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When / How should drivers be allowed to use cellphones?
Never. Any conversation with someone outside the car with you is dangerous, and passengers know when to shut up. 16%  16%  [ 5 ]
Hands Free. One can speak, observe, assess risks, and maintain good car control all at once. 38%  38%  [ 12 ]
Pull over. This call is important enough, that driving is the distraction. 13%  13%  [ 4 ]
Driving and talking at once is not dangerous for a licensed driver; my passengers and I do it all the time. 6%  6%  [ 2 ]
Other: please explain in a post 28%  28%  [ 9 ]
Total votes : 32
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 04:23 
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How much can/does using a cellphone detract from the driving behavior/task?

Did you know that, at one time, the AM/FM radio was on the table as a distraction that perhaps should've been banned?

Pick the option that is closest to your opinion. If you feel torn between two options, or you picked 'Other', post your explanation.

[edit]Heck, feel free to post an explanation, regardless of what you chose[/edit]

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The Rules for ALL ROAD USERS:
1) No one gets hurt
2) Nothing gets hit, except to protect others; see Rule#1
3) The Laws of Physics are invincible and immutable - so-called 'laws' of men are not
4) You are always immediately and ultimately responsible for your safety first, then proximately responsible for everyone's
Do not let other road users' mistakes become yours, nor yours become others
5) The rest, including laws of the land, is thoughtful observation, prescience, etiquette, decorum, and cooperation


Last edited by The Rush on Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:00, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 06:27 
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I picked "other" because, as with all these things, it depends on the situation. I personally cannot concentrate on driving and the phone at the same time. However, in very light hazard conditions I cope with hands-free (perhaps with a slight extra attendant risk) for receiving calls which I make brief and for emergency calls I make (and I mean emergency). In all other cases I either miss the call and, when safe to do so, pull off the road and deal with voicemail.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 09:12 
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I also picked 'other'. There's a time and a place - there are times when I can't concentrate on driving and talking, even on hands free, but there are other times when I could probably use a handheld without a problem.

It's so rare that I receive calls on my mobile and if I have to make one I pull over.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 02:41 
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I don't think it is always dangerous and sensible drivers can take the occasional call (and I have, both hands free and handheld) with no increased danger. The sensible driver will of course choose their moment, keep the conversation short and simple, and not allow the call to take precedence over driving.

It is very easy to stop talking and stop listening.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:50 
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I voted (2) Hands Free.

But use of a hands free while driving is not without risks. The conversation should not put you into such a depth of concentration that you are not ready to kick it to the bottom of your priorities list a millisecond's notice. The same would apply to having a conversation with a passenger or "keeping an eye" on a misbehaving child in the back - a responsible driver will know when it's time to pull over and stop.

I don't think the responsible majority should be denied the freedom to exercise discretion just because of the actions of the irresponsible few.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 15:52 
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I voted 'other' because, I see two types of user.

One Group - that find concentration on driving harder if they are on a call ...
- this group seem to visualise the person on the other end of the phone (etc), and so their concentration clashes with their driving.
Paul was in this group, and he overcame it, by our thorough analysis of points and solutions (for him).

Second Group - that can concentrate on driving well and take a call ...
- they do not visualise the caller, just the voice, can concentrate on the driving, and if the driving demands more attention, the call is easily dismissed.
I am in this group - I don't visualise the person, just hear the voice. Even on 999 calls.

I think that by recognising which group each of us falls into helps us perceive our limitations. There may be more groups too - any thoughts ?

edited to add :
I also see a small difference in hand held or bluetooth facilities, however I see bluetooth as a preference as it is more logical and more convenient and of course more sensible to enable me to drive better while I talk.
But proper research and many surveys (unbiased) need to be done before the true picture can emerge.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 19:00 
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I voted NEVER, because if anyone can come up with a good reason to use a phone while driving, then they are too dependent on it, and liable to throw caution to the winds and "chance it".

I am quite prepeared to believe there are times when it is safe to talk - but there are too many numpties out there who would push the boundaries until somebody was hurt.
The have a perfectly good "missed call" feature, or a answerphone service - use it! :)

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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 20:08 
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depends entirely on circumstances. if its busy, stay off the phone altogether, if you are cruising on the motorway in light conditions, there should be no problem since the required level of concentration to drive is lower. this obviously depends on the skill of the driver though. if it means you cant stay in your lane then your skill is too low!

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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 20:32 
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scanny77 wrote:
if it means you cant stay in your lane then your skill is too low!


Or maintain a consistent speed. On motorways this is the most common manifestation that I see of loss of driving concentration whilst using a mobile phone. Many start to slow down gradually until they are travelling well below the prevailing speed of the traffic.

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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 22:02 
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Rigpig wrote:
scanny77 wrote:
if it means you cant stay in your lane then your skill is too low!


Or maintain a consistent speed. On motorways this is the most common manifestation that I see of loss of driving concentration whilst using a mobile phone. Many start to slow down gradually until they are travelling well below the prevailing speed of the traffic.


