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Florida Man Faces $48k Fine For Jamming Drivers' Cellphones

timothy posted about a month ago | from the carl-hiaasen-on-high-alert dept.

Cellphones 358

An anonymous reader writes with this news from The Independent: An American driver is facing a $48,000 fine after using a mobile signal jammer in his car to block motorists around him from using their phones on the road. Jason Humphreys reportedly used the jammer from the back seat of his Toyota Highlander for around two years before being caught by Florida police. The 60-year-old said that he used the jammer – which transmits radio signals that interfere with mobile phones – because he was 'fed up' with watching others use their phones on the road. A story from late April (before the fine was levied) gives more detail: The case along I-4 started on April 29, 2013, when the cellular company Metro PCS contacted the Federal Communications Commission because a transmission tower along I-4 would suffer in the morning and evening. A week later, agents from the FCC's enforcement division in Tampa staked out the freeway on May 7, 8, and 9 and pinpointed a “strong wideband emission” in the cellphone wireless range “emanating from a blue Toyota Highlander sport utility vehicle,” with Florida license plates, according to a complaint issued by the FCC on Tuesday. Another clue: When Hillsborough County Sheriffs deputies stopped the SUV, their own two-way radios were jammed."

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358 comments

Dup (3, Informative)

lecithin (745575) | about a month ago | (#47305727)

Re:Dup (5, Funny)

Timothy Hartman (2905293) | about a month ago | (#47305759)

timothy's best posts are dupes. It's the original stuff that you need to watch out for.

In other news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47305749)

Batman get charged $48,000 for trying to save lives with gadgets

Re:In other news (3, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | about a month ago | (#47305805)

FloridaMan [twitter.com] , hero of the people!

In other news (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306023)

Wrong.

By jamming their phones, drivers are more likely to look down at their phones wondering why the hell their calls isn't going through, making them MORE likely to cause an accident.

Captcha = reckless

Re:In other news (3, Insightful)

cripkd (709136) | about a month ago | (#47306075)

Came here to say exactly this.
Whoever uses the phone while driving will try 2-3 times and have his eyes on the phone longer as opposed as having the other side answer and him talking and leat looking in front of him.
Yes, I know the attention span of someone talking on the phone and driving is the same as someone who's drunk, but still it must beat not looking at the road.

Re:In other news (0)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a month ago | (#47306209)

Isn't illegal to be driving and using a cellphone at the same time?

Re:In other news (4, Informative)

Michael Casavant (2876793) | about a month ago | (#47306247)

It's not illegal to be riding and using a cell phone at the same time.

It is illegal to cause harmful emissions (jamming)

Re:In other news (4, Informative)

Sigma 7 (266129) | about a month ago | (#47306255)

In Florida, only for text messaging. They don't ban hand-helds or cell phones.

See http://www.drivinglaws.org/flo... [drivinglaws.org]

Also, officers don't pull you over simply because you are on the phone, they only enforce it if they catch you doing something else at the same time.

Re:In other news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306399)

And if you're a passener ? Or you're on the side of the road trying to make an emergency call? Or you're an emergency vehicle driver using a two-way radio?

Or are you trying to say his jammer only targeted drivers?

Re:In other news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306471)

No, it's not.

Re: In other news (2)

corychristison (951993) | about a month ago | (#47306521)

Every heard of hands free devices? Usually its implemented via Bluetooth.

I'm my car I can press a button on the wheel, say "Call Wife Mobile" and it will call my wifes mobile phone. Never seeing or touching my phone.

I live in Saskatchewan, Canada. We ridiculously harsh penalties when it comes to "distracted driving" (their words). I haven't heard of any province or state that has banned using your phone through a hands free device.

The claim that using a cellphone while driving is dangerous stems completely from the action of taking your hand(s) off the wheel, and eyes off the road. This is exactly what bluetooth hands free systems are designed for, and exactly why they are including it in more and more vehicles.

If you're curious, I drive a 2012 Kia Sorento EX V6 AWD Luxury Edition... Bought it last July for about $22K (Canadian) with less than 50,000km on it.

Florida (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47305757)

The wang state.

Dammit Florida Man! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47305777)

Now Florida Man stories are on Slashdot as well as Reddit [reddit.com] ?

Guy is a moron (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47305781)

Does he think it's safer when everyone near his car gets distracted at the same time trying to figure out what's wrong with their cell phones?

