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August 26, 2007

Don’t blame phones

Why all the hype over cell phone use in cars? Cab drivers, truckers, police and delivery drivers have been using two-way radios since the early 20th century.

What about CB radios? It seems only cell phone use causes accidents. Is this due to the chit chat? People used to gab on CB radios constantly.

How many babies have been killed or injured because their mothers or sitters were talking on the house phone? Let’s ban landlines.

Joseph Butler
Overland Park

Comments

JUNGLEJACK

Like I've said before: inattentive driving is already a ticketable offense. There is no need to outlaw potential distractions - just pull over those drivers who are not paying attention to the road - whatever the distraction may be.

Jack - I agree with you about the "blue tooth" crowd.
I work with several - and I'm never sure if they're talking to me or the person in their ear.

jack

I just got caught at a stop light beside some "person" (trying to be polite) who had one of those great big, handheld, cell phone, movie player, computers in his hand to go with the pencil thin in the other. I looked, looked again and again.

Yep, he is on the internet, apparently answerring his email, while driving. I got away from him as best I could.

There really should be an offense of "Driving While Stupid"!

Jordan

With two-way radios it’s not necessary to dial a phone number while driving and you can’t text message with them, or look at pictures someone has sent you. Since two-way radios are used primarily for business communication the conversation is usually short and to the point and conducted only when necessary. This is not true with cell phones where people engage in some rather intense and sometimes emotional conversations.

Countless numbers of child have been seriously injured while a parent was on the home telephone and not paying attention to what their child was doing. That’s not an endorsement to ban home telephones, but it certainly is a strong indicator that people shouldn’t be talking on the phone while driving a car. If they can’t pay attention to their surroundings while on the phone in the safety of their own home, how can they be expected to do it in the middle of traffic?

jack

"A cell or CB is a tool, Joey. Like a hoe or rake. A cell or CB is no better or worse than the person using it."

Two-way radios have been primarily used over the years for business. And driving a truck is a business. Problems on the road ahead, where the police are, where to go to next. It has also been used to break up the boredom of long trips. This helps alleviate the likihood of going to sleep at the wheel, road hypnosis, etc.

For the most part, those that use two-way as a business tool are very rarly using it to discuss last nigjht's date or Dr Phil.

I will never understand what is so very important that the "blue-tooth" people can't wait to talk about until they get home.

Gary

I agree with solomon. Some people can use a cell phone while continuing to be aware of what's going on around them. Others get completely wrapped up in the call and are oblivious to all externalities. I have been the victim of a minor accident that was caused by the latter type of user.

solomon

I have to take both sides in this one. Not all people possess the same power of concentration. There are also many young inexperienced drivers and nitwits on our roads. Considering that some people can't multitask there is a problem with them on the phone while driving. That does not mean there should be ordinances against use of cell phones while driving. There is an ordinance in NYC that makes it a misdemeanor if you are talking without using the speaker option. I don't know how they enforce it. I find it hard to believe that city police take time to pull people over for it. I would hope our police would treat such a law the way their Chief stated they'd treat the panhandling law.

Lost_In_Ambivalence

1) Many trucking companies ban just chatting on cell phones or CBs while driving now. A couple of the truckers I know aren't even allowed to use the hands free kind.

2) Even if truckers chat on CBs, they go through extra training. To get your dl, you need a parent to sign off that you have 50 hours behind the wheel and to pass some extremely simple test.

 
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