...or maybe they've bought into the concept that its dangerous, but don't care because they want to do what they want to do (a topic discussed elsewhere currently), and feel they can offset it by slowing down, because they're also told that slower is safer?

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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 22:36 
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RobinXe wrote:
Rigpig wrote:
scanny77 wrote:
if it means you cant stay in your lane then your skill is too low!


Or maintain a consistent speed. On motorways this is the most common manifestation that I see of loss of driving concentration whilst using a mobile phone. Many start to slow down gradually until they are travelling well below the prevailing speed of the traffic.


...or maybe they've bought into the concept that its dangerous, but don't care because they want to do what they want to do (a topic discussed elsewhere currently), and feel they can offset it by slowing down, because they're also told that slower is safer?


Sure, maybe a good number do deliberately slow, something which in itself is inviting a patrol car to cruise up beside them unseen and give them a tug!
But I've witnessed and passed others who are incrementally slowing down probably without even noticing it. I've seen cars that have pulled in to L1 passed by HGVs because they've dropped below 56mph.
I don't disagree that there are times when using a mobile while driving isn't dangerous or excessively distracting, but overall I've personally witnessed enough examples of degraded car control to suggest to me that its best overall if none of us use these devices whilst driving.

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 14:07 
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Other: Whenever it is safe to do so.

Last time I was in Florida there seemed to be two kinds of drivers. Ones with passengers, and ones on the phone. It can't be inherently dangerous of there would be more accidents.

Of course there's a huge difference between being on the motorway and being in a small town with lots of bends and junctions.

With practice I'm sure it can be perfectly safe, but that should be the test, not "We say it's bad so give us money if you do it even when it's perfectly safe. Also the police who will be the ones stealing your money are allowed to use devices which look and work like mobile phones while they are driving because they are better than you." which is the current situation.

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 19:25 
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Other :- Taxi drivers / mobile hams /CB users /etc/etc/ have no extra training -but they still drive whilst "on air ".
What defines the difference between brain concentating on radio /mobile .

To me mobile use is like speed - there's a time and place .

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 08:15 
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what annoys me is the fact that they are now saying it is not the physical holding of the phone that is dangerous but the fact that the driver is concentrating on the conversation rather than concentrating on the road Image

these are the experts and its taken them how long to figure that out? Image

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 21:43 
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scanny77 wrote:
what annoys me is the fact that they are now saying it is not the physical holding of the phone that is dangerous but the fact that the driver is concentrating on the conversation rather than concentrating on the road Image

these are the experts and its taken them how long to figure that out? Image
Experts? Experts?

I was going to avoid responding for quite a while, to let this poll 'steer itself' ...

Frankly, today, most of the so-called experts have so much 'foneymunny' in their pockets, it isn't funny. I suppose today, others might call them experts, but if I listen to them long enough, I can tell whether or not they really are experts, or liars-of-ommission, bought for a price.
The buyer decides what 'conclusions' they want, finds an expert ... liar ... at the right price, and then the liar 'figures' by playing at semantics with available statistics and omitting info which doesn't support the bought conclusion.

botach wrote:
Other :- Taxi drivers / mobile hams /CB users /etc/etc/ have no extra training - but they still drive whilst "on air ".
What defines the difference between brain concentating on radio /mobile?

To me mobile use is like speed - there's a time and place .
(Underlines by The Rush)
Earlier, Ms. Smith delineated two types of user: those who see the caller, and those who don't. (Fate forbid both caller-drivers are visually impaired by speaking to each other!)

As a taxi driver, I can also see other important factors:

Aside from the price of the fare, most of what's said over the radio pertains to the job; addresses, places, locations. For example, if a driver is lost, the dispatcher tries to give directions.
If one driver is bored, the dispatcher is generally discouraged from idle chatter with that driver, as it would distract the other drivers.
Also, the dispatcher knows to respect the following requests from drivers:
a) stand by
b) I'll get back to you
c) one moment please
etc.

Finally, it's nearly impossible to speak over each other, as driver and dispatcher take discrete turns.
Oh, yeah, I don't 'see' my dispatcher either. I'm usually picturing my destination, or routing in my mind, including probable traffic states and how that might alter my routing.

I could argue that such subject matter might, in some instances, improve some drivers' focus (those who would be impaired probably shouldn't be driving, regardless).
[Warning: randy!]
For a stark contrast, imagine one's paramour, calling to inform the other that she isn't wearing anything but a gift ribbon, and is waiting very impatiently. I would think that either the person that could, or the method that would allow one to, focus on driving instead of ... superhappyfuntime ... would merit thorough study. (Now I can't drive for the next five minutes!)