I know if someone did that to me, I'd go 'stand my ground' on his ass and delete him from the gene pool.

Re:Guy is a moron (4, Insightful)

Salamander (33735) | about a month ago | (#47305823)

I agree with the first part of your comment, and came here to say almost the same thing. The law of unintended consequences strikes again.

The second part makes you seem like a moron. Seriously, losing access to your e-toy for a minute or two is worth killing over? Get a grip.

Re:Guy is a moron (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47305877)

Stand Your Ground is about using "force, up to and including lethal force."

Not all "force" is lethal, and stand your ground is not about killing.

Re:Guy is a moron (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47305897)

"Delete you from the gene pool" certainly implies something close to killing.

Re:Guy is a moron (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47305945)

Sterilization would also meet this criteria.

Re:Guy is a moron (1, Offtopic)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about a month ago | (#47306327)

It actually doesn't meet the criteria. With sterilization he certainly couldn't contribute to the gene pool, but it wouldn't delete him.

Either way, though, it's typical of the stand your ground mentality.

Re:Guy is a moron (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a month ago | (#47306053)

Or a swift kick in the nuts.

Re:Guy is a moron (0)

StripedCow (776465) | about a month ago | (#47306223)

Seriously, losing access to your e-toy for a minute or two is worth killing over? Get a grip.

People have declared thermonuclear wars for less.

Re:Guy is a moron (1)

yagu (721525) | about a month ago | (#47306315)

citation needed

Re:Guy is a moron (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306473)

I heard this one kid once started a thermonuclear war, just because he was looking for a BBS to play games on.
It all ended up OK in the end though after tic-tac-toe proved that all conflict is pointless.
How about a nice game of chess?

Re:Guy is a moron (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306417)

You don't know what the call is about. It may be about saving lives. There are many very real possibilities. Plus as GP said and you agreed on, he created a significantly higher risk of accident. Let's see about your attitude if you ever get into this situation, and wake up in the hospital four years later, paralyzed for life, earing your wife and both your kids were killed in the accident, along with a dozen other people.

Of course it does not "justify" killing another human being, as nothing does, but don't overgeneralize and reduce it to a reaction to "losing access to one's e-toy for a minute or two", most notably after talking about "unintended consequences", as in "not thinking it through"...

Re:Guy is a moron (1)

fivepan (572611) | about a month ago | (#47306525)

I know if someone did that to me, I'd go 'stand my ground' on his ass and delete him from the gene pool.

This is why I do not like guns in the hands of "normal" people.

Castle Doctrine Defense (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47305799)

All he has to do is claim he was acting in self defense to prevent an idiot driving while on a cell phone from causing an accident around him.

Re:Castle Doctrine Defense (-1, Troll)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47305815)

Sorry, he didn't kill anyone, particularly not anyone black, it won't stand up in a Florida court.

Re:Castle Doctrine Defense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47305989)

What are you talking about? If a white man kills a black man it's a "hate crime". If a black man kills a white man it's just a murder.

Re:Castle Doctrine Defense (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306299)

Of course. You can't commit a hate crime without a long standing, deep-rooted pattern of racist discrimination fitting it. Just because one race is shooting at another does not make it a hate crime. There are plenty of non-racist reasons for black people to shoot at white people (or vice versa) and you have to have actual evidence of racial motivation or premeditation before you can start talking about a hate crime. Also, Zimmerman was of Hispanic descent anyway and don't racist assholes like yourself hate Mexicans as much as you hate blacks?

Re:Castle Doctrine Defense (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47305969)

And if he drove past an accident and interrupted a 911 call? Man fuck you.

Re:Castle Doctrine Defense (4, Insightful)

Stellian (673475) | about a month ago | (#47306067)

he was acting in self defense to prevent an idiot driving while on a cell phone from causing an accident

"The signal is bad around these parts... let's switch to message chat !"

This is a prime example of why we have societies, laws and regulations - in this case those designed to stop mobile phone usage. Going for an individual solution quickly devolves into mayhem: thousands of bystanders affected, emergency calls interrupted, and probably not a single accident prevented.

You know ... (5, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month ago | (#47305837)

I can't say I disagree with why he did it, but it's kind of hard to argue that he didn't break the law.

