Driving while under the influence of cell phone

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lordofthecockrings
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Postby lordofthecockrings » Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:13 pm

Beer Moon wrote:If research agrees that driving while talking on a cell phone lowers response time to that of a 70 yr old, then I would hope we could all get behind a ban on 70 yr old drivers, no?

Plenty of elder adults are unable to renew their licenses if they can't pass the required vision test. But there's no such safeguard in place against idiots who feel they've got to be gabbing on their cell every goddamn minute of their miserable lives. Likewise, many seniors are persuaded not to drive by the people (often their children) who care about their safety). I doubt there are many such interventions happening among the cell-addled set.

As for you, Ducatista, your claim of reverse-classism (whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean) is positively laughable. I own a cell, so how exactly am I being unfairly biased in this conversation? (Not to mention the Prof's excellent point that cell phones aren't exactly a class thing).

Oh, but it's okay to be biased against breeders and the elderly.

I'll say it again, those of you who defend this as some sort of right look pretty fucking petty. We get it, you value convenience over the very real possibility that you're going to take someone out one of these days.

Likewise, Duca, we're all well aware that your a cycle freak. Goodie for you. Why don't you brag again about how fucking fast you've cranked that sucker on the open roads. Yeah, a real voice of responsibility you are. Damn good thing you're not a breeder, or your kids would be likely to land in the orphanage one of these days.

lordofthecockrings
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Postby lordofthecockrings » Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:17 pm

Ducatista wrote:Then again, I haven't bothered to dig for such numbers, because I don't care overmuch.

Christ, I posted a fucking link to a whole slew of Google references.

Ignorance does not equate to expertise. And just because there are everyday distractions that may result in accidents doesn't mean we have to permit behind-the-wheel use of every friggin' gadget that comes along.

Shit, do you take your vibrator on the road with you too? I mean, I haven't seen any studies that suggest that it would be any more dangerous than listening to the goddamn radio.

Prof. Wagstaff
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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:29 pm

Ducatista wrote:
I don't think driving while talking on the phone is any better than driving while doing anything else (eating, changing stations, scanning house numbers, trying to keep the dog from diving out the half-open window, compulsively checking the Garmin).

You may be right, but then, people who drink and drive don't think they're poor drivers, either, as evidenced by some of the responses on this and countless other threads where the topic has come up. People simply tend to rationalize their dangerous behaviors or think that all evidence to the contrary, it's only other people who are the problem. And saying, x is just as dangerous as y, so what difference does it make if I do y is pretty poor logic. Driving is dangerous, but we can all act responsibly to reduce that danger by not doing things which are completely unnecessary and cell phones are at the top of that list when it comes to driving hazards.

Furthermore, if you know that your behavior increases the likelihood of causing harm to others, then it's your duty as a responsible adult to, y'know, act responsibly. That's called courtesy and it's what many (though by no means all) cell phone users lack both on and off the road.

peripat
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Postby peripat » Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:52 pm

Geez you're not going to get them to stop-if necessary they'll have them sugically implanted in their ears. Shades of Fritz Leiber

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Postby white_rabbit » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:00 pm

peripat wrote:Geez you're not going to get them to stop


If they passed a law prohibiting cell phone use in cars, they could always install signal jammers in the cars of habitual offenders.

Ducatista
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Postby Ducatista » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:18 pm

lordofthecockrings wrote:Christ, I posted a fucking link to a whole slew of Google references.

Ignorance does not equate to expertise. And just because there are everyday distractions that may result in accidents doesn't mean we have to permit behind-the-wheel use of every friggin' gadget that comes along.

Shit, do you take your vibrator on the road with you too? I mean, I haven't seen any studies that suggest that it would be any more dangerous than listening to the goddamn radio.

Oh, hey now, Christ is so formal. You can call me Duca.

You posted a slew of Google references that don't indicate whether cell phone use is more or less distracting than eating, tuning the radio, or Garmin surfing, and one (the AAA study) that indicates that between simple cell calls and tuning the radio, it's pretty much a wash.

What's with the hostility, anyway? I would think making you laugh is a good thing, not grounds for a background check on my previous posts (or have you been keeping track? either way, kinda creepy, but a little flattering).

I don't talk on my cell in the car, or on the bike, and only rarely while walking. Mainly because I don't talk much on my cell phone, periodâ€â€

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Postby Ducatista » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:38 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Furthermore, if you know that your behavior increases the likelihood of causing harm to others, then it's your duty as a responsible adult to, y'know, act responsibly. That's called courtesy and it's what many (though by no means all) cell phone users lack both on and off the road.

I'll agree with you there.

