FRIHOSTFORUMSSEARCHFAQTOSBLOGSCOMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


Should texting and driving be legislated against?





deanhills
What do you think, can drivers text and drive safely, and should texting and driving be legislated against?

I personally think that anything that can distract the driver's full attention from concentrating on driving, such as the distraction of focussing on texting, would endanger the lives of other drivers, but where does one draw the line however? And what would the difference be between a driver who fiddles with his GPS navigation system, struggles with a map, eats and drinks, or tries to figure out any of the many electronic gadgets that come with cars these days, and a driver who is texting while driving?
fliesenburner
well - I think it's not easy to say what's right and what isn't.

Of course it is no great different between a person who fiddles with his GPS navigation system, a person who eats an apple, a person who looks out of the window thinking about his wife and a person who is thinking - but I think it's right to forbid texting while driving. Why? hm

See, sometimes it is necessary to struggle with a map, because you have to look where you have to drive to, eating and drinking is in my opinion possible while driving, it doesn't distract you from driving and normally you don't need much time for your GPS navigation system.

But at least the most important fact is - you are possible to do this things while driving - you are able to look at the street. By contrast you always have to look down when you are texting...

Hm - i read my message and it makes not very much sense. Just read the last stanza Very Happy
deanhills
fliesenburner wrote:
By contrast you always have to look down when you are texting...

Hm - i read my message and it makes not very much sense. Just read the last stanza Very Happy
Right, the last sentence was a very good point to make. Probably your peripheral vision can still be operational when you are fiddling with other gadgets, but when you are looking down and with only one hand on the wheel, perhaps your peripheral vision may be "disengaged" or "out of zone"?
socceraggie
fliesenburner wrote:
By contrast you always have to look down when you are texting...


While I agree with the idea of banning texting while driving, I think your argument is flawed. By just saying "you always have to look down" you are not taking into consideration that with some phones, you don't need to look down. I had a flip phone that i had the keys memorized and the t9 intuitive option memorized that I could send text messages without looking at my phone.

I think that texting while driving should be banned because your focus must come off of the road and onto your phone. The difference between a cell phone and other electronic devices in the vehicle, is centered around the size of the text being read and the location of the device.

A cell phone is typically outside your line of sight of the road. A GPS is typically mounted on the dash board allowing you to use your peripheral vision to see the road and the GPS at the same time.

Second, a GPS screen is typically bigger than the average cell phone (even bigger than most full screen devices) making it easier to read the screen. A device such as a radio, while outside your direct line of sight in most cases, does not require the user to read a bunch of information. After about 5 minutes of use, a driver can operate the radio without looking at it. Additionally, with the invention of steering wheel controls, the driver doesn't have to look down at all.
Nameless
I'm pretty sure it's already banned in Australia, fortunately. And if I were the Benevolent Dictator of the World, eating, drinking, doing your god-damned hair or anything else that required the use of your hands and/or vision that wasn't strictly related to safely driving your car* would come with a minimum thousand dollar fine. Blatantly risking the lives of random passersby because you're too lazy to get up five minutes earlier in the morning makes you a phenomenal ****.

*And if you absolutely need to fiddle with your aircon or check a map, pull over or wait until you're stopped at a traffic light.
ocalhoun
Yes, it does need to be legislated against, but keep that legislation reasonable...
Make it only a secondary offense (i.e. cannot pull you over just for that reason, but can punish you for texting-while-driving in addition to what you were pulled over/ticketed for).
Some states do this already with seat belt laws.

There are some people who really can text and drive safely, because they're so familiar with their phone. But, for those who can't, when the distraction causes them to break other traffic laws, or cause a wreck, punishment for texting-while-driving could be added on to the other offenses.
standready
Yes, I believe there should be a penalty for any distracted driving especially when it could be the reason for an accident. Texting while driving would be rather hard to just enforce because observing from outside the vehicle what a driver may be doing is difficult. A phone to one's ear is visible but looking away/down to turn on defroster, grab a cookie, change radio or text is not so much.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
There are some people who really can text and drive safely, because they're so familiar with their phone.
I agree that if the text that is being used along the lines of what socceraggie described, i.e. programmed text, that one could possibly text and drive safely, but those buttons are so darn small so that when the text is more than a few words long, it can only be a distraction. Nameless is right, why can't one just turn off the road and park somewhere? Why multi-task when there are already some good percentage odds in dense traffic in favour of being in an accident?
watersoul
I've texted while driving in the past, it does distract me from driving and its a constant look down/look up multitask danger which in retrospect, I should never have done at 70 mph, even on a relatively straight, quiet main road.

