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Print 23 comment(s) - last by Warwulf.. on Jul 16 at 10:47 AM


  (Source: intomobile.com)
According to the NHTSA's results, texting and cell phone use while driving in Syracuse and Hartford was reduced by at least one third during the pilot programs

Cell phones have become a crucial part of everyday life for many people, but mobile technology isn't entirely beneficial. For instance, a Chicago driver struck and killed a pedestrian while posting on Facebook

Due to accidents like this, the government started to crack down on the use of cell phones while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) supported two pilot programs in Syracuse, New York and Hartford, Connecticut from April 2010 until April 2011, which offered an enhanced law enforcement effort combined with "high profile" public education campaigns similar to the "Click it or Ticket" or drunk driving campaigns. 

The NHTSA provided $200,000 for each pilot program while each state provided another $100,000. These state programs used campaigns like "Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other" and increased law enforcement to decrease the number of accidents caused by distracted driving, and according to the NHTSA, the year-long program was very effective.

According to the NHTSA's results, texting and cell phone use while driving in each state was reduced by at least one-third during the pilot programs. High-visibility enforcement led to a decline in cell phone use of about one third in Syracuse, and in Hartford, there was a 57 percent drop in hand-held use and a 72 percent drop in texting. 

In addition, Syracuse Police issued 9,587 citations for those talking or texting on cell phones while driving during the one-year crackdown, and Hartford Police issued 9,658 over that same period of time. 

Before the programs began, researchers found that drivers in Hartford talked on cell phones twice as much as those in Syracuse. Texting while driving fell from 2.8 percent to 1.9 percent in Syracuse and fell 3.9 percent to 1.1 percent in Hartford. 

"These findings show that strong laws, combined with high visible police enforcement, can significantly reduce dangerous texting and cell phone use behind the wheel," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Based on these results, it is crystal clear that those who try to minimize this dangerous behavior are making a serious error in judgement, especially when a half a million people are injured and thousands more are killed in distracted driving accidents." 

Currently, nine states have prohibited all hand-held cell phone use while driving, 30 states have banned young drivers from using cell phones behind the wheel and 34 states have enacted texting bans. 

The NHTSA will release these results in Syracuse today.



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This is why there a problem
By tng on 7/11/2011 10:27:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Cell phones have become a crucial part of everyday life for many people, but mobile technology isn't entirely beneficial. For instance, a Chicago driver struck and killed a pedestrian while posting on Facebook .
The first line into this article illustrates why this is a issue in the first place.

Are there just to many people out there who feel it is so crucial to post something on Facebook or send a note to a friend or coworker that they ignore all else, even when it could mean the life of another?




RE: This is why there a problem
By quiksilvr on 7/11/11, Rating: -1
RE: This is why there a problem
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 7/11/2011 10:49:32 AM , Rating: 3
Or how about waiting until you get to your destination? Is it SO important that you have to be texting while your car is in drive/gear anyway?

Nobody is THAT important.


RE: This is why there a problem
By quiksilvr on 7/12/2011 9:33:35 AM , Rating: 2
No but you can't just tell a smoker to stop smoking. You gotta ween them off it.


RE: This is why there a problem
By AMDftw on 7/11/2011 11:07:05 AM , Rating: 3
Wait for a red light? Are you joking me? Then no one will see the the light turn green. Either pull off to the side of the road or just wait till you get to your location.

I wish they would do the ticket thing here in Tx. They need to crack down on it. I tell my wife not to text and drive. It pisses me off when i know she texting me on the way home from work.


RE: This is why there a problem
By Obujuwami on 7/11/2011 12:48:28 PM , Rating: 4
or worse, they are DRIVING the car with you as a passenger and decided to text. I have put a quick stop to that with my friends by grabbing the phone out of their hands and tossing it in the back seat where they can't reach it.

What truly amazes me is how pissed off people get when they can't respond. Like the entire world will end if they don't text back at that very moment, while doing 75 on the highway, and doing her makeup...

Come on sheeple! Break away from the technology just a bit.


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 7/12/2011 8:10:09 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed 100%


RE: This is why there a problem
By NullSubroutine on 7/11/2011 10:54:23 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is that people and now the law lacks common sense. First, people lack the common sense to not be distracted in areas with pedestrians, high traffic, or what would otherwise cause death or serious injury (regardless of what the distraction is). Secondly, the law lacks common sense in application where someone is operating their phone (as no officer can tell if someone is dialing, texting, etc) when there is no harm to anyone else possible.

