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Oregonian wants to "call off the cell phone ban"

Posted by on February 19th, 2007 at 5:22 pm

[via Amanda Fritz’s Blog]

The Oregonian penned an editorial yesterday that says currently proposed cell phone bans are nothing but “trendy” and “frivolous” pieces of legislation.

Currently being debated in Salem is a bill sponsored by Senator Ginny Burdick that would ban a whole list of “distracted driving” behaviors.

The Oregonian argues that existing careless driving laws suffice and that it’s a “waste of time” to pursue a cell phone ban or any new distracted driver legislation.

Here’s a stat they cite that I’ve never heard before:

“People using cell phones account for only one-half of 1 percent of Oregon’s car accidents, according to the state Department of Transportation.”

I’m no expert, but that seems low to me.

And this paragraph is just plain scary:

“The ability to talk on the phone while driving is a relatively new convenience, not a necessity. Still, considering the length of people’s commutes, the complexity of their lives and the miles between loved ones, those drive-time conversations have fast become essential for staying in touch.”

Should convenience have priority over safety? Why should my risk of being killed or injured go up, simply because someone trapped in traffic has no other time to talk with loved ones?

Four states, including New York and California, have already banned handheld cell phones.

Whether you’re for more laws or not, I think cyclists should be concerned with this issue because it has a direct impact on our safety.

This morning I spoke with an AP reporter covering this legislation. Watch for that article in the next few days.

=======
UPDATE: The AP now reports that Burdick’s bill has been softened. It does not call for a ban, but still gives cops the ability to ticket distracted drivers. From what I can tell, here is the most recent version of the bill.

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jami
Guest

exactly: why should anyone’s safety trump some yuppie’s right to talk to his dog back home while he drives?

i say this as both a yuppie and cell phone lover, who’s sick of seeing people killed by cell phone-using drivers.

N.I.K.
Guest
N.I.K.

Man, if I had to drive to a job intense enough that there would be the possibility of receiving a crucial call during drive time that just couldn’t be ignored for a bit, I’d probably welcome this sort of legislation with open arms. It’d be sweet to regain some of that work/home buffer again. Isn’t being out on the road at all tough enough without having to do work-related tasks simultaneously?

Really, I’m surprised the Oregonian made an excuse as lame as this. Sure, I could’ve seen “Well, the trouble is, how do you enforce such a ban successfully?”…we had a ban like this go through when I lived in Chicago and last I heard, everbody thought it was a bad joke. But really: “You can’t ban something because it stops people from working while driving?” You’re BSing me.

pdxrunner
Guest
pdxrunner

I can’t expect the Oregonian to favor anything besides their right-wing, conservative agenda. I doubt there’s a single person at the Oregonian that commutes by bike.

organic brian
Guest
organic brian

“People using cell phones account for only one-half of 1 percent of Oregon’s car accidents, according to the state Department of Transportation.”

That should be “…reportedly account for…” as in, how many people would fess up that they were on the phone when they wrecked and how likely is it they would be found out otherwise?

If people could be responsible, their behavior wouldn’t have to be legislated to protect others. This would be just like any drunk-driving law. It’s already illegal to crash into people and things, so why would it be necessary to legislate drunk driving, right? How many people would support repealing drunk driving laws?

Some interesting info on cell-phoning while driving, which some experiments have shown to be just as impairing or more so than driving drunk:

Applied Cognition Laboratory
http://www.psych.utah.edu/AppliedCognitionLab

Drivers on Cell Phones Are as Bad as Drunks (Jun 06)
http://unews.utah.edu/p/?r=062206-1

Cell Phone Users Drive Like Old Folks (Feb 05)
http://unews.utah.edu/p/?r=022106-52

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

I have heard of many studies that put the effect of driving while phoning at EQUAL to that of being legally drunk.

And here’s the thing that backers of the law (which allows headsets) are blissfully ignoring. It does NOT matter whether you are using a hand phone or a headset, the statistical effect is the same. NO difference!

The law as stands is nothing more than window dressing. It will end the visage of driving while holding a phone to one’s head, but won’t end the problem.