From what I can tell, at any given time a huge fraction of drivers are either texting, or holding onto their phone and talking.

If where I lived introduced one of those bounties where you get money if you can get a picture of a face and a license plate using the phone while driving ... well, I could go a few blocks from my house to an intersection, and pay off my house in a few weeks.

Almost weekly I find myself behind someone who is driving a little erratic because they're holding their phone with one hand, gesturing with the other, and not paying attention to what's going on around them.

I feel bad for this guy, but I fear he's probably screwed, since he broke the law in doing this. If someone had needed to call 911 near him that wouldn't have worked out well.

Re:You know ... (2)

Millennium (2451) | about a month ago | (#47305883)

I'm inclined to agree. Even if one accepts his arguments, what he did is essentially a form of vigilantism, up to and including the strong risk of not ending well.

Re:You know ... (2)

GameMaster (148118) | about a month ago | (#47306029)

If what is said in the summary is true, we're past the point of a "strong risk" of it not ending well and are well into that being a reality. Apparently, this genius radio engineer was also causing interference for the two-way radio systems used by first-responders.

Re:You know ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47305901)

I can't say I disagree with why he did it, but it's kind of hard to argue that he didn't break the law.

From what I can tell, at any given time a huge fraction of drivers are either texting, or holding onto their phone and talking.

If where I lived introduced one of those bounties where you get money if you can get a picture of a face and a license plate using the phone while driving ... well, I could go a few blocks from my house to an intersection, and pay off my house in a few weeks.

Almost weekly I find myself behind someone who is driving a little erratic because they're holding their phone with one hand, gesturing with the other, and not paying attention to what's going on around them.

I feel bad for this guy, but I fear he's probably screwed, since he broke the law in doing this. If someone had needed to call 911 near him that wouldn't have worked out well.

Drivers would use their cell phones to get pictures of drivers using their cell phones.

Yeah, that'd work as intended...

Re:You know ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month ago | (#47306293)

Drivers would use their cell phones to get pictures of drivers using their cell phones.

Yeah, that'd work as intended...

You know, in many many places I could stand on a sidewalk and successfully do this. Hell, I strongly suspect in most places I could do this. Pretty much any busy intersection from what I've been able to see.

Give me $50 for every picture I can get with a face and a license plate and a cell phone ... and I could probably make several thousand dollars in an hour without even trying very hard.

And, failing that, have a police office standing there doing the same thing, mailing out tickets, and taking points off people's licenses.

If many accidents are now caused by distracted drivers, and it's trivial to find places where you can stand there and watch people on cell phones while driving ... do something about it.

Re:You know ... (1)

GNious (953874) | about a month ago | (#47306385)

Drivers would use their cell phones to get pictures of drivers using their cell phones.

Yeah, that'd work as intended...

You know, in many many places I could stand on a sidewalk and successfully do this. Hell, I strongly suspect in most places I could do this. Pretty much any busy intersection from what I've been able to see.

Give me $50 for every picture I can get with a face and a license plate and a cell phone ... and I could probably make several thousand dollars in an hour without even trying very hard.

And, failing that, have a police office standing there doing the same thing, mailing out tickets, and taking points off people's licenses.

If many accidents are now caused by distracted drivers, and it's trivial to find places where you can stand there and watch people on cell phones while driving ... do something about it.

A lawyer did this in Copenhagen, DK, and while he didn't receive any money for it, he did receive numerous threats ...

Re:You know ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47305913)

Why can't you disagree with "why he did it?" Are you a psychopath? Or are you omniscient enough to know everyone else's reasoning for using a phone? "whaddup? duh" could just as easily be "He's allergic to latex" as far as you know.

Re: You know ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306149)

Reasoning: I'm the most important person, and do not give a damn about being a member of society.

Re:You know ... (1)

thevirtualcat (1071504) | about a month ago | (#47305935)

I don't feel bad for him at all.

He's just lucky he's not holding an FCC license of some kind (amatuer radio or a business license) or he wouldn't be getting off with such a small fine. (Wouldn't surprise me if he also ended up barred from holding such licenses, but there's nothing in TFA that says that.) Especially since he was also causing interference in the public saftey bands.

Re:You know ... (1)

Technician (215283) | about a month ago | (#47305943)

The problem was jemming the cell tower. The regular denial of service was noticed and investigated. Towers service an area beyond the street.

