Print 21 comment(s) - last by Lerianis.. on Jul 8 at 12:41 AM

Bans are not working in many instances proving you can't fix stupid

Governments at both the state and federal level are working to find some way to reduce distracted driving in the United States. Automakers and mobile phone makers are also joining in the fray to help reduce the number of accidents caused by drivers being distracted while texting, e-mailing, and talking on the phone while driving.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a survey last week that shows how problematic distracted driving is. The survey shows that distracted driving is especially pronounced among younger drivers with 58% of high school seniors admitting to having texted or e-mailed while driving the previous month. According to the survey, 43% of high school juniors acknowledged having texted or e-mailed while driving. Those numbers are despite the fact that 39 states ban texting and driving for all age groups and five more states ban texting and driving for teen drivers.
The fact of the matter is there is no absolute cure for distracted driving despite technology. Many apps that promise to eliminate the ability to text or make calls while driving have limitations that make them unusable in some circumstances. One circumstance is that these applications can't tell if the user is a passenger or driver in the car. Since the app can't differentiate between a passenger in the driver, they're easy to override if the driver decides to text or make phone calls.
A potential solution for this problem are similar products offered by companies called ZoomSafer and CellControl. These companies offer apps that put the driver's phone into driving mode blocking texting and e-mail using a device that plugs into the engine diagnostic port or listens for a while the signal from the cars integrated electronic system. The systems are able to differentiate between a person driving in the car and the person who is riding the bus where they can text while moving. The downside is that the systems are expensive with one company charging $130 for the device that admits the tone the phone listens for to block texting.
While parents of young drivers and drivers themselves may be looking apps to help curb distracted driving, the federal government is looking to law enforcement. The Transportation Department awarded $2.4 million to Delaware and California to operate pilot projects combining more police enforcement of bans along with publicity campaigns against distracted driving. Reducing accidents caused by distracted driving is one of the reasons some auto manufacturers and search giant Google are pushing for automated vehicles. An automated vehicle in some instances is able to drive itself, taking the driver out of the equation.
"If you are really going to look to the future, you are going to have to ask yourself: Is Google right? Should we have driverless cars?" said Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Automotive Safety, a consumer group. "The computer driven car with a GPS system is going to make less mistakes than a human being. The question is, is society ready for it?"

Source: The Detroit News

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By FITCamaro on 6/13/12, Rating: 0
RE: Uncertain?
By Flunk on 6/14/2012 9:52:24 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think your strategy of allowing everyone below a certain intelligence level kill themselves (and others) is really sustainable. People are (on average, and I include myself) completely idiotic.

RE: Uncertain?
By FITCamaro on 6/15/2012 7:46:21 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't say they should all kill themselves. I said that we should eventually let them do it accidentally.

RE: Uncertain?
By dark matter on 6/17/2012 2:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
With logic like that, remind to stay clear of you in the future...

RE: Uncertain?
By schmandel on 6/19/2012 9:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
Thus far that doesn't really seem to work well enough to be effective ;-)

RE: Uncertain?
By EricMartello on 6/30/2012 2:17:31 PM , Rating: 2
I don't particularly disagree with the mulletman's sentiment, but it's failing to consider that in the process of these idiots killing themselves while driving there is a small chance they take out someone who isn't an idiot. We can mitigate this collateral damage because truly intelligent people are an endangered species.

The solution isn't more nanny-tech in new cars or more laws, what we do need is more stringent driver exams and higher base fees for owning and operating a vehicle. Figure about $3,000 per year in fees to maintain a vehicle, per vehicle.

The additional expense along with the stricter licensing requirements would clear the roads of most problem drivers, kids, old people, poor people and other undesirables who really shouldn't be driving in the first place.

For the people who do get to drive, the fees they pay can be used to develop private shuttle services for the people who don't or can't drive. Accelerate and implement new tech like autonomously-driven vehicles and offer them as low-cost public transportation to people who cannot for whatever reason own and operate their own car.

RE: Uncertain?
By millerm277 on 7/3/2012 3:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
Fees are an idiotic solution. They will just kick the poor off the road, which have nothing to do with distracted driving.

Stricter drivers tests that test relevant skills and knowledge would be useful, with mandatory retesting every X years.

RE: Uncertain?
By Keeir on 7/6/2012 8:46:44 PM , Rating: 3

your solution is to severely punish those who have the capability to drive and reward those who can not?

Way to -encourage- personal responsibility and freedom.

RE: Uncertain?
By Smilin on 7/3/2012 4:14:22 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry Fit. While I agree with you it's just not a viable solution.

They'll take out too many intelligent bystanders on their way to darwin out.

Simple solution
By mindless1 on 6/14/2012 2:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
There's a simple solution to this.

Vehicle ECM communicates with the phone issuing a do-not-operate command when the vehicle is in motion.