I had an encounter on N. Williams with a woman driving a Cherokee while yaking on her phone. She passed me I was in the bike lane, then turned right, right in front of me. I hit the brakes, turned right with her and slammed my fist on the hood. We came to a halt with me straddling my bike in front of her car. We had a decidedly one way conversation about the right-of-way of those in a bike lanes and the importance of full-attention while driving. She was quite remorseful.

Ironically, I was on my way home to sign the release papers and get a check from the insurance company of a woman who ran a red light and hit me. No phone involved in that one.

Jonathan Maus
Guest

pdxrunner said:

“I doubt there’s a single person at the Oregonian that commutes by bike.”

Actually, I know lots of Oregonian staffers that love bikes and ride them all over the place.

dabby
Guest
dabby

So,
It is obvious to me that the sited percentage of wrecks that involve cell phones is skewed due to the fact that people will not admit to, and in the case of my car/ bike accident, lie about being on the cell phone during an accident.
Even though the phone records will show that they were on the phone, as it did in my case, it appears to not matter.
Neither does dark, hipster, not your prescription, but prescription sunglasses
for that matter.

On another note, a cell phone ban will entirely slow down, and decimate the daily habits and working ethic of the average bike messenger, a service which the whole city heavily relies on.
If we were not connected by ordinance to motor vehicles, this would not be a problem.
But, we are…

JayS,
Guest
JayS,

Lets be honest this is not just auto drivers. It makes me crazy to see how many bikers are on cell phones while riding. If you want to interupt your trip to answer while riding on any residential street (often see bikers yaking) it is easy to pull off to the curb and then answer. On trafficed streets (rarely see bikers yaking) you should be paying attention to the cage drivers not working your phone. My favorite bike phone safety hazard, that I have seen a number of times, is turning your handheld into a headset by wedging it in your helmet straps.

When I see an auto driver pass me while “talking to themselves” or holding a phone, my awarness triples and I make a point of knowing what that car is doing.

For full disclosure, I just got my first cell phone in July and have used it maybe a dozen times.

JayS.

Jonathan Maus
Guest

Great point JayS,

I agree that cyclists are sometimes just as guilty. But just like the drunk driving issue and the stop sign issue…should we have different laws because our vehicles are so different?

That’s the big question.

And Dabby, I hadn’t thought of that but you’re exactly right…if they extended this to bicycles, messengers would be through.

I wonder if bicycles have come under more scrutiny in the states where the cell phone ban has passed?

What’s interesting about the Oregonian, is that back in October 2005 they published this very pro-bike editorial.

I don’t think it’s a matter of them not liking bikes. Maybe they just don’t see the connection between distracted driving and the safety of cyclists.

Donna
Guest
Donna

The editorial writers just don’t want to give up yakking on the phone while driving – same as most legislators.

Raspy7
Guest
Raspy7

pdxrunner,
I hope you are joking about that comment on The O.

If not I fear for you.

PS. I’d estimate the number of people driving with cell phones to be somewhere between 5-10%. How are accidents less than that? How many times can you sit at a red light with five cars and none of them are on the phone? Never happens.

Dabby
Guest
Dabby

Raspy7,
5-10 percent is a gross underestimate.
maybe 10 percent are actually on the phone at anyone time, but more like 45 to 50 percent of drivers nowadays would have cell phones in the car while driving.
Maybe even more…..

NLP2P
Guest
NLP2P

Here’s the link that provided that original statistic:
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/TDATA/car/docs/2005_SummaryBook_opt.pdf

By their logic, alcohol-related accidents surely don’t merit special laws, with only 2.5% of accidents…

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

Dabby just brought up a good point. As just basic observation can support, a good amount of drivers at any time are on the phone. My guess, like Dabby’s, is around 10%.

If “cell phones account for only one-half of 1 percent of Oregon’s car accidents” is true, then you could easily argue that cell phones PREVENT car accidents because cell phone users are grossly under-represented.

Now we all know that that is just nonsense.

Nonsense folks! Woo hoo! Can’t wait til these ribs heal so I can get out there and ride with all those cell phone users! Riding the MAX everyday is making me koo-koo!! Koo koo! Whooooo hooo!