It's been illegal here in the UK since 2003, not a major crime with huge punishment, but if you crash causing injury/damage then you really are in trouble then. After a crash, police routinely check the records of calls and texts made by the drivers phone and if the timing is close to the incident its used as further evidence to show your "disregard for the safety of others".

I'm kind of glad the law was changed as it's stopped a lot of drivers (including myself) from being more concerned with their mobile than the road they're driving on...pull over and text/call, is that SMS really so important to risk an accident? I know mine definitely aren't!

Here's a link to a news story just before the law was changed, if anyone's interested...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3015610.stm
Quote:
Drivers face mobile phone ban

Police say using a mobile impairs driving
Using a handheld mobile phone while driving is to be made illegal.

Ministers say the new offence is to take effect from 1 December this year, with offenders fined £30 initially - rising to a maximum £1,000 if their case goes to court.

Those caught breaking the ban would also get three penalty points on their driving licences for each offence.
socceraggie
Here's a public advertisement that the Gwent Police department. After I saw this I haven't texted or e-mailed while driving since. Also, being a first responder, I've pulled my fair share of people from wrecked cars. I'm not interested in putting myself in that situation if I can help it!

http://www.phonearena.com/htmls/You-might-never-text-and-drive-again-after-watching-this-video-article-a_6445.html
Magicman
Texting while driving is definitely dangerous. The text in the SMS messages is very small and requires a lot of your focus. While driving you really can't afford to have that much of your focus on anything but the road. The thing about most driving distractions is that the person driving normally doesn't have to react to quickly so they believe that they don't need their full attention on the road. This is likely why they believe that they can look down at their phones while they text for just a little bit. In reality, the need for full attention could come at in a split second, and a distracted driver is very likely to make mistakes.

I agree that all kinds of distracted driving are bad but I don't think it would be right to outlaw them all but a law banning texting while driving would definitely be a good thing.
Nameless
ocalhoun wrote:
Make it only a secondary offense (i.e. cannot pull you over just for that reason, but can punish you for texting-while-driving in addition to what you were pulled over/ticketed for).

This is a horrible idea. There is nothing worse than putting people's lives at risk that you can possibly do in a car, short of deliberately committing a hit and run. It should not be okay to tell people that well, sure your actions could have easily killed that random bystander, but since you did remember to fix that left broken headlight it's totally okay and we'll let you carry on.

Maybe we should make juggling chainsaws in the middle of a crowded train a secondary offense too. I mean, surely that's not going to cause any problems unless the person was already carrying a tool, device, substance or apparatus capable of graffiti or marking property. And hey, some people do know how to juggle well!

Just ... no.
ocalhoun
Nameless wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Make it only a secondary offense (i.e. cannot pull you over just for that reason, but can punish you for texting-while-driving in addition to what you were pulled over/ticketed for).

This is a horrible idea. There is nothing worse than putting people's lives at risk that you can possibly do in a car, short of deliberately committing a hit and run. It should not be okay to tell people that well, sure your actions could have easily killed that random bystander, but since you did remember to fix that left broken headlight it's totally okay and we'll let you carry on.

Maybe we should make juggling chainsaws in the middle of a crowded train a secondary offense too. I mean, surely that's not going to cause any problems unless the person was already carrying a tool, device, substance or apparatus capable of graffiti or marking property. And hey, some people do know how to juggle well!

Just ... no.

If the person is able to obey all traffic laws while texting, let them do so. But, if they are distracted by it, they'll likely be inadvertently breaking traffic laws, and when they're pulled over for that, they can be punished harshly for putting others' lives in danger.

However, don't over-regulate as an overcompensation for having no regulation for so long. I always strive to keep the role of government at a minimum.

watersoul wrote:


It's been illegal here in the UK since 2003, not a major crime with huge punishment, but if you crash causing injury/damage then you really are in trouble then. After a crash, police routinely check the records of calls and texts made by the drivers phone and if the timing is close to the incident its used as further evidence to show your "disregard for the safety of others".