Solution #2: Stiff fines and points on your license. If you hit people where it hurts (wallet and transportation) they take notice.

RE: Simple solution
By jRaskell on 6/19/2012 1:35:39 PM , Rating: 2
Vehicle ECM communicates with the phone issuing a do-not-operate command when the vehicle is in motion.

How does the ECM determine which phone belongs to the driver, or are you saying nobody in the vehicle should be allowed to use their phone?

RE: Simple solution
By chmilz on 6/21/2012 1:15:11 PM , Rating: 2
I'm against anything that interferes with my right to backseat internet porn.

Distracted Driving is merely a symptom
By Schrag4 on 6/12/2012 11:00:28 AM , Rating: 2
1. People who text constantly are addicted to it and will not stop just because they're putting themselves and others at significant risk when they continue to do it constantly when behind the wheel of a car. These are the same people that fall down open manholes and walk right into fountains at the mall. Addiction is a powerful thing and will make people do stupid things.

2. Letting oneself become distracted while doing something dangerous is a choice, and doing so shows a lack of personal responsibility. Nobody really thinks texting while driving is a good idea, but we don't need a law to tell us not to do it, just like we don't need a law to prohibit restaurant soft drinks above 16 fl oz. What we need it for people to be taught personal responsibility from very early childhood. Personally I believe these nanny-state laws are intended to be one-size-fits-all when we all know that's not how life works. And we wouldn't need ANY of these laws if parents would simply do their jobs. Stupid cannot be fixed, but by and large it can be prevented in the first place.


RE: Distracted Driving is merely a symptom
By jRaskell on 6/19/2012 1:34:33 PM , Rating: 1
Nobody really thinks texting while driving is a good idea, but we don't need a law to tell us not to do it, just like we don't need a law to prohibit restaurant soft drinks above 16 fl oz.

Just like we don't need a law telling us not to drink and drive?

And just for the record, I see texting while driving to be just as bad as drinking and driving.

By millerm277 on 7/3/2012 3:26:49 PM , Rating: 2
There is a difference between the two. With texting, you are selecting the period of time you are distracted for, and to what extent. With drinking and driving, you are a hazard 100% of the time.

It's an important distinction. You can, without particularly compromising safety, send a text at a red light, or while sitting in stopped rush hour traffic, and resume paying attention to the road when it's time to actually move again.

Personally, I'd prefer to see split laws. Texting while the car is in motion punished harshly, texting while the vehicle is stopped as only a secondary offense with a minor fine attached.

Another Law that is not tested
By tecknurd on 6/12/2012 5:29:04 PM , Rating: 2
Banning texting and e-mailing while driving is only as good if the person gets caught which means the cop have to look through the windows of each car to catch people in the act. Cars come with tinted windows, so catching people in the act makes it harder for cops to enforce the ban. In this case the banning is completely a stupid law that got pass with out thinking can people be caught in the act of texting or e-mailing. The answer to this is NO!

This law is the same as buckling up. You know that you should buckle up, but not everybody does it. You know that texting or e-mailing should not be done while driving, but people still do it.

To me people that are addicted to these social devices and still drive while using them is another way for nature to eventually kick the asses of these people because they do not have any common sense or just being stupid. Just another law that is not tested.

RE: Another Law that is not tested
By jRaskell on 6/19/2012 1:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
In this case the banning is completely a stupid law that got pass with out thinking can people be caught in the act of texting or e-mailing.

There is one aspect of enforcing these laws that you aren't taking into consideration.

Sure there's little consolation there to the family of the victims, but I am absolutely positive that the outcome of that case has opened some drivers eyes to the potential penalties involved, if not the dangers themselves. Without the laws themselves in place, it's far more difficult to convict guilty parties of these reckless actions.

A fix
By johnsmith9875 on 6/13/2012 5:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
Congressional mandatet that all cars have a handsfree interface that works with all popular phones.

RE: A fix
By schmandel on 6/19/2012 9:53:14 PM , Rating: 2
Busy hands aren't the problem, the primary problem is minds that are busy with things other than driving.

Visual diversion is also an issue with device use. At 30 mph a 5 second diversion to send a text is 15 car lengths ( a car length being roughly equal to 15 feet ).

By overlandpark4me on 6/19/2012 10:59:24 PM , Rating: 2
If someone kills a member of my family because they were screwing around instead of driving, you can take it to the bank. I WILL kill them

By Lerianis on 7/8/2012 12:41:39 AM , Rating: 2
I also take issue however with them saying that people who drive while talking on a (hands-free) cellphone are stupid. It's known that talking on a cell phone is no more distracting than talking with a passenger or changing a radio station.

Get rid of these laws and simply allow the insurance companies to deny claims when they can prove that you were texting while driving or using a non-hands-free cellphone while driving.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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