IMHO these "nanny-state" laws are nothing but ridiculous, because you are punishing people with the law without any actual damage only *potential* damage, yet have very flimsy laws for when the actual damage occurs. There should be stiffer penalties for when actual damage occurs not simply when someone does something that increases the potential.


RE: This is why there a problem
By tng on 7/11/2011 11:05:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
There should be stiffer penalties for when actual damage occurs not simply when someone does something that increases the potential.
Maybe not what you meant, but I am sure that if you kill someone and they can prove you were texting, your butt is toast.....

I am also pretty sure that in the last couple of years the penalties for someone who does have an accident while texting and driving have gotten very harsh. This issue is now at the point of where the MADD crusade was to get the public aware of alcohol and driving.

Unfortunately, there is no group of moms out there with a catchy acronym to bring attention to texting while driving.


RE: This is why there a problem
By cjohnson2136 on 7/11/2011 3:34:08 PM , Rating: 2
MAT-Mom Against Texting....sadly its lame :(


RE: This is why there a problem
By Warwulf on 7/16/2011 10:47:51 AM , Rating: 2
I saw we call it MOOT - Mothers' Offensive On Texting.

They could make some good points... and call them MOOT Points. Ha!


RE: This is why there a problem
By tastyratz on 7/11/2011 1:57:51 PM , Rating: 2
It's true.
Distracted driving is distracted driving whether you are texting, masturbating, or cranking up the radio. There is no law preventing someone from eating a plate of spaghetti, but there is one of texting. It sounds funny but someone who might look down long enough to text might do something else just as bad.


RE: This is why there a problem
By tng on 7/11/2011 6:37:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
whether you are texting, masturbating, or cranking up the radio.
I would like to see someone try all three while running the Nimitz freeway Southbound at 5:30PM.

Oh wait, already seen that. Welcome to the SF Bay Area!


Inherent Problem
By B-Unit on 7/11/2011 10:37:26 AM , Rating: 2
As awareness increased that txting was illegal, I'm willing to bet less people admitted to it in the followup polling.

I hope Im wrong, but I kinda doubt it.




RE: Inherent Problem
By tng on 7/11/2011 10:57:15 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
As awareness increased that txting was illegal, I'm willing to bet less people admitted to it in the followup polling.
Oh, they probably knew already that it was illegal, only now cops were enforcing the laws.

How do you get reliable numbers on texting while driving? Do you really just ask and trust the response of random people off the street? Seems unscientific to me.


RE: Inherent Problem
By MrTeal on 7/11/2011 11:29:58 AM , Rating: 2
I would assume that in order for the survey to be statistically valid, they would have to do a random sampling of people over the phone or something. Self-selecting samples are usually worthless.


RE: Inherent Problem
By amanojaku on 7/11/2011 11:41:59 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
How do you get reliable numbers on texting while driving? Do you really just ask and trust the response of random people off the street? Seems unscientific to me.
Scientific methods require detailed monitoring and collection of data. Something few Americans would willingly submit to outside of FaceBook.


RE: Inherent Problem
By tng on 7/11/2011 11:57:00 AM , Rating: 2
I get what you and MrTeal are saying, but doing a scientifically monitored phone survey does not mean that people do not lie to the survey takers.

Yes there is a series of questions designed to detect/defeat this, but if you have ever been at the end of one of these it is really simple to see where they are going after the second question. It would be also easy just to feel guilty that you do it and say that you don't to even a random person on the phone.


RE: Inherent Problem
By cjohnson2136 on 7/11/2011 3:35:50 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah and that can be said about any survey pretty much. It's the crappy part of survey taking.


As an aside...
By lainofthewired on 7/11/2011 12:19:57 PM , Rating: 2
...I love that picture. Made my morning.




You know what else?
By JakLee on 7/11/2011 4:51:48 PM , Rating: 2
If we just hired 3 police officers to stand with me at all times, I am sure that incedents of me breaking the law would decrease at least one hundred fold over the course of the year!

To be fair, I think that txt & drive is more than most people can handle safely; talking and driving is too much for some (and walking and chewing bubble gum is too much for a very few) as well. But any time you say "adding more high profile officers" to help enforce anything you get good results..... well except maybe in Egyptian elections




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