Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Weeding out the "Iffys" (instead of banning cell phones)

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,916

    Weeding out the "Iffys" (instead of banning cell phones)

    Let's start with a statement I think we all can agree on: Some drivers are high-skilled and attentive - some not so much.

    The high-skilled/attentive driver operates at a higher level - by definition. He has a greater margin for error, so to speak - and can probably do things such as eat while driving, drive with one hand on the wheel, use a cell phone and so on without necessarily becoming a danger to himself or others.

    The marginally skilled/inattentive driver, on the other hand, starts out with little or no margin for error. They're "iffy" already - even before factoring in potential external distractions such as a cell phone.

    To put a finer point on it, high-skilled drivers are probably better/safer drivers even with one hand on the wheel/texting, etc., than marginally skilled drivers are with both hands on the wheel and not talking or texting - in the same way that a superior athlete, even if he's had no sleep and maybe got really drunk the night before, will still be able to run faster, farther (or whatever) than the well-rested, not hung-over non-athlete.

    It may not be fair, but it's the reality. People differ in every conceivable way - including their ability to drive a car. We are not all created equal. Some are gifted by nature with superior vision, reflexes and sense of spatial relationships. Some are not.

    It's just the way it is.

    Here's another way to look at it:

    Which driver would you expect to perform better in a slalom-type exercise around a series of cones in a big parking lot: A professional race car driver with three or four drinks in him - or Joe Sixpack completely sober?

    Who would you rather have sharing the road with you - a 95 year-old lady in an '87 Buick Century who never touched a cell phone in her life let alone in her car, but who has had four fender benders in the past year alone? Or a 35 year-old with excellent vision and reflexes who sometimes makes a call on his cell but hasn't had an accident since he was a teenager?

    A really good driver with two beers in him, say, is surely less likely to misjudge a curve and end up in the woods (or not notice the light ahead has turned red and fail to stop in time) than a WWI veteran with glaucoma who hasn't touched booze since JFK was president.

    But who gets nailed to the wall?

    The list of such things is almost endless.

    The point being - impairment comes in many forms, some of them perfectly legal. We are very selective about the actions we demonize as "unsafe" - and make the focus of legislative jihads.

    We all know, for example, that tailgating is much more likely to result in an accident than driving 10 mph over a typically under-posted speed limit. But which action is more likely to result in a ticket? Have you ever heard of a "tailgating dragnet"? Not me. Instead, 95 percent of all traffic enforcement is focused on enforcement of speed limits - and all "speeding" is defined as "dangerous" by definition - even when it's demonstrably not.

    Need proof? From roughly 1974 to 1995, the fastest legal speed on most U.S. highways was reduced to 55 mph. People were routinely ticketed for doing 60, 65, 70 mph - speeds that had been lawful prior to 1974 and which are once again legal on the exact same roads. Did it suddenly become "safe" to drive at those speeds? Of course not. All that happened was the arbitrary definition of lawful maximum speeds changed by the stroke of a lawmaker's pen. Nonetheless, for years, drivers who got nabbed doing 65 when 55 was still the maximum lawful speed were characterized as "unsafe speeders" by the DMV and their insurance companies. Today, they are once again "safe."

    We have "click it or ticket" campaigns - endless harassment of motorists who are threatening no one's safety except perhaps their own (and in an abstract/theoretical way, since the odds are highly likely they won't have an accident today - in which case the decision to wear or not wear a seatbelt is immaterial).

    But we don't do much about the old coot doing 26 mph on a road where the speed limit is 50 mph - with a mile of cars stacked up behind him.

    And so it goes...

    Cell phone/texting bans are just the latest politically correct bum's rush; another ill-thought-out crusade to enact yet more dumbed-down laws based on the least common denominator driver - whose driving isn't going to get any better just because another law has been passed.

    We'd make a lot more headway if, rather demonizing cell phones - and assuming that just because some people are too inept to use them safely while driving then everyone must be too inept to use them safely while driving - we focused on the bedrock problem of rampant low-skill driving itself.

    This is the real problem - and it's only going to get worse as cars get more complicated and people have more distractions around them.

    We can't outlaw everything; no more doing anything in the car - or else. Well, I guess maybe you could. But that still isn't going to fix things. It'll just make everything even more low-rent totalitarian than it already is. We've got too many laws as it is - and too much time is spent by cops harassing motorists over penny ante stuff that may not and often does not have anything to do with whether they're driving competently.

