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LaHood Weighs Urging Ban on All Driver Phone Use in Cars

texmaster

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he believes motorists are distracted by any use of mobile phones while driving, including hands-free calls, as his department begins research that may lead him to push for a ban. LaHood, whose campaign against texting and making calls while driving has led to restrictions in 30 states, says his concerns extend to vehicle information and entertainment systems such as Ford Motor Co.’s Sync and General Motors Co.’s OnStar.

“I don’t want people talking on phones, having them up to their ear or texting while they’re driving,” LaHood said in an interview this week. “We need a lot better research on other distractions,” including Bluetooth-enabled hands-free calls and the in-car systems, he said. Even without a ban, which would have to be implemented by individual states, LaHood’s escalating campaign may limit the growth of vehicle features such as Sync, being added by automakers to attract younger buyers. His push also may reduce calls made from vehicles and the revenue of mobile-phone companies such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc.


I have OnStar and constantly take work calls from my car with far less distraction than kids, food or any other of the 100s of distractions drivers face every day.

IMO this is more big government trying to control more of our lives.

LaHood Weighs Urging Ban on All Driver Phone Use in Cars - Bloomberg
 

Deuce

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As long as people use hands-free devices, I don't see the difference between a cell phone call and talking to the passenger. Hell, I can fly a plane, talk on a radio, and talk to my student all at the same time :p

LaHood's quote later in the article made it seem like LaHood wanted to research hands-free usage and then decide whether there should be a ban, which is much more reasonable than implying he just wants to outright ban it.
 
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Councilman

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It has been said for some time that using a phone other than hands free is as dangerous as drinking and driving and that, Texting is far more dangerous.

I'm not sure all this is try of that it's not just more hype in and effort to add something else to the list of things others want to control in our daily lives removing another choice for free will.

I do know this. If talking on a hands free device is ever band it will be for nothing more than another control, because I believe that having kids yelling and raising hell, or drinking hot coffee, or a big Gulp, or smoking, while having a soda, and a Big Mac is worse by far.

Hell trying to get your radio tuned into to you favorite station is distracting.

Will they take away radios, out law the fast food drive thru, or cups to go from Starbucks?

What next some regulation is fine but damn Sam California ia about to legalize pot. Sounds like some wacko control freaks can't decide which way to go.

Is it going to more freedom choose to get high or less freedom to just talk, or be goofy like California has become and just be both.
 
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Jucon

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As long as people use hands-free devices, I don't see the difference between a cell phone call and talking to the passenger. Hell, I can fly a plane, talk on a radio, and talk to my student all at the same time :p

LaHood's quote later in the article made it seem like LaHood wanted to research hands-free usage and then decide whether there should be a ban, which is much more reasonable than implying he just wants to outright ban it.
The difference is that someone in your car sees and knows when it is and is not appropriate to be talking to the driver -- for example if heavy trafic is stopping and going a lot, might not be the best time to be talking to them... depending on how bad of a driver they are of course -- while someone on the phone does not see what the driver is seeing.

And with flying a plane, you don't have another plane 20 feet away from you.

I don't think this issue is about "big brother" as much as it is about common sense... or rather it might be about common sense if it is proven that talking on the phone is a major distraction and a factor in car crashes. I'd support a larger investigation into this topic, but I'd be against any legislation being implemented unless the results of an investigation show clear problems with talking on the phone while driving.
 
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molten_dragon

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I've got no problem with people who use hands-free devices to talk on the phone in their cars. Actually holding the handset up to your ear is iffy. There should absolutely be a federal ban on texting while driving.
 

Kal'Stang

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Driving while on the cell phone, even with a hands free device is just as bad as drinking and driving. Studies have been done. I've seen people run red lights and get into crashes just because they were on the cell phone..including those using hands free devices. Despite that many people think that they can multi-task and talk on the phone being one of them the evidence has shown otherwise. Even before you get on that phone you are already multi-tasking. Or should be if you're a good driver. A person can only multi-task so much.

University of Utah - Drivers on Cell Phones Are as Bad as Drunks

"We found that people are as impaired when they drive and talk on a cell phone as they are when they drive intoxicated at the legal blood-alcohol limit” of 0.08 percent, which is the minimum level that defines illegal drunken driving in most U.S. states, says study co-author Frank Drews, an assistant professor of psychology. “If legislators really want to address driver distraction, then they should consider outlawing cell phone use while driving.”
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The study reinforced earlier research by Strayer and Drews showing that hands-free cell phones are just as distracting as handheld cell phones because the conversation itself – not just manipulation of a handheld phone – distracts drivers from road conditions.
I support bans on cell phones while driving.
 

molten_dragon

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Driving while on the cell phone, even with a hands free device is just as bad as drinking and driving. Studies have been done. I've seen people run red lights and get into crashes just because they were on the cell phone..including those using hands free devices. Despite that many people think that they can multi-task and talk on the phone being one of them the evidence has shown otherwise. Even before you get on that phone you are already multi-tasking. Or should be if you're a good driver. A person can only multi-task so much.

