TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: 511 Traffic Phone Lines May Raise Crash Risk

Re: 511 Traffic Phone Lines May Raise Crash Risk

Dave Close (
Sun, 4 Mar 2007 07:45:32 UTC

Marie Skelton, USA Today <> writes:

> Though the traffic information service is also available online, some
> safety advocates say drivers will most likely use the phone service
> while driving. "The biggest irony about calling the traffic report
> while driving is that the majority of traffic delays are caused by
> crashes, so in the course of calling to check traffic, drivers will
> crash and cause more traffic delays," says Lisa Lewis, executive
> director of the Washington, D.C.-based Partnership for Safe Driving.

So, cops can talk on the radio while driving in a high speed pursuit,
and that's safe. But if I call 511 while stuck in traffic that isn't
moving at all, that is illegal? We already have laws that require
drivers to pay attention while driving. All the cell phone bans do is
give cops an easier way to prove it, while making perfectly safe
actions illegal.

The 511 system in the San Francisco Bay Area is voice-command only, no
touch-tone entry. And it is absolutely unable to understand a highway
number even if spoken slowly, digit by digit. When you need it, it
doesn't work. Any distraction from trying to use it is caused by its
worthless voice recognition crap. If you are lucky enough to get a
response about the jam in which you are currently stuck, you'll be
told traffic is moving normally.

Dave Close, Compata, Costa Mesa CA "Greed is to the moralists of the, +1 714 434 7359 left what sex is to the moralists of the right." - Cathy Young

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I have always wondered by it is safe
for police officers to talk on the radio while their car is moving
but it is not safe for civilians to do the same thing. The answer, we
are told, is that 'police officers have better training for same.'

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