unreasonable;
3. Drive should have been aware that his/her operation of a vehicle created the unreasonable and substantial risk of death or GBI.

Bean
12-13-2011, 01:56 PM
Just because they were texting doesn't mean the accident wouldn't have happened had they not been texting.
Of all the fatal car accidents more people are wearing their seatbeat then not. Proof that wearing your seatbeat should be outlawed.

And many times more are killed by makeing left turns. I move that we outlaw left turns too.

Bean

Mike Green
12-13-2011, 02:01 PM
Worse yet, the research shows that teens and young adults who believe they're not impaired by texting or other "tech distractions" are, in fact, functionally impaired, whether in terms of increased reaction times or decreased accuracy. Some studies have suggested that the amount of brain network available in specific areas is roughly divided up among the tasks being managed and reaction times increase accordingly.

We do outlaw left turns when there's observable increased danger from them, whether from traffic volume at certain times or the specifics of the intersection design / construction / environment.

More people are wearing seatbelts in fatal accidents than not because there are penalties for not wearing a seatbelt. Research, both on "crash dummies" and analysis of statistics on fatalities and injuries in automobile accidents, as shown that seatbelts reduce injury and fatalities.

W9GFO
12-13-2011, 02:09 PM
The lesson-don't text behind the wheel. You could kill someone and go to prison for up to 10 years.
Wisconsin Homicide by Negligent Use of a Motor Vehicle: Wis. Stat. 940.10(1)
(1) Whoever causes the death of another human being by the negligent operation or handling of a vehicle is guilty of a Class G felony.

To prove the above charge, the State will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
1. The defendant operated a motor vehicle;
2. The defendant operated a motor vehcile in a manner that constituted criminal negligence;
3. The defendant's criminal negligence caused the death of the decedent

Criminal negligence means:
1. The defendant's operation of a vehicle created a risk of death or great bodily injury;
2. The risk of death or GBI was substantial and unreasonable;
3. Drive should have been aware that his/her operation of a vehicle created the unreasonable and substantial risk of death or GBI.

This is an example of existing laws that cover the bad behavior of texting while driving. There is simply no need for yet another law, it's just a feel good thing.

The cell phone use laws that we have now are actually encouraging texting. Easier to hold the phone low out of view and text than to get out the bluetooth headset.

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 02:50 PM
Just because they were texting doesn't mean the accident wouldn't have happened had they not been texting.
Of all the fatal car accidents more people are wearing their seatbeat then not. Proof that wearing your seatbeat should be outlawed.

And many times more are killed by makeing left turns. I move that we outlaw left turns too.

Bean

Making left turns is necessary (to facillitate traffic flow) - texting while driving is not necessary.

Neither is putting on makeup, etc, etc - a little common sense goes a long way...

I love technology and gadgets but when people become so obsessed that taking their phone away causes anxiety and withdrawal symptoms, there is a problem.

Tor
12-13-2011, 03:14 PM
Of all the fatal car accidents more people are wearing their seatbeat then not. Proof that wearing your seatbeat should be outlawed.
You're joking, presumably.. but, just in case you aren't: Of all the fatal car accidents more people are wearing their clothes on than not. Proof that wearing clothes while driving should be outlawed?

When using statistics it pays to understand statistics too.

-Tor

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 03:35 PM
This is an example of existing laws that cover the bad behavior of texting while driving. There is simply no need for yet another law, it's just a feel good thing.


But since laws are subject to interpretation and lawyers are so adept at twisting them to their purpose, the more precise the wording of the law, the easier it is to achieve the intent of the law.

Heater.
12-13-2011, 03:47 PM
Except if you found out what was the cause of every road traffic fatality or injury and carefully crafted a law to make sure that never happened again you would probably find that it's impossible to drive without bteaking a law. With the result that either:
a) Nobody drives any more. Very safe but unlikely.
b) Everybody ignores the laws and drives anyway. Even more dangerous than the current situation.

By all metrics the USA has a serious problem with it's road safety. It is very high up on the world wide road fatality stats. And I can't believe that's down to texting.

Also the fatality stats since the early 1990s show a const decline despite the huge rise in mo ile phone usage in that time.

W9GFO
12-13-2011, 04:07 PM
I'm sure you've heard that you can get a DUI even if your car is parked, ignition off and you are at the controls. The next step is that you can get fined for texting or making a phone call even when your car is parked.

If the existing laws were enforced better, fatalities would decline. If you could stop people from tailgating and following too closely, there would be a drastic decrease in the number of accidents. More-so than if everyone stopped texting. We already have laws that say you can't follow too close but nearly everyone does, and it is largely ignored by law enforcement.

As far as statistics, I am sure that the accident described in the first post will add to the texting statistics even though the major cause was following too closely.

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 04:08 PM
Except if you found out what was the cause of every road traffic fatality or injury and carefully crafted a law to make sure that never happened again you would probably find that it's impossible to drive without bteaking a law. With the result that either:
a) Nobody drives any more. Very safe but unlikely.
b) Everybody ignores the laws and drives anyway. Even more dangerous than the current situation.

By all metrics the USA has a serious problem with it's road safety. It is very high up on the world wide road fatality stats. And I can't believe that's down to texting.

Also the fatality stats since the early 1990s show a const decline despite the huge rise in mo ile phone usage in that time.

All of the various causes of accidents can not be enumerated but there is a dramatic increase in accidents due to mobile devices.

The decrease in fatalities is probably due to safer vehicles and increased use of seat belts (since seat belt law enforcement has increased).

Or maybe you believe that since texting is on the rise and fatalities are down, texting must be responsible for fewer deaths...

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 04:22 PM
link: Driver sent or got 11 texts in 11 min before crash (http://news.yahoo.com/driver-sent-got-11-texts-11-min-crash-151619850.html)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A 19-year-old pickup truck driver involved in a deadly highway pileup in Missouri last year sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes immediately before the accident, federal investigators said Tuesday.

The driver sent six texts and received five texts, with the last text just before his pickup traveling at 55 mph crashed into the back of a tractor truck, beginning a chain collision. The pickup was rear-ended by a school bus, which in turn was rammed by a second school bus.
The pickup driver and a 15-year-old student on one of the school buses were killed. Thirty-eight other people were injured in the Aug. 5, 2010, accident near Gray Summit, Mo.

Nearly 50 students, mostly members of a high school band from St. James, Mo., were on the buses heading to the Six Flags St. Louis amusement park.
The accident is a "big red flag for all drivers," NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman said at a meeting to determine the cause of the accident and make safety recommendations.

It's not possible to know from cell phone records if the driver was typing, reaching for the phone or reading a text at the time of the crash, but it's clear he was manually, cognitively and visually distracted, she said.
"Driving was not his only priority," Hersman said. "No call, no text, no update is worth a human life."

The board is expected to recommend new restrictions on driver use of electronic devices behind the wheel. While the NTSB doesn't have the power to impose restrictions, it's recommendations carry significant weight with federal regulators and congressional and state lawmakers.
Missouri had a law banning drivers under 21 years old from texting while driving at the time of the crash, but wasn't aggressively enforcing the ban, board member Robert Sumwalt said.

"Without the enforcement, the laws don't mean a whole lot," he said.

Investigators are seeing texting, cell phone calls and other distracting behavior by operators in accidents across all modes of transportation with increasing frequency. It has become routine for investigators to immediately request the preservation of cell phone and texting records when they launch an investigation.
In the last few years the board has investigated a commuter rail accident that killed 25 people in California in which the train engineer was texting; a fatal marine accident in Philadelphia in which a tugboat pilot was talking on his cellphone and using a laptop; and a Northwest Airlines flight that flew more than 100 miles past its destination because both pilots were working on their laptops.

The board has previously recommended bans on texting and cell phone use by commercial truck and bus drivers and beginning drivers, but it has stopped short of calling for a ban on the use of the devices by adults behind the wheel of passenger cars.

The problem of texting while driving is getting worse despite a rush by states to ban the practice, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said last week. In November, Pennsylvania became the 35th state to forbid texting while driving.

About two out of 10 American drivers overall — and half of drivers between 21 and 24 — say they've thumbed messages or emailed from the driver's seat, according to a survey of more than 6,000 drivers by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

And what's more, many drivers don't think it's dangerous when they do it — only when others do, the survey found.

At any given moment last year on America's streets and highways, nearly 1 in every 100 car drivers was texting, emailing, surfing the Web or otherwise using a handheld electronic device, the safety administration said. And those activities spiked 50 percent over the previous year.
The agency takes an annual snapshot of drivers' behavior behind the wheel by staking out intersections to count people using cellphones and other devices, as well as other distracting behavior.

Driver distraction wasn't the only significant safety problem uncovered by NTSB's investigation of the Missouri accident. Investigators said they believe the pickup driver was suffering from fatigue that may have eroded his judgment at the time of the accident. He had an average of about five and a half hours of sleep a night in the days leading up to the accident and had had fewer than five hours of sleep the night before the accident, they said.