Paolo
Guest
Paolo

I know in Italy they already passed a “frivolous” law to restrict phone using while driving….sure the driving is a bit more advanced there but immagine when most people not only talk but test message with their cell phone, would it be Ok to do that while you drive? I think it would be a great move for Oregon to limit the use of cell phones while driving. You could still talk if you had a speaker phone and you are not calling out.
Ciao
Paolo

sh
Guest
sh

“I had an encounter on N. Williams with a woman driving a Cherokee while yaking on her phone. She passed me I was in the bike lane, then turned right, right in front of me. I hit the brakes, turned right with her and slammed my fist on the hood.”

This scenario takes place everyday! It’s like a sitcom that’s on perpetual re-run….Woman (occasionally man), SUV (always SUV), perfectly coiffed hair (trust me on this), attempting to turn right while discussing Extremely Important Matters on cellphone…..(the slamming fist on hood is optional, as is the throwing of 1% latte at passenger window if you’re a pedestrian).

I officially support Burdick’s frivolous bill (as do I also officially not support nearly every editorial the Oregonian has ever run). Go Ginny!

Shawnkielty
Guest

Ok — so I was in the camp that thought that it would be cool to talk and drive — I drive — I can use the phone *and* pay attention to the road.

I have a preponderance of personal experience that proves I should be dead yesterday because someone was getting instuctions on the phone. Were I distracted, I would have died.

Despite an earlier belief that it could be done — I now know it is an incredible hazard, to talk on the phone while driving.

Jim F
Guest
Jim F

Really? People still read the Oregonian? That must be the worst daily newspapers in the country. I wouldn’t wrap fish with it.

Scott
Guest
Scott

Sorry guys… I guess this just shows my ‘conservative’ views amongst this city of ‘progressive’ voices. Let the tomato throwing begin, because I think I’m with the writer of the editorial on this one.

The thing that often crosses my mind is what about talking to the passengers in the back seat of your car. It would seem to be a similar situation from the drivers perspective. There is no visual contact between conversationalists and the dialogue can be just as intense. Howe is this different from cell phone conversations? (both hands on the wheel notwhithstanding) Now, if you are going to get into the one hand off the wheel thing, then where do you draw the line. You logically would continue down the road of no reaching for a tissue, no putting on your makeup, not handing cheerios to the child in the back seat, perhaps only automatic cars should be allowed. (yes I am taking the argument into the rediculous realm and I realize that is not the point of the legislators.) All of these things that could take up extended amounts of time while behind the wheel. Would it be illegal to listen to the KBOO bike show while driving a car? Granted, it may be a one sided conversation coming out of your car radio, but it still may be just as engrossing as that cell phone conversation with an old friend from miles away.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not arguing that these are the safest activities to be engaged in while driving. I’m just bringing up the point. It is difficult to know where to draw the line when limiting this combination of activity.

With freedom comes responsibility. It is one of the things this country has been founded and built upon. The more freedom, the more responsibility. It would seem to me that the push should really be about creating more responsible drivers–rather than trying to legislate it.

As far as the O’s commute conversations paragraph. I apparently thought Jonathan was saying it was scary for a completely different reason than the rest of you. I thought it was a scary commentary on our relationships these days that the only time we get to converse with those we love is through technological means while driving. I don’t think it is about ‘more convenience = less safety.’ Perhaps it is the relationship between individual responsibility, responsibility to our fellow human beings and safety.

OK. I’m off my soapbox for now. I’m curious to hear the opinions in response.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
Guest
Attornatus_Oregonensis

[W]here do you draw the line[?]

I draw the line at a behavior that has been repeatedly proven to triple the collision rate. That seems like a clear and bright line to me.

beth
Guest

Sometimes the “freedom” to have a cell phone becomes the “responsibility” to remain in touch 24/7, especially for those who work for businesses that must always be open, up and running.

My partner and I were given a cell phone (to share between us, a gift from a friend) last May. While it has come in handy for long-distance trips, I’ve seen little other reason to have it.

My partner insists that most days I be the one to carry it. “You’re more mobile and harder to reach on a bike than I am in a car,” she says. Wacky logic, yet she insists, and to humor her I carry it about one day out of four. Turned off, of course.

