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"Phone In One Hand, Ticket In the Other"

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the doesn't-that-leave-zero-hands-for-the-wheel dept.

Cellphones 419

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that federal regulators plan a pilot project to test 'high visibility' crackdown efforts to curb cellphone use by drivers in two cities, Hartford and Syracuse, spending $200,000 in each city, while each state would contribute $100,000 more. The Transportation Department says it wants to send the message: 'Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other,' and plans on ramping up enforcement on state bans of hands-free phones by motorists, advertising the campaigns and undertaking studies to see if the efforts curb behavior and attitudes. Safety advocates say that curbing the behavior requires enforcement and education, which they say has been clearly evident in past efforts with seat belts with the 'Click It or Ticket Program' (PDF) that helped increase seat belt use to 83% nationally. 'It's time for drivers to act responsibly, put their hands on the wheel and focus on the road,' says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who last year called distracted driving an 'epidemic.'"

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Hasn't worked in the UK (4, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809152)

We have passed a law about the same. But there's so few Police on patrol the law just isn't being enforced. I still see plenty of drivers hand holding a mobile, despite the fact you can get a bluetooth headset for £8 in the UK.

In the UK we drive largely manual gearbox and holding a phone while driving means not changing gear or letting go of the steering wheel while changing gear!

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (5, Funny)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809166)

>In the UK we drive largely manual gearbox and holding a phone while driving means not changing gear or letting go of the steering wheel while changing gear!

That's what your knees are for.

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809536)

That's what your knees are for.

Yep. A few months ago I saw a guy driving while tootling away on a trumpet with his knees on the wheel. But I guess at least he wasn't attending to his bikini line [theage.com.au] .

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (5, Funny)

MrWeelson (948337) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809596)

The other day I saw a woman applying her lipstick with one hand and on her phone with the other doing 85mph in the middle lane.

I was so shocked I split my cornflakes.

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809214)

You can hold the phone with your shoulder, or if you need your hand to do so you can steer with your elbow. It should be stable enough for the second it takes to change gear with your other hand.

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809246)

...and inevitably the phone will be sometimes dropped; in some of those cases the driver won't stop the impulse to look for it...and there you go.

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (2, Insightful)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809290)

You use your hand when it isn't stable, while still using the elbow from that arm to steer.
You obviously lack practice.

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (1)

acidrainx (806006) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809374)

I really hope you're being sarcastic.

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (2, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809534)

... plus you're blocking the signal, so it needs to boost the power to the antenna. You want fried brainz with that?

If they *really* wanted to fix the problem, they'd increase the dollar amount of the fines. A $200 fine for cell phone use makes people think "gee, I'll save money bu getting an ear-piece."

And an 83% "attach rate" for seatbelts is LOW. Make it $300 a pop and watch people buckle up.

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809308)

When I see somebody holding a phone instead of driving, I call the police.

Why? Because about 5 years ago I was almost hit by somebody talking on a phone who drove straight through a red light, and just barely squeezed between my car and the car in front. She never even noticed because she was too busy punching the phone's keypad. I figure I'd rather be as "ass" in the eyes of a driver, then a corpse under their wheels, or have a mangled $25,000 car I have to fix.

IMHO.

Please don't mod me down just because you disagree.

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (2, Insightful)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809380)

So a near miss 5 years ago is important enough to dedicate limited resources to today?

Jews for Nerds! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809250)

Jews, also known as kikes, hebes, hymies, yids, gold niggers, oven magnets, hook noses, sheenies, swindlers, criminals, "firewood", and Arabs in denial are a subhuman species of reptilian extra-terrestrials and adherents to one of the world's oldest major religions, called "Judaism", otherwise known as "The Worship of Money" or "Eating Arab Babies".

Judaism was the world's first master race theory. The Jew religion teaches that Jews are the Chosen People of God and that there is a sacred mystical quality to Jew DNA. In olden times, Jew prophets would, under the command of YHWH, frequently lead the Jews on genocidal rampages against neighboring populations, and even today Jew leaders often cite Jewish religious ideals to justify their ongoing genocide of sandniggers. Judaism ironically found its mirror-image inversion in the anti-Jew Aryan racialism of the Nazis.

Despite only being 0.22% of the world's population, Jews control 99% of the world's money. Not only do the Jews control the world, but also the media, the banks, the space program, and LiveJournal's porn communities and Gay communities. All Jews possess the following features: an extremely large nose, fake boobs, curly hair that reeks of faggotry, one of those gay hats, a love of coke, a law practice, a roll of money, a small cock, or shitty taste in dental hygiene.

Jews invented both Communism and Capitalism. Karl Marx, of course, was a Jew, which was why he understood money so well, and in fact he was converted to Communism by another Jew, Moses Hess, the actual founder of Zionism, who ghost-wrote Marx's The German Ideology. Capitalism was created when Christian Europeans threw away their morals and decided to embrace Jewish practices like usury (see: John Calvin). Jews were the first group to create a sophisticated banking system, which they used to fund the Crusades in order to pit Christians and Muslims (both adhering to religions derived from and controlled by Jews) against each other to kill as many people as possible in a macabre human sacrifice to YHWH.