The pickup driver had no history of accidents or traffic violations, investigators said.
Investigators also found significant problems with the brakes of both school buses involved in the accident. A third school bus sent to a hospital after the accident to pick up students crashed in the hospital parking lot when that bus' brakes failed.
However, the brake problems didn't cause or contribute to the severity of the accident, investigators said.

Another issue involved the difficulty passengers had exiting the first school bus after the accident. The bus' front and rear bus doors were unusable after the accident — the front door because the front bus was on top of the tractor truck cab and too high off the ground, and the rear door because the front of the bus had intruded five feet into the rear of the first bus.

Passengers had to exit through an emergency window, but the raised latch on the window kept catching on clothing as students tried to escape, investigators said. Exiting was further slowed because the window design required one person to hold the window up in order for a second person to crawl through, they said.

It was critical for passengers to exit as quickly as possible because a large amount of fuel puddled underneath the bus was a serious fire hazard, investigators said.

graffix
12-13-2011, 04:23 PM
I don't see much progress or creative thinking here. People are problem solvers. They made a range sensor for front bumpers though not in every vehicle yet.What can you think of.Realistically that would work, other than fines for cell phone use by the driver of a vehicle?

Heater.
12-13-2011, 04:24 PM
Ron,
But is there a dramatic increase in accidents due to using mobile devices? I can't find any stats to indicate it. Do you have a reference?

Please note that I'm very sure that operating a dangerous machine whilst paying attention to some thing else is a really bad idea none the less.

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 04:30 PM
I don't see much progress or creative thinking here. People are problem solvers. They made a range sensor for front bumpers though not in every vehicle yet.What can you think of.Realistically that would work, other than fines for cell phone use by the driver of a vehicle?

If car makers and cell phone makers worked together, the could develop technology that would prevent cell phones from working if a car was moving.

Of course, it would be difficult to isolate the driver's phone while allowing passengers to use their device.

Car makers are more interested in adding more distractions - dashboard LCD displays, MP3 player ports, etc, etc.
I nice markup/profit for trying to turn a vehicle into an entertainment center.

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 04:35 PM
Ron,
But is there a dramatic increase in accidents due to using mobile devices? I can't find any stats to indicate it. Do you have a reference?

Please note that I'm very sure that operating a dangerous machine whilst paying attention to some thing else is a really bad idea none the less.

There are several links in post #18 (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?136606-Driver-was-texting-2-killed-38-injured&p=1059168&viewfull=1#post1059168) above - e.g. the Monash University & VTTI links

W9GFO
12-13-2011, 05:09 PM
Okay, this is the last time I will try to draw attention to this.


The pickup was rear-ended by a school bus, which in turn was rammed by a second school bus.

Am I the only one who sees the real cause of the deaths and injuries was inattention by the school bus drivers? The texting teen certainly screwed up but it was the busses that did the real damage. You can't blame texting for the bus driver rear ending the pickup.

Also, why was the bus driver not paying attention to the truck tractor in front of the pickup. There's only a 20 ft difference between ramming the pickup and ramming the truck that the pickup hit.

There are probably details that we are missing but based upon the information we have it is clear that the bus drivers really screwed the pooch on this one.

edit: I just noticed additional details at the bottom of the report. They say the busses had bad brakes but that didn't contribute to the accident??? Still does not relieve the drivers of responsibility. The first bus was on top of the truck tractor? What if the pickup wasn't even there? The truck tractor was there and the bus ended up on top of it.

It is conceivable that the pickup did come to a stop before hitting the tractor and was then rear-ended by the two busses with bad brakes that were following too closely.

This is a very strange story.

http://forums.parallax.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=87666

Bean
12-13-2011, 05:15 PM
Making left turns is necessary (to facillitate traffic flow) - texting while driving is not necessary.

Making a left turn is not "necessary". You can make three right turns instead.
It is just more convenient to make a left turn. Just like it is more convenient to text while driving. Both are dangerous, only one is against the law.
Also police cars have laptops mounted to be used while driving. Hmmm, I would have thought that would be very distracting.

Bean

Bean
12-13-2011, 05:28 PM
You're joking, presumably.. but, just in case you aren't: Of all the fatal car accidents more people are wearing their clothes on than not. Proof that wearing clothes while driving should be outlawed?

Exactly my point, how to you know the cloths DIDN'T cause the accident ? Just like how can you be sure the texting DID cause the accident ? Just because they happened to be texting when the accident occured does not mean that it was the cause.

Bean

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 05:33 PM
Making a left turn is not "necessary". You can make three right turns instead.
It is just more convenient to make a left turn. Just like it is more convenient to text while driving. Both are dangerous, only one is against the law.
Also police cars have laptops mounted to be used while driving. Hmmm, I would have thought that would be very distracting.

Bean

Not all roads are laid out in nice square blocks with two way streets. Some poorly designed expressway on ramps require a left turn unless you want to go miles out your way.

Yes, I'm sure laptops are distracting to police. We have had many accidents (and even deaths) caused by police officers in my city. They speed, don't use lights and sirens according to policy, etc. Doesn't justify anything.

Several months ago I had a driver run a red light across a four lane road right in front of me. If I hadn't slammed on the brakes, she would have t-boned my car.
She had her cell phone up to her head (not texting) and was jabbering away.

She had a terrified look on her face when she realized the situation but I expect she continues to drive distracted.

I have witnessed several similar incidents - the majority of drivers were holding their phone.

Maybe if you experince it first-hand, you'll have a different perspective.

Computer Geek 101
12-13-2011, 05:44 PM
This is on cnn today....

http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/13/us/ntsb-cell-phone-ban/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 05:54 PM
This is on cnn today....

http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/13/us/ntsb-cell-phone-ban/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Makes sense to me, but people will do it anyway. If insurance companies cancelled policies or raised rates for those people ticketed for violations.

Also if it can be proven that illegal use of a mobile device led to injury or death meant mandatory jail time, it might have more of an impact.

Of course, if you are Lindsay Lohan, you get a "get outa jail free pass"


"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." - George Bernard Shaw

W9GFO
12-13-2011, 05:57 PM
Aha!

From http://www.stnonline.com/home/top-stories/3921-ntsb-truck-driver-was-texting-prior-to-2010-fatal-missouri-school-bus-crash


The accident was under investigation by the NTSB and the Missouri Highway Patrol for several months. However, an initial report indicated that inattentiveness on the part of the driver of the first bus caused it to collide initially, while a short following distance between the first and second bus caused the final rear-end collision. The NTSB also was reportedly looking into whether seat belts should have been used in the school buses.

In November 2010, Dwight Foster, the deputy director of NTSB’s Office of Highway Safety reviewed the multi-vehicle highway accident for members of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services during the group's annual meeting in Portland, Ore. At that time he said it was "inexplicable" why the driver of the first school bus failed to react to the slowing traffic on Missouri’s Instate 44.

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 06:06 PM
Aha!

From http://www.stnonline.com/home/top-stories/3921-ntsb-truck-driver-was-texting-prior-to-2010-fatal-missouri-school-bus-crash

But yet the CNN report mentioned above is titled "NTSB recommends full ban on use of cell phones while driving"

Guess the NTSB considers it a serious problem regardless of the questions in this specific incident...

W9GFO
12-13-2011, 06:14 PM
Which should raise the question of why are they focusing on the texting of the teen driver when the evidence of texting causing the accident is circumstantial? Yet the fault of the bus drivers can be proven. It appears that someone has an agenda.

From http://newsfeedresearcher.com/data/articles_n51/driver-safety-texting.html







BOTH school bus drivers were at fault also. Granted they didn't cause the initial accident, but as one rearended the initial accident vehicles and then the trailing bus rearended the front bus, they were following WAY too close to each other and the vehicles in front. They did NOT leave enough stopping or maneuver room. Had they not been tailgating, it's entirely possible that neither teen would have died, at the minimum, one would NOT have died. [4] (http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/12/9396742-texting-teen-faulted-in-deadly-crash-with-school-buses-trucks) Following that, a school bus struck the back of the pickup truck, and finally the school bus was struck in the rear by another school bus that had been following. [3] (http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2011/Dec11/121211/121211-07.shtml) The AP reports the first bus hit the pickup truck and pushed it over the rear of the bobtail tractor. The second bus, also loaded with the band students, hit the rear of the first bus and pushed it on top of the pickup and bobtail tractor. [3] (http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2011/Dec11/121211/121211-07.shtml) The chain of rear end collisions began when the pickup truck rammed the back of the tractor truck, the board said. [2] (http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/motoring/6132457/Driver-was-texting-in-fatal-traffic-pileup)

graffix
12-13-2011, 06:17 PM
OMG... W9GFO what a picture and valid points.Idk this went from ahh maybe to no way.What a politician Ron.sorry

Bean
12-13-2011, 06:24 PM
Several months ago I had a driver run a red light across a four lane road right in front of me. If I hadn't slammed on the brakes, she would have t-boned my car.
She had her cell phone up to her head (not texting) and was jabbering away.
She had a terrified look on her face when she realized the situation but I expect she continues to drive distracted.
I have witnessed several similar incidents - the majority of drivers were holding their phone.
Maybe if you experince it first-hand, you'll have a different perspective.