Interestingly, neither of us sees the logic in getting a second phone.

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

Scott,

There are studies that point out that for whatever reason, there IS a difference between talking to someone else in the car and talking on the phone. We can come up with our own theories as to why that it, but in this instance we are confronted with a large body of evidence that is rather consistent.

My own experience indicates that it takes more concentration to talk on the phone since there’s less visual feedback both ways, and most importantly, with a the person in the car, both people can alter the pace of the conversation, pause when needed and it all seems fine. You don’t even think about it. Talk on the phone and you try to keep a “normal” conversation cadence, etc.

The other thing is that each other person in the car comes with an added bonus, another set of eyes!

jami
Guest

tonyt, i’ve read that the reason a passenger is less distracting is that a passenger can also see road issues coming up and give the driver a break, whereas aunt millie is just gonna keep going on and on over the phone.

Michael
Guest
Michael

Simple proof of cell use distraction: Can you watch and understand a movie on tv with a difficult and convoluted plot while talking on the phone?

I did not think so.

Don’t you think your attention to driving should have at least as much respect as that tv movie?

Brad
Guest
Brad

Scott,

Without the hands-free device, most drivers are also distracted by only having one hand available to steer and shift while concerned about dropping their beloved cell phone.

When I listen to radio or converse with someone in the vehicle, I still have both hands available for an evasive manuver if needed. (Like, avoiding that cyclist who just rolled through the stop sign for example.)

Brad
Guest
Brad

Sorry, I hit submit too soon…

The makeup artist, child feeder, coffee drinker etc. are just as distracted and have their hands occupied. The use of cell phones is much more prevalent than those situations and makes logical sense.

In a civil proceeding for negligence, no jury would buy “I was giving Timmy his Cheerios because he was fussy and I didn’t see the bike.” as a plausible excuse but I fear that twelve normal folks sitting on a jury might buy “I HAVE to answer the phone or I’ll get FIRED!” as an extenuating circumstance since we are all guilty of yakking on the phone whilst driving and we fear unemployment.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Here’s an idea for the Oregonian:

Go sit on the corner of NW Everett and 16th (?), the onramp to the 405 S. Watch how many cars:

1. Do not yield to bikes as the sign says
2. How many people turning in front of bicyclist are on their cell phone.

I ride this stretch almost every day, and almost everyday I am cut off. And many times the drivers are on their cell phones.

Bill
Guest
Bill

It’s not the hands. The essential driving tool made unavailable by cell phone use is the brain.

And I agree with Jim in #18… fish deserve more respect than to be wrapped in the Oregonian.

DK
Guest

N Williams is definately up there with some of the most dangerous “vehicle turning while driver is on the phone” bike encounters. I have been through more brake gripping and skidding episodes than I can count. Most, I find, the drivers are turning and talking at the same time, so there’s no free hand to hit their turn signal with. Add that to turning quick and tight in front of a bike, and there’s really no bail out plan. Just straight ahead and hope the brakes are good and dry.

Joe Rose
Guest
Joe Rose

pdxrunner said:

“I doubt there’s a single person at the Oregonian that commutes by bike.”

Jonathan Maus said:
“Actually, I know lots of Oregonian staffers that love bikes and ride them all over the place.”

I would be one of them. Just looking around, I see at least three others within a few feet of me. My New Year’s Resolution for 2007: Put more miles on my bike than on my old Volvo wagon. So far, so good.

adam
Guest
adam

the notion that many of the laws passed in salem are frivolous is hardly news at all.

I echo the sentiments here – it is dangerous to drive with any distraction and, all cyclists and pedestrians need to be fully aware of their surroundings and potential dangers to be safe. I am going to start dialing 911 instead of talking to the drivers – let the law sort them out.

Without enforcement(how many cars do we see parked in bike lanes, how many times have cars been cited for turning infront of cyclists – see post 27 for a great intersection which would provide all the tickets that ppb needs) then these laws are neither meaningful nor protective.

Charles
Guest

Scott,

Your freedom to phone while driving must be balanced with everyone else’s freedom to a safe environment.