The Jew banking system was based on fraud and lies, so when it inevitably collapsed, the Jews just pwned as many people as possible by unleashing the Black Plague on them. Later, Jews economically controlled medieval Venice (the first modern maritime trade empire), and then crypto-Jewish merchants economically controlled the Spanish Empire, including the slave trade. Openly Jewish bankers orchestrated the Dutch Empire and founded Jew Amsterdam (later Jew York). Later the Dutch Jews moved to London because they thought it would be a better base for a global empire, and actually brought a Dutch nobleman, William III, with them, who they installed in a coup d'état (more like Jew d'état, amirite?) as new King of the British Empire. For hundreds of years, Jewish bankers controlled global trade through their bases in Jew York City and London. European colonialism was, through its history, essentially a plot whereby Jews could gain control of gold and diamond mines in poor countries and increase their stranglehold over the global economy.

Jews also enjoy slicing up baby penises for fun, some even enjoy sucking them. See below.

Jews also created Jew search engine Google, so now they can find all Jew information on Internets.

Some suggest that we should use Jews instead of dogs to sniff out large amounts of concealed cash or anything else worth smuggling at airports due to their sensitive Jew noses. Obviously, this is a horrible idea, because the pay is bad, and the dirty Kikes would probably form a union and demand moar money, thus increasing the burden on taxpayers everywhere.

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (3, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809282)

[quote] But there's so few Police on patrol the law just isn't being enforced. [/quote]
That shouldn't be a surprise, despite what people think about police being everywhere. The average cop has a service per person of somewhere between 400:1 to 2200:1, you don't get solid enforcement like that. But anytime there's economic problems the first areas to get cuts are Fire/EMS/Police.

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (3, Informative)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809404)

But anytime there's economic problems the first areas to get cuts are Fire/EMS/Police.

I think you mean teachers and the parks service.

Don't let go of the wheel.... (1)

Dr. Zed (222961) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809322)

Don't let go of the wheel to shift gears, that's what your knee is for. Whichever leg isn't engaging the clutch can steady the wheel.

But seriously, the summary states, "undertaking studies to see if the efforts curb behavior and attitudes." Notice that it doesn't mention safety. Apparently, the important part of enforcing the law isn't to see if it does anything useful, but simply to make sure the people are properly obedient to the law.

Anyway, drive safe everyone.

Re:Don't let go of the wheel.... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809458)

the summary states, "undertaking studies to see if the efforts curb behavior and attitudes." Notice that it doesn't mention safety.

There are too many variables to measure specific impact of any one of them on "safety".

We've already concluded that it's dangerous to phone and drive at the same time, so that's the "behavior" that we want to see changed.

If you want to make a call, just pull over. Even if you feel like you have such a command of your vehicle that you could easily drive and talk on the phone, or if you don't really care if it's safe or not, do the rest of us a favor and knock that shit off. Your phone call isn't nearly as important as you think it is. And if it IS as important as you think it is, then you can take the time to pull over.

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809350)

In the UK we drive largely manual gearbox and holding a phone while driving means not changing gear or letting go of the steering wheel while changing gear!

Or the "Hang on a sec...", use the phone hand for required shifting and then resume conversation...

Personally I don't talk on the phone in city traffic - if I get a call then that I need to take, I pull over. On the motorway - drop speed and get into he slow lane, keep better than normal separation... And never in hell would I be texting!

Several studies, sorry no references handy [no pun intended] have concluded that it is not as much the occupied hand as the occupied mind that is the problem with phones behind the wheel

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809618)

If the police do stop someone for driving and using a mobile then all you hear is cries of "Why aren't police chasing murderers?" The problem is, as the summary says, you need education and enforcement. The UK is big on enforcement but forgot about the education part.

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (2, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809644)

despite the fact you can get a bluetooth headset for £8 in the UK.

Have you ever tried an £8 bluetooth headset? They tend to work fine while you're sitting around at home or in the office, but take them out into a noisy environment (like, say, a car) and nobody'll be able to hear a word you say.

Re:Hasn't worked in the UK (1)

DrVxD (184537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809672)

We have passed a law about the same. But there's so few Police on patrol the law just isn't being enforced

Not to mention the fact that most senior police officers thought such a law was a bad idea - not because being on the phone while driving is safe (it isn't), but because it was already covered by the existing offence of driving without due care and attention.

Obvious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809156)

If you have a phone in one hand and a ticket in the other, how can you hold the steering wheel? With your legs?

Use It, Lose It (5, Interesting)

DesertNomad (885798) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809168)

a good slogan - the driver can reclaim their phone, sealed in the same bag the officer had the driver put it in, down at the station 2 hours later. worse than any ticket.

Re:Use It, Lose It (0)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809278)

I mostly agree with a ban on cellphone driving, mostly because when I see erratic driving, the person is on a cellphone ... however, it does seem unfair to punish those who can drive while talking without a loss in attention or skill. I'd rather see the bad driving punished more harshly, regardless of the cause.

Re:Use It, Lose It (5, Interesting)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809364)

however, it does seem unfair to punish those who can drive while talking without a loss in attention or skill.

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/03/rare-supertaskers-balance-driving-and-cellphone-use.ars [arstechnica.com]

The authors also took the time to remind their readers that the supertasking population really is small, so you shouldn't assume you're one of them. Unfortunately, it looks like most people tend to believe they're the exception to this rule, as the authors note, "our studies over the last decade have found that a great many people have the belief that the laws of attention do not apply to them (e.g., they have seen other drivers who are impaired while multi-tasking, but they are the exception to the rule). In fact, some readers may also be wondering if they too are supertaskers; however, we suggest that the odds of this are against them."