University of Utah - Drivers on Cell Phones Are as Bad as Drunks



I support bans on cell phones while driving.
The problem with this is that such a ban would be extremely difficult to enforce. How do you prove someone was on their cell phone while driving? You can always just put it on speakerphone and set it down somewhere that the cop can't see it.
 

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I'm sorry, I don't have the article off hand, but I read a report about a study done a few months ago that showed in the provinces of Canada where cell phone use is banned while driving, there has not been a significant reduction in car accidents. I personally have seen accidents in front of my face where a driver was using their phone, but I'm not sure if it's so different from being engaged in a conversation with a passenger, if you're eating while driving, or if you are distracted by anything else happening in the car.

People should know through experience if their reaction time is not the greatest, in which case they should be aiming to reduce the distractions in their cars. One of my friends routinely reminds me that he can't give our conversations his full attention because he is driving, and that's because he knows what his attention threshold is.
 

Deuce

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Driving while on the cell phone, even with a hands free device is just as bad as drinking and driving. Studies have been done. I've seen people run red lights and get into crashes just because they were on the cell phone..including those using hands free devices. Despite that many people think that they can multi-task and talk on the phone being one of them the evidence has shown otherwise. Even before you get on that phone you are already multi-tasking. Or should be if you're a good driver. A person can only multi-task so much.

University of Utah - Drivers on Cell Phones Are as Bad as Drunks



I support bans on cell phones while driving.
Interesting. I hadn't seen any research on hands-free usage. I agree with LaHood that more research needs to be done on that issue. (i wouldn't consider one study to be definitive enough to have a federal ban) LaHood specifically said he wanted more information on the subject and wouldn't be making a decision until he had it, but people are acting like this is already on its way through as regulation. Texting and holding-phone-to-ear cell usage, on the other hand, is an obvious hazard. Texting especially, the human brain is not well-equipped for performing two separate hand-eye coordination tasks simultaneously. I don't care how good a driver and texter you think you are, texting while driving is a serious hazard. Your brain simply cannot perform both of those tasks at the same time while maintaining an adequate safety level. Think you're different? You're wrong. Period. :p

From the study:
Motorists who talked on either handheld or hands-free cell phones drove slightly slower, were 9 percent slower to hit the brakes, displayed 24 percent more variation in following distance as their attention switched between driving and conversing, were 19 percent slower to resume normal speed after braking and were more likely to crash. Three study participants rear-ended the pace car. All were talking on cell phones. None were drunk.
 
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ricksfolly

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he believes motorists are distracted by any use of mobile phones while driving, including hands-free calls, as his department begins research that may lead him to push for a ban. LaHood, whose campaign against texting and making calls while driving has led to restrictions in 30 states, says his concerns extend to vehicle information and entertainment systems such as Ford Motor Co.’s Sync and General Motors Co.’s OnStar.

IMO this is more big government trying to control more of our lives.



I don't relish the idea of intrusive government, but when it comes to safety, my safety, someone or something has to curb these irresponsible people.

ricksfolly
 

ptif219

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This is more abuse. I use a headset that is blue tooth. A ban on hand held and texting I agree with.
 

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The police talk on radios all the time while driving, don't they?
 

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The problem with this is that such a ban would be extremely difficult to enforce. How do you prove someone was on their cell phone while driving? You can always just put it on speakerphone and set it down somewhere that the cop can't see it.
You will find issues in the enforcement of many laws... but that doesn't mean they shouldn't exist.

Just because someone can slow down as soon as they see a cop up ahead and then speed up past the speed limit again after they are out of the cop's sight doesn't mean we shouldn't have speed limits.

As long as there are reasonable arguments for a law, I am willing to accept and abide by it. I already don't talk on the phone while driving, so a law concerning this issue wouldn't bother me... but like I said I'd want to see more evidence before agreeing with a law like this.
 

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The problem with this is that such a ban would be extremely difficult to enforce. How do you prove someone was on their cell phone while driving? You can always just put it on speakerphone and set it down somewhere that the cop can't see it.
I'm sorry, I don't have the article off hand, but I read a report about a study done a few months ago that showed in the provinces of Canada where cell phone use is banned while driving, there has not been a significant reduction in car accidents.
I've seen studies that prove that texting-while-driving laws have actually increased accidents-- because they motivate people to hold the phone below the dashboard, where police can't see it, and thus are taking their eyes off the road for even longer.
 