    Weed out the iffys - and we'd have no need for cell phone bans or most of the other rigmarole we're plagued with.

    But don't look for that to happen anytime soon.

    It makes way too much sense.

  2. #2
    Senior Member J. ZIMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    THE HIGH DESERT, OREGON
    Posts
    371
    "Weeding out the iffys". Good title. I agree, but now we should include Talking and Texting on a Cell Phone while taking your Drivers test. That would "WEED OUT" those who can't multi-task, and those who can before they ever get on the road. Maybe that could be extended to Eating and Driving as well. Hell, lets do a full gamut of multi-tasking tests. That should knock about 49.5% of the knot heads of the road. It still comes down to common sense, no matter how you look at it.

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,916
    "... now we should include Talking and Texting on a Cell Phone while taking your Drivers test. That would "WEED OUT" those who can't multi-task, and those who can before they ever get on the road. "

    Not a bad idea!

    Another way to deal with this would be to make less of a big deal about things like speeeeeeeeeeeeeeding - and instead make a really big deal out of things like tailgating (inarguably unsafe/dangerous) and having more than say one at-fault accident in any 10 year period. The logic seems sound: A driver who "speeds" but never (or extremely infrequently) gets into an accident is almost by definition a safe driver - while a driver who may never go faster than the speed limit/has no tickets for "speeding" - but gets into frequent accidents is by definition not safe.

    Right?

    Speed can be a problem - fast or slow. But not necessarily. It depends on the driver and it depend on conditions. Some drivers can handle 90 mph on the highway better than others can handle 60. I understand we may not be able to set traffic law based on the best drivers only (just as we shouldn't base it on the least able drivers). But what we have right now is too tilted toward the least able - and it's set up that way so that the maximum number of tickets can be issued - and "revenue" generated.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    840
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    "... now we should include Talking and Texting on a Cell Phone while taking your Drivers test. That would "WEED OUT" those who can't multi-task, and those who can before they ever get on the road. "

    Not a bad idea!

    Another way to deal with this would be to make less of a big deal about things like speeeeeeeeeeeeeeding - and instead make a really big deal out of things like tailgating (inarguably unsafe/dangerous) and having more than say one at-fault accident in any 10 year period. The logic seems sound: A driver who "speeds" but never (or extremely infrequently) gets into an accident is almost by definition a safe driver - while a driver who may never go faster than the speed limit/has no tickets for "speeding" - but gets into frequent accidents is by definition not safe.

    Right?

    Speed can be a problem - fast or slow. But not necessarily. It depends on the driver and it depend on conditions. Some drivers can handle 90 mph on the highway better than others can handle 60. I understand we may not be able to set traffic law based on the best drivers only (just as we shouldn't base it on the least able drivers). But what we have right now is too tilted toward the least able - and it's set up that way so that the maximum number of tickets can be issued - and "revenue" generated.
    Except that the dangerously slow driver who leaves a trail of metal behind him seldom bends his own and seldom is caught.

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,916
    Quote Originally Posted by Mase View Post
    Except that the dangerously slow driver who leaves a trail of metal behind him seldom bends his own and seldom is caught.
    Excellent point.

    The slow driver who provokes others to attempt sometimes not the safest passing maneuvers will just obliviously motor along. If there's an accident, no one (well, no cop) ever focuses on the initial cause of the chain reaction. All the punishment gets heaped on the exasperated drivers who made a try to get past the slow-motion "driver."

    Related anecdote:

    My father in law is a great guy; and he would never intentionally hurt anyone. He also thinks he's a great driver - and thinks I'm "risky" because I routinely drive a lot faster than the posted limit. He not only drives well below the limit, he constantly tailgates. And I mean feet off the bumper of the car ahead. And he is utterly oblivious. The guy scares me to death and I avoid being in a car with him behind the wheel. I may drive at a fast clip. but I never tailgate (and I have been through several high-perf. driving schools and haven't had an accident since '87).

    But the system targets people like me much more so than people like him.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3

    So typical

    You have made the classic mistake of trying to identify the problem before applying a cure.

    The government's way is to "do something, anything, even if it's wrong."

  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,916
    Quote Originally Posted by livefreeNH View Post
    You have made the classic mistake of trying to identify the problem before applying a cure.

    The government's way is to "do something, anything, even if it's wrong."
    Hi Live,

    So true!