Re:Use It, Lose It (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809612)

The authors also took the time to remind their readers that the supertasking population really is small, so you shouldn't assume you're one of them. Unfortunately, it looks like most people tend to believe they're the exception to this rule

Another result that they don't mention is that apparently you're more likely to be able to do it if you think you can't than if you think you can, at least according to a study looking at general multi-tasking capabilities, rather than specifically talking and driving.

The only question I have about this whole thing is whether they're going to ban drivers from talking to passengers in their car, which I believe is just as dangerous as talking to somebody on a hands-free phone.

Re:Use It, Lose It (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809654)

our studies over the last decade have found that a great many people have the belief that the laws of attention do not apply to them...

Often this is coupled with a correlation between cost of vehicle and attitude of driver. This is definitely borne out here (Perth, Western Australia), where we see a disproportionate number of expensive BMW 4WDs ploughing through roundabouts and traffic-lights with complete disregard for everybody else, while their cashed-up owners gasbag on their phones, not giving a fuck.

Re:Use It, Lose It (5, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809386)

Should we allow airline pilots to text their friends while landing? I'm sure a few could do it without losing concentration, so why trample on their rights?

I agree that the primary focus should be erratic driving, not any one particular gadget... But the rule of civilization is that some outlying people have to give up some minor liberties to ensure the safety of everyone.

Re:Use It, Lose It (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809436)

But the rule of civilization is that some outlying people have to give up some minor liberties to ensure the safety of everyone.

So sayeth the Handicapper General. [tnellen.com]

Re:Use It, Lose It (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809454)

Ironically your post only strengthens the opposing argument.
1)The issue at hand is talking on the cell phone, not texting.
2)The pilot is in constant communication with the tower through a very phone-like apparatus called a radio.

Re:Use It, Lose It (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809530)

The pilot, however, is trained on how to use the radio. The rule of aviate-navigate-communicate in exactly this order is hammered into everyone in that business. Communication has the lowest priority and is only done when no significant plane-control or navigation task is performed. Apart from that, pilots tend not to jabber on about utter nonsense to their controller, but use a highly formalized and short language. So, this does not strengthen the opposing argument in any way at all.

Re:Use It, Lose It (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809572)

Airliners have multiple pilots ;)

Re:Use It, Lose It (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809636)

And there are still single-pilot operated planes around, where said prioritizing is even more important. Besides, it is not like that in airliner operations the non-flying pilot is free to jabber away on the radio or to the flying pilot (unless he wants to miss Minneapolis by an hour... ;)

Re:Use It, Lose It (5, Insightful)

DarthBart (640519) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809540)

The pilot is in constant communication with the tower through a very phone-like apparatus called a radio

Yep, and strangely enough, he's got it via headset. He doesn't have one hand on the radio mike, one on the throttle quadrant, and one on the yoke.

Re:Use It, Lose It (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809472)

Should we allow airline pilots to text their friends while landing? I'm sure a few could do it without losing concentration, so why trample on their rights?

Well, that's a stupid question. At least, in the US, it has been accepted as fact for years (though in doing a little Googling, I see that this may be changing) that there is no airline that allows cell phone communications at any time between takeoff and landing. If the passengers are required to disable their phones, what makes you think that pilots aren't?

Even if passengers are gradually being allowed to communicate, give me one good reason why a pilot would be allowed to use his cell phone while manipulating an airplane. If any reasonable person is behind airline regulations, then pilots, because of the lives they are responsible for, should be more restricted than passengers in use of personal communications.

Re:Use It, Lose It (5, Insightful)

brian_tanner (1022773) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809422)

Except that, as has been posted here before, people are terrible at self-assessing their skill. I know, I know, you are different: you are not overestimating yourself, you are one of the 0.025% of people who can talk on the phone without being distracted http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-03/uou-fdw032610.php [eurekalert.org] .

I know for a fact that I cannot multitask. However, I believe myself to be particularly good at self-evaluation. I know about psychology, and I read slashdot: I can adapt my self-assessment. I'm a scientist and I don't have a large ego about my regular cognitive skills, I am the typical absent-minded professor type. However, I didn't really realize how poor I was at multitasking until my late 20s, and I am particularly bad at it. I had a couple of near accidents (nothing that would have been severe), but I understand probability and statistics. I know that if I continued to drive distracted, with overwhelming probability I would eventually cause an accident. So I stopped sampling.

This does not describe most people. Many are overconfident and unable to recognize their own deficiencies. Even more don't understand that taking a small risk enough times basically ensures that the low-probability outcome will eventually happen.

I don't want those people deciding what's safe, because you know what, they won't realize they have a problem until they get in an accident. And the first time, they will attribute it to bad luck. My mother in law rear-ended someone while changing the radio station and shrugged it off: bad luck, could happen to anyone.

There are too many people on the road for them to be learning what's safe and what's not by trial and error. No thanks.

Re:Use It, Lose It (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809684)

Thank you for not being one of those drivers that make me want to arm myself while driving :-)

Re:Use It, Lose It (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809724)

The point is, this is all so unnecessary. A bluetooth headset is quite cheap enough to be accessible to anyone with a phone. Even if you don't wear it all the time while driving, it only takes a moment to pick it up and stick it on your ear if the phone rings. I'm not saying this is a complete cure for distraction, but it at least frees up the hands and is no worse than having a conversation with a passenger, which as far as I know is not illegal anywhere.

Re:Use It, Lose It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809568)

I mostly agree with a ban on cellphone driving, mostly because when I see erratic driving, the person is on a cellphone

Here's a though... how about just ticketing people for erratic driving? To simple? I know... it may actually punish people for what we want to punish them for. Crazy, isn't it.