Was she wearing clothes ?
I'm not trying to be funny here. If she wouldn't have been on the cell phone, then what would you have said caused her distraction ?

You are drawing conclusions where none exist. We as humans are always looking for an easy answer.
Whenever you see someone doing something dangerous and they are using a phone, you immediately conclude that the phone is the reason. Because it is so obvious and you don't need to dig any deeper. Maybe she was DUI, maybe she was tired, maybe she was looking at her speedometer. There are many many reasons she may have run the light.

There have been times I was on the phone and someone else (not using a cell phone) ran a red light and I stopped in time to avoid an accident. If I wouldn't have stopped in time, would the accident have been my fault ? Or "more" my fault ? The cops would say "If you hadn't been on your cell phone you might have been able to stop in time.".

I think all this got started because young kids are bad drivers because of a lack of experience. And young kids also use cell phones a lot. People believe that it is the cell phones causing the bad driving. But it is not. They are bad drivers on the phone or not.

I've beat this topic to death I fear. So I'm going to leave it alone now.

Bean

W9GFO
12-13-2011, 06:27 PM
We as humans are always looking for an easy answer.


So true!

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 06:32 PM
Again, this one particular incident does not encapsulate the whole issue.


It appears that someone has an agenda.

What monetary (or other benefit) would "someone" get from banning cell phones/texting?

The postal service maybe? Everyone would go back to hand written letters...

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 06:38 PM
Was she wearing clothes ?
I'm not trying to be funny here. If she wouldn't have been on the cell phone, then what would you have said caused her distraction ?

You are drawing conclusions where none exist. We as humans are always looking for an easy answer.
Whenever you see someone doing something dangerous and they are using a phone, you immediately conclude that the phone is the reason. Because it is so obvious and you don't need to dig any deeper. Maybe she was DUI, maybe she was tired, maybe she was looking at her speedometer. There are many many reasons she may have run the light.

There have been times I was on the phone and someone else (not using a cell phone) ran a red light and I stopped in time to avoid an accident. If I wouldn't have stopped in time, would the accident have been my fault ? Or "more" my fault ? The cops would say "If you hadn't been on your cell phone you might have been able to stop in time.".

I think all this got started because young kids are bad drivers because of a lack of experience. And young kids also use cell phones a lot. People believe that it is the cell phones causing the bad driving. But it is not. They are bad drivers on the phone or not.

I've beat this topic to death I fear. So I'm going to leave it alone now.

Bean

Seriously? You are ignoring the scientific research done on distracted driving and reaction times, etc. There is a proven effect.

There will always be bad drivers, but there is no sense in increasing the risk.

W9GFO
12-13-2011, 06:47 PM
What monetary (or other benefit) would "someone" get from banning cell phones/texting?

The postal service maybe? Everyone would back to hand written letters...

People push for what they believe in, even if it isn't entirely reasonable. Monetary reward (or other benefit) is not required. It is always a concern when someone or some group uses a tragic incident like this to gain support for their cause. It is misleading and dishonest.

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 06:55 PM
People push for what they believe in, even if it isn't entirely reasonable. Monetary reward (or other benefit) is not required. It is always a concern when someone or some group uses a tragic incident like this to gain support for their cause. It is misleading and dishonest.

That is certainly true - some people can easily ignore facts and evidence if it doesn't jibe with their view...

Heater.
12-13-2011, 07:13 PM
What?

School busses with defective brakes. Two school bus drivers driving without due care and attention.

Perhaps someone somwhere has a vested interest in pinning the blame on a texting teenager. Who may have survived if it were not for the busses rear ending him.

This story is very odd.

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 07:24 PM
Video links

Testing Drivers While Text Messaging
(http://www.5min.com/Video/Distracted-Driving--Testing-Drivers-While-Text-Messaging-516917903)
Learn about Dangers of Distracted Driving (http://www.5min.com/Video/Learn-about-Dangers-of-Distracted-Driving-219730576)









87672

idbruce
12-13-2011, 07:25 PM
I cannot believe that people are arguing this point. It is utterly absurd. It only takes a split second for an accident to occur. Any distraction whatsoever can result in the loss of life or severe bodily injury. As mentioned by the italian driver, just looking at the speedometer can cause an accident. I personally think they should outlaw the use of all electronic devices while in a moving vehicle and I think it should have the same penalties as driving under the influence and causing death while intoxicated.

Like previously mentioned, it is all a joke to some of you until it affects you or your family. Just keep on laughing until one of your loved ones is killed by one of these people or you kill someone. Ignorance has really showed up in this thread, but very interesting Ron.

Bruce

graffix
12-13-2011, 07:53 PM
I hope the school gets sued.The investigators should retract their bad break issue not being a factor or lose their jobs as well.Then you'll see why pinning it on that poor kid is worth money.I only call this kid poor from all the discussions going around like this.Just my opinion.

Bill Chennault
12-13-2011, 07:54 PM
All--

Abridging the freedom of speech in the USA is a violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Trading freedom for security hastens the turning of The Land of The Free into the land of the safe. Danger abounds in life. People are born. Eventually, people die. No one knows the number of our days. No one knows the manner of the end of our days. Every day we live should be a day lived in freedom.

If you text while driving and kill me, I will have lived freely knowing I have not done the same. Good enough. Plus, I have hands-free cell equipment. Doesn't everyone? Maybe THAT should be the law. Add speech to text in the car and we are home free.

If we (in the US) are lucky, government interference in the marketplace will be limited to a technology solution instead of a constitutional abridgment.

--Bill

Heater.
12-13-2011, 08:02 PM
Bruce,
I really do not want to make light of such tradgic events.
However I do think that gut reactions are not always the best solutions.
As you say in yor post, looking at your speedometer for a fraction of a second gives time for disasters to happen. Dicking with your phone likewise. Can we conclude that speedometers should also be removed from the driving experience? Or what about in car navigation boxes?

Well, actually, you might be right.

On a different note. The USA has whitnessed a serious increase in the death toll among motorcycle riders since the early 90s. I have yet to hear much debate about that and I'm sure it outweighs the mobile phone problem by an order of magnitude. Unless of course the motorcyclists are being slaughtered by texting car drivers.

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 08:08 PM
All--

Abridging the freedom of speech in the USA is a violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Trading freedom for security hastens the turning of The Land of The Free into the land of the safe. Danger abounds in life. People are born. Eventually, people die. No one knows the number of our days. No one knows the manner of the end of our days. Every day we live should be a day lived in freedom.

If you text while driving and kill me, I will have lived freely knowing I have not done the same. Good enough. Plus, I have hands-free cell equipment. Doesn't everyone? Maybe THAT should be the law. Add speech to text in the car and we are home free.

If we (in the US) are lucky, government interference in the marketplace will be limited to a technology solution instead of a constitutional abridgment.

--Bill

"Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive." - Theodore Roosevelt

"Freedom is not constituted primarily of privileges but of responsibilities." - Albert Camus

"Liberty exists in proportion to wholesome restraint." - Daniel Webster

"Liberty is the right to do what the law permits." - Charles De Montesquieu

"The essence of American liberty is to assure men the secured right to every activity which does not trespass the rights of others." - Herbert Hoover

"One's liberty should end when it becomes the curse of his neighbor." - Frederick Farrar

"Liberty must be limited in order to be possessed." - Edmund Burke

W9GFO
12-13-2011, 08:13 PM
"He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither." - Benjamin Franklin

W9GFO
12-13-2011, 08:13 PM
Oops, I think we are approaching the point where moderation will ensue.

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 08:17 PM
Oops, I think we are approaching the point where moderation will ensue.

I never would have suspected that cell phones and texting would rank up there with Politics and Religion as forbidden topics

W9GFO
12-13-2011, 08:21 PM
It's starting to feel political... to me.

bill190
12-13-2011, 08:26 PM
1. I am "mechanical" and understand that if you are going 55 and take your eyes off the road for just a couple of seconds, the vehicle in front of you can suddenly stop and you will NOT be able to stop because every second counts at that speed.

And being "mechanical", I understand that a safe following distance is by watching the car in front of you, and when that car passes a sign, counting "one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three". Then at that time your car should be just getting to that sign. And I understand it takes time to react and distance to stop. The faster you are going, the more stopping distance required.

2. I know that other people are not "mechanical" and do not understand these things! They don't "get it"! Perhaps driving school and gory accident pictures should be required for these people?

