Texting while driving ban some points to ponder
The Oklahoma state legislature has the question before them-Should we ban texting while driving?
HB 3250 , by Rep. Tibbs/Sykes, would ban cell phone use and texting while driving. This is part of a federal initiative to ban texting while driving.
Some of the amendatory language is aimed at young drivers, but the bill also creates new law:
“A. A person shall not operate a motor vehicle on a street or highway while using a hand-held mobile telephone to write, send, or read a text message while the motor vehicle is in motion.
Any person who violates the provisions of subsection A of this section shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine and court costs that shall not exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).”
Arguments against this type of legislation;
Should we ban the children too?
In its study for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the
University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research
Center installed miniature video cameras in the cars of 70
volunteers, equally distributed by sex and age. Half were from Pennsylvania and the other half from North Carolina.
Videotape data was analyzed for driver behaviors and for
contextual variables such as weather, highway conditions, and
whether the vehicle was stopped or moving.
Data showed that:
• Distractions are common in everyday driving.
• All subjects manipulated vehicle controls and nearly all
reached for objects in the vehicle.
• Many manipulated the sound system.
• Almost as many were distracted by objects or events outside
• Approximately one-third of subjects used a cell phone
• Forty percent engaged in reading or writing.
• Child passengers were about four times, and infants about
eight times more likely to cause distraction than adult passengers.
• Drivers were engaged in some form of potentially distracting
activity up to 16.1 percent of the total time their vehicles
• Most of the driver distractions are neither new nor
Enforcement-It is impossible to tell whether drivers were using cell phones to send a text message, dial a phone number or download directions on a map.
- Will there be some sort of technological intervention to look into people’s cell phones in order to ascertain what was being done at the time the officer suspects they were texting? This is a problem for many reasons. Our phones are more than just phones. They are more like portable personal computers and contain a wealth of very personal information. Fourth Amendment issues would arise as would the possibility of suspicion of texting while driving being used as a pretext for stopping motorists.
- There is already technology available for entirely voice commanded interaction with cell phones.
Hands free access will allow anyone to text, call, and email all with voice commands. This very innovative solution to the texting while driving dilemma needs to be in the hands of anyone with a mobile device that is used for communication. Hands free access is safe, simple and most of all cost effective. http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Solution-to-the-Texting-While-Driving-Ban&id=3511212
CNN Reports March 19, 2010
Mobile voice-recognition technology now allows people to send text messages to friends by talking instead of typing; to scan through transcriptions of voice mail instead of taking time to listen to them all; to tell their phones what they’re looking for on the Web; and, soon, to post to Twitter from their cars by speaking, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road.
“It’s now possible to pick up your phone and press a single button and say, ‘I want the Yelp.com review of the Capital Grille in Burlington, Massachusetts. Period,’ ” said Vlad Sejnoha, chief speech scientist at Nuance Communications, a major producer of voice-to-text software.
- Distracted driving laws are already on the books. Texting while driving is a distraction like many others. The real problem is poor judgment which is unfortunately, impossible to legislate out of existence.
- This will be viewed and possibly misused as “revenue enhancement”
More stats and studies to consider;
Effectiveness of legislation
Current laws banning cell phone use in New York and Connecticut have proven to be ineffective.
The percentage of offenders decreased from 2.3% to 1.1% immediately after the ban was implemented, but after being in effect for a year the percentage increased to 2.1%, which is not significantly different from the pre-ban figure.
A study by the Highway Loss Data Institute has found that while laws aimed against texting or making calls while driving are effective in reducing such behavior, they are not effective in reducing crashes
Both traffic accidents and Fatalities are Down
Since 1995, there’s been an eightfold increase in cellphone subscribers in the United States, and we’ve increased the number of minutes spent on cellphones by a factor of 58.
What’s happened to traffic fatalities in that time? They’ve dropped — slightly, but they’ve dropped. Overall reported accidents since 1997 have dropped, too, from 6.7 million to 6 million.
Source- the Cato Institute
At this time, AAA believes it is premature to ban the use of cell phones while driving. Instead, AAA advocates the following to address distracted driving:
- Education. AAA is working to develop educational approaches that train drivers to recognize when they are being distracted and learn how to manage those distractions. Brochures and other materials are available at AAA offices around the country. AAA also is incorporating this information into all driver education programs including novice driver, driver improvement and senior driver programs.
- Research. Research is needed to understand how distraction contributes to crashes and major causes of distraction. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has published a report, and more research is under way.
- Cooperation. AAA is working with policy-makers, motor-vehicle offices, manufacturers and other motoring clubs worldwide on this issue. More information will be added to this site as results of these advocacy efforts are available.