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Old 01-13-2009, 06:26 PM   #1
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This law makes no sense to me

According to last night's news broadcast, a law is being considered by all of the States that will outlaw all cell phone use while driving.

Okay, I'm the first one to advocate that law. There will be a fine for talking on the phone. Text messaging will carry a stiff penalty, and I'm all for that too. They should revoke the texter's license til they "grow up." What kiind of idiot endangers his own life and the lives of others while he's punching letters into a phone?

The law will keep us from using our cell phone at anytime while driving. They claim that even though you are a "hands free" cell phone user it is just as dangerous.

I wear a Bluetooth in the car when driving. I use it at home too if I want to do other things with both hands while talking.

When I'm driving and my cell phone rings, I just tap my Bluetooth and answer. If I want to make a call I tap my Bluetooth and hold it for about 3 seconds and use voice command. I never have to touch my cell phone.I'm aware that some of you hate the looks of a Bluetooth but it is a very useful appliance and keeps me from having to hold my phone, or search around for it when it rings as I'm driving.

Now my question is: If I'm not using my hands, but just talking, how can that be any different than talking to someone in the passenger seat? When I go out with my friends we usually take turns driving and I often have 4 other people in the car with me. We're all talking so what's the difference?

Am I missing something?

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Old 01-13-2009, 06:28 PM   #2
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That law became effective here in Washington as of 1/1/09
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:32 PM   #3
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Cell phones have become the highly visible poster boy for all driving distractions. It's one easy target to attack.

I have seen people eating, drinking, shaving, brushing their teeth, putting on makeup, beating their kids in the back seat, and a myriad of other things that are more of a distraction that talking om the phone.
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:33 PM   #4
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Maybe not looking at the road when your bluetooth is acting up on you could distract you.
Talking is distracting in a vehicle, phone, bluetooth, or human. NOBODY is perfect. Not even you.
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:37 PM   #5
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I also use bluetoth, and i would hate to see this law pass, and I agree it is not diferent than talking to somebody in the back seat, but it is much easier to pass the law outlawing talking on the phone than to pass the law oulawing talking to a person next to in your car.
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:40 PM   #6
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Our law is that you have to use a hand's off device in the car, that's all
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:48 PM   #7
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I think it's a terrific law. I have trouble carrying on even a normal conversation with my passenger while driving. I can't think and drive at the same time. Can you imagine me arguing with my wife on the phone while driving? I think this law is written for people like myself.

BTW, I can chew gum and ride my bike at the same time, or exchange obscenities with a road raged driver while riding my bike....
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:50 PM   #8
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Wearing a headset while you're in the car could obstruct your ability to hear a car that you didn't see in your blind spot, among other things, essentially something happening that you should know about while driving. I know it is illegal to wear stereo head phones in your vehicle while driving, why should it be legal to wear just one in one ear?

Hands free is touchy. There are some people who certainly shouldn't be distracted while they are driving and that's that... the law protects against those types of people, whether or not it makes the rest of the population upset.
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:52 PM   #9
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I agree with you DQ. I think like anything else the cellphone has its place and there are safe ways to use it. I also use a bluetooth (I call it a geektooth though cuz it looks so dumb) when I'm driving and IMO it is much safer than having a conversation with someone in the passenger seat.

Edit: This topic comes up periodically and often gets very heated so please don't be surprised if this thread goes missing.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix View Post

Edit: This topic comes up periodically and often gets very heated so please don't be surprised if this thread goes missing.
I think most of can take the heat. After all, this is the cooking forum....
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:03 PM   #11
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I would love to see this law pass.
Big difference between someone talking in your ear, and one in your space. Ask any parent who's kid is in the room screaming,
Ma, Ma, Ma.", and one in your ear screaming the same.

I agree with Saph about the headphone principal.

My other thought is though - the increase in accidents by people who pull over to make their calls, then pull back on the road without paying enough attention. BAM!

I don't know, somehow millions of people grew up out of contact with love ones or business associates every waking moment of the day, and we survived.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:04 PM   #12
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Shall we start a cell phone burning crusade? Like the bra burning? lol
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:08 PM   #13
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I think most of can take the heat. After all, this is the cooking forum....
LOL! Just a friendly warning. Most does not equal all my friend, not by a long shot!