It seems logical to me that if studies prove that driving while on the phone is as or more dangerous than driving drunk, that it should not be permissible under the law.

From personal experience, I’ve had a couple too many bad experiences with yacking drivers, so I don’t consider it safe.

Garlynn
Guest

I’m not sure I would go so far as to agree with the Oregonian on this one, but I’m not sure that a ban on cell phone usage (with or without an exception for headsets) will accomplish the task that it has set out to do. It might just give the cops one more reason to pull over good folks and give them a ticket and another burden on their pocketbook.

I’ve been bicycling regularly since before I even thought about driving. I’ve been driving since I was old enough to get my license. And I’ve had a cell phone since ’99 or so. It’s safe to say that I’ve biked and driven while using the cell phone. Why? Many reasons. Reason #1 is that sometimes, a call comes in while I’m biking/driving, so if it appears to be safe to do so, and the cell phone is handy, I answer.

However, I also have relatives in southern Oregon, and I-5 between the northern and southern parts of the state is long, and sometimes rather flat and boring. Good time to make cell phone calls. Of course, these are the calls where it would be reasonable to put on a headset so as to not wear out the neck/arm holding the handset, so that may be a moot point with this particular proposed law.

So, where do I come down on this? Knock on wood, I have never (yet?) had an accident, either on a bike or in a car, in which I was on a cell phone. I’ve definitely seen a lot of other idiots who cause accidents while using their cell phones. But, I’ve also just seen a lot of other idiots on the road, period, with or without cell phones.

I would say that a better alternative would be to step up fines for failure to yield to a bicycle or pedestrian, failure to use a turn signal, and failure to yield to a traffic control device — in conjunction with the law allowing bikes to treat stop signs as yield signs and stop lights as stop signs.

In this particular instance, I think it would be wise to treat the symptoms.

And maybe also start a “safe use of the cell phone” campaign, funded by the cell phone companies, involving simple cartoons to tell people when they should and should NOT be using a cell phone in conjunction with a vehicle.

My personal experience is that, sometimes it’s safe, and sometimes you just have to let the call go to voicemail, or pull over and then pick it up. And you have to make that decision, not based on the importance of the call, but on the safety of the situation that you are in.

Eric D.
Guest
Eric D.

Let’s be honest here for a moment… I have to agree with Scott on some of the things that he said (just for the record).
We live in a state that has a poor funding for highway patrols. I regularly go to Eugene to visit my Mom, and only once (including Cival War weekends) have I seen more than one trooper out on the highway. 90% of the time I see none. So, how to you propose that we police this (assuming that it passes)? I for one will be pissed to get a ticket for driving safely if I’m on the cell when I regularly get passed by reckless speeding drivers on a daily basis (either while on the bike or driving to work).
Honestly, if we pass this legislation, it will most likely be one of those laws that we spent a lot of money getting to pass but rarely if ever enforce.
I think that if you do use a cell when driving it should be hands free, I doubt there are any stats on this but I would think it would make a difference.
I have a short commute (20 minutes by car 45 by bike), but there are days when I have conference calls that I need to be on. I can’t always be in the office before they start, and I’d rather not be stuck in the office listening to someone bable late at night. Quite often I listen while I am on the road, yes it makes my life more convenient, I’m guilty as charged… but it’s always hands free.
Crucify me if you want, but I think this legislation is a waste of taxpayers money. Maybe in the Portland Metro area it’s different than on the highway, but again, I’d rather see the police protecting us from crime, drugs, etc. than out giving cyclists or responsible drivers on cell phones tickets.

Elly
Guest
Elly

I don’t know much about what happens on the freeways, but in town I would slightly prefer to have people using handsets rather than headsets — you can see they’re on the phone, and stay the heck away from them. Though these are the folks who never signal, so it’s still a toss-up.

This aside, it just seems downright crazy to me to use a cell phone while driving. At all. Your chances of ending up doing something you’ll regret for the rest of your life increase exponentially, and how is that worthwhile?

Of course, I feel the same way about driving in general.