    Welcome to the site, by the way - good to have you with us....

  8. #8
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia
    Posts
    2,072
    I have to say..... ban cell phones while driving or should I say while in motion.

    Drivers on mobiles (cell phones) become involved in the conversation or texting and forget they are sharing the road with others
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,916
    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1 View Post
    I have to say..... ban cell phones while driving or should I say while in motion.

    Drivers on mobiles (cell phones) become involved in the conversation or texting and forget they are sharing the road with others
    As a motorcycle rider I definitely understand the fear - but I have come to believe it's not the cell phones or PDAs (or eating or whatever). It's the driver. Some can handle it, some can't.

    I much more fear the old coot with glaucoma than I do someone who's a great driver who happens to be using a cell.

    Think about pilots and commercial truckers. They manage to handle two-way radio communication while maintaining safe control of the machinery. It's not really different with a car; if anything, the skill threshold is lower.

    Why give cops another way to harass all drivers - even the ones who aren't causing a problem but just happen to be on a cell?

    How is this different from enforcing under-posted speed limits? Many of the people here in this Forum have had high-performance driving lessons and either have or could qualify for an SCCA road racing license. Such drivers are perfectly able to safely handle highway speeds well above the posted maxes - yet the are in the crosshairs merely because they drive faster than a dumbed-down limit (and tarred as "unsafe drivers" by the DMV and insurance companies, even though they may never have had a single accident, despite all the tickets for speeding).

    I maintain the real problem is under-skilled drivers. Put a cell phone into the hands of such and you have a major problem. But the problem is not the cell. It's the under-skilled driver.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    98

    This'n says ban 'em

    From our local newspaper. Red accent mine.

    ================


    NRV bicyclists seek better protection

    Two people injured in bike wrecks say they believe the motorists who hit them were not adequately punished by the court system.

    By Mary Hardbarger | The Roanoke Times




    BLACKSBURG -- While biking home from work in late October, Elizabeth Hokanson of Blacksburg was struck head-on by a vehicle.

    The impact knocked her off her bike and from the southbound lanes to the northbound lanes of South Main Street, which she was crossing.

    Thanks to her helmet -- which was cracked in 11 places -- and the condition of her body at time of impact, her injuries were minimal, considering the severity of the crash.

    "The crash was not anticipated at all. ... I didn't have time to think," Hokanson said. "And because of that, my body was still loose -- they said like a rag doll."

    She suffered a concussion, several cracked ribs, wrenched joints and a large knot on her left shin bone.

    The driver of the vehicle that hit Hokanson was found guilty Dec. 2 of failing to yield the right-of-way in Montgomery County General District Court and fined $30.

    The maximum fine she could have received was $250.

    Beth Lohman, president of the New River Valley Bicycle Association, said the fine was "insulting to the cycling community."

    Today, Hokanson joins Lohman's outrage and questions whether the punishment would have been more severe had she also been driving a vehicle.

    Their concerns are mirrored by other bikers, who say not enough is being done to punish motorists at fault in these type of incidents.

    "To me there are two issues at hand," Lohman said. "One is how these cases are perceived and two, how these cases are handled by police and the judges."

    According to state law, Hokanson has two years from the time of the crash to take civil action, and she said that possibility is under consideration.

    Hokanson is an avid cyclist, and before the crash, she commuted to work at Virginia Tech on her bike, no matter the weather.

    "I wear my bike gear under my work clothes," she said. "I love to ride."

    She is a League of American Cyclists-certified biking instructor and vice president of the New River Valley Bicycle Association.

    On the day of the crash, Hokanson said the weather was clear and it was still light outside when she began her ride home at about 5 p.m.

    From Hubbard Street in Blacksburg, she approached South Main Street, and with a green light, began to cross onto Ellett Road. At the same time, the motorist was driving west on Ellett Road and began to make a left onto South Main Street.

    "And then I remember a loud noise and a silver blur," Hokanson said. "Beyond that, I don't remember anything until the emergency room."

    The trauma caused by the crash have prevented Hokanson from riding her bike.

    She was unable to drive her car for more than a month after the crash because of back and joint pain. She goes to physical therapy three times a week to build her strength so she can go back on the road again.

    Cases like Hokanson's are not uncommon in the New River Valley.

    Months earlier, Michael Kiernan, a friend of Hokanson's and Tech faculty member, was sideswiped by a motorist on Nellies Cave Road in Blacksburg and suffered arm and shoulder injuries.

