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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 13:57 
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el Reg wrote:
US may disable all in-car mobile phones

The US government may require cars to include scrambling tech that would disable mobile-phone use by drivers, and perhaps passengers.

"I think it will be done," US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said on Wednesday morning, according to The Daily Caller. "I think the technology is there and I think you're going to see the technology become adaptable in automobiles to disable these cell phones."

LaHood is on a self-described "rampage" against distracted driving, and if making it impossible to use a mobile phone while in a car can save lives, he's all for it — although, according to TDC, LaHood also emphasized the role of "personal responsibility."

In a Tuesday blog post announcing an online video series, "Faces of Distracted Driving", which presents first-person accounts of distracted-driving tragedies, LaHood noted that "Just last year, nearly 5,500 people were killed and 500,000 more were injured in distracted driving-related crashes.

"These lives, and too many others like them, were cut short — not because of malice, but because of carelessness," he added.

The problem is that the average driver doesn't think that he or she is an average driver: nearly two-thirds of drivers think of themselves as safer and more skillful than a driver of median safety or skills — a statistical impossibility, of course.

When faced with the prospect of automotive mobile phones being disabled, we'd be willing to bet that most drivers, suffused with confidence in their own skills, will think in terms of personal inconvenience and a restriction on personal freedom.

Perhaps it might be better to think of the guy texting in the lane to your left, or the gal yelling at her ex on her iPhone in the lane to your right, and think not of your own inconvenience, but of some distracted dolt killing you.

Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!" [ :banghead: or was that cleverly ironic ]

LaHood may be right. Disabling mobile phones in cars should not be looked at as a way of protecting you from yourself, but instead as a way of protecting you from the stupid. ®

Should all phones within (running) cars be disabled?
Passengers might grumble a bit.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 14:35 
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This will never happen. What would President Obama do? Get his driver to stop while he made a few calls? Remember, in the land of the free, laws apply to everyone. :)

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Perhaps it might be better to think of the guy texting in the lane to your left, or the gal yelling at her ex on her iPhone in the lane to your right, and think not of your own inconvenience, but of some distracted dolt killing you.

Note that the two examples given are not hands-free situations and would already be illegal in the UK.

What would he do about truckers with CB radios?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 17:59 
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Well, my take on the difference between CBs and mobiles is that most mobile calls are to/from 'known' callers, so the 'phoners' visualise the other person and their surroundings causing a mental distraction. CB-ers, on the other hand, are mostly strangers so there is no mental picture at work to distract one.
During my working life as a trucker, I had a CB from day one with no problems. When my firm installed cab-phones, I only ever made one mobile call......... :scratchchin: :roll:


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 19:27 
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Does the US currently have a hand-held mobile ban?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 19:53 
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The average car holds 5 people, it is only "undesirable" for one of them to use a mobile phone; is this guy serious!? Does the technology actually exist to block a phone inside the car and not the phones of pedestrians walking down the busy city street alongside dozens of these "ECM cars"?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 20:56 
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malcolmw wrote:
.

What would he do about truckers with CB radios?


Or police radios ,Taxi radios , Sat Nav , and I believe that taxi firms have some form of satellite tracking that can allocate jobs to the nearest cab . OH- and of course there's also Tracker .OK- the sat devices might be on a slightly higher band ( honestly never looked at the allocations) , but are they far enough apart to discriminate .

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 21:10 
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Yeah, I'd like to see how far that one gets in "the land of the free"! I wonder what happens when the lone female tries to cal lfor help on her mobile, whilst suffering from some kind of automotive harrasment on the road? And, as has been said, why not ban CBs, police radios, taxi radios etc? Presumably they should do the job properly and ban sat-navs and car radios too?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 09:28 
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This is, of course, a classic case of trying to cure the symptoms and not addressing the disease. This seems to be very common in road safety.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 09:43 
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RobinXe wrote:
The average car holds 5 people


Nope. The average car might be designed to carry a maximum of five people but very few cars have five people in them. ISTR that the average car occupancy is about 1.4.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 23:21 
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And in cases of emergency - then what - you have to leave the safety of your car and then make your 999 call ?

What if you have someone trying to attack you and you are in the safety of your car ? (I have had a chap in this very situation and he was already stabbed!)
I think it highly dangerous and ill-thought to propose this never mind make it law !

I have recently linked up the stereo in the car to the phone and that is better still than the bluetooth headset, and think it is ideal. Very much not much different from talking to a passenger ...
As for banning passenger use of a phone that is even more stupid.

Even if we had a viable popular alternative then fair enough but we don't in the UK. CB use exists and especially with HGV but not for other motorists so much.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 23:50 
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malcolmw wrote:
This is, of course, a classic case of trying to cure the symptoms and not addressing the disease. This seems to be very common in road safety.



Bit like using a hammer to fix a clock ( as per the idea put out by Paul) :roll: :roll: :roll: :wink:

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