W9GFO
12-13-2011, 08:31 PM
We were shown some awfully gruesome pictures of accidents when I was a kid. It was certainly something that I wanted to avoid.

SRLM
12-13-2011, 08:34 PM
"It is also naïve empiricism to provide, in support of some argument, series of eloquent confirmatory quotes by dead authorities. By searching, you can always find someone who made a well-sounding statement that confirms your point of view — and, on every topic, it is possible to find another dead thinker who said the exact opposite." -Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Proof by dead person.

Heater.
12-13-2011, 08:35 PM
All of life is politics.
Some here have suggested new laws to fix the problem.
Others have suggested technological solutions, like disabling phones whilst driving.
Of course the latter is useless without laws to enforce it. Oops back to politics.

I'm afraid it's hopeless. The death toll due to the free availability of guns in the States is far worse than any phone induced traffic accidents. But, hey, it's our right to bear arms, right.

SRLM
12-13-2011, 08:36 PM
I agree that driving while distracted is bad, but it shouldn't be made illegal. Drivers should have internal motivation to drive safely, and the tools to do that. Turning the country into a police state is not the solution.

ctwardell
12-13-2011, 08:36 PM
Insurance, lenient judges, lawyers, and enabling parents have removed the concept of responsibility from the practice of freedoms.

C.W.

Bill Chennault
12-13-2011, 08:37 PM
Ron--



"Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive." - Theodore Roosevelt

"Freedom is not constituted primarily of privileges but of responsibilities." - Albert Camus

"Liberty exists in proportion to wholesome restraint." - Daniel Webster

"Liberty is the right to do what the law permits." - Charles De Montesquieu

"The essence of American liberty is to assure men the secured right to every activity which does not trespass the rights of others." - Herbert Hoover

"One's liberty should end when it becomes the curse of his neighbor." - Frederick Farrar

"Liberty must be limited in order to be possessed." - Edmund Burke


Great men. Great thoughts. None of them--not even the incredible Edmund Burke--wrote, helped write, or signed the Declaration or Constitution, which is the greatest document free men have ever known.

Merry Christmas!

--Bill

schill
12-13-2011, 08:39 PM
1And being "mechanical", I understand that a safe following distance is by watching the car in front of you, and when that car passes a sign, counting "one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three". Then at that time your car should be just getting to that sign. And I understand it takes time to react and distance to stop. The faster you are going, the more stopping distance required.

I was taught that the rule was "2 seconds, but you should use 3 to be safe." I don't think even 3 seconds is enough if you have something that is suddenly not moving forward in front of you (i.e., stopped or moving from the side).

We saw the pictures, too. I will never drive over rebar that's just lying there on the road.

GordonMcComb
12-13-2011, 09:03 PM
"He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither." - Benjamin Franklin

Franklin never said this, though he did quote himself using a different version that makes more sense when taken into context. In a famous use of the quote Franklin was actually calling for reconciliation with Britain just prior to the north engaging in war. Franklin was against the Boston tea raid, and felt the colonies should have made amends for the monetary damages, citing the act uncivil regardless of nation. (Other variations include "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power," which he wrote decades before. Franklin was fond of plagiarizing himself!)

All this being said, misquoting isn't nearly as bad as driving while distracted!

-- Gordon

Heater.
12-13-2011, 09:04 PM
Bill and Schill,
Being "mechanical men" I would hope that you realise there is
no such rule. The safe stopping distance goes up at least with the square of the speed you are travelling at. I have no idea about the USA but when learning to drive in England you are expected to know that even if only by memorizing the few numbers in the back of the highway code. Of course road conditions like rain, snow and ice make stopping distances even bigger. Why on earth are you counting thousands when you should be thinking about what is going on around you?

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 09:05 PM
"It is also naïve empiricism to provide, in support of some argument, series of eloquent confirmatory quotes by dead authorities. By searching, you can always find someone who made a well-sounding statement that confirms your point of view — and, on every topic, it is possible to find another dead thinker who said the exact opposite." -Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Proof by dead person.

We certainly can't learn anything from dead people...

"We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience." - George Bernard Shaw

W9GFO
12-13-2011, 09:08 PM
Franklin never said this...

I was wondering how long it would take.

According to Wikiquote he did say;

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Heater.
12-13-2011, 09:12 PM
I'm not sure old Bengie was talking about road safety there. I great geek by the way.

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 09:13 PM
Ron--

Great men. Great thoughts. None of them--not even the incredible Edmund Burke--wrote, helped write, or signed the Declaration or Constitution, which is the greatest document free men have ever known.

Merry Christmas!

--Bill

I did not know that anyone who did not sign Declaration could have no valuable insight into liberty or freedom.

That certainly restricts the discussion of that topic.

Happy New Year!

W9GFO
12-13-2011, 09:13 PM
"The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity" - A. Lincoln

Ravenkallen
12-13-2011, 09:21 PM
Wow, this "discussion" kinda blew up out of proportion... I think that texting while driving should be discouraged(NOT outlawed). Commercial drivers should have rules in place to ban it, unless it is an emergency. People say that ones mans freedom to preform a action that could potentially harm another should be illegal? That logic could drive us to the point of insanity and the breakdown of society. Technically, getting in a car and driving it anywhere could put another's right to live in danger? Technically smoking in the same house as somebody else is putting their life in danger(From second hand smoke)? Technically holding a box cutter or a pair of scissors could endanger somebody Else's life? Technically cutting a tree down and having it land in a river could cause it to flood out and destroy property or kill somebody? Technically we could send a probe to a far way planet and have angry aliens destroy it and come to earth to exterminate humanity? :)

When making laws as restrictive as one like a texting ban would be, the authority figures must take into consideration ALL of the possible effects of the actions. Sort of like the SOPA debacle that we have in congress right now. They have little idea the kind of damage that law could cause. A governments job should be to provide the most freedoms possible, while protecting the most rights possible, all while maintaining a degree of order to thwart total anarchy.

Heater.
12-13-2011, 09:21 PM
"99% of all right thinking people are wrong."
Monty Python team some time some where.

erco
12-13-2011, 09:21 PM
Misquotes abound. My pastor's-daughter wife points out that the oft-used phrase "God helps those who help themselves", isn't from the bible, but another quote from Benjamin Franklin. Yet according to Wikipedia:

The poet George Herbert published a collection of proverbs, Jacula Prudentum (1651), which included "Help thyself, and God will help thee."[6] But it was the English political theorist Algernon Sidney who originated the now familiar version, "God helps those who help themselves",[7] apparently the first exact rendering of the phrase. Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, used it in his almanac in 1736 and has been widely quoted.[8] As a deist, Franklin believed in God but that God did not intervene in earth's affairs, so all responsibility was incumbent upon people. from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_helps_those_who_help_themselves

Thus even old Benjie "borrowed" phrases. So speaking is like designing in that regard: Good designers borrow. Great designers steal.

schill
12-13-2011, 09:27 PM
Bill and Schill,
Being "mechanical men" I would hope that you realise there is
no such rule. The safe stopping distance goes up at least with the square of the speed you are travelling at. I have no idea about the USA but when learning to drive in England you are expected to know that even if only by memorizing the few numbers in the back of the highway code. Of course road conditions like rain, snow and ice make stopping distances even bigger. Why on earth are you counting thousands when you should be thinking about what is going on around you?

I was just pointing out the rule that I was taught in driver's ed. I never claimed to be "mechanical" by the way, "aeronautical" maybe (that's what my degrees are in :) ). I was not saying that it is THE rule to follow and everything will be ok.

I think there is a big problem in the US (and it seems especially around here) with people not keeping a safe distance. And with people not having a clue about the effects of weather. If it is raining or the road is wet because of rain, people have no problems doing 70+ mph on the highway (65 mph speed limit). But, if the road is dry and they see a single snowflake, then it's 40 mph.

erco
12-13-2011, 09:28 PM
"99% of all right thinking people are wrong."
monty python team some time some where.

judea


a.d.33


saturday afternoon


about tea time

W9GFO
12-13-2011, 09:29 PM
If it is raining or the road is wet because of rain, people have no problems doing 70+ mph on the highway (65 mph speed limit). But, if the road is dry and they see a single snowflake, then it's 40 mph.

You live near Seattle?

Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 09:38 PM
Wow, this "discussion" kinda blew up out of proportion... I think that texting while driving should be discouraged(NOT outlawed).


According to NOLO:

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/cell-phones-texting-driving-state-laws-29774.html

Texting. Twenty-nine states, Washington D.C., and Guam have banned text messaging for all drivers. In most of these states, you can be pulled over and cited for texting as a primary offense.