But isn't there a continuum from baseline responsibility to civilized courtesy? At one end of the scale, hell yes, legislate! At the other end, fuck no, don't. I'm not sold on the fact that cell use while driving falls into legislate-it territoryâ€â€
Last edited by Ducatista on Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fennel
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Postby fennel » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:39 pm

I think Prof. Wagstaff has hit the nail on the head, as far as the discussion of safety and ethics. But why is it there have been no serious legislative efforts to outlaw cell use while driving. It can't only be because there's no well organized Mothers Against Cellphone Carnage making noise in Washington.
What is the value of minutes charged to drivers to the telecommunications industry versus the cost to body and limb? My hunch is that the latter is thought of as a cost of doing business.
Why is it that "Old Europe," to use Rumsfield's endearing phrase, got it right? France, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Holland, Poland, and the UK, anyway. The fines for phoning while driving are pretty stiff there: ~ $120 in the UK, for example.

Prof. Wagstaff
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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:52 pm

Ducatista wrote: But isn't there a continuum from baseline responsibility to civilized courtesy? At one end of the scale, hell yes, legislate! At the other end, fuck no, don't.
I absolutely agree and although I would not raise my arms in protest if they outlawed the Ol' Gab'n'Drive, I'm not entirely convinced it isn't a step down a slippery slope. Obviously, screaming children are a far bigger distraction than cell phones, but nobody would ever seriously consider making it illegal to drive your kids around without muzzles, nor should they.

Or should they?
Now that I see it typed out...

But I digress-- the evidence seems clear that cell phone usage makes an already dangerous activity even more dangerous and those who claim it doesn't are merely rationalizing, just like the "well I can drink 3 beers in an hour without it affecting my driving" people are doing. Driving is something most folks simply take for granted as being simple, unlike operating any other kind of heavy machinery, which most would find daunting. It's one of the great mysteries of the modern age why people who are afraid of things like West Nile Virus, terrorist attacks and serial killers - which will almost assuredly never cause their deaths - never think twice about how dangerous even driving safely really is.
Last edited by Prof. Wagstaff on Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Violet_Skye » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:56 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
Ducatista wrote:Pft.


Sorry, but I disagree.

Having a conversation with a person who's somewhere else completely is a disembodying experience. You're words travel into some shadowy realm that's only partially real, and part of your brain goes with you.....

The fact that cellphone users are oblivious to how much more oblivious they are when they're on cell phones is just one more way in which they are... y'know... oblivious.


That's exactly it. I wish I'd had a video camera with me to show the almost complete inattention given to driving by people on cell phones who have almost hit me, in my car, on my bike, or on foot. They don't look, they don't even turn their heads. They just pull out and go, they don't come to a stop at stop signs, they are oblivious. They could be sitting on the terlet taking a crap for all the notice they give to their surroundings. And they don't even REALIZE the near misses they have! They just go on their merry jabberjawing way. It's not even like they see you at the last minute and look stricken or sorry...they just never see you at all. They just. Are. Oblivious.

I can see if you are in Wyoming driving across miles and miles of empty land. That's one thing. But parents who drop off their kids at school in the morning while talking on a cell phone and weaving in and out of other cars' paths and haphazardly dodging other people's kids trying to cross the street, I expect a tragedy like the one at Cherokee any day now. Where is the common sense? Hang up and drive!

:x

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Postby Wet_Pavement » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:23 am

If the City of Madison or the State decided to ban cellphone usage while driving, it would be just another law that Madison police would not enforce.

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Postby Ducatista » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:42 am

Maybe... but I suppose it would allow them to slap heavier penalties on inattentive drivers if they could show that the driver was on the phone.

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Postby Wet_Pavement » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:59 am

Ducatista wrote:Maybe... but I suppose it would allow them to slap heavier penalties on inattentive drivers if they could show that the driver was on the phone.


Yes, that's possible. So it could have some use for penalties. But aren't there already laws for 'inattentive driving'? I mean if you have an accident and you were inattentive, why give the person a special slap on the wrist just because they were inattentive with a cellphone?

I mean the real purpose or use of a law like this would be for police to actually pull drivers over before they cause an accident.

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Postby Twofer4 » Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:02 am

Wet_Pavement wrote:If the City of Madison or the State decided to ban cellphone usage while driving, it would be just another law that Madison police would not enforce.


So become a police officer and show them all the ways they aren't fulfilling their duties, in your eyes.


Or, perhaps, you could just drive around honking at anyone using a cell phone while driving.

See, there are many ways to take action with your selective outrages in Madison, other than from your armchair.

lordofthecockrings
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Postby lordofthecockrings » Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:06 am

Ducatista wrote:What's with the hostility, anyway? I would think making you laugh is a good thing, not grounds for a background check on my previous posts (or have you been keeping track? either way, kinda creepy, but a little flattering).

Just because I happen to recall the cycle speeding bragfest thread doesn't make me a virtual stalker. Just ribbing you a little.

As for having a sense of humor about it all, I thought my vibrator crack was pretty funny. But then I'm an easy audience.


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