My personal feeling is that I think eating or drinking while driving is more dangerous than using a hands free cell. How many folks do you see tipping their coffee cups up to get the last drop? I don't see any laws being passed to ban that. Frankly, I think this is covered under "driving without due care and attention". Why would you have to create specifics?
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:32 PM   #14
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I remember a study that AAA conducted a few years ago which showed that hands-free cell phones were not safer than hand-held, because the real problem was the distraction. So I googled it, and came up with this info from the US Insurance Information Institute:


"Many studies have shown that using hand-held cellphones while driving can constitute a hazardous distraction. However, the theory that hands-free sets are safer has been challenged by the findings of several studies. A study from researchers at the University of Utah, published in the summer 2006 issue of Human Factors, the quarterly journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, concludes that talking on a cellphone while driving is as dangerous as driving drunk, even if the phone is a hands-free model. An earlier study by researchers at the university found that motorists who talked on hands-free cellphones were 18 percent slower in braking and took 17 percent longer to regain the speed they lost when they braked."

I once pulled over on an interstate highway in Oregon to make a phone call and a state trooper pulled up behind me. When I told him I had just pulled over to make a phone call, he looked puzzled and then thanked me....
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:39 PM   #15
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I don't talk on the phone anymore while driving because I realized myself that I am somewhat distracted. After googling the studies done on this, I realize I was probably even more distracted than I thought I was. So for me, I will continue to pull over if I absolutely have to make or receive a call while driving.

Oh, and I agree that passengers can be just as distracting if not more so to drivers. There are a lot of states that prohibit teen drivers from having teen passengers in the car while they are driving. I've certainly been known to pull over when the kids start getting out of hand and lecture them on the reality that I have their lives in my hands while I'm driving!!!
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:39 PM   #16
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My wife calls it my 'Borg Attachment', LOL. I think laws like this come about because some people can multi-task and others can't, and when enough of those that can't get in accidents, well the squeaky wheel gets the grease, LOL.
It is an easy target, but then again if it was never a problem there would not be anything to target. People are getting more and more upset about driving conditions these days, and want something done to make it more safe.
This was one they could get studies on and hammer out a law that could be specific enough to stand up. There may be others coming soon hereafter...
My one question though: Say there are two of you in the car but you have a tiny handsfree in your ear hidden by your hair.. how does the cop know if you are talking to a passenger or hands free?
Give people time, they will come up with work arounds... LOL.

Edited to add: Yes, I do pull over to talk on the cell phone, I am just not one of those chew bubble gum and walk guys LOL. I focus in hard when driving... have to in these areas!
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:41 PM   #17
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My personal feeling is that I think eating or drinking while driving is more dangerous than using a hands free cell. How many folks do you see tipping their coffee cups up to get the last drop? I don't see any laws being passed to ban that. Frankly, I think this is covered under "driving without due care and attention". Why would you have to create specifics? [/quote]

I agree with Alix. Isn't the point of a car to drive??? I see no problem while talking on a hands-free cell (I have one that fits on the visor) but those people I see eating, putting on makeup, fixing their hair, fiddling with the radio....ugh
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:45 PM   #18
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Remember back a few years ago when I was rear ended... the teenage girl came out of her car covered in white cream??? "were you putting cream?" on I asked

"No, I was eating salad!!!!" We'll ya know how I feel about eating while driving.

Hands free phones...not 100% safe but they are much safer than having a phone in one hand.....
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:55 PM   #19
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Yes, I agree that they are an easy target, and there are many habits that are far more dangerous. I think the US culture may be going overboard trying to protect us from ourselves and is turning into what the Canadians/English call "a nanny state." (This is from someone -me - who back in the 70s and 80s, lobbied on the state level for tougher laws on drunk driving, seatbelt use, child safety restraints and motorcycle helmets.) But there is only so much that laws can do, and people need to accept responsibility for their behavior. Is it possible that laws like this actually encourage people to abdicate their personal responsibility? Possible.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:58 PM   #20
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My one question though: Say there are two of you in the car but you have a tiny handsfree in your ear hidden by your hair.. how does the cop know if you are talking to a passenger or hands free?
For that matter, just because your mouth is moving and you have a bluetooth in your ear how can the cop know you are on the phone. How do they know you are not talking to yourself or singing along with the radio or practicing a speech you are giving etc.

I think there is no doubt that talking on the phone while driving is less than ideal from a safety point of view. The same can be said of talking to others in the car, driving while tired, changing the radio or playing with your iPod, driving after getting into a fight with your SO, driving with kids in the car, or any number of other distracting things. The truth is that we all make concessions when we get on the road. I think people need to take personal responsibility for their own actions. I talk (hands free, but not bluetooth) in the car from time to time. I only do it when I feel safe doing it. I do not do it in blinding rain or snow storms or in very heavy fast moving traffic. Driving on a single lane road doing 25mph I generally do not feel to nervous or distracted to have a conversation if I need to.
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