Re:You know ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47305949)

I sympathse, a couple of times I've seen people using handsets and I've basicly not given way to them when I should have . For example someone on my right at a roundabout.

Logically since they're holding a handset they have no right to be moving and thus cannot have any right of way ....

Re:You know ... (1)

fisted (2295862) | about a month ago | (#47306279)

...and here we have a prime example of the very kind of people you bitch about. You should be taken off the streets.

Re:You know ... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a month ago | (#47306457)

You do realize that his jammer went beyond just disrupting drivers' cellphones, right? It was jamming the cell phone tower for everyone and also jamming the two-way radios used in emergency vehicles.

Re:You know ... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a month ago | (#47305973)

Remember that we sacrifice safety for convenience every time we get into a vehicle. I'd like to see data comparing speeds to using a cell phone: if allowing drivers to use phones is as dangerous as increasing the speed limit by 30 mph, that's one thing. If using a cell phone only translates to the same risk as raising the speed limit by 5 mph, then I say allow it.

Re:You know ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306021)

Really? Because while driving somewhat faster you automatically stop paying attention? What a flawed comparison...

Re:You know ... (1)

njnnja (2833511) | about a month ago | (#47306211)

Yes it does. At least, it means more distance is covered during your reaction time, which is the same thing as driving slower and having an impaired reaction time due to not paying attention.

Re:You know ... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month ago | (#47306499)

Yes it does. At least, it means more distance is covered during your reaction time, which is the same thing as driving slower and having an impaired reaction time due to not paying attention.

Those aren't even close to the same thing.

Increased speed shortens reaction time because you close the distance faster.

Not paying attention shortens reaction time because you've got your head up your ass and you're not paying attention.

World of difference between the two situations.

Re:You know ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306131)

You worthless retard. Its not just that cell phones demand additional attention (that reduce reaction times). It's that people *look away* from the road to scroll through their contact list or write/read texts. Something like 75% of all accidents are proceeded by someone not looking at the road for three seconds.

I seriously hope you become injured from a distracted driver on a cell phone.

Re:You know ... (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | about a month ago | (#47306275)

You know, I find the digital screen display radio/gps/etc in my new car way more distracting. Trying to change stations, look at the map for directions etc has almost killed me twice now. They are at least as dangerous as my phone.

Re:You know ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306487)

And I hope one of these vigilantes drive by you when your injured in your vehicle trying to make a 911 call and your phone gets jammed.

Re:You know ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306139)

Remember that we sacrifice safety for convenience every time we get into a vehicle. I'd like to see data comparing speeds to using a cell phone: if allowing drivers to use phones is as dangerous as increasing the speed limit by 30 mph, that's one thing. If using a cell phone only translates to the same risk as raising the speed limit by 5 mph, then I say allow it.

It's not speed, it's paying attention to the road. You obviously don't drive very often if you're not seeing near daily swerves and near accidents due to soccer moms in SUVs talking on cellphones, dudes in their shit wagons SMSing, and the salesrep trying to find where he is on his phone's GPS navigation. I'm not a long distance commuter yet I see phone related problems every week, and regularly drive passed "accidents".

Re:You know ... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a month ago | (#47306419)

Remember that we sacrifice safety for convenience every time we get into a vehicle. I'd like to see data comparing speeds to using a cell phone: if allowing drivers to use phones is as dangerous as increasing the speed limit by 30 mph, that's one thing. If using a cell phone only translates to the same risk as raising the speed limit by 5 mph, then I say allow it.

Well, TECHNICALLY it's safer when there are people using cellphones because they naturally drive slower than traffic. And slowing down traffic means the damage caused by an accident is far lower.

Yes, if you see a car driving erratically and definitely not doing the limit in perfectly dry and sunny conditions, they're always with a phone in their hand.

So yeah, if you're going 20 in a 35mph area, you are technically safer since 20mph has a lot less energy if you hit something than 35.

I suppose if the goal is to lower the speed limit, yeah, allowing cellphones will probably do it because you'll end up with sufficient users going slow enough to hold up traffic so the 90 percentile speed would drop. Do it right and you can drop a road from 35mph to 30, then 25, then 20 or so.

That would improve safety quite a bit.

Re:You know ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47305999)

So...what? Whip out your phone and snap a picture of people talking on their phone?? I'm not sure how this solves the problem...

