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Old 10-01-2006, 07:14 AM   #15
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I, too, was rear-ended by a young man on a cell phone. I clearly remember looking in the rear view mirror and seeing him on the phone right before impact. Fortunately, no one was hurt and the damage was minimal.

I agree with Capt Mark. It's the distraction, not the holding of the telephone instrument, that causes the problem. I am making it a practice to pull off the road when making a call, and not taking cell phone calls while driving.

I don't think that a law banning hand-held cell phone use while driving will have much impact as almost all new cell phones have hands free capabilities.

In addition, people don't pay much attention to laws like that. The day before yesterday while traveling with the Airstream, we crossed the state line into Connecticut and noticed a sign stating that hand held cell phone use while driving was prohibited statewide. Not more than a minute later, we were passed by a Connecticut State Trooper and noticed that she was talking on a hand held cell phone. Go figure!

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Old 10-01-2006, 07:34 AM   #16
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Cell phones come with voice mail for a reason. I usually keep mine on vibrate it's less urgent sounding. Also you can make the phone go directly to voice mail, it lets the caller know you're out of range or have the phone shut off. You can also get creative with the ring tones by assigning a different ring to an important number. Sort of like the red crisis phone in the movies. Slowing down life in the fast lane --Mark--

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Old 10-01-2006, 07:59 AM   #17
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I agree with Moosetags about cell phone laws, if you can't get people to wear seatbelts, forget about enforcing cell phones. The laws all drivers should pay attention to apply to tonnage and physics.
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--Mark and June-- "Every time I feel the urge to exercise, I go lay down until it passes." Mark Twain
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Old 10-01-2006, 08:30 AM   #18
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Pro's and Con's

I have a problem with this thread, I agree that most people have no business talking on a phone while driving. However, do we really need Govt. to control one more aspect of our life? I have been a Pilot for over 30 years and talked on a radio and flown at the same time. Usually while closest to the ground and closest to a lot of planes. Also the conversation requires more thought and effort than (so what did you do last night?)
As Drivers we all have a responsibility to pay attention to our driving and avoid activities that distract us. What about eating, putting on make up, playing with radios and nav aids? I've even seen people reading romance novels while driving. Several years ago I had a friend that looked down to put his shoe on and ran head on into a truck. It was only 25 mph but it cost him his life.
If someone's driving is impaired by these activities they should be pulled over and given a ticket. I do not think that the phone is the problem. It is the individual that is not acting responsibly. Walking and Chewing gum at the same time is a skill.
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:23 AM   #19
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I also have a problem with the Govt. trying to control common sense, seems like an oxymoron to me. The recreational boater has become just as bad, and I imagine to a lesser degree the aircraft industry as well. It just seems like with all of this disposable income out there people are buying all these toys with no regard to the history or safe operation of them. --mark--
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Old 10-01-2006, 10:54 AM   #20
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I don't think the government should protect us from ourselves. If someone wants to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, fine. But I want to be protected from the driver who is too busy on the phone to know I am stopped in front of him. Many people think they can drive just as well with a phone as they do with out. Some people think that they will be just fine behind the wheel after the down a six pack as well. Talking on the phone takes away from one ability to drive safely. True, it does effect some less then others, but so does that six pack. The mythbusters show did a test of several drivers on a closed course operated bt the Calfornia Hwy Patrol. While talking on the phone (hands free) they could not safely navigate their car. They did the same test after they had enough to drink to be DUI. They failed that test also, but did better then they did on the phone. Who are these people talking to anyway?


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Old 10-01-2006, 11:23 AM   #21
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Same here, lots of close calls with people on cell phones.

It is scary to see inexperienced teenage drivers on the phone. They have so much to learn yet about driving anyways, why add this distraction? Hello, parents?? Where are you?? These are your babies...they need your guidance.

The cartalk guys are so right, pull over then make your phone call!!

Pedestrians beware--A lady in a car was on her cell and we were all leaving the grocery store, walking across the crosswalk. Instead of stopping at the crosswalk, with stop signs by the way, she drove around an older gentleman with a walker, didn't slow down much, I could not believe my eyes. All the time on the phone.
I find it very upsetting when it happens that a chitchatter causes a near accident and I have passengers or when my little boy is in the car with me. Someone's conversation is not more important than another person's safety.

I think that a hefty fine like the one for not wearing seat belts here in MI is in order. I believe its a matter of public safety, I want my child and my family and your family safe from these folks driving around chattering and texting--careless driving involves innocent bystanders, pedestrians and other drivers.