Of course, if both are driving, while speaking on their 'handy's, I'd be shocked if both of their drives home were safe, and without incident. In fact, I'd bet a lot of money that several errors of observation or risk detection/assessment/management would occur between them, and such a call might still be distracting long after it's over.
(In such a case, a manual transmission might keep enough of one's mind on driving to be an important safety benefit! Imagine what else could fall to hand?)
[/randy]

I'm sure a few other topics of conversation could be more distracting, while probably the majority of topics are less distracting, to varying degrees. (Is the subject of a 'handy' conversation included in accident reports?)

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The Rules for ALL ROAD USERS:
1) No one gets hurt
2) Nothing gets hit, except to protect others; see Rule#1
3) The Laws of Physics are invincible and immutable - so-called 'laws' of men are not
4) You are always immediately and ultimately responsible for your safety first, then proximately responsible for everyone's
Do not let other road users' mistakes become yours, nor yours become others
5) The rest, including laws of the land, is thoughtful observation, prescience, etiquette, decorum, and cooperation


Last edited by The Rush on Thu May 15, 2008 22:01, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 21:58 
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... I am now almost convinced, however, that any conversation / subject would be somewhat safer if neither could speak over the other; if they had to take discrete turns ...

That's it: I hereby decree that all cellphone usage while driving is illegal ... except for PushToTalk!


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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 23:17 
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Twice tonight I've come accross another safety aspect of this ---- the "pull over anywhere brigade " - first one mobile glued to ear ,about five yards from a set of lights - double parked on a set of cars set back in a laybye .
Next one - on a NSL DC .
But then we asin't got any moby cams YET - and real police in cars are a rarity - so what is any accident caused by these clowns going to be put down to -YEP -You've guessed - excess speed -CURE -ANOTHER CAMERA, when for the same money ,a crime detecting cop would do more good .

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 19:04 
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botach wrote:
Twice tonight I've come accross another safety aspect of this ---- the "pull over anywhere brigade " - first one mobile glued to ear ,about five yards from a set of lights - double parked on a set of cars set back in a laybye .
Next one - on a NSL DC .
But then we asin't got any moby cams YET - and real police in cars are a rarity - so what is any accident caused by these clowns going to be put down to -YEP -You've guessed - excess speed -CURE -ANOTHER CAMERA, when for the same money ,a crime detecting cop would do more good .
This illustrates my point exactly.

[robotic monotone]"My phone is ringing. It is always dangerous and illegal to drive and speak on a cellphone simultaneously. I must pull over immediately."[/robotic monotone]
Idiot pulls over quickly, so that voicemail doesn't get it, and either manages to cause a micro-traffic jam, or an accident, because he mindlessly obeyed an oversimplified piece of advice.

On the way to work one day, I actually witnessed someone receive a call, execute an 'urgent' pull-over dangerously, and cause an accident which made 'rush hour' last half an hour longer, by blocking an on-ramp and its adjacent lane. She had to pull over as quickly as possible, right? I'm not even sure she realized that she was the cause of the accident.

I used my cellphone to call my dispatcher. "There's been a major expression of stupidity on the Northern State Parkway. It's gonna take me an extra fifteen minutes to get to work. BYE." Call took less than 40 secs.

I'm also starting to wonder if a person who is utterly unable to safely hold - and quickly terminate - a short conversation (2 minutes or less) on a cellphone while driving should be able to get a license to drive? (Then again, our transmissions mostly shift themselves.)

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The Rules for ALL ROAD USERS:
1) No one gets hurt
2) Nothing gets hit, except to protect others; see Rule#1
3) The Laws of Physics are invincible and immutable - so-called 'laws' of men are not
4) You are always immediately and ultimately responsible for your safety first, then proximately responsible for everyone's
Do not let other road users' mistakes become yours, nor yours become others
5) The rest, including laws of the land, is thoughtful observation, prescience, etiquette, decorum, and cooperation


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 23:42 
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[quote="The Rush
(Then again, our transmissions mostly shift themselves.)[/quote]

Lucky blokes , but then again , Ford have started to fit more cupholders in their vans - so at least vandrivers can put the cup in one to release a hand to hold the phone with - (they can always use a knee to hold the wheel whilst changing gear) :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 20:58 
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botach wrote:
The Rush wrote:
(Then again, our transmissions mostly shift themselves.)

Lucky blokes, but then again, Ford have started to fit more cupholders in their vans - so at least vandrivers can put the cup in one to release a hand to hold the phone with - (they can always use a knee to hold the wheel whilst changing gear) :lol: :lol:
I don't think it makes us lucky at all. It separated car from driver, which by extension permits other things to take its place, like cellphones.

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The Rules for ALL ROAD USERS:
1) No one gets hurt
2) Nothing gets hit, except to protect others; see Rule#1
3) The Laws of Physics are invincible and immutable - so-called 'laws' of men are not
4) You are always immediately and ultimately responsible for your safety first, then proximately responsible for everyone's
Do not let other road users' mistakes become yours, nor yours become others
5) The rest, including laws of the land, is thoughtful observation, prescience, etiquette, decorum, and cooperation


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