Re:You know ... (5, Insightful)

GameMaster (148118) | about a month ago | (#47306003)

He's screwed because he's a complete moron. He's just another asshole with anger management issues and/or delusions of grandeur who decided to grant himself law enforcement powers. Not only did he block cellphones but, apparently, he was also interfering with the radio communications of first-responders. It'd be like someone driving up onto a busy sidewalk for a chance to get photographic evidence of someone jaywalking...

Re:You know ... (-1, Troll)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about a month ago | (#47306469)

Don't be so quick to dismiss the idea of vigilantes. Law enforcement simply can not do the job in all too many cases. And even when the cops catch bad guys we get stuck with huge court expenses and if we punish that is a money killer as well. So you have a problem with dope turning your neighborhood into a hell pit. All of a sudden you start finding users and sellers hanging from street lamps. The problem goes away! The cops can't do that. Got a problem with cars getting broken into? Can the cops solve it? And when vigilantes start asking who is doing what in a community you can bet they get answers. Do you somehow believe that a majority in a voting booth are always better than a mob in the night? Both are forms of government. One is efficient.

Re:You know ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306025)

Statistics and facts don't agree with you:

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/texting-bans-dont-reduce-crashes-effects-are-slight-crash-increases [iihs.org]

Numbers don't lie. Think about what you are advocating. In South Carolina a texting ban was just approved. Anyone that gets into any minor accident now can have their entire cellphone bill accessed to verify they weren't texting. We just created the lowest bar ever for a court to approve access to cellphone records by local police. I can't even imagine what would happen if they wanted to see your Google Talk or iChat logs to verify you weren't using them.

Re:You know ... (4, Interesting)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about a month ago | (#47306137)

I honestly think that texting and cell phone bans are just using the "third brake light" effect. To get what I'm talking about, cars made before a certain year (I forget exactly when this was) only had two brake lights, one on each side of the rear of the car. Then, one year, the federal government decreed that all cars made that year and in the future needed to have a third brake light, the theory being that the third light would reduce accidents by making it more obvious when a driver was braking.

The year that regulation went into effect, there was a significant drop in the number of accidents nation-wide. The numbers increased but were still lower than normal for each of the next three or so years, and then suddenly all of the benefit from the third brake light was gone and accidents were back up to normal numbers. Most people who have studied it believe the reason was that the third brake light was something strikingly different from what people were used to, and caused them to pay more attention to the lights - but then people got used to it and the benefits of the third brake light went away.

The same thing is apparent with texting-while-driving laws. Accidents go down a little when the law is first enacted, then go back up afterward.

Re: You know ... (1)

snsh (968808) | about a month ago | (#47306027)

If he used the jammer selectively, when he was next to a distracted driver, that would one thing. But he left it running all the time. That's going too far.

Re:You know ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306057)

If he was that bothered he could have used a dash-cam and uploaded them to a shame-channel on youtube without blurring the license. This denial of service should result in time behind bars.

Re:You know ... (2)

ZenMonk (1967080) | about a month ago | (#47306083)

I also agree with the guy in principle, but there are two big problems with how he went about it:

  1. The signal strength on the jammer was obviously way too high. It's one thing to fuzz-out the obnoxious talk&text drivers in your general vicinity, but he was also apparently jamming the cell tower itself, which could affect everyone in that cell -- albeit just while he's driving by -- not just the drivers around him.
  2. Maybe related to the first, but more serious, his jammer hit the police radio too. Mucking up the comms of public safety workers who rely on it to do their jobs is potentially very dangerous.

When it comes down to it, this is tantamount to shooting out the back tire of the slowpoke in front of you to make him/her get off the road. Something we all fantasize about, but it's dangerous and illegal and we wouldn't actually do it.

Re:You know ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month ago | (#47306157)

I am definitely not defending that he did it, or how he did it.

But, from what I can tell, people are simply not going to stop using their phones while driving without a lot more enforcement and penalties.

I figure places where this is illegal could generate huge revenues (and hopefully start to effect change) by much more aggressively enforcing the bans.

I totally agree what he did was illegal, stupid, and dangerous. But I also can't help but notice the sheer number of drivers who are on their phones and driving badly every time I get into a car.

As I said, if I went a few blocks from my house to a busy intersection, and faced one corner with a telephoto lens for a few hours, I'm betting there would be a lot of people using their cell phone.