That's exactly the kind of reasonable treatment I was advocating.
Nameless
RANT INCOMING! You have been warned. Smile

Here's the thing. As soon as you start saying that's it's okay to text and drive as long as you're still able to follow the other road rules, you encourage every single lazy, selfish person with a cellphone to do so because people tend to overestimate their own abilities and statistically the vast majority of them won't kill somebody while doing so. But ultimately, some of them will and I don't think the victims would have been too pleased to know that they died so somebody could post an inane twitter update.

To say that it's okay to do so because you didn't cause a crash this time is like saying it's okay not to wear a seat belt because you didn't cause a crash this time, except worse because you're putting other people in danger for no good reason as well. You might as well say that it's okay to drive twenty kilometers an hour over the speed limit if you can do so without crashing. Heck, speeding at least gives you some plausible benefit while you recklessly endanger lives so it's actually a BETTER idea than any petty text conversation I've seen. Or drink driving. Or ...

This isn't even a slippery slope argument, really, because there's no practical difference between selfishly risking lives while speeding but justifying it because you can handle it, and selfishly risking lives while texting and driving and justifying it because you can handle it. Both increase your chances of crashing, both are needless, and both have aforementioned phenomenal dicks claiming that they're good enough not kill somebody this time. What's the difference, exactly?

Also I fundamentally oppose situational laws. A person committing the same crime should receive the same punishment, otherwise you have unfair laws. Intent is difficult to prove but does, I feel, warrant a separate case. The criminal's eg. race obviously doesn't warrant discrimination because it's not something that can reasonably be chosen or controlled by the individual. The outcome in this situation (ie. crashing or not) is also uncontrollable or chance-based because there are so many factors involved, like other drivers or the road's physical condition, that the driver knows s/he cannot forsee or influence. Thus, there should be no lesser penalty on this basis.
watersoul
socceraggie wrote:
Here's a public advertisement that the Gwent Police department. After I saw this I haven't texted or e-mailed while driving since. Also, being a first responder, I've pulled my fair share of people from wrecked cars. I'm not interested in putting myself in that situation if I can help it!

http://www.phonearena.com/htmls/You-might-never-text-and-drive-again-after-watching-this-video-article-a_6445.html


Wow, Socceraggie, I hadn't seen that one. Pretty powerful film, perhaps more so in my head as I know the road it was filmed on...good shout with the link, think it deserves embedding...

Nick2008
Very good video, at least shows that texting can draw blood.

Being that I lived in a er... road warrior type of region Razz, empty, straight roads are unimaginable. The only thing realistic here is crowded, 5 lane highways with aggressive idiots in their corvettes weaving through traffic 30mph over everyone else.

Here, you're going to need a lot of focus and coordination, and when I'm driving, and when I see an idiot driving 60mph down the freeway with the dang cellular phone next to the wheel, it simply pisses me off.

I have almost fell victim to addicted texters; same scenario on the highway, driver texting started meandering on her line, almost crashed her Camry into my SUV... how can she not see it? My ground clearance is 4 times hers! Oh yea, she was too busy texting her boyfriend. Probably wouldn't have seen a semi either.

Texting NEEDS to be banned now, like now. With more and more teens getting their hands on cellphones, even without cellphones teens fall into the most accidents. Now adding cellphones into the equation equals road disasters.

Please, lets save ourselves.
deanhills
Nameless wrote:
Here's the thing. As soon as you start saying that's it's okay to text and drive as long as you're still able to follow the other road rules, you encourage every single lazy, selfish person with a cellphone to do so because people tend to overestimate their own abilities and statistically the vast majority of them won't kill somebody while doing so. But ultimately, some of them will and I don't think the victims would have been too pleased to know that they died so somebody could post an inane twitter update.
Totally agreed. I also can't understand how someone can say that they can follow all the other road rules when texting while they are driving is distracting. How do they know when they are distracted anyway? Usually when you are, it may be too late? Rule number one is that you have to be constantly on the look out, not only for yourself and following the rules for yourself, but for what other people are doing in the road. There may be an innocent child on the side of the road, or one just popping out from nowhere on a little bike from behind somewhere. Or the guy in front you having to jump on his brakes. All of which would need 100@ reflexes. Why take a chance like that anyway?