    Kiernan said in court the driver claimed to not have seen him. She was charged and found guilty of illegal passing on the left and fined.

    "Drivers need to know that we are out there, and we are legal and vulnerable users of the road," Hokanson said. "The 'I didn't see the bicyclist' plea is not a good enough excuse to get off scot-free."

    Kiernan said he is still in the dark about what happened that day.

    "If I could go back to that day in court, I would have asked the judge, 'Well why didn't she see me?' " he said.

    Kiernan said he was not given an opportunity by the judge to seek details that he believes could shed new light on the case.

    "In my opinion, I believe the judge already knew what sentence he planned to hand down before we even entered the courtroom," he said.

    To prevent such incidents in the future, both Kiernan and Hokanson say drivers should be banned from talking on the phone.

    "It's a no-brainer," Kiernan said.

    Hokanson said getting rid of that distraction will force drivers to stay focused on their surroundings.

    Lohman said she wants to see more protection given to cyclists through the law. She cited legislation in Texas and Oregon that protects vulnerable road users such as bicyclists and pedestrians.

    Lohman said this legislation provides a higher level of care for these road users and ensures higher fines against motorists at fault.

    "Bicycles are treated like vehicles under the law," she said. "Therefore, bicyclists should always be subject to all laws and principals."

    As president of the area bicycle association, Lohman said she is hearing more concerns about bikers' safety every day.

    "I get a lot of feedback from bikers saying they want more justice and recognition," she said.

    "People need to know that we're present in the NRV and that we have connections to other organizations that can help justice be done."

  11. #11
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,916
    This is typical of The Roanoke Times.

    Instead of saying, hey, the specific person who caused a specific harm ought to be held specifically responsible, the paper calls for dragnet-style bans (and punishment) for everyone, including those who have done no harm at all.

    It's of a piece with the paper's constant haranguing for "gun control." The editorial page will, for example, point to the criminal use of a firearm by some as justification for banning virtually everyone (save, of course, the agents of the state - which it venerates and thinks can do no wrong) from possessing a firearm.

    It's typical of the statist mindset, which takes it as a given that everyone must be treated as if he or she is both an idiot and a reckless idiot, simply because a few people are reckless and idiotic (and/or criminal).

    And of course, the statists who take such a position always seem to think they know what's best for everyone else. I marvel at their arrogance... .

    I'm sick to death of being targeted by endless new laws simply because some pinhead out there has done something foolish or dangerous. Hold them accountable - by all means.

    But until I specifically have done something to warrant it, leave me (and other innocents) out of your statist shackles!

    This is why I "threw it in the woods" and cancelled my RT subscription...

  12. #12
    Last week as I was driving down to my sister's for the holidays, I got caught in a major downpour/thunderstorm. Raining so hard you could barely see. Nice interstate highway. I slowed down, got in the right lane (I'm down to about 35 mph it was that bad). Almost got rearended by idiot who wasn't paying attention and yes, my lights were on. They were going too fast for conditions. I don't hesitate to go a little faster in good weather, but I drive for conditions too. I figured if I kept going, the storm and I would pass each other quicker. Luckily it had slowed to a drizzle by the time I reached the MS welcome station - I needed a pit stop!
    I'm going quackers!

  13. #13
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,916
    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    Last week as I was driving down to my sister's for the holidays, I got caught in a major downpour/thunderstorm. Raining so hard you could barely see. Nice interstate highway. I slowed down, got in the right lane (I'm down to about 35 mph it was that bad). Almost got rearended by idiot who wasn't paying attention and yes, my lights were on. They were going too fast for conditions. I don't hesitate to go a little faster in good weather, but I drive for conditions too. I figured if I kept going, the storm and I would pass each other quicker. Luckily it had slowed to a drizzle by the time I reached the MS welcome station - I needed a pit stop!
    Yep - and such people existed before cell phones!

    Inattentive/dangerous driving is inattentive/dangerous driving - period. Cell phones, as such, don't turn a good driver into a dangerous/inattentive one anymore than a gun turns a responsible person into a murderer.

    I'd like Mike to respond...

  14. #14
    I still make it a policy to not talk/text and drive. I'll do a short text if I'm stopped at a light, but I know I'm not that talented to do that sort of multitasking. I was pissed that I'd left my earbud in the charger at home on my trip. I will on occasion, but my family knows that if they call/text me while I'm driving, there's a good chance I won't answer until later.
    I'm going quackers!