I’d rather see ten cell-phone using cyclists than one cell-phone using driver. It’s not the safest way to bike, but we’re going slower, we aren’t going to crush anything, and we can actually see what’s going on around us.

trike
Guest
trike

ok so we let folks yak on the phone and drive and we say we have to be responsible as humans for our actions; then we hit the ped or biker. if we follow Oregon logic responsible is 25.000 liability coverage. would any one here like to guess how long it takes for a hospital visit to spend that 25.000 doller’s? hmm hmmm. well let me break it down to 1,800$ will get you from the accident to the hospital then 2.000$ will get you a nurse and then the real money gets spent on meds and dr.s and such in your first surgery your 25.000 is gone. then if its GICO you only get the 25.000$ cause they have no overage rider like other places. then you get to sue for the rest of the medical bills and if you dont have the cash for the lawyer in time they get rid of assets and you are left with a busted leg and a 200.000 dollar debt. maybe if you have a car you have insurance that will help cover or you suffer. figure it out folks the better attention a driver has to pay to the road the less likely you are to have to pay for the rest of your life. money you can pay back limbs take longer.

David
Guest
David

Jami’s comments in #23 were right on. People talking the phone are in two different environments. Social instincts make it difficult for us to prioritize safe driving at the caller’s expense. When you have a passenger, they understand when you need to take a moment to pay attention to traffic because they are part of that environment. When you are trying to gather your thoughts during a phone conversation, it is often difficult prioritize using blinker or checking your blind spot.

Having a headset is great because it frees up a hand but it doesn’t solve the problem as stated above.

I acknowledge that if you are cruising down the freeway between cities (like Portland and Eugene) that you could probably talk on the phone safely, but that convenience still doesn’t outweigh the dangers. For example, you could probably do that drive while sipping on your favorite malted beverage as well.

I doubt a cell phone ban would have an opportunity to be used as a revenue stream by police. If talking on the cell phone was illegal, I think there would be a social stigma attached to that behavior. Most people would not want to enable the phone driver by participating in a conversation with them. Drivers would simply pull over and callers would be more likely to accept being routed to voicemail.

I’m not a bike messenger and have little understanding about idea what the job entails, but could someone explain why a messenger can’t pull over to answer their phone or let calls go to voicemail? Would text messaging be a safer way to communicate with a bike messenger?

lyle
Guest
lyle

about five years ago, my brother ran a red light babbling on his cellphone and was t-boned by someone. luckily they hit him in the forward part (engine area) of his car and just totalled it rather than killing him.

i’m sure he would have appreciated a cell phone ban back then.

an uninformed opinion
Guest
an uninformed opinion

I haven’t researched this and don’t know the ins and outs, but I’ll spout off like everyone else here.

First off, Dabby, I’ll stop talking on my cell phone when you start wearing a helmet. (And I know the argument to that will be that you don’t endanger anyone’s life but your own with that, and yet, without health insurance, who will be paying the bill when you are sacked out for life with major brain injuries? And this is for a whole ‘nother thread)

yes, it is about personal freedom AND personal responsibility. Because there ARE safe times to use a cell phone in a car. As has been pointed out, driving down the freeway in a straight line at a constant speed is no more dangerous than tuning the car radio. And no, I don’t have statistics to support that, but I know when I’m being a crappy unaware driver, and I know when I am completely in control. (I try to avoid the former as much as possible, just so you know.)

I hate all the laws that overlegislate our lives. Yes, you should be allowed your fixie with no brake, I should be able to talk on my cell phone, and motorcyclists should get to feel the breeze in their hair on a sunny day. And we should all act responsibly when exercising our freedoms.

The more we are micromanaged in our daily lives, the less people think for themselves. You know the old adage – People act how they are treated. Give them respect, they act respectfully, give them responsibility, they act more responsibly, etc. The reverse is also true. Make all the decisions for everyone through legislation and the entire population is dumbed down.

I know there are a lot of stupid people out there, but in my idealism, I think if people were forced to suffer logical consequences of their actions and to have to think and act responsibly for the intrinsic value of being responsible (as opposed to extrinsically imposed laws) then we would have a better nation.

bikieboy
Guest
bikieboy

just another bit of 2nd-hand anecdotal evidence: so my daughter, who works up on Broadway by PSU, tells me – since she knows i’m interested in just about anything involving bikes – that she witnessed the immediate aftermath of a bike/SUV crash today. Young guy on a bike got hit by an SUV pulling out of a parking garage; up walking around afterward but in considerable pain, EMT’s came & put him in an ambulance.