@watersoul. Difficult for me to visualize a cop taking my mobile phone and checking through my messages and phone calls. Feels almost like a different kind of invasion, but does seem to be a good thing to check if there is legislation around that involves cell phone use. Perhaps there should be a rule that cell phones are turned off when you drive, period, unless you have a speakerphone or earphones.
watersoul
deanhills wrote:

@watersoul. Difficult for me to visualize a cop taking my mobile phone and checking through my messages and phone calls. Feels almost like a different kind of invasion, but does seem to be a good thing to check if there is legislation around that involves cell phone use. Perhaps there should be a rule that cell phones are turned off when you drive, period, unless you have a speakerphone or earphones.


I know what you mean about the invasion of privacy thing, I should clarify it a bit. The police only mainly do it if there are physical injuries or someone suggests/accuses one of the parties involved of using their phone. In a minor collision, with no injuries and cars capable of driving to a mechanic, then the cop's are just more annoyed that they've had to be called out and write a report.
deanhills
watersoul wrote:
deanhills wrote:

@watersoul. Difficult for me to visualize a cop taking my mobile phone and checking through my messages and phone calls. Feels almost like a different kind of invasion, but does seem to be a good thing to check if there is legislation around that involves cell phone use. Perhaps there should be a rule that cell phones are turned off when you drive, period, unless you have a speakerphone or earphones.


I know what you mean about the invasion of privacy thing, I should clarify it a bit. The police only mainly do it if there are physical injuries or someone suggests/accuses one of the parties involved of using their phone. In a minor collision, with no injuries and cars capable of driving to a mechanic, then the cop's are just more annoyed that they've had to be called out and write a report.
OK, got it Wink Wonder whether there will be a day one day when police will be tracking people who are using mobile phones. You will be chatting away and all of a sudden a voice will come on that says: "Get off your phone"! Or "stop texting"! Smile
watersoul
deanhills wrote:
watersoul wrote:
deanhills wrote:

@watersoul. Difficult for me to visualize a cop taking my mobile phone and checking through my messages and phone calls. Feels almost like a different kind of invasion, but does seem to be a good thing to check if there is legislation around that involves cell phone use. Perhaps there should be a rule that cell phones are turned off when you drive, period, unless you have a speakerphone or earphones.


I know what you mean about the invasion of privacy thing, I should clarify it a bit. The police only mainly do it if there are physical injuries or someone suggests/accuses one of the parties involved of using their phone. In a minor collision, with no injuries and cars capable of driving to a mechanic, then the cop's are just more annoyed that they've had to be called out and write a report.
OK, got it Wink Wonder whether there will be a day one day when police will be tracking people who are using mobile phones. You will be chatting away and all of a sudden a voice will come on that says: "Get off your phone"! Or "stop texting"! Smile


Lol, it wouldn't surprise me at all...in this controlled & regulated society I imagine there's probably a focus group or something discussing that idea right now! Laughing
TurtleShell
I think banning it is totally reasonable. I am glad it's banned here. That said, I still text and drive sometimes. I should be ashamed.
Vrythramax
In the state where I live we do have laws against cellphone/texting while driving. We have to use a handsfree setup for cellphones. Unfortunatly the penalty is only a fine at this time, but legislation is in the works for more serious penalties in the future.
Xanify
It's already illegal in a lot of places, and rightly so. The one time I tried texting while driving, I ended up pulling over - voluntarily - because I couldn't pay attention to the road and text at the same time. Would've hit something or someone.
goutha
it's really a dangerous practice. But with the new google Nexus one, you can text while driving without even toutching your phone!
natilovesmike
Well, like you said...anything that distracts the driver from the road can cause and accident...that's a fact. I personally hate when people talk on the phone or text while driving...but to be honest...I have done it too. When I am on the phone I usually stay in the slow lane...and texting I do not do often because I can actually feel how dangerous it can be since I have to take my eyes off the road for several seconds at a time...and if the car in front of me decides to stop during that time...I would most likely hit it. But I have done it...

so, I don't know...would a law against it do something?
ocalhoun
natilovesmike wrote:

so, I don't know...would a law against it do something?