  15. #15
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,916
    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    I still make it a policy to not talk/text and drive. I'll do a short text if I'm stopped at a light, but I know I'm not that talented to do that sort of multitasking. I was pissed that I'd left my earbud in the charger at home on my trip. I will on occasion, but my family knows that if they call/text me while I'm driving, there's a good chance I won't answer until later.
    I second this "self-policing" and wish people would do it more often!

    The RT (and I think Mike, too) wants the government to do the policing instead - and treat us all presumptively as if we are idiots and/or incompetent.

    Not only is this unjust, it's probably counterproductive. Instead of dealing with the actual/real idiots/incompetents (as demonstrated by their actions, when they actually create a problem) the police target everyone, the bad and the good. Since the good outnumber the bad, and there are only so many cops, fewer bad get dealt with while more and more good just get hassled for no reason.

    This helps no one - except the government, which pockets more "revenue" vis fines - and that may be the whole point of this exercise anyhow.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post

    Think about pilots and commercial truckers. They manage to handle two-way radio communication while maintaining safe control of the machinery. It's not really different with a car; if anything, the skill threshold is lower.
    With all due respect - I think your comparison of texting to operating a CB radio is off the mark. Similar to cell-phone use, sure; it isn't any more dangerous than adjusting the radio station or calling up a playlist on an iPod, if you ask me. But texting is another matter altogether - at a minimum, you're talking 20-30 seconds with your eyes completely off the road while you attempt to type on a miniature keyboard with your thumbs. Maybe that's OK while stopped at a red light, or while cruising down US 12 in eastern Montana, but you can't convince me that it's safe in the majority of situations where people text - namely, in stop-and-go traffic while commuting to work or school. I guess you could say, we have ourselves to blame for the new laws that are coming out, since the vast majority of people who text behind the wheel choose to do so irresponsibly.

    Otherwise, I totally agree with you. There's way too many asinine rules out there in the name of "safety".

  17. #17
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,916
    Quote Originally Posted by MeanMeosh View Post
    With all due respect - I think your comparison of texting to operating a CB radio is off the mark. Similar to cell-phone use, sure; it isn't any more dangerous than adjusting the radio station or calling up a playlist on an iPod, if you ask me. But texting is another matter altogether - at a minimum, you're talking 20-30 seconds with your eyes completely off the road while you attempt to type on a miniature keyboard with your thumbs. Maybe that's OK while stopped at a red light, or while cruising down US 12 in eastern Montana, but you can't convince me that it's safe in the majority of situations where people text - namely, in stop-and-go traffic while commuting to work or school. I guess you could say, we have ourselves to blame for the new laws that are coming out, since the vast majority of people who text behind the wheel choose to do so irresponsibly.

    Otherwise, I totally agree with you. There's way too many asinine rules out there in the name of "safety".
    I don't disagree that texting while driving is - in principle - not a great idea. However, here's the thing:

    How do you show that a driver was, in fact, texting? Maybe he was just holding his phone. The cop can't tell. But the law will essentially give a cop the power to pull you over and ticket you merely for having the device in your hand. Maybe you were just holding it. Maybe you were making a call. Etc.

    And still: Even if the person was texting that, as such, doesn't necessarily mean it's "unsafe" for every driver. If you disagree, then you have to take the position that many other actions that could just as arguably be construed as "unsafe" - everything from having a conversation to eating a burger - should also be made illegal and subject to ticketing.

    If not - why not? Once you open that door... .

    And that, to me, is the root of the problem. We have accepted a mindset that assumes everyone is inept/dangerous and therefore, "there oughtta be a law!" As a result we have a henpecky Mommy State that has intruded into every corner of our lives - and I personally find it suffocating and obnoxious.

    Wouldn't it be better - fairer - to simply hold specific individuals accountable for whatever they happen to do rather than impose dragnet-style laws and restrictions and punishments on everyone?

    If, say, a person causes an accident due to inattentive or reckless driving then hold him civilly and criminally responsible. But if he hasn't caused any harm, shouldn't he be left alone?

    Consider the question of "speeding." Most of us here would agree, I imagine, that a good driver (one with naturally good vision/reflexes/sense of spatial relationships, etc. who has perhaps had some serious training, such as Bondurant school or some such) can handle driving say 80 mph with more "safety" than a glaucoma-riddled oldster doing precisely 55. But our laws tag the first driver as "reckless" (literally) even though the second one is far more objectively a threat to himself and others.