Re:Use It, Lose It (1)

Turzyx (1462339) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809706)

What about collisions that could have been avoided by fast evasive action? There's a very good reason why rally drivers always have two hands on the steering wheel. You have a higher degree of control and precision when you use both arms, however good your 'multitasking' skills are.

Re:Use It, Lose It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809398)

Considering the laws are about revenue not safety don't expect anything like that to happen.

Oh, great, another slogan. (1, Insightful)

Leebert (1694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809196)

"Click it or Ticket", "Over the limit, Under arrest", and its ilk irritate me to no end. I *loathe* being talked down to like a child, with these cutesy slogans. I hate the TV commercials where they say: "If you drink and drive, you WILL get arrested!" Anyone with half a brain knows that such a certain assertion is clearly false. Doesn't really do much for their credibility.

This anti-cellphone jihad really makes no sense to me. If we're going to waste money on "educating" people about the dangers of cell phones, why don't we educate them on the dangers of distracted driving in general? For example, I believe that I personally am probably 10 times more likely to kill someone out of my habit of driving without enough sleep than when I'm talking on the phone. I've seen statistics that falling asleep while driving causing upwards around 20% of fatal accidents.

Come to think of it, it happened last week when I was driving down FL-528 back to Orlando from the shuttle launch - I had been up all night. You know what I did to keep myself awake and alert? Whipped out the phone and talked to someone.

Terrorist (-1, Flamebait)

earls (1367951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809226)

I bet you "fund terrorism" too. Killed any family members recently? Let me know when you emerge from your weed cocoon. What's your anti-drug?

Re:Oh, great, another slogan. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809264)

Considering how most Americans are sleep deprived, adding the cell phone on top of it causes many problems. The best thing to do is just keep cell phones out of driver's hands. No exceptions.

I don't care who you are or what you do, there is no reason to be using a cell phone and driving at the same time. And if you are so important that you absolutely need to be able to talk at a moments notice, you'd have a driver - such as the President.

If you're gonna drive - drive. Don't talk.

Re:Oh, great, another slogan. (1)

Leebert (1694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809314)

Some people can drive and talk safely. From my post [slashdot.org] on the "supertaskers" story:

I believe the reason I can safely drive and talk on the cell phone is because I tend to ignore people talking when I'm doing something else.

In effect, I'm an inattentive listener, so it pretty much doesn't affect my driving, because if I have to do anything driving related, I tune out the person talking to me.

I'm also not afraid to drop the phone (literally) and deal with something if I need to. Anecdote: I was rear-ended once while on the phone. I was watching the rear view, noted the car behind me was going *way* too fast, threw it into gear and punched the gas onto the shoulder. (I dropped the phone in the process) She clipped the driver's side tail of my bumper, then plowed into the car that was (previously) directly in front of me. Picked back up the phone, apologized, briefly explained, then hung up.

That said, I *cannot* dial the phone or send a text. Both are dangerous when I'm driving.

Re:Oh, great, another slogan. (2, Informative)

dmomo (256005) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809396)

> Some people can drive and talk safely.
Yeah. I hear this a lot. And it's true. Everyone seems to be able to use a cell phone and drive safely. Except for the ones that got into an accident. Though, up until that point, I suppose they considered themselves among that group. I personally despise cell phone drivers, but am not sure if I would go as far as a ban. I'm on the fence there. Texting though. Texting is bad. I drive about 45 miles of highway each way on my commute. It's amazing how many drivers I see looking down instead of forward. The ones doing it "safely" are going about 10 miles under the speed limit. If "safe" means it's not THEM that cause the accident, then fine.

Re:Oh, great, another slogan. (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809712)

Driving 10 under the speed of the rest of traffic will put you at fault for the accident in many places. It's dangerous driving to be unpredictable like that.

Re:Oh, great, another slogan. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809318)

You know what I did to keep myself awake and alert? Whipped out the phone and talked to someone.

Yeah, I suppose pulling off the road, or better yet, staying put is out of the question. I mean, if falling asleep at the wheel is so dangerous to you, why are you driving without adequate rest yourself? Pretty nasty habit you got there.. Too bad somebody will probably have to get hurt before you are taken off the road.. All of a sudden I hate you..

Re:Oh, great, another slogan. (1)

Leebert (1694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809362)

Pretty nasty habit you got there..

Yep. And my point is that it's a much bigger problem than phones.

All of a sudden I hate you..

So be it. I'm having a frank and honest discussion here. I'm quite willing to trumpet where I do well (driving while talking on the phone), so I should be willing to admit my faults.

Re:Oh, great, another slogan. (1)

N!k0N (883435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809470)

If you drink and drive, you WILL get arrested!

dunno about you, but the law here (OH) is as follows (first time offense):
* Administrative License Suspension (ALS) for a prohibited BAC;
* ALS for test refusal = one year license suspension;
* Jail - minimum of 3 consecutive days or 3 day driver intervention program at own expense
* Fine - minimum $250 and not more than $1,000
* Court License Suspension - 6 months to 3 years
* Possible jail time or community service
* Drivers license suspension for 91 days
* Mandated treatment and alcohol education

(ORC 4511.191; among other bits)

while the jail time is only 3d; still covers "arrest".

Obviously all of the above implies you're caught while driving intoxicated but that's a whole different argument. Furthermore, IANAL, so I don't know how much of it would actually be used against you in the event of being cited for DUI.