EDIT: That may be old data - another source said only 15 states do not have a ban on texting...
http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/11/2542286/legislators-try-to-ban-texting.html



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Ron Czapala
12-13-2011, 09:54 PM
http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/11/v-fullstory/2542286/legislators-try-to-ban-texting.html

Legislators try again to ban texting while driving

Once again, lawmakers will consider a ban like those already enacted by 35 states. But some experts say it wouldn’t make the roads any safer.

By KATIE SANDERS
Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida remains one of 15 states without a ban on sending text messages while driving, even as more people admit to the habit while supporting a law to deter it.

There’s a chance — a small one — that state lawmakers will enact a ban during the 60-day legislative session that will start in January. Experts, though, are split on whether the bans make the roads safer.

A few state senators breathed life into the conversation last week when they approved a proposed (and pretty mild) ban on texting while driving at the measure’s first committee hearing.

The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, would make texting while driving punishable as a secondary offense, meaning law enforcement could not pull over motorists simply if they see them texting. A citation could be issued only on top of some other offense, such as speeding, reckless driving or after a crash.

Bans have failed in Florida in recent years despite widespread public support for such a law. Defeat usually comes at the hands of Republicans who view the law as an intrusion on personal liberty. Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, famously blocked a proposed texting ban from being heard in her House committee in 2010, a move that killed the bill.

It is Detert’s third time sponsoring what she called her “no-brainer” idea, SB416. She is also a proponent of small government, she said, but not when privacy overrides public safety.

“I am a big fan of personal freedom, doing whatever you want in your own automobile, as long as you’re not taking me out with you,” she told the Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday.

Members voted 10-0 to move her bill to its next stop. Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, the committee chairman, said he originally planned to vote against it, but Detert’s proposal won him over with its specificity.

“I think it’s important we send this out of here with a loud message, so I’m going to vote with you today,” Latvala said.
Under Detert’s bill, it would still be OK to text at a red light, or use GPS, talk on the phone or dial a number while driving. The ban would extend to composing emails and instant messages.

The first violation would result in a $30 fine. A second violation within five years of the first would cost $60 and three points added to a driver’s license. Six points would be added if the use of a wireless communications device resulted in a crash.

Lobbyists from AAA, AT&T and AARP spoke in support of the measure.

Thirty-five states have introduced texting bans on all drivers. Other states have added restrictions for certain groups, such as teens and bus drivers. Florida has no such laws.

“It’s time that we caught up with the rest of the nation,” said Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, during the committee meeting, “because texting is addictive.”

Drivers have conflicting views: Asked by pollsters, they overwhelmingly say texting while driving should be illegal. But more and more admit to sending text messages while at the wheel.

A national survey released by the federal government Thursday found that about 50 percent of U.S. drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 reported texting or emailing while driving. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood called on Congress this week to enact a national ban on texting while driving.

About 95 percent of drivers agree sending emails or texts while on the road is unacceptable, and 87 percent favor laws against texting while driving, according to the AAA Foundation’s 2011 Traffic Safety Culture Index.

But two studies show traffic safety has not improved in states with bans on cellphone use and texting while driving, according to two studies from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which car insurance companies fund to research ways to reduce the number of traffic accidents.

“Lawmakers should not expect a big safety payoff from these laws,” said Russ Rader, the group’s spokesman. “We’re just not seeing the effects we thought we would.”

Some lawmakers are trying other ways to curb distracted driving. An idea (SB 122) from Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, would require driver improvement and learner’s permit courses to include a segment on the hazards of using phones and other devices at the wheel. It passed its first committee hurdle Wednesday.

And Reps. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, and Sen. Thad Altman, R-Rockledge, have introduced a ban (HB 187/SB 930) on minors using cellphones on the road. Slosberg wants to include school bus drivers, as well.

While the full state Senate has been warm to the ban, having passed it in 2010, the House is another story.
Rep. Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota, is behind Detert’s bill in the House. He has not yet persuaded his colleagues to bring it up.

Pilon, a former patrol officer and road supervisor, has tried winning over the chairman of the first House committee that will hear the proposal, Rep. Brad Drake, R-Eucheeanna. So far, no promises.

“He said, ‘Let’s talk about it,’ ” Pilon said, “so that was encouraging.”

Ravenkallen
12-13-2011, 09:56 PM
@Ron... Well, NH is also the last state to not require seat belt use either(After 18). "Live free or die" after all:)

Bill Chennault
12-14-2011, 12:20 AM
Ron--

I did not know that anyone who did not sign Declaration could have no valuable insight into liberty or freedom.

That certainly restricts the discussion of that topic.

Happy New Year!
Many people who did not sign the Declaration (btw, the Lee brothers are relatives of mine via my grandfather's mother . . . but by this time they might be relatives of everyone :)) have valuable insight into liberty and freedom. The men who wrote the Constitution possessed a time-tested wisdom incontestable by early and modern thinkers.

The fact that I cannot tolerate cell phone use in the car, either for texting or hand-held verbal conversations, has nothing to do with my hesitation to amend the greatest document produced by the hand of man for the freedom of man.

Merry Christmas! (I start saying that after Thanksgiving.)

--Bill

jvrproductions
12-14-2011, 04:01 AM
I don't see much progress or creative thinking here. People are problem solvers. They made a range sensor for front bumpers though not in every vehicle yet.What can you think of.Realistically that would work, other than fines for cell phone use by the driver of a vehicle?

We can create a device with parallax that scramble the cellphone signal if the car is running..... Also can check if the s
Phone is on the pilot or copilot to let the copilot to text...... Now I think will be better just have a litter of common sense and do not text and drive.......

SRLM
12-14-2011, 05:05 AM
If I drove around with a high power cell phone jammer (http://www.chinavasion.com/index.php/cName/security-equipment-jammers/) running in my car, would I be personally safer?

graffix
12-14-2011, 08:30 AM
cell phone jammers are illegal ?yes no. I dont know if that is even a good option I never used one or researched a cell phone jammer. If everyone had one in thier car would it disrupt the service as a whole?Is there an alternative?
I do wish people would just have a little common sense.Fact is they dont.They care mostly of themselves and whats infront of them or not. If you take thier poor selfish thought process out of the equation it would work.Im sure there are other examples in the past of people misusing something that effects others in this case it kills them, sometimes whole generations of a family. With a huge trickle down effect to whats left of the family.Who may have done nothing wrong any of them.Overtime if it becomes a real problem for society then it will be addressed. Handing people tickets isnt going to work.There is no way a cop could tell unless your using your cell in front of them.Or if they checked your phone after the damage has been done.So if that many people get away with it the problem is still there.
Really I'm done with this thread no need to reply to me.

eagletalontim
12-14-2011, 11:51 PM
I don't usually post on something like this, but on this topic, I have to.... After reading the first page or two on how all the distractions that could be in your car should be banned....all I have to say is LOL! Who has to look at the radio to turn the volume up? Who has to look at their passenger while carrying on a conversation? Most things that were mentioned you don't have to take your eyes off the road. I do agree some people can text without looking at their phone, but they have to read the incoming messages sometime. Unless you can read an entire text in less than a second, then don't do it! Texting while driving, walking, shopping, eating, in the same house should be banned permanently by the entire US. I know way too many people who text and if I am having a conversation with them and they get a text, the conversation is put on hold while they reply back. What else are they going to put on hold while answering a text? Honestly, it is sooooo much easier to push up to 10 numbers then talk, than it is to do 1000 keystrokes to have a conversation. If 10 numbers is too much, try speed dial :p

bill190
12-15-2011, 03:54 PM
Well drivers are not the only ones texting!

Seems the people in the operating room giving you an operation are texting during your operation!

"A peer-reviewed survey of 439 medical technicians published this year in Perfusion, a journal about cardio-pulmonary bypass surgery, found that 55 percent of technicians who monitor bypass machines acknowledged to researchers that they had talked on cellphones during heart surgery. Half said they had texted while in surgery."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/health/as-doctors-use-more-devices-potential-for-distraction-grows.html

Ron Czapala
12-15-2011, 04:34 PM
Well drivers are not the only ones texting!

Seems the people in the operating room giving you an operation are texting during your operation!

"A peer-reviewed survey of 439 medical technicians published this year in Perfusion, a journal about cardio-pulmonary bypass surgery, found that 55 percent of technicians who monitor bypass machines acknowledged to researchers that they had talked on cellphones during heart surgery. Half said they had texted while in surgery."


Interesting since hospitals say cell phones interfere with medical equipment...

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/research-shows-hands-free-phones-risky-15159825

Research Shows Hands-Free Phones Just as Risky

By JOAN LOWY Associated Press
WASHINGTON December 15, 2011 (AP)
When someone is talking to you, your brain is listening, processing and thinking about what's being said — even if you're in the driver's seat trying to concentrate on traffic.

That's why drivers get distracted during cellphone conversations, even when using hands-free phones, researchers say. It's also part of the reason why the National Transportation Safety Board made a recommendation this week it knows a lot of drivers won't like — that states ban hands-free, as well as hand-held, cellphone use while driving.