Female driver was on the phone when she got out of the car – safe to assume that she was on the phone at the time of the crash, i think.

Apparently didn’t involve the bike lane, as it was on the east side of Broadway.

Scott
Guest
Scott

I know there are a lot of stupid people out there, but in my idealism, I think if people were forced to suffer logical consequences of their actions and to have to think and act responsibly for the intrinsic value of being responsible (as opposed to extrinsically imposed laws) then we would have a better nation.

I’m with ya “an uninformed opinion.” That makes sense.

trike
Guest
trike

flag on the play the problem is we dont have to suffer to consequences.
if we did folks that yak while they drive would have broken legs; folks who loose controll of there cars would spend a year in pain and on cruthces.

will workforf ood
Guest

He Will Workforf Ood here with the answers,

If you want to talk on your cell phone will driving around completly oblivious to the outside world – you should.

The city of Los Angeles has the perfect infrastructure for such activitie- why you’ll spend hours of everyday basking in the warmth of internal combustion in stand still traffic. LA is a film making mecca so you’ll be close to the home of your favorite DVDs that you can watch on your way to Las Vegas where you can get married without taking the key out of the ignition.

So call a loved one and point your digital all real really great 4 in one dashboard canopener, compass, GPS party stopper, and laser light show towards the horizon – To Sunny Southern California – were the gridlock meets the sea.

an uninformed opinion
Guest
an uninformed opinion

trike, you don’t think there are consequences for people who yak on their cell phones? Think big – think big picture. People who hit people with their cars are destroyed for life. I tend to believe that people do have consciences. We are all good people who do bad things sometimes, right? All of us? yes, we are. No one is pure evil (not even myex-shithead. ha ha.) there are much bigger/greater consequences than a ticket. And this whole business of telling people they can’t EVER talk on their cell phones while driving? I would go so far to say as we are approaching fascism if that’s the world we live in.

I bet you’re pro-choice too. And I am not saying that to be a bitch, but just to point out that I imagine you are all about personal freedom when it’s to your benefit.

trike
Guest
trike

UOP
problem is there are a bunch of folks out in the world who will never go to the the potty by themselves again. folks have Carma but the really big picture that i see is if you are going to be in a 2000 lb killing machine you better be paying attention to the world around you; not in some other hood.

things to my personal benefit get examined to a much greater degree then you would ever suspect; for the most part you are incorrect.

I am a male and the whole pro choice issue is none of my business.

nor is it to my advantage to be pro choice; since i am white and male it is to my advantage to keep woman from voting or having any rights.

a pregnant woman takes allot of care in modern society so the more expectant moms the better the economic benefit for me. in fact as a white male it is to may advantage to encourage you to breed so i have a pool of young labor to draw from and we can have a small war every 5 years with a nice big war every twenty or so. that way we have a predictable boom and bust cycle that i can invest in. this not only allows me to gain more profit in the short term; the long term profits are realized as the pool of lower and middle class vets who will (as scheduled) require treatment driving medical stocks higher.

you want a big picture the more time you spend on your cell phone the more money i make on the market. so it is also not to my advantage to discourage you from your phone.

an even bigger picture is that it is also to my advantage to have cyclists in the hospital because it grantees that the debt will stay high and the market will remain stable as it bleeds the middle class dry and i can move now to the nikay index and make even more.

shall we go up another iteration?

the total market freedom and libertarian/republican plan for the US would be great for me because with all the lack of law i would be able to take the things i wanted and you could not defend like your house and land.
because i have a gun and training the likely hood of my keeping control is greater. there for the likely hood of my attracting mates would be better and i could outbreed all the weaker males in the area.
thus providing better genetic stock for the next generation. then since i am by definition doing things to my advantage i could select for those traits that i find best in the human genome and only breed for those traits or manipulate the genome directly so that only those traits expressed and soon I could sire the master race.