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There should absolutely be a federal ban on texting while driving.
We've got a ban in place where I live. It's actually increased the number of accidents due to cell phone use, as now people hide the phones in their laps which makes texting especially dangerous.

EDIT: Oops! Korimyr beat me to it.
 
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Deuce

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I've seen studies that prove that texting-while-driving laws have actually increased accidents-- because they motivate people to hold the phone below the dashboard, where police can't see it, and thus are taking their eyes off the road for even longer.
Well, that's an issue. We should un-ban texting and legalize drugs. (drug bans lead to more murders)
 

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This is more abuse. I use a headset that is blue tooth. A ban on hand held and texting I agree with.
As a trucker that uses a headset bluetooth as well, I have little distraction while talking and driving, I also have SYNC in the new Fusion we bought. Very cool system.


j-mac
 

Deuce

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As a trucker that uses a headset bluetooth as well, I have little distraction while talking and driving, I also have SYNC in the new Fusion we bought. Very cool system.


j-mac
I think part of the problem is that you may not realize how much your reaction times are slowed. Although I still don't see how hands-free cell usage could be more dangerous than talking to a passenger.
 

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I just don't get this, really. I think some people are just not able to multitask. Cops, firemen, medics, truckers... all talk on radios while driving without increased incidence of accidents. When I drove an ambulance, I had 2 radios to monitor and give status updates to while weaving through traffic at high speeds, running lights and siren, and keeping an ear out for anything my partner says to me about the patient in the back. The thought that I can't talk on a phone while driving is laughable.


The difference is that someone in your car sees and knows when it is and is not appropriate to be talking to the driver -- for example if heavy trafic is stopping and going a lot, might not be the best time to be talking to them... depending on how bad of a driver they are of course -- while someone on the phone does not see what the driver is seeing.
Yeah see, I don't buy this. My 6 yr old nephew doesn't know when it's "okay" to talk to me based on the traffic. Neither does anyone else, really. The only time people shut up is when I tell them to. LOL And my dog certainly doesn't as he bounds from window to window.
 

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"The path to hell is paved with good intentions"
 

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I am a volunteer EMT and work with the medical community very close. I can tell you that its a big issue. I also hate driving behind someone in the left hand lane going 5 miles under the speed limit because their conversation is more important than my life.

That being said. The technology exists to ID how fast a cell phone is moving. Its in almost all cell phones. Just have it disable all phones going over 5mph. Then have GM allow others to use OnStar. They hold the patton on in and thats why you dont see that in other cars. Give them a crap load of cash for it but that solves the whole safty issue.
 

ender1

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The police talk on radios all the time while driving, don't they?
You can take a driving course similar to the ones Police do. Its offered in most states and is crazy fun. Then you will know why its ok for them to talk on the radio and drive.
 

tryreading

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he believes motorists are distracted by any use of mobile phones while driving, including hands-free calls, as his department begins research that may lead him to push for a ban. LaHood, whose campaign against texting and making calls while driving has led to restrictions in 30 states, says his concerns extend to vehicle information and entertainment systems such as Ford Motor Co.’s Sync and General Motors Co.’s OnStar.

“I don’t want people talking on phones, having them up to their ear or texting while they’re driving,” LaHood said in an interview this week. “We need a lot better research on other distractions,” including Bluetooth-enabled hands-free calls and the in-car systems, he said. Even without a ban, which would have to be implemented by individual states, LaHood’s escalating campaign may limit the growth of vehicle features such as Sync, being added by automakers to attract younger buyers. His push also may reduce calls made from vehicles and the revenue of mobile-phone companies such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc.


I have OnStar and constantly take work calls from my car with far less distraction than kids, food or any other of the 100s of distractions drivers face every day.

IMO this is more big government trying to control more of our lives.

LaHood Weighs Urging Ban on All Driver Phone Use in Cars - Bloomberg
I'm all for banning cell phone use while driving. Even hands-free users are distracted while driving. It's all about selfishness, instead of taking the time to pull over or wait until you get to where you're going your phone call is more important than any other driver's or pedestrian's safety. Your convenience is more important than the well being of others.

Anybody who is so addicted to texting that they try to hide the phone below the dash would have had an accident at some point anyway, texting legally or illegally. Just a matter of time.

Cops, ambulance drivers and pilots are forced to use their radios or phones while driving. It's necessary. Course, they have a lot of training to go along with the extra risk. Still a risk, though.
 

ender1

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Cops, ambulance drivers and pilots are forced to use their radios or phones while driving. It's necessary. Course, they have a lot of training to go along with the extra risk. Still a risk, though.
I drive an ambulance and we allways go in pairs. The AIC does not drive and uses the Radio. You are correct thought. There is extencive training and risk.
 
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