It's not where your hands are, but where your mind is that counts, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman told reporters.

The board doesn't have the power to force states to impose a ban, but its recommendations carry significant weight. And, judging from the public reaction, they've already started a national conversation on the subject. NTSB has been swamped with calls, emails and tweets from drivers both praising and condemning the action.

It's the proposed hands-free ban that has generated the most controversy.
What's next? No passengers? No kids? No tuning the radio? Maybe NTSB will ban driving altogether, was the tenor of the response on Twitter.

The scientific evidence, however, is generally with NTSB, researchers said.

"There is a large body of evidence showing that talking on a phone, whether hand-held or hands-free, impairs driving and increases your risk of having a crash," Anne McCartt, senior vice president for research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said.
Jim Hedlund, a safety consultant and former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official, recently examined 300 cellphone studies for the Governors Highway Safety Association. He couldn't recall a single study that showed drivers talking on a headset or hands-free phone were at any less risk of an accident than drivers with one hand on the wheel and a phone in the other.

A similar analysis for the government of Sweden recently came to the same conclusion: "There is no evidence suggesting that hands-free mobile phone use is less risky than handheld use."

What's missing is hard evidence that accidents are increasing because of cellphone use. One reason is that U.S. privacy laws have made it difficult for researchers to study whether cell phones were in use in accidents in the U.S. The two large studies that have been done — in Canada and Australia — found drivers were four times more likely to have a crash if talking on a cellphone. It didn't matter whether the cellphone was hands-free or hand-held.

But that hasn't translated to an increase in highway fatalities in the U.S., where they hit their lowest level since 1949 last year.
Of 6,000 drivers surveyed by the highway administration, 40 percent said they don't consider it unsafe for drivers to talk on a hands-free cellphone. Less than 12 percent said that about a hand-held phone.

Marcel Just, director of Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging, isn't surprised.
It's counterintuitive to think that hands-free talking is dangerous because people don't have any sense that their conversation is draining brain power away from driving, but that's exactly what's happening, he said.

Just is the co-author of a 2008 study that used driving simulators to test the performance of drivers not engaged in conversation and drivers who could hear someone talking to them through headphones. Drivers took the simulator tests inside an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine that recorded images of changes in their brains while driving, including which areas of the brain were used for driving. The amount of the brain devoted to driving was 37 percent less in drivers who could hear someone talking to them than for drivers not using cellphones.

"The human mind can multitask, but each task is performed with less brain power and lower proficiency," Just said.
The driving simulators also showed a deterioration of skills on the part of drivers who could hear someone talking to them, including weaving between lanes and edging over the side of the road.

"When someone is speaking your native language, you can't will yourself to not hear and process it. It just goes in," Just said. Even if a driver tries to ignore the words, scientists "can see activation in the auditory cortex, in the language areas (of the brain). "
Accident investigators have seen cases of drivers talking on hands-free phones whose minds are so engrossed in their conversations that they ran into something plainly visible.

In a 2004, a bus driver taking students on a class trip drove his 12-foot-high bus into a 10-foot, 2-inch-high bridge arch in Alexandria, Va., peeling off the roof of the bus. There were signs warning drivers about the height of the bridge, and the bus driver was familiar with the route. He also saw a bus in front of him change lanes to avoid the low arch. But the bus driver, who was talking a hands-free phone at the time, drove right into it.
"There is a standard code for crash investigations called roughly 'look, but didn't see.' In other words, I was looking in the right place, but I didn't register what was there," Hedlund said.

Of course, drivers don't have to be using cellphones to have conversations — they talk with passengers all the time. But talking to an adult passenger doesn't involve the same risk as a phone conversation, researchers said. That's because passengers are engaged in the driving experience with the driver. If they see a danger, they'll usually warn the driver. Passengers also tend to instinctually adjust their conversation to the level of traffic and other difficulties confronting the driver.

There are lots of other things that go on in cars that are risky: eating and drinking, tuning the radio, studying maps and applying makeup, for example. Just like talking on the phone, most of those things involve a choice by the driver.

As for the screaming toddler in the backseat demanding attention, "some things are just part of life," McCartt said.

Dr_Acula
12-15-2011, 09:09 PM
Little statistic in Time magazine the other week:

40% - the reduction in motor vehicle accidents in Abu Dhabi during a recent three day Blackberry outage.

Heater.
12-16-2011, 08:46 AM
Dr_A,

That is one scary statistic.

Bill190,


55 percent of technicians who monitor bypass machines acknowledged to researchers that they had talked on cellphones during heart surgery. Half said they had texted while in surgery."

Given the amount of bacteria that live on/in phones that is also worrying. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/13/mobile-phones-uk-e-coli

Dave Hein
12-17-2011, 11:08 AM
This can all be resolved with technology. Texting can be made hands-free if we could automatically translate speech into text. On the receiving side we just need to convert text back to speech. I bet we could do this on a Prop.

EDIT: I just did an internet search, and discovered that there is a much simpler technology that already does something like this, and it doesn't even require the intermediate text conversions. It's called voicemail! Not only that, but there is a voice mode where you can actually send and receive at the same time. I believe it was invented a few years ago by some guy named Alex Bell, or something like that.

Loopy Byteloose
12-17-2011, 11:53 AM
Yes technology can resolve this - just have all communicating, texting and dialing devices disabled when one is behind the wheel.

Watching this thread grow to five pages has been rather confounding. It just seems we want to deny the solution should apply particularly to ourselves.

The simple fact that autos have killed more people than all the wars in history is really central to the issue. We love our conveniences and our economic growth more than our physical security.

Bill Chennault
12-17-2011, 01:42 PM
Loopy Byteloose and All--

Maybe we are justifying the continued use of the biggest killer of humans the world has ever known (sounds good; I don't know if it is true) by saying 'ok, ban this trivial part that causes a few more deaths'.

I am totally against texting while driving or cell phone use--unless it is hands free--while driving. However, I am against abridging the U.S. Constitution even more. A lot more.

--Bill

Ron Czapala
12-17-2011, 01:45 PM
Loopy Byteloose and All--

Maybe we are justifying the continued use of the biggest killer of humans the world has ever known (sounds good; I don't know if it is true) by saying 'ok, ban this trivial part that causes a few more deaths'.

I am totally against texting while driving or cell phone use--unless it is hands free--while driving. However, I am against abridging the U.S. Constitution even more. A lot more.

--Bill

Bill, I don't think there has ever been any mention of amending the Constitution. The States change their laws due to the NTSB recommendation.
I suppose Federal funding could be used as an "incentive"...


The recommendation is the most far-reaching yet by the National Transportation Safety Board, which in the past 10 years has increasingly sought to limit the use of portable electronic devices -- recommending bans for novice drivers, school bus drivers and commercial truckers. Tuesday's recommendation, if adopted by states, would outlaw non-emergency phone calls and texting by operators of every vehicle on the road.

Bill Chennault
12-17-2011, 02:15 PM
Ron--

No one has mentioned amending the Constitution. If the Constitution were to be amended to ban cell phone/texting use while driving, that would be an exercise of our system at work in its grandest fashion. (This is not going to happen, though. We can't even amend the Constitution to get a balanced budget, much less to ban cell phones/texting while driving!!!) What I am saying--and what I am afraid of--is abridging the Constitution via local or congressional legislation and law to ban cell phone/texting use while driving. Constitutionalists will file suit immediately if such a law were passed. Heck, they probably already have the suit and injunction prepared, ready to drop on a Federal court.

Despite my complete rejection of cell phone/texting use while driving, I would completely and enthusiastically support any attempt to ban such short of an amendment to the First Amendment. (I don't think we are going to amend the First Amendment.)

Having said all that, I do believe legislation will be proposed, passed, and implemented to ban cell phone/texting use while driving either on the local, state, or federal levels. THEN the First Amendment law suits will be filed.

--Bill

Ron Czapala
12-17-2011, 02:58 PM
Ron--

No one has mentioned amending the Constitution. If the Constitution were to be amended to ban cell phone/texting use while driving, that would be an exercise of our system at work in its grandest fashion. (This is not going to happen, though. We can't even amend the Constitution to get a balanced budget, much less to ban cell phones/texting while driving!!!) What I am saying--and what I am afraid of--is abridging the Constitution via local or congressional legislation and law to ban cell phone/texting use while driving. Constitutionalists will file suit immediately if such a law were passed. Heck, they probably already have the suit and injunction prepared, ready to drop on a Federal court.

Despite my complete rejection of cell phone/texting use while driving, I would completely and enthusiastically support any attempt to ban such short of an amendment to the First Amendment. (I don't think we are going to amend the First Amendment.)

Having said all that, I do believe legislation will be proposed, passed, and implemented to ban cell phone/texting use while driving either on the local, state, or federal levels. THEN the First Amendment law suits will be filed.