Re:Oh, great, another slogan. (2, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809542)

"Click it or Ticket", "Over the limit, Under arrest", and its ilk irritate me to no end. I *loathe* being talked down to like a child, with these cutesy slogans

Well, if people didn't act like irresponsible children, it wouldn't be necessary to talk down to them, now would it?

This anti-cellphone jihad really makes no sense to me.

Huh? I saw nothing about anyone being "anti-cellphone". Anti-don't-be-a-fucking-idiot-while-driving, sure, but not anti-cellphone. Where'd you get that stupid idea?

If we're going to waste money on "educating" people about the dangers of cell phones, why don't we educate them on the dangers of distracted driving in general?

Good idea! We probably should! On the other hand, cellphones seem to have caused a very drastic increase in the number of distracted drivers on the road, and so it makes sense to target that one issue specifically, due to how widespread it is.

You know what I did to keep myself awake and alert? Whipped out the phone and talked to someone.

Here's a better idea: Pull over to the side of the road and take a quick nap. As it is, you just ended up trading one irresponsible behaviour for another. Kinda like a child.

Re:Oh, great, another slogan. (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809576)

Hi Leebert,

One thing to keep in mind is that these advertisements are not targeted at you. These are marketed towards the buffoons who NEED this kind of reminder.

So don't take it personally. Imagine the ads are being delivered to that one doofus friend of yours who thinks it is uncool to wear a seatbelt or have a "few" drinks before hopping behind the wheel.

Tickets==Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809656)

Ha! You actually think this is about safety?

Tickets==Profit
And now they're adding one more thing they can cite you for.
Sure, they may do it under the guise of improving safety, they'll even pay lip-service to some grieving mothers, but this is really all about more revenue to the town/state/insurance-company.

Re:Oh, great, another slogan. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809664)

Love or hate them, they did what they're supposed to: stayed in your head.

I hate 'em too, but I can't deny that I remember them, unfortunately.

It's a distraction (1)

Lynal (976271) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809200)

I saw a few of these signs yesterday. There's a 4 second delay between the two messages. It is very distracting, so mission accomplished.

Re:It's a distraction (1)

areusche (1297613) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809370)

This legislation is just pointless fund raising by states. I can understand texting and driving, but putting the damn phone to my head while driving is just as bad as using a handsfree headset. Now I have to fumble around to get the thing onto my ear while driving as opposed to just picking up the phone.

I'm grateful though that I live in a state like Pennsylvania where we don't have pointless laws on the books. Having humans be drivers will always be an unsafe activity.

I've come to accept the fact that I may die from driving whether it's my fault or someone elses. If I want piece of mind I take a train or bus.

Re:It's a distraction (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809482)

Is it really that hard to leave the headset on when you get in the car?

Re:It's a distraction (1)

wwfarch (1451799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809582)

The idea behind the ear pieces is to keep them in your ear so you're not fumbling around when you get a call...

idiots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809206)

the difference is when your cellphone rings you answer it. your seatbelt is a passive device you buckle up.
one in momentary, the other is NOT. this will have zero use.
instead, they should BAN DISTRACTED DRIVING and issue tickets for that. not separate it out into cellphone vs shaving while driving or sipping lattes while driving or screaming at kids in the back seat while driving or talking to shitheads next to you while driving or even using a bluetooth headset while driving.
 

Jews for Nerds! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809208)

Jews, also known as kikes, hebes, hymies, yids, gold niggers, oven magnets, hook noses, sheenies, swindlers, criminals, "firewood", and Arabs in denial are a subhuman species of reptilian extra-terrestrials and adherents to one of the world's oldest major religions, called "Judaism", otherwise known as "The Worship of Money" or "Eating Arab Babies".

Judaism was the world's first master race theory. The Jew religion teaches that Jews are the Chosen People of God and that there is a sacred mystical quality to Jew DNA. In olden times, Jew prophets would, under the command of YHWH, frequently lead the Jews on genocidal rampages against neighboring populations, and even today Jew leaders often cite Jewish religious ideals to justify their ongoing genocide of sandniggers. Judaism ironically found its mirror-image inversion in the anti-Jew Aryan racialism of the Nazis.
Despite only being 0.22% of the world's population, Jews control 99% of the world's money. Not only do the Jews control the world, but also the media, the banks, the space program, and LiveJournal's porn communities and Gay communities. All Jews possess the following features: an extremely large nose, fake boobs, curly hair that reeks of faggotry, one of those gay hats, a love of coke, a law practice, a roll of money, a small cock, or shitty taste in dental hygiene.

Jews invented both Communism and Capitalism. Karl Marx, of course, was a Jew, which was why he understood money so well, and in fact he was converted to Communism by another Jew, Moses Hess, the actual founder of Zionism, who ghost-wrote Marx's The German Ideology. Capitalism was created when Christian Europeans threw away their morals and decided to embrace Jewish practices like usury (see: John Calvin). Jews were the first group to create a sophisticated banking system, which they used to fund the Crusades in order to pit Christians and Muslims (both adhering to religions derived from and controlled by Jews) against each other to kill as many people as possible in a macabre human sacrifice to YHWH.