Scott
Guest
Scott

ha ha ha….. the satire is so thick in here I can hardly breathe!

I still think an Uninformed Opinion is right and you are wrong.

To use your analogy: If people can’t go to the potty by themselves, then they have to sit in their own wet, stinky, soiled underwear. If I happen to be sitting next door and have to smell it or feel the dampness, then maybe I should offer to get them a new pair of underwear…

an uninformed opinion
Guest
an uninformed opinion

When did this get reduced to name-calling? I would never call someone I didn’t know an idiot.

I stand by my argument. I am sick of this over-legislated sue-happy world. Sorry, but I am. I think that shit happens. We all try to be good people and I prefer educating people on the dangers over out and out bans. I think it is just a different philosophy on living. Yes, it’s sad when people die, but no matter how many laws we pass, people will still die. We cannot protect ourselves from all the dangers in the universe.

If we follow your line of thinking, maybe we should outlaw a bunch of other things too. For instance, perhaps it should be illegal to listen to the radio in the car – plenty of accidents happen when people are changing stations, I’m sure. And nobody should be allowed to drive with toddlers in teh back seat – that is WAY more distracting than any cell phone conversation. And certainly eating while driving should be against the law – so let’s eliminate all drive thrus. Hmmm… what else should we outlaw to make the world safer? It never ends Erin, do you see that it never ends? Have you had the privilege to travel in foreign countries? We consider ourselves to be the land of the free, but we aren’t allowed to do sh*t compared to the rest of the world.

If you like fascism and rules Erin, I think you could apply to live in N. Korea.

LuckyLab
Guest
LuckyLab

Erin, you have seemed to be really into calling names the past couple of days. And daring people to “flame on”… not real productive dialogue.

I know Jonathan has generally avoided editing or deleting comments, but when we fail to act as responsible adults and resort to name-calling, but perhaps he should start.

As far as the issue at hand, I really doubt an all out ban will pass, for better or worse. A requirement for voice-activated hands-free devices seems a bit more realistic.

Erin
Guest
Erin

Every new thing she writes illustrates my point better than I ever could.

It is obvious that she has no idea what the definition of fascism is. You sound really silly when you use words like that improperly. Look up the definition why dontcha?

I also hope I am never on my bike anywhere near her while she is operating a car. “Shit” happens frequently because ignorant and idiotic people cause it to. People like you! It is not an “accident” when someone causes harm to others because they are preoccupied on the phone. It is self-absorbed recklessness. And it should be illegal.

And as to all the other distractions you referenced, studies have consistently shown that they are not the same level of distraction as the phone. Just because you are not capable of comprehending that FACT, does not change it.

By the way since you appear to be advocating anarchy, what is your address so I and some others can come help ourselves to all your stuff?

I have also started a petition for the removal of all traffic devices in the Portland area due to the fascist oppression inherent in stop signs and crosswalks.

Now excuse me I am going to have 7 or 8 shots of tequila then go for a drive while yapping on my cell phone, as I am verrry important and have no time to think about all of you!

Scott
Guest
Scott

Erin says: It is obvious that she has no idea what the definition of fascism is. You sound really silly when you use words like that improperly. Look up the definition why dontcha?

fas·cism (fāsh’ĭz’əm)
n. 1. often Fascism
1. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
2. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.

fascism. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved February 23, 2007, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fascism

Erin? It seems an uninformed opinion was using the word correctly. The definition speaks for itself.

Also, Erin, one of the earlier commentators kindly backed up their arguments with actual links to the studies cited. Can you please point the readers in the direction to the “studies [which] have consistently shown that [other distractions] are not the same level of distraction as the phone[?]”

Perhaps it is in the studies linked above, but I didn’t see it at first glance. Since you have obviously seen this consistently in all of the studies you have reviewed, you should be able to quickly point me in the right direction.

Oh and The person driving a car while on the cellphone, who plows into a mom with a stroller, a family car full to the brim, the pedestrian, the cyclist, etc.. This is the person facing the consequences?

Yes, there are consequences for the person that commits this act. We have a justice system and current laws that already address such matters. True, the victims also have to pay the consequences of this persons actions, but the point still stands. YES, there are consequences for our actions!