--Bill

Since 35 states already have bans or partial bans, it seems safe to say the courts do not believe the bans violate the first amendment.

Bill Chennault
12-17-2011, 03:19 PM
Ron--

Since 35 states already have bans or partial bans, it seems safe to say the courts do not believe the bans violate the first amendment.
You are right. It does. I wonder if the courts have considered and dismissed suits challenging the bans on First Amendment grounds? (Rhetorical question; I can look it up as easily as you.)

Do you know if any state has banned hands-free cell phone use while driving?

I remain firmly convinced there will be First Amendment challenges. State actions merely set the stage for Constitutional challenges. If there were no state actions, there would be no Constitutional challenges. (Duh.)

--Bill

Loopy Byteloose
12-17-2011, 03:19 PM
MY dear old grandpa always said, "Most people in the graveyard had the right of way."

Years ago in Taiwan, I witnessed a guy on a motor scooter that was on a cell phone get broadsided by a car for running a red light. Nothing remarkable in that, but when he refused to get up because he was unfinished with his phone call, I was taken back a bit. After all, he was lying in the middle of a busy intersection.

I really wonder how use of a cellular phone in a potentially lethal context is a First Amendment right.

The real problem is when people think the rules should apply to everyone but themselves. Hence we have global warming and here in Taiwan I just attended yet another feast with yet another course of sharks fin soup, and so on......

It used to be said that 'The business of America is business' and that was bad enough. Now the business of America is legislative gridlock. We don't need more laws so much as we need more people with a better sense about custom and reasons for respecting customs.

Ron Czapala
12-17-2011, 03:29 PM
I remain firmly convinced there will be First Amendment challenges. State actions merely set the stage for Constitutional challenges. If there were no state actions, there would be no Constitutional challenges. (Duh.)
--Bill

Depending on the circumstances, the rights of one person can directly conflict with with rights of another.

For example, does the right to listen to loud music on your car stereo conflict with the right of someone who must endure your noise in their own home?

A person's "rights" end when they infringe upon the rights of another - common sense IMHO...

Bill Chennault
12-17-2011, 08:48 PM
Loopy Byteloose--

It used to be said that 'The business of America is business' and that was bad enough. Now the business of America is legislative gridlock.The business of America is still business. (And that is good.) But, many share your view concerning legislative gridlock. It is obvious: Legislative gridlock is the current state of affairs. However, the very existence of gridlock is an example of how perfectly our system is working. The next election will bring about what The People desire. America may move to the left. America may move to the right. America may not move and legislative gridlock will continue to rule the day.

The beauty of the system is that whatever happens, The People make the decision. The Founders designed it to be ponderous and full of inertia to prevent fundamental modification to the system without a lot of debate. Such a system engenders thought and debate and may even fall to lower levels full of acrimony, such as now. Thought, debate, and acrimony--some of it venomous--are the mechanisms by which the system works. I don't have to agree with the results to appreciate the process of which I am an integral part.

--Bill

idbruce
12-17-2011, 08:52 PM
Bill, I really mean no offense, but I did find this very humerous:


The beauty of the system is that whatever happens, The People make the decision.

WOW!

Bill Chennault
12-17-2011, 09:15 PM
PM
idbruce--

Think about my use of the words and phrases 'inertia', 'a lot of debate' (twice), and 'process.' Our system is designed to work slowly. We can only be guaranteed a voice if this huge system has time to hear it. Inertia in the system is the key to its success as it guarantees that nothing will happen quickly, giving The People their right to be heard and heeded.

Personally, I am very dissatisfied with today's conditions as are most Americans from the left to the right. But, it is that very dissatisfaction that contributes to changing today's situation. Fortunately, the system of government we enjoy gives me time to hear what others have to say, to think about what they said, to say what I want, and participate in effecting changes. This is a good definition of a good system.

A good system that takes a long time to work is far better than a bad system that works very quickly. Patience is a virtue by virtue of the difficulty of obtaining it or, nothing is ever easy.

[EDIT: It is not possible to offend me on this forum. I enjoy your thoughts.]

--Bill

$WMc%
12-17-2011, 10:18 PM
Very well said Bill
'
I feel the same way

RonP
12-18-2011, 08:40 AM
This thread brought this accident (http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/10/02/us-usa-train-crash-idUSN0152835520081002) to mind. Old news but on topic I think.

Ron Czapala
12-18-2011, 03:03 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/mo-students-cellphone-debate-isnt-academic-182455284.html

For Mo. students, cellphone debate isn't academic

ST. JAMES, Mo. (AP) — The text was about something innocuous: A request to go to the county fair. It set off a highway pileup that took two lives, injured dozens and left two school buses and a pickup truck in a crumpled heap.

As the nation debates a federal recommendation to eliminate cellphone use in cars, the high school band students from St. James who were involved in the wreck last year have already done it themselves. After losing one of their classmates, many of the teens made a vow: Using a cellphone behind the wheel is something they just won't do.

The young man who was on the other end of the pivotal text exchange, who says he didn't know his friend was driving, is still haunted by the catastrophic result of what began as a simple message about their plans.

"I pretty much feel like it was my fault," said the young man, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition that his name not be used because he fears retaliation from people who might blame him.

He was texting with 19-year-old Daniel Schatz, who investigators say set off the accident by slamming into the back of a semi cab that had slowed for road construction. The buses then crashed into the wreckage. Schatz and a 15-year-old girl on one of the buses, Jessica Brinker, were killed instantly.

The National Transportation Safety Board has cited that accident in its push to ban drivers from using cellphones — even hands-free devices. That recommendation has already met with resistance from lawmakers around the country who fear an unprecedented reach into people's driving habits.

But young people in St. James, a sleepy town of about 3,700 near the Mark Twain National Forest, have already changed their behavior.
"The majority of us will refuse to text and drive because of this," said Ian Vannatta, 16, who was on one of the buses and is a new driver. "It's the difference between life and death."

Emily Perona, now an 18-year-old senior, survived the bus crash with a broken pelvis despite sitting just one seat ahead of Brinker.
"If a text or a call is that important, it should be no problem pulling over to the side of the road and then take care of what you need to," Perona said. "No life is worth texting your friend or anybody back while you're behind the wheel."

The events of Aug. 5, 2010 — spelled out in a chilling Missouri State Highway Patrol report — convinced her of that.
Vannatta and Perona were among about 50 St. James band students piled onto separate buses — one for boys, the other for girls — on their yearly pilgrimage to Six Flags St. Louis.

Conditions were clear, though several stretches along the freeway were under repair. The buses made their way through two work zones before rolling up to a third at Gray Summit, about 40 miles southwest of St. Louis.

Michael Crabtree, a 43-year-old trucker bound for St. Louis for a load, had just gotten onto Interstate 44 driving a semi cab without a trailer. Near Gray Summit, along a straight, uphill ribbon of highway, he slowed for road work when he saw in his rearview mirror a silver pickup barreling down on him. He braced for impact.

The 2007 GMC driven by Schatz — a former University of Missouri reserve quarterback and a Republican state lawmaker's son from nearby Sullivan — hit Crabtree's cab at 55 mph.

Tour bus driver Eugene Reed saw the wreck from behind, pulled over and scrambled out to warn other approaching drivers. That's when both of the St. James buses rolled by.

The lead bus driver told investigators she straddled the eastbound lanes' center line to get around the tour bus. She glanced in the mirror to see what Reed was doing when her bus, carrying the girls in the band, rammed the pickup truck from behind.

Perona recalls everything just shaking, then thinking, "God, help me." In a confused haze, she peered out the left window and saw the bus had tilted skyward.
"It's almost like I blacked out," she remembers. "Then all of a sudden, I was struck."

The second St. James bus had just crashed into the pileup with such force that its front cab broke through the back of the first and into the very back seat, where
Brinker sat directly behind Perona.
"I waited, and I prayed," Perona said.

The violent impact sent the first bus up onto the pickup truck, crushing it, and even atop the semi cab, where the bus came to rest pointed up, almost like a rocket ready to launch.

On the second bus, Vannatta recalls the impact as merely a blur.

"All I remember is seeing the glass shatter, hitting the seat and hearing screaming," he said of the collision that sent him lurching into the seat ahead of him, leaving him with a compression spinal fracture that damaged four of his vertebrae.

Retiree Dan Schrock, who was traveling with his wife from their home in Crescent, Okla., to visit their son in Cincinnati, saw debris flying and stopped to help.
He found the front door of the lead bus too high off the ground for the girls to escape, and the back door was jammed against the pavement. Schrock and other rescuers improvised. Another man managed to climb in as Schrock stood outside a passenger window, ankle-deep in diesel fuel spilling from the bus, and helped lift the girls to safety.

"They just looked like they were in shock," said Schrock, now 76. "They really weren't screaming or crying, just total shock."
Vannatta remembers sitting along the roadside, where a hasty triage was unfolding: The unhurt in one group, those with minor injuries in another. "Those majorly hurt were shipped off as fast as they could," the teenager said.