The Jew banking system was based on fraud and lies, so when it inevitably collapsed, the Jews just pwned as many people as possible by unleashing the Black Plague on them. Later, Jews economically controlled medieval Venice (the first modern maritime trade empire), and then crypto-Jewish merchants economically controlled the Spanish Empire, including the slave trade. Openly Jewish bankers orchestrated the Dutch Empire and founded Jew Amsterdam (later Jew York). Later the Dutch Jews moved to London because they thought it would be a better base for a global empire, and actually brought a Dutch nobleman, William III, with them, who they installed in a coup d'état (more like Jew d'état, amirite?) as new King of the British Empire. For hundreds of years, Jewish bankers controlled global trade through their bases in Jew York City and London. European colonialism was, through its history, essentially a plot whereby Jews could gain control of gold and diamond mines in poor countries and increase their stranglehold over the global economy.

Jews also enjoy slicing up baby penises for fun, some even enjoy sucking them. See below.

Jews also created Jew search engine Google, so now they can find all Jew information on Internets.

Some suggest that we should use Jews instead of dogs to sniff out large amounts of concealed cash or anything else worth smuggling at airports due to their sensitive Jew noses. Obviously, this is a horrible idea, because the pay is bad, and the dirty Kikes would probably form a union and demand moar money, thus increasing the burden on taxpayers everywhere.

If the government was a deck of cards. (1)

Bahamut_Omega (811064) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809360)

Off Topic: Anyone got the IP address of the coward posting the flamebait? I'd pretty much want to take the supremacist and toss him to the polar bears. On Topic: Somehow I'd say the slogan makes it sound like the particular government is looking at getting more funds out of the gambling revenues. Rushing roulette anyone. If the government was a deck of cards; how come it's stacked with jokers?

Re:If the government was a deck of cards. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809498)

Off Topic: Anyone got the IP address of the coward posting the flamebait? I'd pretty much want to take the supremacist and toss him to the polar bears.

You must be a new jew here.

Re:If the government was a deck of cards. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809588)

Meh. Jews. We know all about them. [viddler.com]

:spit.

This will be even more successful... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809238)

...than 2008's "Penis In One Hand, Ticket In the Other" campaign which virtually eliminated the epidemic of vehicular masturbation until the courts stuck it down as sexist.

How do you tell... (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809280)

...if a driver is using a hands-free phone? Watch for lip motion?

rj

Re:How do you tell... (2, Insightful)

gd2shoe (747932) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809372)

Nope. Some people sing to the radio. For that matter, some people talk to the radio.

Re:How do you tell... (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809692)

Nope. Some people sing to the radio. For that matter, some people talk to the radio.

That's the next thing they'll ban. Horribly distracting. Car radios & CD players cause serious accidents [car-accidents.com] .

Re:How do you tell... (2, Funny)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809384)

...if a driver is using a hands-free phone? Watch for lip motion?

Hey I take offence there. Now as a person with a split personality, I feel this is going to discriminate against me while I speak to my other personality. ;)

Bans of hands-free phones? (2)

Snarf You (1285360) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809284)

The Transportation Department says it ... plans on ramping up enforcement on state bans of hands-free phones by motorists...

Why not target hand-held phones before going after hands-free phones?

Re:Bans of hands-free phones? (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809662)

The problem with phone conversation doesn't lie in whether or not you have to hold your phone, but in the mental resources you have to use to maintain the conversation on the phone.

Hands-free headsets are simply not any safer to use because they don't address the actual cause of accidents: lack of mental focus on driving.

Or... (2, Interesting)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809294)

If you want to reduce distracted driving, just enforce fines on people doing it. Make it so people are likely enough to get caught that they'll think twice beforehand. Slap a huge fine (or worse) on anyone who crashes their car due to an obvious and avoidable distraction. Forget the fancy ad campaign; people don't care. Put the money toward a decent public transit system so people don't have to choose between keeping in touch and traveling.

Re:Or... (1)

echucker (570962) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809676)

The original hands-free law has been effect in NY since the end of 2001, if memory serves. In that time, I've heard of exactly four people I am aware of getting tickets. In a short 15 minute / 10 mile drive each way to work, I see roughly 4 people each day that ignore the law. No enforcement, no deterrent.

Maps. (1, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809316)

They can pry my Droid from my cold dead hands. I need to know where I'm going, and Google Maps does that much more safely and effectively than a paper map. Also, Pandora is much less of a hassle than a standard radio. Put it on, music I like comes out, and I don't have to fiddle with it at all.

If they're going to ban cell phones, they also need to ban mp3 players, gps, and radio, which are equally distracting for the 30 seconds or so it takes to configure them.

Re:Maps. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809334)

Pull over, consult Google Maps.

Continue driving when done.

Boy, that was hard.

Re:Maps. (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809414)

Its illegal to pull over without a good reason on the freeway, not to mention the greater hazard of re-entering traffic at 70mph with no on-ramp.

Re:Maps. (4, Insightful)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809494)

and so what did people do before google maps? ohh yea, pull off at the next exit, check paper map, continue on their way.

Re:Maps. (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809400)

They can pry my Droid from my cold dead hands.

...using the jaws of life. [howstuffworks.com]

Re:Maps. (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809558)

They have, they fall under the "distracted driving" laws here in the states. Also if you feel that you should be allowed to do much of anything else while operating you multi ton vehicle, you sure need to have your license revoked. Set up pandora etc before leaving "park"(quoted for those that actually drive manual transmissions here in the states). Learn to navigate from memory. To be honest, if you hit me and i even thought that you were doing anything on your list or similar i would be looking for the maximum judgement i could get out of you and your insurance company. That includes talks with law enforcement that it was an unintentional attempt on my life(attempted manslaughter i think it would be). That goes for those in lifted trucks as well.