How often have you had to honk at the driver in front of you who hasn't noticed the light was green? Just a week ago I spent 15 minutes stuck behind a driver who was driving well under the speed limit, weaving all over the place, and I could see from her rear view mirror that about a third of the time (or more) she was looking down at her phone and not at the road.

Re:You know ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306229)

When it comes down to it, this is tantamount to shooting out the back tire of the slowpoke in front of you to make him/her get off the road. Something we all fantasize about, but it's dangerous and illegal and we wouldn't actually do it.

Strange, I've never actually had that fantasy. Now, the slowpoke I finally get a chance to pass, who speeds up, chases me down the road, passes me, finds another slow car and then slows down again. Him, I fantasize about shooting and not his tire. Slow drivers don't bother me much at all, but I spent years driving on a highway that's known for these kind of hostile games.

Luckily I learned years ago how to deal with hostile drivers. Wait until another hostile driver comes along and set them after each other. It's like playing chess. You have to think 10-20 moves again and you can't let them know you're doing it, but I had hundreds of hours to perfect that skill.

Now you've got me thinking about shooting the cell phone out of someone's hand. While impossible and stupidly dangerous, that somehow amuses the hell out of me. It's something an unstable comic book hero might do.

It's past time people who use their phone while driving are treated like the drunken drivers they act like.

Re:You know ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306171)

I can't say I agree with you. Even though I've not been to Florida in the past decade, I know for a fact that at least one passenger was unable to use their phone because of this moron. If that passenger was calling 911 for a firetruck as their car was on fire, you wouldn't be saying what you're saying. Even if they were just surfing slashdot, the guy is a complete asshole. The most common example is likely a passenger calling their hotel because they're going to be late. The funds recovered should go to them if they can prove they lost their room due to the communications issues.

I feel bad for all the holiday-goers inconvenienced by this law and feel good he's being punished for his foolish actions. This is why vigilantism is a terrible idea, as if we really needed a real life example to prove it.

Re:You know ... (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a month ago | (#47306361)

If that passenger was calling 911 for a firetruck as their car was on fire, you wouldn't be saying what you're saying.

You guys lead way more exciting lives than I do....

Re:You know ... (2)

Desler (1608317) | about a month ago | (#47306429)

So passengers aren't allowed to use their phones? Police/fire/ambulance drivers shouldn't be able to use their two-way radios? I can't make a call, possibly an emergency call, on the side of the road?

There is nothing to agree with him about because he was potentially jamming all sorts of perfectly legal communications.

Seems contrary... (5, Insightful)

Rurouni_Jaden (846065) | about a month ago | (#47305871)

Seems contrary to what he is trying to accomplish. I assume he wants people to put their phones down and pay more attention to driving. I think the results will be more people looking at their phones in confusion, trying to redial, etc. i.e. the exact opposite of paying more attention to their driving.

Re:Seems contrary... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306297)

That there is the problem with vigilanteism. It's fueled by emotional reaction which is almost never coupled strongly with rational thought.

Dumb Ass (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | about a month ago | (#47305927)

Randomize. Have the thing be on every third day or for 20 minutes then off or some other timer. Even a toggle switch on the dash so it could be turned on when "needed" vs always on. They will find you if it's always on.

[John]

Re:Dumb Ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306049)

That would not work for his purposes.

I want one (1, Troll)

SebNukem (188921) | about a month ago | (#47305953)

I want a mobile version for my bicycle, so that people, you know, will refrain from trying to kill me all the time.

Re:I want one (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about a month ago | (#47305983)

I want a mobile version for my bicycle, so that people, you know, will want to kill me all the time.

FTFY :-)

Re:I want one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306051)

Cyclist use Cells phones while euphemistically "Driving" as well..

Re:I want one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306205)

A cyclist using a phone will only kill himself. For others, just some bumper damage. At worst he'll ram another cyclist, rarely serious in practice.

A driver not paying attention is worse, and a trucker worse still.

Re:I want one (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month ago | (#47306553)

A cyclist using a phone will only kill himself. For others, just some bumper damage. At worst he'll ram another cyclist, rarely serious in practice.

Incorrect statement. [kqed.org]

Re:I want one (2, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | about a month ago | (#47306063)

I want a mobile version for my bicycle, so that people, you know, will refrain from trying to kill me all the time.