While both school bus drivers were charged with careless driving, their cases have not yet gone to court.

In the end, it was Schatz's texting that caused the wreck, the patrol and the NTSB determined.

The friend with whom Schatz was texting had known him since childhood. Their exchange that morning was about plans to spend the day at a county fair, the friend told AP. He said he thought Schatz was at work.

Phone records obtained by the Highway Patrol showed that the friend first texted Schatz at 9:58 a.m. An exchange of 10 other texts followed. When the friend sent a final text at 10:09 a.m., Schatz never replied.

"I just figured he got busy," said the young man. He learned later his friend died at about that moment.

Perona waved away any blame for the wreck.

"Everyone makes mistakes," said Perona, who has rebounded from the broken hip and a damaged nerve that until last August left her with a dragging foot, forcing her to drop out of band her senior year as a clarinet player because she couldn't march. "You just need to learn from them."

Trumpet-playing Vannatta, who before the tragedy had never been in a wreck, has taken caution to another level. He puts the phone away when behind the wheel — no exceptions. And he avoids the freeway in his Ford F-150 pickup, taking an outer road to his warehouse job some 15 minutes from home.

Around St. James, the NTSB's call for a total ban on behind-the-wheel cellphone use has blunted the community's efforts to move on from losing a girl whose burial plot includes plaid pink socks — homage to Brinker's always-colorful attire that friends say matched her cheery character.

"I still go to her grave on occasion, where I pray and talk to her," Vannatta said. The tragedy "is something that will stay with this community for a very, very long time. It's going to and has changed all of our lives."

graffix
12-18-2011, 03:53 PM
That music should be able to go as loud as a tractor trailer(loudest legal vehicle).you got the right to sound proof your home.LOL

Bill Chennault
12-18-2011, 04:12 PM
Ron--I remember when that tragedy occurred. The students made the right decision not to use cell phones while driving, again. Perhaps, more people will make the same decision. There are many, many things people should not do while using cell phones, driving is only one of them. But, there are many, many, many combinations of things people can do that are dangerous and deadly. Should the government research every combination and ban it, or let free people use their own common sense?--Bill

Ron Czapala
12-18-2011, 05:12 PM
That music should be able to go as loud as a tractor trailer(loudest legal vehicle).you got the right to sound proof your home.LOL

So everybody in the city should soundproof their home so some punk can blast his music loud enough to be heard blocks away.

Makes perfect sense - NOT. That behavior is typical self-centered look-at-me mentality

graffix
12-18-2011, 05:40 PM
Where would you draw the line ron? When it works for ron(self centered).Reminds me of a local person who shot his neighbor for mowing his yard.This could go on and on. Another waste of time.The only solution would be limit all noise or sound proof your home.Even the no loud noise after a certain time of day doesn't work for everyone.Modern society is noisy.People work and sleep 24 7.I think its funny how you said those punks. Why because it wasn't your favorite song.Down with all songs ron doesn't like.

They may have issuses.So could you?

PJ Allen
12-18-2011, 06:41 PM
The title of Bill Maher's new book comes to mind -- "The New New Rules (A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their A**)"

Everyone driving faster than I do is a maniac and everyone slower is a dope.

I bet that I've been driving without getting a ticket longer than graffix is old. (:

How about a mandatory device on the top a car that lights up brightly, for all to see, when there's cellphone activity inside that car?! It's not like you really can't tell, but still.

Ron Czapala
12-18-2011, 06:54 PM
Where would you draw the line ron? When it works for ron(self centered).Reminds me of a local person who shot his neighbor for mowing his yard.This could go on and on. Another waste of time.The only solution would be limit all noise or sound proof your home.Even the no loud noise after a certain time of day doesn't work for everyone.Modern society is noisy.People work and sleep 24 7.I think its funny how you said those punks. Why because it wasn't your favorite song.Down with all songs ron doesn't like.

They may have issuses.So could you?

It's not about what song is playing - it's about noise and infringing on the rights of someone else and intimidation.

Several cities have passed ordinances which allow boomcars to be impounded and some allow equipment to be confiscated.

Luckily elected city officials recognize noise pollution as a quality-of-life issue and continue to strengthen noise laws and increase fines and penalties.

Google "boomcars" if really want to gain an understanding of the issue.

graffix
12-18-2011, 07:33 PM
Noise pollution comes from more than loud audio equipment.Lots of daily life is just as noisy if not more.

Really you've been driving for 33yrs PJ?

Ron Czapala
12-18-2011, 07:45 PM
Noise pollution comes from more than loud audio equipment.Lots of daily life is just as noisy if not more.

That is certainly true and it is increasing dramatically. Infrasound from boomcars is particularly annoying to many - hence the recent crackdowns.

Illegally modified exhaust systems on cars and motorcycles contribute to the cacaphony. Again, more cities are passing stringent laws in response.

DavidSmith
12-18-2011, 07:52 PM
If we ban everything that can cause harm, what kind of society would we be living in? The thing is, there are already laws that address these issues but they are not well enforced. Operating a motor vehicle is looked upon as a right rather than a privilege. Anyone with poor enough judgment to be texting while driving is likely to be a hazard to others when not texting as well. Bans are a patch that don't really work. Cell phone use is illegal here now but that does not stop people from using them while driving, it's those people that are most likely to be a danger to others. And of course you see the police using cell phones - special training I guess.

Also, as this accident was described, texting was not the real issue. What really caused the problem was following too closely - by the bus drivers. That's not stopping people from using it as an example of the dangers of texting though is it? Nothing, I repeat nothing that happens to a vehicle in front of you, short of traveling backwards, should be able to cause you to have an accident. If it does, then you were too close.

In most of the world w Western Law, you are innocent until proven guilty - i.e. you don't even have to present a defense.

Here in California, USA, there is SORT of an exception. If you rear end somebody in traffic, for practical purposes you are guilty until you prove there was some mitigating factor.

There is no law against following too close - you screw up, you pay. Considering the absence of an enforceable law, there are remarkably few (considering all the drivers) rear end accidents.

Same thing for other "problems". Don't ban electronics while driving. If you are involved in an accident while texting (or anything else) start getting ready to prove your innocence - 'cause the other guy doesn't have to prove you guilty.

Ron Czapala
12-18-2011, 07:59 PM
In most of the world w Western Law, you are innocent until proven guilty - i.e. you don't even have to present a defense.

Here in California, USA, there is SORT of an exception. If you rear end somebody in traffic, for practical purposes you are guilty until you prove there was some mitigating factor.

There is no law against following too close - you screw up, you pay. Considering the absence of an enforceable law, there are remarkably few (considering all the drivers) rear end accidents.

Same thing for other "problems". Don't ban electronics while driving. If you are involved in an accident while texting (or anything else) start getting ready to prove your innocence - 'cause the other guy doesn't have to prove you guilty.

Unfortunately some crooks stage rear-end accidents to commit insurance fraud. See "Swoop & squat" http://www.insurancefraud.org/staged_accidents.htm


Swoop and Squat. A suspect vehicle suddenly swoops in front of you and jams on the brakes, causing a rear-end collision. Often the suspect car has passengers who pretend to have painful back or neck injuries, even though the collision was at low speed. The driver and passengers then make large collision and injury claims against your auto policy, for example.

DavidSmith
12-18-2011, 08:03 PM
Ron Czapala,

That changes nothing.

Ron Czapala
12-18-2011, 08:05 PM
That changes nothing.

I agree - I was just pointing out that there is always someone out there trying to take advantage

W9GFO
12-18-2011, 08:10 PM
Really you've been driving for 33yrs PJ?

I don't know about PJ, but I have.

W9GFO
12-18-2011, 08:12 PM
There is no law against following too close - you screw up, you pay.

I believe this to be false, but do not have the time to search for something to cite right now.

bill190
12-18-2011, 08:54 PM
There is no law against following too close - you screw up, you pay. Considering the absence of an enforceable law, there are remarkably few (considering all the drivers) rear end accidents.

Oregon...
Police are ticketing tailgaters.
Keep your distance.
It’s the law.
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TS/police/tailgatingbro.pdf?ga=t

California...
V C Section 21703 Following Too Closely
http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21703.htm

Arizona...
28-730. Following too closely
http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/28/00730.htm&Title=28&DocType=ARS

W9GFO
12-18-2011, 09:49 PM
... there are remarkably few (considering all the drivers) rear end accidents.

I don't know the statistics but based upon my own observations, rear end accidents are very common. I would estimate that over 90% of the accidents that I have witnessed, or passed by after the fact, are rear end accidents. Many of them a chain of vehicles. Each time I see this I am reminded that the very simple precaution of following at a safe distance would prevent nearly every single one of them.

@bill190, thanks for looking those up.