Thursday, February 4, 2010

Don't Yak and Drive

For some reason cell phone laws don't seem to be effective. Pass them anyway, is the attitude of some legislators. My print column is up.

11 Comments:

Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Gil - That comes across as a very selfish position. You admit that cell phone use increases your chances of getting in an accident, but you still don't want any laws passed right now. Is your freedom to talk on the phone more important than my safety? Or how about your daughters safety? You recently warned fellow bloggers that your daughter just got her license and first car. You're OK with her using her cell phone while driving? Are you out of your mind? You really should rethink this. I would venture to guess that the reason states with cell phone laws don't show a substantial reduction in accidents is because the cell phone laws aren't strictly enforced as of yet. After all, the NJ law wasn't enacted until Feb. 2008. However, I do know that I don't use my cell phone while driving in NJ. I pull over. Remember. Just one phone call can change your entire life.

February 4, 2010 at 3:53 PM 
Blogger jake said...

The last thing we need is legislators passing laws based upon their feelings. Just stick to the facts.

Didn't we just expose a global warming scam where "the science was settled"? Feelings were allowed to take precedence over hard evidence and peer-reviewed science. Consequently, millions of taxpayer's research dollars were wasted on a CO2 crisis that never existed.

Our legislators just need to live with the distracted driving statutes on the books. Those laws have a basis in quantifiable numbers, not anecdotal hyperbole.

Harrisburg should direct its energy towards the cover-up going on at PSU as the academics close ranks behind their fraudulent global warming colleague, Michael Mann. We need public hearings where an unbiased review of the incriminating emails can be fully explored.

February 4, 2010 at 8:35 PM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Jake - Thats right. Stick to the facts. Fact - Cell phone use in a car is a distraction. Fact - There are hands free options. This isn't that much different than banning smoking in public places. You and Gil are proof that we will always have people who will come up with lame excuses to protect their own selfish interests at the expense of public safety.

February 5, 2010 at 9:29 AM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

i want my freedom to drive without being smashed by a texter protected. If you disagree I'd like to sell you your next vial of crack. Couldn't be any more in favor of cell phone laws.

February 5, 2010 at 9:54 AM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

Selfish, moi?

Bob, take your own advice and stick to the facts. The most recent study showed that cell phone laws, as crafted, don't work to improve public safety and maybe because people went to handless phones and headsets.

According to researchers, it's not the dialing or holding of the phone, its the conversation itself that distracts drivers. So should all us of phone devices be banned in the name of public safety?

Should we cut speed limits from 65 mph to 30? Ban small cars and convertibles?

Everything we do in a car other than drive, carries a risk of distraction. Some multitask better than others.

Steve, how much do you want for the crack?

February 5, 2010 at 1:56 PM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Gil - Can't you come up with a better argument than that? Should we eliminate speedlimits altogether? Allow go karts and mini bikes on highways? You didn't answer the question about your daughter driving and using a cell phone. Are you OK with that? As for the latest reports, I addressed that issue. The laws aren't being enforced. This was a topic of discussion on NPR yesterday. And the fact is (we all know this if we use cell phones while driving) that dialing, texting and holding the phone are all distractions. You can't reasonably disagree with that. Throw a few beers and a cigar into the mix, and we're talking trouble. The next time a car starts drifting over into your lane, take a good look. Nine times out of ten the driver is using a cell phone.

February 5, 2010 at 5:22 PM 
Blogger jake said...

Bob,
Good to have a spirited disagreement with you once again.

The problem is that you think that more laws, more regulation, and more government intervention is the solution to every problem, including bad drivers.

I try to use my cell phone minimally. I don't feel compelled to memorialize my life via phone, text, email or twitter every moment of every day. There are many people like me who slowly and sparingly adopt the latest technology.

Our freedom should not be taken away, since we am using our cell phones with care and in compliance with the existing laws about distracted driving.

If that desire for personal freedom from an overreaching nanny state is selfish, then I guess we are guilty and deserve to be prosecuted by your intrusive big government agenda.

Since there is no proven, compelling evidence that responsible cell phone use is any more dangerous than normal driving, the many people who operate their vehicles safely will be punished for those who don't. Does that seem like an appropriate outcome of government action to you?

And I have no faith in a legislator who introduces laws based upon his feelings rather than sound, thoroughly documented evidence. That turns our elected officials into even worse political opportunists rather than the thoughtful representatives these cynical times need them to be.

Reminds me of the old saying about the road to hell paved with good intentions.

February 5, 2010 at 9:52 PM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Gil - You talk about an erosion of your personal freedoms. I'm trying to remember how many columns you wrote in opposition to the Patriot Act. Refresh my memory. Besides, driving is a privilege, not a right. In your column you say that theres no doubt that we increase our chances of getting in an accident by using cell phones. If you say there's "no doubt" then you obviously believe it's a "fact". And just because you are of the opinion that you use your cell phone with care, that doesn't necessarily make it so. Perception isn't always reality. Do your gambling in Vegas, not behind the wheel.

February 6, 2010 at 4:04 PM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

i'll meet you out front of Frank Daly's house, wherever in town he lives. Bring cash.

Since my near accident on the blue route involving a moron texting away and sideswiping a car in front of me, I couldn't be any mroe against it. why do we need to see a single study to understand that texting turns your car into a death trap?

February 7, 2010 at 2:38 PM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

You have to be pretty stupid to text and drive. Just as you would have to be pretty stupid to crochet and drive.

But again, if the laws as there are being written don't affect the accident rate, why pass them? Either write an effective law or don't bother.

February 8, 2010 at 6:49 AM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Gil - For cryng out loud, Gil! Even Billy Mays knows that driving and using a cell phone is dangerous. And he's dead!
I'll tell Chris to get you a Jupiter Jack for your birthday.

February 8, 2010 at 10:03 AM 

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