Do you have any suggestions for what to do about cyclists who are jabbering on their phone via bluetooth while they ride? Or who are having their texts read to them? Or who are wobbling along at 10mph using an entire lane with a 45mph limit, as they fiddle with their handlebar-mounted smartphone's You Are Fabulous, Look How Fit You Are! app? Or those that weave through slow moving cars in order to beat them to a red light so they can scoot across the intersection against the light when they think they can make it? Most of the risk I see involving cyclists is completely self-inflicted. We have all sorts of bicycle lanes around here, paid for by all tax payers, but reserved just for those special snowflakes on bikes. And those lanes look just fantastic there, empty, while the guy on the road bike climbs a hill at 3mph in the middle of traffic in a main lane right next to it. So far, my sympathy continues to hover right around zero.

Re:I want one (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a month ago | (#47306143)

Having texts read to them? Just yesterday I saw a bicyclist on the road (in a bicycle lane, but still near traffic) texting with one hand while pedaling. Of course, she also wasn't wearing a helmet.

I'm hoping to get back into biking soon (it's really good exercise), but if I feel the need to text someone, I'll pull my bike to a safe spot, stop, text the person, and start up again. Otherwise, all focus will be on my surroundings, not my electronic gizmo.

Re:I want one (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a month ago | (#47306443)

Do you have any suggestions for what to do about cyclists who are jabbering on their phone via bluetooth while they ride? Or who are having their texts read to them? Or who are wobbling along at 10mph using an entire lane with a 45mph limit, as they fiddle with their handlebar-mounted smartphone's You Are Fabulous, Look How Fit You Are! app?

Bumper tag.

Re:I want one (1)

invisibletank (2920371) | about a month ago | (#47306523)

Reminds me of an old joke: Pedestrians hate cars, cars hate pedestrians, but everyone hates bicycles...

bicyclists are why I don't ride a bicycle (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306185)

If you pretentious jerks would follow the rules of the road Instead of doing things like: splitting lanes with cars, especially when they're stopped at a traffic control; riding next to your buddies in the car lane when you have a perfectly good bike lane; and completely ignoring traffic controls creating situations that would get a motorist killed if they tried that in a car; you might not think people were trying to kill you.

It always shocks me when I see one whose actually following the rules of the road.

Re:bicyclists are why I don't ride a bicycle (3, Insightful)

a-zarkon! (1030790) | about a month ago | (#47306543)

Where is this land of the bike lane you speak of? I would totally use that if they had them around here. Just a lot of country roads and thankfully usually not a lot of traffic where I am. I ride alone and hug the side of the road as close as I'm able. What really irritates me is the people who seem to have a real issue with bikes. Full size pickup truck who misses your handlebar by about 3 inches as they pass you at 45-50 mph on a 30 mph street. No traffic coming, could easily move a half a foot to the left, but would rather see how close they can get without actually hitting you. This is a small percent of motorists - but it's definitely something you can expect to have happen at least once per ride around here.

Re:I want one (1)

slugstone (307678) | about a month ago | (#47306285)

or other bicyclist will refrain from trying to commit suicide. Yes they too use cell phones. :-(

Re:I want one (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a month ago | (#47306503)

I want one so that if you get hit your 911 call gets jammed.

Only idiots defend this guy (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47305995)

To stop text/cell phone usage It's totally worth disrupting all two way radios in the 700/800mhz band (if not others), including, but not limited to, police, fire, medical, public works, private business, etc.

makes compete sense. (1, Troll)

nimbius (983462) | about a month ago | (#47306013)

As an amateur radio hobbyist, im absolutely fed up with people basing their knowledge of healthcare reform solely on what Fox News says, but it doesnt give me the right to build a wave bubble jammer and knock out the satellite uplink for the local affiliate station. Because as much as i hate Fox, they provide valid EAS warnings and weather.

Re:makes compete sense. (-1, Flamebait)

judoguy (534886) | about a month ago | (#47306187)

As an amateur radio hobbyist, im absolutely fed up with people basing their knowledge of healthcare reform solely on what Fox News says

"I'm absolutely fed up with people basing their knowledge of healthcare reform solely on what government supporters say." There, fixed it for you.

Re:makes compete sense. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306353)

But other channels provide EAS warnings and weather, so if you're just knocking off Fox News, then that's commendable, not endangering people.