If it was only 30 seconds every drive then fine, but it's 30 seconds every few minutes. At 60 MPH, 8.8 feet per second, 528 feet per minute, you will go 264 feet in 30 seconds, thats damn near a football field(300 feet + end zones). How is that safe? I mean *NOTHING* could happen in those 264 feet that you were not expecting when you looked away~

strange brew that's also good for you (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809328)

That would be Kombucha.

Ummmm. (-1, Troll)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809332)

I can't stand people who think that just because something works for one thing, it will work for another, despite there being greatly different circumstances, motivations, and complications.

A seat belt is a one-time, passive thing that's on for the length of your trip. Takes half a second, and generally, most people aren't that concerned about it (though some refuse to use a seat belt on principle).

A Cell phone is a multi-use information device. People call you, you call people, you need directions while driving, call people and tell them you're late, whatever.. People have a virtually unlimted reasons to use them, and those reasons don't go away when they get behind the wheel. Add to that the relative difficulty in finding a safe place to stop to take or make a phone call when driving and it makes the incentive even less.

Tell you what, Mr Regulator. Why don't you install "cell phone stops" every 1 mile on the roads, where we can safely pull over and make or receive calls before you tell us that we can't use them.

Re:Ummmm. (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809464)

Tell you what, Mr Regulator. Why don't you install "cell phone stops" every 1 mile on the roads, where we can safely pull over and make or receive calls before you tell us that we can't use them.

They're called "side streets" or "parking areas".

Re:Ummmm. (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809628)

they do, it's called off ramps and places at them. At least here in the St. Paul MN, there are exits from the freeways in town every 1/2 mile or so, almost every one has a gas station or fast food place with a parking lot for you to make your call at. In the rural areas there is less of an issue for other drivers, at least on the interstate system, on the highway system is just dangerous anyways, traffic going in opposite directions at 60 MPH, with nothing but a line of paint to stop them from crossing it. Also most of the highway system as nothing to prevent animals from entering it. Ever seen what a moose will do to even your largest of SUVs, or even an 18 wheeler

Can someone please explain to me (1)

discordia666 (940470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809338)

Why driving with one hand by your ear and talking via bluetooth on your cell phone is legal but driving with a cellphone in that hand is illegal?

Re:Can someone please explain to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809410)

Because if you suddenly need that hand on the wheel, it doesn't have anything in it that would prevent grip.

Re:Can someone please explain to me (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809668)

Because if you suddenly need that hand on the wheel, it doesn't have anything in it that would prevent grip.

There's nothing magical about having two hands on the wheel - you can start the maneuver with one hand, drop the phone and then help with the other. That is, if you believe the problem is the mechanics and not the distraction of the phone call itself - which runs counter to every scientific study, and yet is apparently steadfastly believed by almost every group of lawmakers here in the US.

I've seen people do stupid things with a cell phone in their hands. I've seen them do stupid things when it's pretty apparent they're using a hands-free device. I've seen people watching a movie while driving. Heck, a couple days ago I saw a guy in rush-hour, stop-and-go traffic who had a map up mostly blocking his face.

We have laws against distracted driving - but enforcing them costs money that governments are not willing to spend. So our state legislators attempt to demonstrate their value to the taxpayer (in Washington, anyway, they make a pretty nice salary considering they're required to work 60 days every two years) by passing pointless add-on laws, but not providing the funds to adequately enforce even existing laws. As I've mentioned in at least one prior post, I've known a couple of these people - neither one is someone I'd hire for any job because, I've seen them in a real work environment and they were mainly interested in work avoidance.

I'm not anti-law. I support what they're ostensibly trying to accomplish. But artificial distinctions (e.g. hands-free is okay) and lack of funding prove to me they're really not interested in anything but another potential revenue stream.

WRONG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809344)

What if little susy needs to call mommy who's on her way home from work because there's an emergency at the house? What if mommy gets pulled over and fined for a purely legit reason? Little susy might be hurt or worse because some asshole lawmaker decided that he's right and the populace is wrong.

Fuck you, ban on cellphones. Punish people when they crash, not before (if they ever do).

Re:WRONG (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809392)

Mommy should've pulled over to the shoulder. If little susy is calling mommy to tell her that little billy got his arm ripped off by the wheat thresher, I don't think mommy is going to be driving all that well with news like that, cell phone or not.

photo enforcement? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809346)

Don't we have the technology to enforce mobile phone use by means of photo recognition software and overhead cameras on highways?

If such an automated system was possible, it wouldn't tie up law enforcement in traffic stops over a 90 dollar ticket...which is nullified if you challenge the ticket in court and provide proof (a receipt) you purchased a handsfree device (at least in CT).

Automatic Drivers? (2, Insightful)

Dzonatas (984964) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809358)

> "'It's time for drivers to act responsibly, put their hands on the wheel and focus on the road,' says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who last year called distracted driving an 'epidemic.'"

What about cars that drive themselves?

Maybe auto makers should be more responsible!

They're banning HANDS-FREE phones now??? (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809406)

The Transportation Department says it wants to send the message: 'Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other,' and plans on ramping up enforcement on state bans of hands-free phones by motorists

Wasn't the whole idea that people could use hands-free phones so that they could keep both hands on the wheel? I mean, come on, NY, what gives?

In any case, I believe that CB radios are legal everywhere, and I don't see much of a difference between operating one of those and operating a cell phone, I'm just saying....

Re:They're banning HANDS-FREE phones now??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809696)

Oh good - about time.

Studies have shown that it is the distraction of the conversation, not holding the phone, which is the major problem.

