I am from Connecticut, which was one of the first states to make using a cell phone, while driving, illegal.
Unfortunately, the law isn't enforced. During my morning commute, half my fellow commuters are on their cell phones. Yesterday, at a traffic light, I glanced over and a local patrol car driver was using a Laptop, which was on the passenger seat next to him!! I think any "national level" action will be enforced as well as our "state laws".
naperlou; I disagree about disabling built-in Navigation Systems when the car is moving. I agree that the driver should not be playing with it, but the passenger should be able to use it. The same goes for cell phones; the driver should not be using one, but the passengers should be able to.
Do you remember the 'attack seatbelt' ? The seatbelt was attached to the door frame and secured itself around the driver when the door was closed. And retracted when the door was opened. And occasionally tangled itself around the driver.
At some point the driver must be made to be responsible for their actions. Or a robotic arm could be added to every car to confiscate items the driver is being distracted by.
I guess that the 30,000 number is acceptable by people because cars are an old technology that most people trust and use everyday. People tend to accept technology that has been around a long time is inherently safe.
The evolution of distracted driving is predictable. I've commute by bicycle, motorcycle or car on any given day for over 25 years. Very often, people shut the door when they get in their car and forget that there are other people sharing the road.
But this constant need for distraction is carried into other parts of our lives-walking, standing in line, eating out, etc. I'm amazed at how many people need to be in their hand held device everywhere they go. It's partly due to our new connectivity through technology and our fear of connecting-actually engaging with another person eye to eye in real time. The ME-factor (or "it's all about me") is very strong.
I don't see effective laws being passed until we address the root of the issue. This seems heavy-handed and not thoroughly researched. But, is it better than nothing?
Jerry, I fully agree with you. I have noticed the same thing. Usually it is just stupid stuff, like sitting there when the light is green. Yesterday I almost got hit by a guy taking a left at a light without looking. I do not have a small car. There is a curve there, and when you do not have the turn light you have to be careful. Fortunately I am very familiar with the location and fully expected something like that. He was talking on a cell phone and did not stop talking the whole time I could see him. It is silly not to have at least a hands free rule, at the least.
As for the electronics in the car, that is easier to regulate. I notice that built in GPS systems do not allow changes while the car is moving. At first I thought this silly. I now fully agree.
By far the biggest danger I face on the road are drivers distracted by cell phones. 80%+ of stupid driving effecting me on the road is fools not paying attention because they have a cell phone in their hand.
I stopped driving during drunk hrs, Friday/sat afternnoon until Sat/Sunday morning to get away from them now at anytime one will find jusy as bad driving because of cellphones, etc.
The new electronics in cars is only making things worse and a lot of it needs to be stopped. Maybe voice activated, controlled could help but it makes the road far more dangerous.
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Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
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