Re:makes compete sense. (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a month ago | (#47306483)

Well, let's look at this carefully. You can get weather from NOAA (162.5xx mHz). At least in my neck of the woods, you can also get EAS warnings from them.

So now, that jamming system is looking quite a bit more attractive, no?

Use a dash cam, not a jammer. (5, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a month ago | (#47306015)

Jamming signals is illegal, and it could affect lots of legitimate use of cell phone use without being distracted. Data link for emergency and police vehicles, streaming in music, passengers using cell phones etc. So what he did was wrong.

But he could could have bought one of those russian style dash cams. Mounted it on near the roof line, looking sideways and downwards. May be two such cams on either side of the vehicle. Record it continuously and report the actual distracted drivers, along with the video footage to police. Or without even going to police upload them into some kind of YouTube channel and shame them into compliance. When they see how seriously long, their "momentary" glance at the texts, the distance covered when they were distracted, most sane people will feel compelled to comply. After all, 99.9% of the people do come to full stop at stop signs even when there is no other vehicle is in sight, without any one policing it.

Re:Use a dash cam, not a jammer. (1)

sinij (911942) | about a month ago | (#47306281)

No, "most sane people" will not comply, because everyone is 'above average skill' drivers, and car wrecks happen to 'other people'.

Don't underestimate addictiveness of "always connected" lifestyle and power to rationalize away your bad decisions.

What's worse than drivers using their phones? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306087)

... drivers trying to troubleshoot their phones. If you've ever been in the car with someone trying to reboot their phone, re-sync bluetooth, change their map destination, etc... you know they are more dangerous than anyone talking - I wonder how many inadvertent accidents his jammer caused.

This remembers me what happened years ago... (4, Funny)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | about a month ago | (#47306113)

When car started to be equipped with electronic spark control, it was found that a particular UK car brand was very prone to RFI from CB stations. Whenever the RF field was strong enough, the car engine stopped due to EM interference.
CB radio drivers, whenever they spotted this car type in the London traffic, drove close to it, honked at the poor driver to get his attention, and then showed him their hand pressing the push-to-talk button of the transceiver...

Better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306123)

Just tap on the brakes when there's a phone idiot coming up behind you. There's nothing like the look of panic when they finnaly look up from their text message.

mod;s up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306125)

what we've known survival prospects community at for 7rools' to get some eye

RF Melting His BRAIN! (1)

InitZero (14837) | about a month ago | (#47306127)

You gotta wonder how many watts his jammer was putting out if it was able to affect a cell phone tower than was several hundred feet away if not further. There are 100-watt mobile models available.

I'm not one of those people who think the minuscule power a cell phone puts out is going to rot your brain from occasional use but I've got to imagine that lots of watts in close proximity at that frequency can't be good. Especially daily for two years.

Oddly enough, using this RF calculator [hintlink.com] , seems to show no safety problems except, possibly, for the cars directly adjacent.

Cheers,
Matt

Common sense (1)

bwwatr (3520289) | about a month ago | (#47306145)

If you wanted to do this without getting caught, keep the jammer turned off but within reach. When you see a driver on their phone, run the jammer for just long enough to drop their call. May also be wise to do this sparingly, and not on a daily commute route. This guy was asking to get caught.

Re:Common sense (1)

N1AK (864906) | about a month ago | (#47306277)

That would work if you're a passive-aggressive out to get some kicks however it'd do nothing to make you or the roads safer. Being near drivers using phones is bad enough, do you really want to be near drivers who are confused about why it just cut off and are now trying to redial!?

I don't like littering, middle land hogs and people who don't recycle. That doesn't mean I get to go around breaking laws to try and punish them for it and nor should it.

Re:Common sense (2)

bwwatr (3520289) | about a month ago | (#47306379)

I wasn't arguing that he was in the right, even if I got a kick out of what he did. Vigilantism deserves to be punished. I was arguing, however, that if you're going to be a criminal, at least be smart about it. Driving around all day blasting illegal EM noise is just as stupid as robbing a bank without a mask on. I suppose we're fortunate that so many criminals aren't smart.

This would cause more confusion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47306389)

I feel like this would cause a dangerous rolling bubble of confusion as all the drivers around me pay even less attention as they look at their phones to see if the call got dropped. I'm glad this guy got caught.

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