North American should disabuse themselves of the notion that there is a Right to Drive.

it's a privilege and when at the wheel you have a very dangerous weapon in your hands. You should not be on the phone as well.

Re:They're banning HANDS-FREE phones now??? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809726)

In any case, I believe that CB radios are legal everywhere, and I don't see much of a difference between operating one of those and operating a cell phone, I'm just saying....

CB radios are most often used by professional drivers who usually have had a better standard of training than the average motorist and are less likely to allow themselves to become dangerously distracted.

I.e. mobile phones are only an issue because every idiot uses them.

If police are experts in traffic safety... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809420)

...that means it's perfectly safe to drive down the highway at 130 MPH, and talk on my cell phone while driving.
I had to drive to Hartford, CT yesterday, and all the electronic billboards said "Phone In One Hand, Ticket In the Other", but I got passed by an unmarked SUV police cruiser, when I looked over at the driver, he was on his cell phone, and going almost 90 MPH, I don't really think what he was doing was unsafe, but I think it's absolutely ridiculous that the hypocrites would give one of the slaves a ticket.

I rarely talk on my cell phone while driving, but I got harassed by some cop while I was picking up a friend at Bradley Airport (near Hartford) because I picked up the phone, and called my friend to ask her which terminal she was at, (a conversation that took less than a minute). Now what would be safer? Picking up the phone, dialing it, and holding it to my ear for 2 minutes? or fumbling around with my bluetooth headset, putting it in my ear, and then fumbling around with the thing? People who do alot of talking on the phone while driving should have heatsets or speakerphone, but a it's just ridiculous to have a law about it.

Also, "Click it or ticket" is BS, it doesn't save lives, it doesn't increase seat belt usage. I grew up in MA which has had a seat belt law as long as I can remember, yet, I've known quite a few people who died in car accidents who didn't have their seat belts on.

Now I live in New Hampshire, "Live Free or Die" where there is no seat belt law, and it seems like more people here wear their seat belts. The NH DMV actually trys to encourage seatbelt use by education, rather than a fear tactic of giving you a fine. In fact, my friends auto insurance (which you aren't required to have in NH) will not cover injuries to passengers of his car if they don't have their seat belts on. So if someone wants a ride from him and doesn't want to wear a seat belt, he makes them sign a waiver that he has printed up and keeps in his glove box.

I have friends in MA and CT who take their seat belts OFF if they are getting pulled over for speeding, because often the cop will write them a $50 fine for not having a seat belt on, which doesn't affect your insurance, instead of writing a $200 ticket for speeding which does go on your insurance, because the cop knows you aren't gonna bother fighting a $50 ticket that doesn't affect your insurance, but you'll fight the $200 one that does.

Dangerous water for civil liberties? (5, Interesting)

dmomo (256005) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809444)

One thing in all this that frightens me is the fact that by letting law enforcement pull someone over based on something that is not a clear moving violation, but something the can claim to witness happening inside a vehicle,
we are effectively giving them a tool for racial profiling. This power seems ripe for abuse.

1) See someone who "looks" like they might be carrying something illegal
2) Pull them over, obtain cause to search vehicle
3) If successful, book them
4) If failure, cite them for cell phone use.

How easy is it for a customer to obtain proof that they were or were not texting at a given time?
How easy is it for Law Enforcement?
Is this proof permissible?

911? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809460)

Along the highways here in California they encourage drivers to call 911 for drunk drivers. This seems contradictory given you aren't allowed to use your cell phone to call anyone. Will you get out of the ticket if a cop pulls you over or will he just hit you with a taser and resisting arrest charge because you stayed on the line?

cops on cell phones (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809488)

I live in the "great" state of NJ, and while fist-pumping my way home from the bus stop (on foot), I saw not one but two of my town's police officers driving in (seperate) patrol cars while holding a cell phone to one ear. And no, their lights were not on, and there was no emergency. Shouldn't they be held to a higher standard, or at least the same one us serfs are?

Mixed Messages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31809506)

I was contemplating this yesterday, while I drove down the Interstate 17 in Phoenix, AZ. As clear as day, as I going through an Underpass, an Info board encouraged me to Dial 511 for traffic information. Wouldn't I have a just cause to file suit with my local city should I receive a ticket? It seems to me that you would not want to encourage people to do the exact opposite of the law you intend to pass.

I say good. (3, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809544)

Every time I see some stupid fucking douchebag barking into his cellphone, or some giggle brained bleeth yammering into her iPhone, I curse the gods for not letting me be able to fire rockets or RPGs at those stupid fucks as they blunder their way down the highway and endangering the lives of the rest of us with their inattention and sense of entitlement.

Don't use "Curb" in driving-related stories (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809584)

Unless you're talking about an actual curb, driving-related stories should not use 'curb' as a verb.

In addition, the headline says 'combat' while the article includes 'curb' 3 times and no 'combat'.

Please, speak clearly and skip the puns, hyperbole, and 'vivid metaphors'. News first.

Signed,
-The Internet

Phones need a "I'm driving" mode. (4, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809592)

I rarely dial out when driving. I hate doing it too. Most of the time if I receive a call, I'll let it go.

So what I want is a separate voicemail greeting or some other way of communicating status which will let me say that I'm on my goddamn way, so stop calling me to ask where I am. Because as it is right now, I can't effectively communicate the difference between this and my usual "I don't feel like taking your call." (There is a difference.)

So really, phone systems need to be designed better for this use case.

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