Radar Gun Targets Texting & Driving - InformationWeek

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Radar Gun Targets Texting & Driving
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David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/23/2014 | 1:52:45 PM
Re: We Don't All Do It
@TonyA- shocking or no, the numbers back it up. And the tone was meant to be shocking. The best way to get people to assess their behavior is to shock them into thinking "is he talking about me?" Here's the problem I see-- I know no one who says they text and drive, yet I know plenty of people who would say they don't and I've seen it with my own eyes. Everyone forgets the exceptions and the "just for a second" moments. Not enough people are being honest with themselves. It is just like the number of people who think they are OK to get behind the wheel of a car when they're drunk. Hopefully they'll start.
Tony A
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Tony A,
User Rank: Moderator
9/23/2014 | 1:47:22 PM
We Don't All Do It
I am quite honestly shocked at the tone of the article. We all speed, jaywalk, race through orange signals, and commit other minor traffic offenses. We all engage in some form of distraction like tuning the radio or inserting CD's, unwrapping a sandwich or changing GPS settings. We all, I am wiling to bet, at least occasionally and briefly answer a cell phone call or make one (and studies show that hands free headsets do not reduce the danger of this practice). These are risks and distractions but none of them need to seriously impede one's concentration on the road any more than looking in the rear view mirror. But the notion that we all engage in behavior that is akin to voluntarily falling asleep at the wheel is truly disturbing. I have to believe that the large majority of people think this practice is nuts and not even the slightest bit tempting, and find adults who do it extremely immature.

There are already companies working on technology that disables texting from within the vehicle itself. That is the only effective way. Police with radar guns will catch a tiny percentage of the offenders, supplementing their town's tiny municipal income with the proceeds but making almost no impact on the larger danger. Once the technology is available it should be federal law to put it in every vehicle, with big penalties for disabling it. That's the end of this ridiculous episode in the pre-history of technology.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/23/2014 | 1:25:29 PM
Re: there is a simple fix
@LeeB120- I think the problem with that is that passengers can't text. Personally, I don't think that's a problem, but people will. 

It all goes back to what I've been saying about safety features-- Anything that limits what you are allowed to do will not be perceived by consumers as a feature. It will be considered a reason to go to the device that doesn't limit you.
ANON1249912392947
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ANON1249912392947,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/23/2014 | 10:19:52 AM
Re: there is a simple fix
Marcel, Your observation on self driving cars is right on the money. In the meantime, being present while driving is great advice, the only problem I have with texting while driving is that most people (you and I included) think they are above average. So we can take comfort in the knowledge (or delusion) that we can handle it - which is why I have to wait for that self driving car before I can call or text while driving. Pull over, the life you save could be your own!
marcelbrown
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marcelbrown,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/23/2014 | 9:52:06 AM
Re: there is a simple fix
Your idea sounds good, but what about people who are riding in a vehicle?

That being said, not everyone is an idiot. I drive very safely and I talk while driving all the time. I simply make a conscious decision to be very "present" while driving, talking or not. And with hands-free texting now working well, I am making more and more use of it as well. Just like drunk driving, education is really the best tool we have to fight this problem.

But all of this will be a moot point as self-drive technology becomes a reality!
marcelbrown
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marcelbrown,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/23/2014 | 9:47:32 AM
This Technology is DOA
"Text" messaging is quickly moving away from SMS technology and going towards data-based services such as iMessage and WhatsApp. Good luck detecting that.
LeeB120
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LeeB120,
User Rank: Strategist
9/22/2014 | 11:46:36 PM
there is a simple fix
While I admit I'm not real fond of the idea a simple fix is possible.   Just require the phone makers to tie the gps in with the phone function and lock it out when the phone is moving more than 10 mph.   It could be disabled for people that really might require the use while moving such as emergency vehicles.
   That will make a lot of people angry but do you REALLY need to talk on the phone or text while driving. In the overwhelming majority of the cases  you do not and for those few times you  do simply pull off the road and quit putting other people in danger.   
The reason I chose 10  mph?   People on bicycles don't need to be talking while riding either!  I saw some fool run into the back of a parked car less than a month ago because he was too busy talking to pay attention to where he was going.

 
BillB031
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BillB031,
User Rank: Moderator
9/22/2014 | 3:23:32 PM
If you want to get serious
If you want to get serious about driving habits, enhance the punishment.  Texting and driving isn't much different than drinking and driving. Both involve a lack of control of the 4000 lb missle your driving.

How many times a month do you see a vehicle weaving back and forth across the yellow lines, or almost side-swiping the curb?  An 18 yr old girl rear-ended a parked car in my neighborhood a few weeks ago.  Guess what she was doing?

Get caught texting while driving, your license is suspended for a year.  Make drinking and driving a zero tolerance law.  Many States already have zero tolerance when kids are in the car.  People would think twice about turning on that cell phone while driving if you stood to lose your license for a year.

I know in most European countries it's against the law to use your cell phone while driving, and that might include hands free devices.  Even if you pull off the road to use your phone, you have to shut off your engine or risk a 40 or 50 euro ticket in Germany.  Getting caught using your cell phone while driving in Italy is 125 euro fine, Norway 600, Netherlands 2000 euros.

There is roughly 40,000 traffic related deaths each year in the US, and for some reason, the authorities won't deal with it.  But if they were serious about it, or better yet, the public was serious about it,  something could be done that doesn't require tax payer funding of high tech gadgets.
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
9/22/2014 | 2:32:46 PM
Re: Fix is needed for rampant problem
Seatbelts are a different issue than texting.  Although a case can be made that someone is better able to maintain control of their vehicle in an emergency when seat belts are used (thereby possibly preventing harm to others), they are primarly for the protection of the vehicle's occupants.  

Texting while driving is a danger to everyone.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
9/22/2014 | 2:28:27 PM
Re: Fix is needed for rampant problem
@Doug I agree about more hands-free text-to-speech apps, though it's sad that there's such a demand for something like it. As you said, just pull over or wait until later.
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