I would like it to be a law too, federal, state, whatever it takes. Maybe you can't legislate common sense but fines work wonders--people here wear their belts to avoid $70 plus tickets, I'll bet they'd put the phones up too.
Sorry off soapbox now.
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Old 10-01-2006, 12:33 PM   #22
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Here in SB just a couple weeks ago a young girl was reaching for her cell
phone and killed a local man walking his dog it was on a small winding road,
she kept going ,but then turned herself in later ,manslaughter because of the
cell phone ,both lives are ruined ,one forever.distracted driving is againts the law at least here in California ,time to enforce it.

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Old 10-01-2006, 01:00 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by capt mark
Handsfree does'nt matter. It's still distraction, whether taking dictation eating a donut,or simply daydreaming. Driving well is a fulltime job which takes a lot of situational awareness, especially with the all of the diverse drivers out there who think driving is a right instead of a privledge.
Disagree. Handsfree makes a huge difference. Smokers, people who read, people who text, people who put on makeup while driving are bigger problems than safe drivers using handsfree.
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Old 10-01-2006, 02:56 PM   #24
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I don't see how handsfree can be any different than talking to another person in the car. I guess it's just a matter of making the driving the priority when you are behind the wheel, not the listening and talking. You can always ask the person you're conversing with to repeat, but paying attention to what's going on around you and having both hands on the wheel is the most important part.

I should say the vast majority of kids I see driving around town are doing just fine, it's the few that I have had interactions with that catch my attention! Parents should be concerned about this, and kids should too.

If they are not mature enough to realize how serious an accident can be, both to them and to whoever they hit, then they are not mature enough to drive. That goes for someone who's 16 or 36. For the 16 year old, there should be parents involved to step in, but if it's a 36 year old driving a semi-truck, then I guess we need a cop to step in.

So while I do not approve of the government legislating every aspect of our lives, in some cases, where otherwise full-grown adults who should know better insist on doing things that are dangerous to the people around them, I guess that's what the system is for.

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Old 10-01-2006, 04:28 PM   #25
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While towing Goliath back to storage today, I nearly made the sun set permanently on a young cell user's empire. The driver looked up in time to see the Pearly Gates, in the form of a large pickup truck and trailer bearing down on him with the horn blaring and all 8 wheels locked. He got out of the way (barely), I wouldn't have wanted to put a sheet of paper between the front bumper of the truck and his driver's door.
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Old 10-01-2006, 04:40 PM   #26
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The cell phone "mania" is an unbelieveable challenge to the concept of defensive driving - but you should still try to get eye contact with the drivers around you - or positive signs from them that at least "suggest" that they know you're there. Failing that, or getting a "glassed-over stare," you can only assume that they don't have a clue that you exist! Drive accordingly! As for the "deer in the headlights" or "brain dead" situation----just pray that you make the right last second move - or that you have good brakes.

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Old 10-01-2006, 04:42 PM   #27
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Why do you think that it is against the law in Germany to use a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. If you want to your cell phone there you must be parked with your engine off. Fines for using a cell phone while operating your vehicle are similar to drunken driving fines. My policy for the folks I supervise is that they may not use a cell phone while their service vehicles are in motion. First offense is a write up in their personnel file. Second offense is termination. I too have numerous stories about people using cell phones while driving endangering me and others.
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Old 10-01-2006, 07:13 PM   #28
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I just did 30+ hours of driving, half of that towing an unfamiliar trailer with suspect tires, much of it in foggy mountains at night. I was stranded for an hour as 2 helicopters lifted the victims of a car that hit the rear of a bus & then burned; 2 miles later traffic went back to one lane because a semi had lost a load of drywall; 3 hours ago I was the 5th vehicle past an accident scene that involved a semi, a car facing the wrong way in the ditch & a compact that was upside down & pancaked in the right lane; one hour ago about a dozen vehicles had to avoid a semi that was stubbornly going 50 mph in the left lane for some reason and was NOT going to move over; and I can't tell you how many times I myself lost focus for a second or two while messing around with the dog or looking for sunflower seeds or reaching for a map or trying to avoid a coyote.

Life turns on a dime. How many of those motorists around you are high, hungover, driving on a suspended license, looking for a fight, exhausted, lost, inexperienced, driving a time bomb of a crappy vehicle or just plain not very smart?

I do everything I can to swing the odds in my favor to save me from myself, save me from everyone else & vice versa. A cell phone, in my hands or yours, does me no favors.

Of course I'm an elitist. Look around you.
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