    Should the maximum limit be brought back down to 55 because a certain percentage of drivers can't handle higher speeds safely?

    What about restrictions on eating behind the wheel, or even having a conversation with a passenger?

    Where do you draw the line?

  18. #18
    Senior Member J. ZIMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    THE HIGH DESERT, OREGON
    Posts
    371
    I like the comment made by Ms. Lowman on bicycles. Commenting on how drivers don't see bicyclists while driving. I have to agree on her statement. "Bicycles are treated like Vehicles under the law, Therefore, Bicyclists should always be subject to all laws and principles". I agree. They should be required to carry Insurance, have an audible warning device, and have a headlight on at all times while being ridden. They should be subject the same as a Motorcycle. Motorcycles and their riders are required to have and use safety Equipment. Why not bicycles? Oh yes, lets not forget the requirement of a valid operators license, proving they are capable of operating such a vehicle safely. Lets not forget a vehicle license. I have no qualms with Bicyclists, Just don't come out from behind some car, or make a Left Turn in front of me. I may not see you.

  19. #19
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,916
    Quote Originally Posted by J. ZIMM View Post
    I like the comment made by Ms. Lowman on bicycles. Commenting on how drivers don't see bicyclists while driving. I have to agree on her statement. "Bicycles are treated like Vehicles under the law, Therefore, Bicyclists should always be subject to all laws and principles". I agree. They should be required to carry Insurance, have an audible warning device, and have a headlight on at all times while being ridden. They should be subject the same as a Motorcycle. Motorcycles and their riders are required to have and use safety Equipment. Why not bicycles? Oh yes, lets not forget the requirement of a valid operators license, proving they are capable of operating such a vehicle safely. Lets not forget a vehicle license. I have no qualms with Bicyclists, Just don't come out from behind some car, or make a Left Turn in front of me. I may not see you.
    That was beautiful! A 16 inch gun broadside... just devastating!

    Excellent, sir!

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post

    And still: Even if the person was texting that, as such, doesn't necessarily mean it's "unsafe" for every driver. If you disagree, then you have to take the position that many other actions that could just as arguably be construed as "unsafe" - everything from having a conversation to eating a burger - should also be made illegal and subject to ticketing.

    If not - why not? Once you open that door... .
    I think there are certain actions that can be defined as inherently dangerous - in other words, by definition you put other motorists at significant risk by engaging in the activity. Driving without headlights at midnight would be an example. Yes, you might make it home without causing an accident, but does that mean it's not unsafe?

    I think you can distinguish between that and something like speeding. It's not inherently dangerous (never mind what the IIHS tells you) to drive 85 mph. It may be perfectly safe, or it might create a hazard, depending on road conditions, etc. My personal opinion is that texting falls into the category of something that's just inherently unsafe - because by definition, it requires taking your eyes of the road for an extended period of time, thus disabling your ability to watch for potential dangers. No matter how good a driver you are, you aren't going to stop when the car ahead of you hits the brakes if your eyes are off the road while squinting to read the keyboard on your BlackBerry. Perhaps if they create voice-recognition software that lets you "speak" a text message, it would be a different story.

    Now, you do bring up a good point, in that once you get the government involved with regulating behavior, they can't be trusted to draft and enforce rules that actually make sense. You can bet the insurance industry and revenue hungry state and local governments will ensure that any laws that are passed will be designed to maximize revenue, not necessarily to maximize safety. I unfortunately fear that you're right, if laws are passed to ban texting, you'll probably see laws passed to ban the use of iPods, radios, A/C, talking to a passenger, and just about anything else that "might" cause an accident.

Similar Threads

  1. "Instant aging" and cell phones
    By Eric in forum Fight Traffic Tickets/Driving Issues
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-25-2010, 07:44 AM
  2. Feds push for tracking cell phones
    By Eric in forum What happened to our liberty?
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-12-2010, 08:51 PM
  3. Reason to fear cell phones?
    By Eric in forum Motor Mouth
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 08-03-2007, 04:26 PM
  4. Ban cell phones?
    By Eric in forum Fight Traffic Tickets/Driving Issues
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-05-2007, 07:42 AM
  5. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 04-04-2007, 12:00 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •