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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood
Scrambling technology could be installed in cars to help keep streets safe

Distracted drivers on the road are keeping one government official on his toes. Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Tuesday to discuss the launch of the Faces Of Distracted Driving Campaign, a new transportation department web series that features videos of people injured by distracted drivers,  U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood talked about the idea of installing devices in vehicles that would restrict cell phone use while a car is turned on.

MSNBC hosts roped LaHood into the discussion about scrambling technology during the interview.  

Mika Brzezinski mentioned that an ad campaign won’t be enough to discourage distracted drivers and brought up the suggestion of a phone “slammer” that would scramble cell phone signals while a car is turned on.

“I think it will be done,” said LaHood. “I think the technology is there and I think you’re going to see the technology become adaptable in automobiles to disable these cell phones. We need to do a lot more if were going to save lives.”

The Transportation Secretary has called distracted driving an “epidemic”.  

"These lives, and too many others like them, were cut short — not because of malice, but because of carelessness." 

On the "Faces Of Distracted Driving" campaign website, citing statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, LaHood pointed out that distracted driving killed nearly 5,500 people last year and injured 500,000 more.

In response to reports stemming from the MSNBC interview, LaHood wrote a blog post Thursday on the Department of Transportation website, emphasizing the importance of "personal responsibility" as it relates to drivers on the road.

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What if someone other than the driver in the car
By Lerianis on 11/19/2010 6:52:45 AM , Rating: 5
Wishes to talk on the phone? Sorry, but these scramblers are not going to pass muster, especially if there is a legal challenge.

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By SunAngel on 11/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By Lerianis on 11/19/10, Rating: 0
RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By CU on 11/19/10, Rating: 0
By brshoemak on 11/19/2010 8:01:49 AM , Rating: 5
If you can text that well then you can probably do it and drive.

It's the 'probably' that's the problem.

How many people have thought they could probably text while driving without hurting themselves or anyone else?

How many people have thought they could probably drive home after a couple drinks?

How many people thought they would probably be coming home alive on an innocuous night out?

Note: I'm no saint, I'll admit I have texted while driving on a few occasions - I figured I would probably be ok, right?

By The Raven on 11/19/2010 12:38:18 PM , Rating: 2
Not that he is making that great of a point here, but I think you are overly discounting what he is saying with unfair comparisons.

He is saying as a sober 3rd party that these people are probably ok. But you are taking 1st party examples who personally think they would probably be ok. That is their own estimation. Not a 3rd party like him.

But suffice it to say that people text too damn much. We go throught this crap with every damn fad or new tech. I mean look at e-mail. Remember when everyone forwarded every "funny" thing they read? People are over that now for the most part (at least in my experience). Hopefully we get over this texting spike sooner than later. <crosses fingers>

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By Hieyeck on 11/19/2010 8:41:33 AM , Rating: 5
Yes, but did you type it with your eyes closed. Maybe you could type without looking at the keyboard, but you still looked at your screen. And that's the point - the screen is not the road.

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By CU on 11/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By JediJeb on 11/19/2010 11:34:20 AM , Rating: 5
I could have typed it with my eyes closed. I meant texting without looking at the phone at all.

But the real question comes down to this, " Can you read the incoming text without looking at the phone?" It doesn't matter how good you are at typing while looking at the road, I doubt anyone is going to be able to read the reply while still looking at the road undistracted.

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By CU on 11/19/2010 12:05:12 PM , Rating: 2
Good point. I was just thinking about sending. I guess that shows how much I text.

By The Raven on 11/19/2010 12:42:33 PM , Rating: 2
Well in your defense, incoming texts could be as uncomplicated as the words and numbers that you read on a GPS or sound system or the phone (used for voice calls) itself.

But if we simplify our lives in the car I agree that we'd all be safer.

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By Kurz on 11/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By Camikazi on 11/19/2010 1:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yet so many die each year from car accidents, so much for no skill huh? Yes driving has been simplified, but until the day that cars drive themselves and are fully automated and in coordination with all other cars on the road driving will take skill. If no skill was needed to drive then there would be no accidents cause everyone could do it, but there are stupid and VERY easy to avoid accidents every single day showing some skill and attention are needed while driving.

By Kurz on 11/19/2010 3:19:22 PM , Rating: 3
The problem is the lack of connection with the car.
A bored driver is more likely to be inattentive.

By The Raven on 11/19/2010 2:00:03 PM , Rating: 2
I said safer and that is all. I am against this stupidity on both sides of the issue. Those TWD and those trying to outlaw TWD.
it takes no skill to drive

That is the myth that everyone tells themselves while buying all these features or participating in extracuricular activities. It does. It always has. And in our lifetimes it always will. People shouldn't let their guards down.
Everything is automated now.

I know. I mean we even have fuzzbusters to tell us when to slow down. We don't have to use our brains anymore! ;-)

By invidious on 11/19/2010 9:47:58 AM , Rating: 1
The only solution to the texting while driving problem is speach to text voice recognition. You need to make it more convienient to be safe. Thats the only way people are going to adopt it.

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By CU on 11/19/2010 10:32:20 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Voice control for everything that takes your eyes away from the car. Does any phone offer voice to text? Seems like there would be an app for that. LOL.

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By Lerianis on 11/19/2010 11:09:16 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, there is an 'app for that' and it's been suggested to be built into phones before leaving the drawing board, but thus far it always takes up too much battery/processor power.

By bodar on 11/19/2010 11:29:37 PM , Rating: 2
Google Voice is built into Android phones -- microphone button on the keyboard -- but it's not 100% accurate, so you'd still have the problem of having to eventually look at the phone just to make sure you didn't ask someone if they could "blow you where the pampers is."

By MrBlastman on 11/19/2010 11:26:51 AM , Rating: 2
No, because voice control doesn't solve taking people's brain away from the road. It might solve them taking their eyes off of it, but that is it.

And that is the problem. People get in accidents while texting an driving partly because their eyes are not on the road but mainly because their brain is not there.

When you are driving, you should have your eyeballs on the road and your thoughts on it too.

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By CU on 11/19/2010 11:40:02 AM , Rating: 2
So, no because that solution only fixes half the problem. And, the other half cannot be fixed because you cannot stop someone else from daydreaming. The only other solution is to have the car drive itself, and we are just not there yet.

By MrBlastman on 11/19/2010 11:42:24 AM , Rating: 2
Having the car drive itself would potentially be the ultimate compromise in solution--at least, within dense city limits. I don't see it practical requiring this computer driven system on country roads but within town, it might do wonders to solve congestion and give drivers the ability to be distracted while their cars do all the work--at the hands of a master control computer.

By FITCamaro on 11/19/2010 4:51:07 PM , Rating: 4
And, the other half cannot be fixed because you cannot stop someone else from daydreaming.

Give them time. They'll eventually mandate standards that require cameras tracking your eye movements and if it sees that you're not paying attention to the road, they'll zap you with electricity.

By Dr of crap on 11/19/2010 12:55:31 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry, but the cell phone did not take people brains away from driving. Not paying attention is NOT the fault of the cell phone.
I drive home 30 miles one way. To save gas I set my cruise at 62-63mph. I get passed by about 80% of the cars. And I have to slow down and move over for a lot of STUPID drivers that are not paying attention. And that doesn't include the just plain no common sense drivers. Now add in talking and texting - you're got trouble!

It is not a talking/texting problem. It's the drivers that couldn't drive well enough without this NEW tempation that get into problems.

It's speed and inattentive driving that will kill. I can talk and drive no problems. But I pay attention to my driving above what the person on the phone is doing.

Ahh - but it will thin the heard of the stupid.

By dali71 on 11/19/2010 7:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh - but it will thin the heard of the stupid.

Mmm, the irony is delicious.

By YashBudini on 11/20/2010 8:44:47 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but the cell phone did not take people brains away from driving. Not paying attention is NOT the fault of the cell phone.

Speeding alone isn't a problem either, but the cell phone is like speeding in that it increases the severity and magnitude of the mistakes that are made.

By The Raven on 11/19/2010 2:03:43 PM , Rating: 1
The only solution to the texting while driving problem is speach to text voice recognition.

Why go speach to text when you can go speach to speach, old school Stevie Wonder style?
Or we can got the other way and research some speach to text to speach to text and then back to speach converter.

By weskurtz0081 on 11/19/2010 9:00:04 AM , Rating: 5
I won't speak for others, but I can talk to someone over my cars blue tooth with less loss of driving concentration than changing between XM/FM/AM/CD/DVD...

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By Gio6518 on 11/19/2010 9:21:05 AM , Rating: 4
I won't speak for others

Thats true, but some people get distracted easily and it doesnt neccessarily have to be a cell phone. Most of my close calls have been with people, slamming on their brakes to look at an accident on the side of the road. Others have included.
Drinking (coffee or soft drinks)
Talking to other passengers
Kids in back seat

By ImEmmittSmith on 11/19/2010 11:19:08 AM , Rating: 3
Totally agree with you. How about those that smoke or trying to put on makeup or even worse reading a newspaper or magazine. It all comes down to bad behavior, though most of us tend to use common sense, many drivers are just STUPID! There is really no solution unless we make the concequences fairly step if a driver gets caught using a cellphone while driving that is not hands-free.

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By JediJeb on 11/19/2010 11:59:35 AM , Rating: 2
Oh how I wish they would use distracted driving as a reason to outlaw Billboards. Not only do you have to take your attention off the road to try to read one since most now put a whole essay on there, but they are also just plain ugly. I really hate driving in a nice scenic area and bang right in the middle there is some stupid Billboard.

By rcc on 11/19/2010 12:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
I don't much care for most billboards, although, when driving through parts of LA, the billboards hide some pretty ugly parts of town. : )

By espaghetti on 11/19/2010 1:55:55 PM , Rating: 2
TRUE STORY : A woman drove her car nearly all the way through MY parents house earlier this month in Florida. She "just lost control". NO texting. No sleeping. She just lost control at 45mph. No one got hurt, but my family is in a rented house while their house gets rebuilt.
We as individuals, have the ability to decide what we are and are not capable of handling.
Cell phone have been around for over a decade.

Did some high ranking person have the misfortune of loosing a loved one do to an accident caused by someone on a phone?
Is this a study by some "institute" that needs more funding, just for the sake of staying in existence?
Is it because people are crazy enough to text while they are driving?

Do we need a new law protecting people from loosing control?
So the new law could state: That all drivers need both hands on the wheel at all times, never, ever taking their eyes off of the road for anything. No talking! No listening to someone. You must have 8 hours of actual sleep before driving (need witness)....

By The Raven on 11/19/2010 2:15:18 PM , Rating: 2
Well said. But unfortunately most people think that they can be safe from everything if we pass enough laws. Fact is that S happens. Good people get hurt and/or die. Just educate people if you think it is so bad out there. Made up laws don't protect us. Awareness of the actual laws of nature is what reduces the chances of tragedy. And it seems that the more artificial laws we throw on the books, the more people stop paying attention to the real natural laws.

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By mephit13 on 11/19/2010 9:47:59 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know about you, but the average I take to change the AC or radio station is far shorter than the average phone call. Most cars now have very simple buttons to change the temp or the radio station, if you can't operate them quickly, then you really shouldn't be doing something several times more complicated, like driving. When I see someone driving like an idiot, 9 out of 10 times, I see that they're on the phone.

By jimbojimbo on 11/19/2010 11:24:48 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention people talking on a cell phone usually never use their turn signals since their hand is occupied.

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By torpor on 11/19/2010 11:58:40 AM , Rating: 5
Mythbusters looked at this.

Texting while driving results in as dangerous a situation as driving drunk - you're just as impared.

So why don't they put a brethalyzer in everyone's car, while they're at it. A few people being self-righteously irresponsible is a good reason to burden everyone, after all.

By The Raven on 11/19/2010 1:48:28 PM , Rating: 1
Good post, bro.

So why don't they put a brethalyzer in everyone's car, while they're at it. A few people being self-righteously irresponsible is a good reason to burden everyone, after all.

That is a great idea! I mean you won't know if someone will drive drunk until they actualy do it and get caught or kill a defenseless baby. Let's be super safe and ensure that no one ever is allowed to endanger the life on my defenseless baby. Somebody think of the children! </consolidated sarcasm>

P.S. Did I use the term "defenseless baby" enough? Just checking.

By Camikazi on 11/19/2010 2:01:12 PM , Rating: 2
You could use one or 2 more "defenseless baby" in there.

By Skywalker123 on 11/25/2010 7:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
You should have added "If this law saves just ONE innocent child's life, then it is worth it!"

By Reclaimer77 on 11/19/2010 3:26:21 PM , Rating: 2
Texting while driving results in as dangerous a situation as driving drunk - you're just as impared.

Something still doesn't sit right with me when I hear this quoted. And no offense to Mythbusters, but they get paid to generate TV ratings, not be professional testers.

The problem I have with this statement is that we know for a medical fact that alcohol physically impairs the brain. It's, for lack of better term, poisoned.

I guess what they mean is that, WHILE texting, a person can be just as impaired as a drunk. But even that doesn't seem completely honest to me. Because, unlike the drunk, a texter is only affected while texting. Not the entire time behind the wheel. And even then, I would have to think the texter is still more aware and capable as someone who's drunk driving.

I'm all for safety, but I think it's very shameful to diminish the true severity of drunk driving to push the newest nanny state safety agenda.

So why don't they put a brethalyzer in everyone's car, while they're at it. A few people being self-righteously irresponsible is a good reason to burden everyone, after all.

I agree whole heartily. If one problem is big enough to make the government step in and force it's agenda, why isn't a much bigger problem worthy of the same?

Maybe it's because, while the U.S Government isn't made up of the tech savvy smart phone crowd, they can booze it up with the best of them!! :)

By Fritzr on 11/19/2010 7:49:26 PM , Rating: 2
Answer the phone
smash into semi
apologize to caller and hangup
No longer impaired ... but car remains smashed

Myth-Busters repeated a study that has been done many times by many agencies...all return the same result ... paying attention to the phone==not paying attention to the road. This applies to handheld voice, handsfree voice & texting.

Talking to passengers, changing channels while watching the dial to make sure you got the right freq, sorting through the CDs, etc. are also proven distractions.

There was a good reason those old radios had a series of big fat "preset" buttons to automate channel changes.

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By thurston on 11/19/2010 7:20:40 PM , Rating: 2
So why don't they put a brethalyzer in everyone's car, while they're at it.

That's a good idea. I would love to know when I got in my car if I had too much to drink to pass a breathalyzer. It would also cut down on the number of cops needed, which is always a plus.

By Dark Legion on 11/22/2010 12:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
That's what pockets breathalyzers and ignition interlock devices are for, though it wouldn't cut down the number of cops unless most people had them.

By YashBudini on 11/20/2010 8:48:57 PM , Rating: 2
A few people being self-righteously irresponsible is a good reason to burden everyone, after all.

Doesn't that also happen with ever rising insurance rates as well?

By Flunk on 11/19/2010 8:52:45 AM , Rating: 2
You'd just unplug the device, just like everyone else.

By marvdmartian on 11/19/2010 9:15:10 AM , Rating: 4
Nanny-state laws, to the rescue! Never mind if they make sense, the prevailing attitude of "we know better than you" trumps common sense.

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By mephit13 on 11/19/2010 9:53:46 AM , Rating: 1
Stupidity trumped common sense long ago. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t see someone talking on the phone while driving erratically. There have been several occasions that I’ve had to swerve to avoid an accident. I’m not a fan of these style of laws or regulations, but it would seem that people aren’t capable of making the right decision here. Or they’re unable to do two things at a time. As a result people are getting hurt or kill, and costing all of us money in raised insurance rates. Have you got a better idea to help people start using some common sense? I’m all ears.

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By Dorkyman on 11/19/2010 10:53:29 AM , Rating: 2
That's odd... not saying you're exaggerating, but I've NEVER had to swerve to avoid an accident with a phone-wielding driver. Come to think of it, I've NEVER seen erratic driving behavior by a phoning person. Never. And I've driven a lot.

Here's a thought: rather than allowing the octopus arms of an all-knowing, all-caring government to decide what is best for us dumb little folks, why not let the auto insurance companies set their own rules? After all, they have a direct stake in the behavior of the people they insure.

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By xkrakenx on 11/19/2010 11:04:02 AM , Rating: 2
I've NEVER seen erratic driving behavior by a phoning person. Never. And I've driven a lot.

you have got to be shitting me. I live in a fairly small metro area and I see bad driving plus distracted on the phone at least once a week. especially around the university.

RE: What if someone other than the driver in the car
By mcnabney on 11/19/2010 11:42:05 AM , Rating: 2
No kidding.

People wandering out of their lane.
Changing lanes without signaling or even looking.
Busting through red lights or cross walks.

It is more often than not, when I see behavior I can see a douche in the driver's seat holding a cell phone. And what makes matters worse, there is no look of 'oops' or 'my bad'. They remain oblivious to the dangers they cause.

By JediJeb on 11/19/2010 12:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
I see all those and worse even in my town of less than 20k residents and in my parents town of only 1700 people. It isn't limited to large cities.

The lack of concentration on the road from cellphones reminds me of when I was a teenager and they put up a new stop sign on main street in the little town my parents live in. People ran it constantly the first day it was up, the second day the sheriff placed his car next to it with the lights flashing and people would wave at him as they ran the stop sign, on the third day the took it down. It was almost as bad when they got the first stoplight.

Could it be that cars have been made so "safe" that people have gotten complacent about driving safely? Maybe we need to remove the airbags and seatbelts and loosen up the front end so you really have to work to keep it in a straight line so people will be forced to concentrate on their driving.

By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/19/2010 11:30:05 AM , Rating: 2
I have. Now what?

By bah12 on 11/19/2010 11:34:12 AM , Rating: 3
Then you should put down your phone and look around you, as I see them often.

By stimudent on 11/19/2010 10:47:45 AM , Rating: 2
People will find a way to disable the disabler and we'll be back where we started.

By The Raven on 11/19/2010 12:54:12 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about you, but I am going back to a combination of semaphore, CB radios and morse code.

Great proposal.
By S3anister on 11/19/2010 7:44:02 AM , Rating: 3
Let's take away the ability for anybody inside a vehicle (and most likely some radius outside of it as well) to make a 911 call while the engine is on.


RE: Great proposal.
By GuinnessKMF on 11/19/2010 7:57:57 AM , Rating: 5
No, don't worry, the new scramblers will be fitted with a bypass to allow for emergency calls, sure the device will be slightly more expensive, and you'll be fitting that bill, but this is all in the name of forcing you to make the correct decisions.

RE: Great proposal.
By gorehound on 11/19/2010 8:00:37 AM , Rating: 5
i am really missing the days of my youth.i am in my 50's now and this world is just to PC for me.
more government intrusion

RE: Great proposal.
By brshoemak on 11/19/10, Rating: 0
RE: Great proposal.
By wiz220 on 11/19/2010 11:24:17 AM , Rating: 1
Except that all you had to worry about as a distraction was an AM/FM radio as opposed to phone calls, texting, satellite radio, MP3 players, dvd's, videos, internet etc.

Nowadays it's like people go out of their way to do anything BUT focus on the road. I have mixed feelings about regulations like this as well, but the statistics don't lie, people are getting into accidents at a much higher rate because of these distractions.

Maybe if the law stated that you would just go to jail if you caused an accident and it was proven that you were texting or talking on the phone we could avoid the scramblers?

RE: Great proposal.
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/19/2010 11:29:12 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, then when your estate sues the driver (cause you're dead, and maybe some kids in the car with you, or your grandma), they will easily be able to win based on the criminal conviction for texting! Awesome.

RE: Great proposal.
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/19/2010 11:27:00 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I'm in my 50's too, and I miss the days when people just drove when they were in the car and didn't kill themselves and others trying to keep up with the latest well, nothing really. Back in my youth you could get pulled over for drinking at age 18 and get let off with a warning (drinking was legal at 18 then.) Ah, those were the days.

Interesting side note, I was behind some younger woman who was texting on Route 100 between Route 295 and 95 in MD, and she was going 40 mph in a 55 zone in rush hour traffic, and weaving off the road. Yeah, government intrusion is a bad thing. I think my 12 year old nephew should be allowed to drive and the government should stay out of his business.

RE: Great proposal.
By Boze on 11/19/2010 2:27:17 PM , Rating: 1
"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."

Thank you Gerald Ford.

Give a bunch of crybaby assholes some safety so my rights can be taken away. No thank you. I don't care if even 500,000 people die a year because of texting and driving. Our nation was founded on the concept of individual liberty taking precedence over the comfort of the majority.

People won't ever stop texting and driving, just like they won't ever stop listening to the radio and driving, or adjusting the cabin temperature and driving.

And don't tell me it takes no brain power to drive and talk, or drive and text. It does. The very act of carrying on a conversation with another human being, especially if its a conversation which requires reasoning and memory recollection, is extremely brain intensive.

Don't believe that? Call your buddy while he's surfing the web, or while he's playing a video game, or while he's doing something else that requires intensive brain power. Every single one of us can recollect a call like that, "Hey man, did you hear about the new <cool thing> at <cool place>? What do you think this'll mean for <phrase requiring thought>?" "Yeah... heard about it... I dunno..."

Why do you responses like that? Because there's simply too much sensory input for our human brains to process simultaneously and to provide appropriate responses.

RE: Great proposal.
By MrTeal on 11/19/2010 9:19:45 AM , Rating: 1
Don't quote me this, but I don't think that's likely. 911 calls go out on the same frequencies as the rest of your calls. In order to selectively jam just 911 calls, the proposed jammer wouldn't be nearly as simple as the Chinese ones you can buy on eBay, it would actually have to wait for a call to initiate, then selectively jam only non-911 calls. Either that, or jam all cell phones but provide an 911 interface itself on a different set of frequencies.

RE: Great proposal.
By Gio6518 on 11/19/2010 9:27:25 AM , Rating: 2
Don't quote me this, but I don't think that's likely. 911 calls go out on the same frequencies as the rest of your calls.

Though i'm not completely sure either i'm about 90% sure your right. Others say that you can make calls without sim cards or unlocking the phone, but thats built into the phones hardware, not a broadcast frequency.

RE: Great proposal.
By Totally on 11/19/2010 8:22:31 AM , Rating: 2
Welcome to 1990

RE: Great proposal.
By Gio6518 on 11/19/2010 8:57:33 AM , Rating: 4
Today on CNN: Teenage girl driving down a dark road was stalked and killed by psychotic ex-boyfriend, becuase she was unable to call for help.

RE: Great proposal.
By bah12 on 11/19/10, Rating: 0
RE: Great proposal.
By daniyarm on 11/19/2010 12:30:14 PM , Rating: 2
Cell phones aren't a privilege, they are items I can buy just like a radio or an mp3 player and there is not a **** thing the government can do about it. It's my right to spend my money how I chose. And government may own the roads, but they don't own my car. Maybe I want to drive it on my farm and talk on the phone at the same time, that's my business and they can't block that signal. If they ever pass this law they will get sued by millions of people and companies and lose.

RE: Great proposal.
By FITCamaro on 11/19/2010 12:49:21 PM , Rating: 2
It WAS your right to spend your money how I chose.

These idiots view it as THEIR money that they let you borrow.

See government statements like "We can't afford to let people keep money their money" or the like. You can afford what you earn. I can't afford a Mercedes so I don't buy one. They view it as we'll buy the Mercedes first and then just take away as much as everyone's money as we need to pay for it. And then we'll buy something else now that we can afford the Mercedes payment. Rinse and repeat.

RE: Great proposal.
By rcc on 11/19/2010 12:30:49 PM , Rating: 2
I think the whole texting/calling from a moving vehicle is a real problem that needs to be addressed. I don't think jammers are the way to do it. The problems it would cause are legion. For instance, it would pretty much shut down phone reception on city sidewalks, cuz you know the jamming won't stop at the car body.

And, there are many cases of people injured in car accidents using their cell phones to call for help. If they can't get to the ignition switch, we should just let them bleed out? A system like On-Star could shut down the jammer in event of an accident, but that won't help the other folks much.

RE: Great proposal.
By Peleg on 11/19/2010 7:36:14 PM , Rating: 2
Long story short cell phones are a privilege not a right. Even if it where a right, personal rights only extend as long as they don't impeded other's, and thus cannot impede public safety.

You could just as easily argue that driving a car on a public road is a privilege, not a fundamental right. Rather than imposing onerous restrictions on the good drives, they could solve this problem by taking away the licenses of any bad drivers. That's a much cheaper solution, and ultimately is probably more effective since the bad drivers are far more likely to cause accidents anyway, regardless of cell phone usage.

RE: Great proposal.
By thrust2night on 11/20/2010 5:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
"I personally think their are many areas the government should not be a part of, but public safety is not one of them. If anything it should be the primary reason for government to exist."

Even in the interests of public safety there should be limitations of what the government can do, especially if their actions might compromise peoples' rights.

What if in the interest of public safety the government decided to monitor the phone calls of every citizen and installed cameras in each home? There is a line that even the government should not cross.

Oh and cell phones are not a privilege.

Even later report on how the crazy ex-boyfriend had caused the girl's car to crash and she was unable to drive to the nearest police station or well lit place to seek aid. The stupid reporter who goes by the name bah12 was too lazy to report that and got fired.

RE: Great proposal.
By The Raven on 11/19/2010 1:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
So you're saying that we should outlaw stalking and killing?
Or that we should ban psychotic ex-boyfriends or ex-boyfriends in general?

I can't tell because I don't have the ability to think for myself.

Oh wait I got it! You think there should be more lights on roads!

RE: Great proposal.
By webstorm1 on 11/19/2010 9:26:29 AM , Rating: 2
If we could get people out of cars entirely they'd be infinitely safer than now! Also, we need to get forks away from people, with those sharp tines!

How can someone this stupid be in a position of power? Oh yes, because no intelligent person wants anything to do with politics.

Oh and liberals blah blah blah, and conservatives blah blah blah!

RE: Great proposal.
By jimbojimbo on 11/19/2010 11:40:36 AM , Rating: 2
If we could get people out of cars entirely they'd be infinitely safer than now
The thing is I don't care if they're safe, it's the innocent individuals that they'll wind up plowing into that I want safe.

How come so many people are so adamant about gun control yet they are so willing to let just about anybody operate a multi ton killing device with potential victims all around them?

RE: Great proposal.
By bah12 on 11/19/2010 11:41:12 AM , Rating: 1
God forbid you did what drivers did pre-cell phone, and actually get out of the car to help out instead of driving by the wreck at 70, while bitching about the traffic it's causing, and place your cursory 911 call.

The Photo
By sweatshopking on 11/19/2010 10:27:03 AM , Rating: 2
Usually you guys go crazy whenever they post a picture of a woman. I guess you didn't like this one.

RE: The Photo
By kattanna on 11/19/2010 10:35:35 AM , Rating: 2
oh.. i saw it. and to be honest, with her in my car.. it be far more distracting then using a cell phone

RE: The Photo
By CU on 11/19/2010 10:53:08 AM , Rating: 2
OK, that does it we have to outlaw attractive women. Even them walking down the side of the road is a distraction. They must all be locked up indoors to protect other drivers, and the children. As a patriot I volunteer my house, and I won't be needing my car anymore.

RE: The Photo
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/19/2010 11:32:34 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but this one looks dumber than a box of rocks. I was thinking she looked like she was kicked by a horse when she was a child. Not real attractive. Take away the fake blonde hair and what have you got?

RE: The Photo
By darkweasel on 11/19/2010 2:03:28 PM , Rating: 2
A bald head?

RE: The Photo
By rcc on 11/19/2010 12:38:44 PM , Rating: 2
Salma Hayek in Desperado FTW. : )

RE: The Photo
By Kurz on 11/19/2010 3:17:08 PM , Rating: 1
Hey the Muslim world are way ahead of us on this one.
Maybe we should adapt some of their social norms.

(Jk of course)

The secretary also considered...
By GuinnessKMF on 11/19/2010 7:20:54 AM , Rating: 4
... disabling the ability to drive a car while intoxicated.
... disabling the ability for a car to exceed the speed limit.
... disabling the ability to let your farm animals drive your car.
... disabling the ability to drive without a license.

Yeah, that'll happen.

Lisa - Homer, you can't drive. The sheriff took your license.
Homer - Well, I'll try anyway ... It worked!

RE: The secretary also considered...
By jhb116 on 11/19/2010 7:51:49 AM , Rating: 2
And yet in Virginia, the most likely place this individual currently lives, there is yet to be a law against talking on the phone and driving. Not that the law will actually stop this kind of activity, but it does enable to cops to give tickets if they do see this - although I would argue they already have the authority under the "Reckless Driving" category.

RE: The secretary also considered...
By Kurz on 11/19/2010 8:55:50 AM , Rating: 2
Law is not magic, it will not stop anything.
It may not even stop the people who get ticketed (Probably not since people still speed).

Its impossible to enforce, the best way to combat this problem is through education and a public outreach.

The ones who unfortunately get caught are you going to punish drivers who are dailing a number?

RE: The secretary also considered...
By MrTeal on 11/19/2010 9:23:57 AM , Rating: 2
Road head is still ok though, right?

Too extreme, too many variables
By Kosh401 on 11/19/2010 8:27:01 AM , Rating: 3
I'm curious, is it reasonably possible to limit the "range" of this scrambling so that it's literally only inside the car? Will people on the street in a downtown area be affected by many cars in the street kicking out this scrambling signal? I assume bluetooth/hands free will still somehow work if plugged in or paired properly with the car?

Either way, I think this is a little too extreme. Instead, 2 things should happen:

1) Police actually enforcing BIG fines for texting and talking w/o hands free.

2) Education! The vast majority of people have learned that seat belts are for safety and very important, but years ago this wasn't how they were seen. Since texting doesn't just affect the texter's safety but everyone else on the road, serious advertising and education needs to be done to get drivers (especially the younger ones) to smarten up and make the CHOICE not to be dangerous on the roads.

Those two things combined would go a long way to curing drivers of their insanity (in this area, anyway).

RE: Too extreme, too many variables
By cjohnson2136 on 11/19/2010 10:36:58 AM , Rating: 2
Honestly I agree because the thing is that cost of the scrambbler is just going to be passed on to the consumer. I say levy a few hundred dollars in fine for talking or texting on the phone.

RE: Too extreme, too many variables
By JediJeb on 11/19/2010 11:54:54 AM , Rating: 2
A few hundred dollars fines any more are really not tough enough to stop something like this. On the rare occasion someone is caught, unless they are really poor the fine wouldn't stop the behavior. In Germany they fine based on a person's income. I think last year they even handed out a fine for speeding that was over $10,000.

Some people just won't get the point though no matter how much you could fine them. Maybe if they were sentenced to go pull a dead body from a wrecked car caused by distracted driving it might drive home the seriousness of the situation. Or better yet, make them go to the family and inform them of what happened instead of making the police handle it.

Another MSNBC Fluff Interview
By Reclaimer77 on 11/19/2010 8:24:04 AM , Rating: 2
Is it a coincidence MSNBC is the preferred network for socialists and government Liberals when choosing to be interviewed? Did anyone watch this? There are 20 better and tougher questions being posed here on Daily Tech to this idea then ANY that were asked by these so called media professionals.

Fox would have, rightfully, grilled this guy. And then have been called "biased" and "Faux" for it. MSNBC gave this joker a layup, like they do all of their Liberal cronies.

RE: Another MSNBC Fluff Interview
By shiznit on 11/19/2010 10:59:53 AM , Rating: 2
Is it a coincidence that so called "conservatives" use Fox News to spew their lies?

By Reclaimer77 on 11/19/2010 12:31:07 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I've seen lots of Conservatives go on MSNBC only to be hatchet jobbed. Meanwhile pricks like this guy get off easy.

Shielding, not jamming
By trisct on 11/19/2010 9:32:19 AM , Rating: 2
Shield the cars so cell phone signals cannot get out.

Then ensure the cars have a built-in handsfree connection. Make sure the ONLY way a cell phone can work inside that car is if it is using the hands-free interface (with a bluetooth or wifi interface, perhaps, enabling normal operation when the car is not running).

The handsfree connection is therefore always available for 911 calls. Nobody texts or dials because that simply won't work. If you want to use a phone while driving it has to be a built-in handsfree interface. Of course, this has to be incorporated in new car construction first...

RE: Shielding, not jamming
By CZroe on 11/19/2010 10:47:07 AM , Rating: 2
It's still ridiculous. How would the shielding disappear when the car is not in operation? How would a hands-free device allow the cellphone to work through the shield? Is there some "GSM or CDMA over BT/WiFi" profile that I'm not aware of? :D A femtocell that only operates when the handsfree device is paired with a phone? That wouldn't stop other phones. Also, how am I going to use my GPS that gets maps and directions over the cellular network? How am I going to stream music to the car stereo?

The basic idea is flawed. Stereos don't disable themselves just because you can be distracted while changing stations. If I had to endorse a possible method, I'd ask if it were possible to make some kind of conductive signal so that someone with their hand on the wheel can't have a hand or a face on the phone or the phone would detect it and refuse to make calls or allow text input. It might be a little more appropriate.

What a waste of tax dollars
By perillo34 on 11/19/2010 9:36:20 AM , Rating: 2
The Sec of Dept Transp is more worried about cell phone use while driving than the severity of impairment while driving under the influence of alcohol. First lets focus on the big killer and install deterents to prevent drinking while driving into cars such as they employ on first time DUI offenders in arizona. Now that would save thousands of lives and free up the police force and DUI task force. Just my 2 cents on this one. Oh wait DUIs in arizona bring in thousands if not millions in revenue to Lawyers and state at the cost of lives.

RE: What a waste of tax dollars
By shiznit on 11/19/2010 10:56:02 AM , Rating: 2
One could make the argument that it's easier to drive under the influence (.08 bac is just tipsy for many people, they can drive just fine) than when your are not looking at the road but at your damn phone!

catch 22
By shiznit on 11/19/2010 10:19:02 AM , Rating: 2
I hate the police state as much as anyone (the driving cell phone bad just kicked in here in Maryland) but you can't deny people get killed because of idiots talking on the phone. But I don't buy the argument that the phone is the problem, the skills of the driver are.

Either we set a much higher bar for keeping your driver's license or we will always need punitive measures like this.

RE: catch 22
By thurston on 11/19/2010 7:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
Either we set a much higher bar for keeping your driver's license or we will always need punitive measures like this.

That's a great idea, make it so a good portion of the population can't drive. That wont hurt the economy or anything.

an idea
By valkator on 11/19/2010 12:01:26 PM , Rating: 2
Or what you can do is if the car detects you have your phone on, and you turn the ignition, a light comes on saying, Please turn off phone to start vehicle. Then if you turn on your phone after you start, an annoying noise comes on in the phone like a car door noise and it won't turn off until the phone is off. Not sure how to implement that since I am not an engineer so don't post.. durr da durr howd ya doooooess thats?

RE: an idea
By valkator on 11/19/2010 12:08:38 PM , Rating: 2

Then if you turn on your phone after you start, an annoying noise comes on in the car like a car door noise and it won't turn off until the phone is off

typical of democrats
By rika13 on 11/19/2010 3:43:22 PM , Rating: 1
We don't want you to have to do it for yourself, let us think for you. Never mind that many cars are designed to integrate cell phones into them (some via bluetooth, some take a SIM card) or that such scrambling devices could interfere with other cell phones outside the vehicle. Do not worry about the fact that only affect vehicles made after a certain date that nobody has yet, and that most vehicles have problems which go far beyond idiot drivers like those damn rear seat headrests which double as rear window blockers.

If a cell phone jammer would save even one life, you can bet every fucking Volvo would have it by now.

RE: typical of democrats
By morphologia on 11/19/2010 6:22:05 PM , Rating: 2


That is all.

At least stop the texting
By overlandpark4me on 11/20/2010 12:10:01 PM , Rating: 1
using the GPs feature on the phones. I can always tell when someone is doing something stupid on their phone as I come up on them on the highway.

1-Drifting around their lane, usually with a couple of tire widths in my lane.

2- Constant braking in wide open traffic. This happens because they are too stupid to process more than a couple things while they are driving. Usually women.

3- Tailgating a full size truck, following him off an exit and then realizing that they need to do a panic return to the highway. Usually accomplished by doing some traveling down the broke down "lane".

4- Realizing they need to get over to an exit that it 500 feet away when they are in the "fast" lane. Usually they do a fake, half ass lane change to scare you into braking and letting them in. I usually speed up, block their path and then do a "I'm not going anywhere" block back, eat a jersey barrier bitch, gambit.

I saw a chick doing a (as God as my witness) crossword puzzle on her steering wheel last Tuesday. That was good for me blaring my horn to "jerk" her back into reality. Sad to say, she didn't hit anything.

Texting is a way for chicks to control their men. Guys, take off your dress and don't reply. Hopefully she'll try again until she slams into a pole. Problem solved. If a chick sends me a text with the message, "what's up, or sup,etc. They are done.

RE: At least stop the texting
By The Raven on 11/22/2010 10:50:35 AM , Rating: 2
I saw a chick doing a (as God as my witness) crossword puzzle on her steering wheel

BTW I don't believe you ;-P

I honestly don't see much of this at all. Maybe that is because I have MY EYES ON THE ROAD and not trying to check out a chick doing xwords lol.

But seriously, I once saw a soldier texting while driving on the freeway in less than congested traffic (he had his hands up at the top of the wheel so he could keep his eyes up by the road). That is the only time I have seen anyone texting. But I don't deny that it is worse than I have seen. I certainly have had run ins with people who did something that could result in an accident while on their phones but the closet calls for me were like your xword example were people plain just weren't paying attention because they spilled ketchup on their shirt or were distracted by friends or kids in the back seat or something.

But like you, despite all of these dangers, I drive (and in a vulnerable compact at that!). I feel that the people out there (including myself) are sufficiently safe with their 12 airbags and 5 different car seats and police force who pulls you over for coasting at 50 mph down a hill in a 40 (didn't happen to me but I saw it all the time on the corner of my school (CSU Fullerton)). Maybe I'm stupid, but don't worry. If I'm wrong, someone will wipe me off the face of the earth while on their phone. In the mean time I will continue to drive defensively as I was trained by the State of CA's public education dept and DMV and hope for the best and plan for the worst.

All the more reason
By FITCamaro on 11/19/2010 7:20:15 AM , Rating: 2
Not to buy a new car.

Other people have made good points. Let me add another. What if I need to make a 911 call? Either to report an accident or because I was in one? What if I can't get out of the car? I've called 911 a few times from my car to report things.

RE: All the more reason
By gradoman on 11/19/10, Rating: 0
This is why China is beating us
By Sahrin on 11/19/2010 8:08:38 AM , Rating: 2
Asinine work at the national level. Every automaker must put a scrambler in their car? How about every automaker must build a self-driving car? Cuts traffic fatalities, pushes the technical limits and funds research (improving education).

I know these two are tenuously linked, but everytime some "progressive" idea like this is introduced I immediately pick up stock in CNOOC or CNCB or ... Idiot policies like these that "protect us from ourselves" don't make us safer and restrict freedoms.

Even if they *could* make us safer, it wouldn't be worth the price.

By Quadrillity on 11/19/2010 8:15:13 AM , Rating: 2
These idiots use tax money for this crap? No wonder we are going asunder!

Rechecking before you post
By Tigerwraith on 11/19/2010 9:42:16 AM , Rating: 2
Daily Tech should check the blog site they linked to before making this post. The guy has already changed his standing with what he said to MSNBC.

By invidious on 11/19/2010 9:43:50 AM , Rating: 2
Imagine the lawsuits from people who have been in accidents and cant call 911 for help because their car's scramblers didnt turn off after the accident.

What about passengers? Is it now somehow unsafe to use a cell phone while in the back seat? What about people who use their phone for GPS? What about hands free operation?

No one is going to install a scramber in their old cars and most people will just dissable the scrambler in any new car.

I know the solution!
By rikulus on 11/19/2010 11:58:02 AM , Rating: 2
At least one study has shown cell phone use to be as dangerous as drunk driving... so they should make the punishments the same. I don't think we should necessarily be out there trying to catch every person using a cell phone (although people clearly using it when they drive by a cop should get pulled over,) it's just not easy to catch or prove.

But, every time a person gets in a car accident, their cell phone record gets pulled for the period within 5 minutes of the accident. If there are any calls or texts, they are subject to the same laws they would be if they caused the accident while legally drunk. Suspended licenses, vehicular homicide if someone is killed, etc. Make that the law.

Well it's about fugging time!
By Beenthere on 11/19/2010 12:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
Even moron Bama can figure out that trying to talk on a cellphone and drive at the same time is a recipe for disaster.

Anyone caught talking on a cellphone, texting, playing with electronic toys, eating, shaving, applying make-up, etc. while driving should do a minimum one year in prison IMO. If involved in an accident a minimum of five years should be mandatory. These people are too stupid to be on the street let alone operating a motorized vehicle.

Limited thinking?
By Chief Engineer on 11/19/2010 2:29:55 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps we should actually progress and stop driving.
We are very close to the technology, push it NOW.

In the interim, the inconvenience of passengers not being able to use their phones should not outweigh the safety concerns. Not long ago we did not have cell phones, we had enough communication then. We will have enough communication now without talk and text from a moving vehicle.

By rika13 on 11/19/2010 4:18:35 PM , Rating: 2
"I was following the GPS and it didn't tell me nothing about no damn kids."

"I was looking at the weeds growing because I drive good, and she was hiding in the weeds."

By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 11/19/2010 5:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
Put a 400% tax on cell phones and cell phone plans. It is working for tobacco, why not cell phones?

By morphologia on 11/19/2010 6:16:27 PM , Rating: 2
As tempting as it is to whack all our problems away with the ban-hammer, this just isn't a good way to implement sensible driving. With this kind of thing in place you'd not only have to pull over but also turn off the ignition and/or somehow disable the device, or even get out of the car, in order to text or call someone. And there's plenty of situations in which pulling over is doable but getting out is not.

And how about if you're in an accident, your car is crushed as are your legs, you're stuck in the driver's seat, but the device is somehow still functioning and preventing you from calling for help on your mobile. Good intentions can kill as easily as numbskullery (like texting while driving).

What if we all just start beating the holy hell out of our friends who like to do such reckless things? I think that'll work better than this. Friend don't let friends drive textarded.

Good grief
By LeftFootRed on 11/19/2010 6:45:04 PM , Rating: 2
Heck let's just outlaw driving, power tools, bunk beds, firecrackers, gas stoves, bicycles, sunglasses, sharp knives, stairs, red ryder bb guns, electricity, groups larger than 4 people, and cross words...

...because clearly our national balls have been cut off and we can't handle such things any more.

crazy effing so and so
By RivuxGamma on 11/20/2010 4:11:52 PM , Rating: 2
The sheer logistics of that are mind-boggling. How much will it cost to put one in every car in America? What if someone gets stranded in the snow and needs to make an emergency call or a similar situation? Will these jam signals outside the car?

I think we need to get this guy's cell phone # and let him know, on a personal level, that this is not a good idea.

By FXi on 11/22/2010 7:58:03 AM , Rating: 2
Facts are that maps on steering wheels, grabbing toys from kids in the back seat, petting dogs sitting in the passenger seat, sipping hot coffee while looking down at the cup have all existed for decades, and none of these things are going away. Texting is worse, but the problem is far bigger than that.

But making a technology item is just going to cost more money and ultimately fail. It will be easy for illegal electronics to beat the disabling devices and impossible (especially if you only turn them on when you need them) to detect them when running. So a $500 car mandated accessory will be defeated by $30 worth of Asian electronics.

It's pretty clear this guy has a heart, but very little understanding of modern electronics, and next to no idea of the kinds of things truly at the cause of modern accidents.

This idea is going to fly about as far as having to pass a breathalizer before your car will start. That was an idea floated years ago as well. So don't worry too much still they start bantering up a law to put it into place. It'll be easy to get around it, if needs be, but honestly it'll never fly because the concept doesn't cure anything.

New technologies...
By Targon on 11/22/2010 9:14:08 AM , Rating: 2
Remember when there was a push to outlaw the use of cell phones while driving? The solution was for hands free devices or options in cars to become fairly common. Look at the cars sold today into next year, and you will see that hands free calling has become an option or even a standard feature in some models.

Anyone can get distracted by ANYTHING, including having a passenger in the car telling a story. Phone calls are the same way, where the real problem is looking down at the phone to see who is calling. Text messaging is going to be one of those things that will end up with a text to speech system and a voice recognition system that will convert spoken words into text messages. As time goes on, the technology will evolve and will seem like a standard feature.

If distracted driving is such a threat, then having a radio in the car would be outlawed as well since the driver MIGHT be distracted.

And yet..
By millerm277 on 11/22/2010 4:54:14 PM , Rating: 2
The funny part here, is that it's still not illegal for me to read the newspaper while driving, as I see some people do in morning traffic.

I will fully admit to occasionally texting while driving. On an empty highway with cruise control on, it's not especially hard, nor is it much more distracting than anything else, unless you're one of those people that are incapable of only "glancing" at something and instead will stare at your phone while driving.

By jharper12 on 11/22/2010 7:04:13 PM , Rating: 2
What really bothers me about all of these new restrictions being considered is how SHORT SIGHTED they are. What really causes an accident? A driver! Why are we spending billions every year adding new safety features, more airbags, TPMS, anti-lock brakes, crumple zones, cell phone jammers, texting laws, drinking laws, and the enforcement of any of these requirements?!?! Take the problem out of the equation, NO MORE DRIVERS. Seriously, with all we've spent to ensure that drivers and passengers are safe, we could be well on our way to a fully automated driving experience. How many billions are wasted from traffic? How many lives lost in accidents? Car insurance costs? Ancillary savings from fuel economy improvements? Not to mention the reduction in the need for traffic cops... who can be used better in the community. Billions in savings, yet we're still "looking into" cell phone jammers. What an idiot.

By Iconosys on 11/23/2010 8:43:19 PM , Rating: 2
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Oh please!
By Jackattak on 11/19/2010 9:59:53 AM , Rating: 1
Please, please, PLEASE let this happen. It's getting to be way out of control. Inattentive driving is killing pedestrians and cyclists, who are vulnerable users of the roadways.

I hope he gets his way.

Outstanding idea
By MartyLK on 11/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: Outstanding idea
By ShaolinSoccer on 11/19/2010 9:26:22 AM , Rating: 2
I think it's a great idea as long as they still allow emergency calls to go through...

I know two girls who died while driving and using their cell phones and I know two motorcycle drivers that died who were stopped at a stop light and got slammed from behind by an SUV with a guy that was talking on his cell phone and not paying attention...

RE: Outstanding idea
By Kurz on 11/19/2010 9:34:29 AM , Rating: 2
Really... this mentality that the government can swoop in and take care of all our issues is the reason we are in such poor economic shape.

RE: Outstanding idea
By The Raven on 11/19/2010 1:30:46 PM , Rating: 2
It's also the reason why people text and drive if you ask me. People are so aloof of all the dangers out there. They only choose not to do something if it is illegal. It doesn't matter if it is safe or not.

RE: Outstanding idea
By Kurz on 11/19/2010 3:23:39 PM , Rating: 2
Aloof is right... I had to grab the shirts of friends several times to keep them from getting run over.

Its all about personal responsibilty.
Hell higher deductables migh be enough incentive to keep people from driving recklessly.

Moved my deductable to 1000 bucks, it helps me knowing if I am going to crash and its my fault thats going to be the punishment.

RE: Outstanding idea
By The Raven on 11/19/2010 1:38:00 PM , Rating: 2
My aunt was killed by a drunk driver. I guess we should outlaw alcohol too. My father who also died of alcohol related causes would still be alive too. We all know someone who was killed by something. It doesn't mean that we should sacrifice our freedom for it. If this is the answer to everything we just end up making more problems because everyone let's their guards dowm. I don't care where you live and what the laws are. You are in danger of losing your life.

Heck, street racing is illegal (hello...speed limit laws anyone?) and people die in accidents related to that. Should we outlaw it? We can't, because it is already illegal. Just learn to drive defensively and that might include not riding a motorcycle. But that is your choice.

RE: Outstanding idea
By overlandpark4me on 11/20/2010 12:11:21 PM , Rating: 1
Stupid comparison. You are the winner of this tread. BTW, I don't believe you about your aunt

RE: Outstanding idea
By priusone on 11/20/2010 5:46:49 PM , Rating: 2
Here, I'll give you more stuff to claim isn't true. A friend of mine was going through a divorce, and sadly, while driving his son to school, somehow ran a red light and was t-boned. I've driven up to red lights, come to a complete stop, looked both ways, and proceeded through the intersection. Did that incident happen during an average boring day or was I off my meds with my brain spinning around in circles? Hey, I wasn't drunk of on drugs, lack there of actually.

I surf the net while I drive, I text while I drive, have been doing so without a single incident since coming home in 2005. But, I only do it while at a red light, behind another car for reference, or on the freeway, with the cruise set, and while the traffic is light, and there is a fairly large space buffer. And, it takes me way longer to send or read a text, find an address, or so on. You see, in my world, you, as a fellow driver, are way safer having me chilled out going 55mph than me road raging, riding up your ass and trying to find ways to get pass your dumb@ss since you think the passing lane is gods gift to you and to hell with those who want to use it to actually pass someone.

RE: Outstanding idea
By The Raven on 11/22/2010 10:27:37 AM , Rating: 2
I don't care if you don't believe me (this is the comments section, not USA Today ;-)), because I would think that you know someone (or have even at least heard of someone) who has been killed by someone driving while distracted by something other than texting or talking on a phone. Does that mean we should outlaw those things? No. Because there is already grounds for police to pull you over if you are swerving because you are eating a double double. And if you think the comparison is stupid, then tell me why or give us a better one. I mean I didn't go as far as saying that "people die in auto accidents, so let's ban cars". I honestly think it is a fair comparison.

My point is that you can't just mention that you know someone who died because of 'x' and then say that something is a good idea based on that. Or if you do want to do that, you can't/shouldn't play favorites. I mean people say, "I text and drive with no problem," and people say, "I drink and drive but not if I'm completely wasted." Both are popular vices in our society. Sounds like a reasonable comparison to me.

Everyone thinks that they are impervious to the effects of all these things and they are not. The best thing to do is educate people to the dangers of distracted driving and let them make their own decisions based on that.

I personally take great issue with this idea of jammers because I spend a lot of time talking to family on my way home from work. Being in different time zones, it is hard to make time to talk to some family members when either person is not working or eating or otherwise busy. (And whether you believe me or not ;-)) my mom has Parkinson's and I try to keep in touch with her during this tough time as much as possible. But like I said, I wouldn't want that to affect someone's decision on the matter because they feel sorry for her. For every one of the "nice ladies with Parkinson's waiting for their son to call" out there, there is someone killed by someone on a phone. Let's leave emotion out of the decision. Should we be free to choose if we want to use our phones in our cars, or should the gov't? Simple question.

RE: Outstanding idea
By rADo2 on 11/21/2010 6:28:12 AM , Rating: 1
Bluetooth hands-free? I use it for almost 10 years and do not get it, why so many people still hold phones in their hands. It is indispenseble in office as well, as you can make a call, while having both hands free for typing :)

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