A law against it could replace,
"if the car in front of me decides to stop during that time...I would most likely hit it."
with,
" if the car in front of me decides to stop during that time...I would most likely hit it, and then go to jail"

Some extra motivation to avoid doing it.
erlendhg
In my country, Norway, it is already illegal to use mobile phone while driving, if not used with handsfree. I think that also includes texting, since that would be quite natural. Not many do respect those laws though, since the police anyways can't prioritize dealing with such.
missdixy
As someone who has had a friend seriously injured in an accident caused by another driver texting while driving (who actually was a grown woman, not a teenager) I definitely think this practice should be a punishable offense -- the kind that can get you pulled over -- and should be treated as something similar to a DUI. And yes, I am against ALL distractions in a vehicle (whether it be fiddling with your GPS or applying make up etc) that cause you to take your eyes off the road while driving. I don't have a problem with people texting or messing with the gps etc. while stopped at a light though, as long as it all stops once the light turns green and the person takes off.
Donutey
It's illegal in the state of Illinois... though it would be difficult to catch someone doing this.
Bluedoll
Pull over! When the state tells me I can't fix my hair in the mirror then I know its gone too far! Seriously, it is good to have fun laws even if it is for common sense things like driving while watching the hockey game - the hockey game - while watching the hockey game. Very Happy

However, I suppose like any law, it is not just not what the law says but how forcefully it is administered. It makes sense to me when we drive, we should keep our mind on our driving. Did you see that hockey game? Remember to buckle up, put on your helmet, no sorry that is only for the race track and motor bikes and to always obey the laws of the state even if you are a visitor.
deanhills
Bluedoll wrote:
driving while watching the hockey game - the hockey game - while watching the hockey game. Very Happy
Definitely most reasonable behaviour during the winter olympics. By the way congratulations! Well done! I just heard from Victoria that they went totally nuts everywhere when Canada won the game!

You're right however. Wonder how long it will take to ban the watching of TV while driving? Quite a number of the luxury 4-wheel drives have TV's built in, so probably has to be distracting as well.
Bluedoll
Sounds to me all of the decisions are driven by insurance companies and statistics. Everyone, I assume wants to make the roads safer but we all know it is a jungle driving out there. Yeah, blow your horn if you like hockey games. I personally think however it is congestion, higher speeds and a detracted society that is driving it. If we changed our high paced style, built cities and roads differently then people could find the time again to use cars for things other than transportation after all they are only living rooms on wheels or aren’t they?

Laughing
downntheholler
NO!...that is the main problem is EVERYTHING is getting legislated...we do not need more laws...educate not legislate!
We can not save everyone...and the laws they are writing and passing have more to do with REVENUE generation then safety and health...if you doubt that then why continue the sell of alcoholic beverages?...why allow for speeds in excess of 45 mph...the lower the speed the less likely the risk of death...the sale of tobacco products...Mandatory seat belt laws, but no Motorcycle Helmet laws? The list goes on.
It is time to fix the laws they have and dump half or more they have written!

Educate...and let the police work on catching the real threats in society.


Edited to inform Bluedoll what Helmet Laws I was referring to...but Bluedoll yes look for that as well in the near future...as it to will generate REVENUE for the Gov.
Bluedoll
They have helmet laws? Do you mean nascar? Perhaps you mean on bicycles. If you want to change laws it is possible but not easy. Wait a minute, are not laws changing all the time and being amended? I’ve always thought however that application of laws far exceded law development.

Actually, I am not sure about the helmet law. I do know I ride my bicycle without one and do feel safe because for one I don’t ride quickly, stay away from high traffic areas and always, always look out for slippery banana peals.

I just love the freedom to have the wind in my hair and being able to enjoy the sun.
Related topics
US Supreme Court rules against file swapping
Califoria drivers exam
Driving sims you should check out
mom gives daughter to boyfriend
Drunken Driving
Islam and democracy
Driving while on cell phone.....
Should Government impose ban on smoking in public?
What should the punishment be for drowsy driving?
Alabama follows Arizona with Immigration Laws ....
Coming out and the people that come with it
Anyone Else Watching March Madness??
You know a holiday is coming when
Legal to have surgery to become a hermaphrodite?
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> General -> General Chat

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.