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

Re: 511 Traffic Phone Lines May Raise Crash Risk
11 Mar 2007 20:19:54 -0700

Dave Close wrote:

> All of that, true or not, does not address the question of actual
> safety. Some civilians are former police officers, for example, and
> could have experienced the same training you say makes it ok to talk
> while driving.

Except the number of former police officers out there is a very tiny
percentage. Further, police officers normally go through refresher
courses throughout their careers; a former officer would not.

> The fact remains that, before these new laws, it was already illegal
> to fail to pay attention while driving.

Which is irrlevent. It's "against the law" to "drive badly", yet we
have numerous very specific laws on what driving badly constitutes and

Someone could claim they were still paying attention while on their
cell phone. The law makes it clear it is illegal to use cell phones,
as it should be.

> The purpose of the cell phone ban is not to create a crime where
> there wasn't one but to make it easier to prove the crime. Unfort-
> unately, the laws also /do/ create a new crime, using a cell phone
> while still paying attention to driving. Why should that be a crime?

Because driving while cell phoning is dangerous. Mr. RB documented it
quite well here. Cell phone conversations are very distracting. I
see it every day.

> Do you think that someone stuck in traffic which is not moving /at
> all/ should not be able to use his cell phone to call 511?

It's dangerous! I've seen it. Someone's yakking away and traffic
opens up in front of him which he doesn't notice. So people behind
him try to pass or he suddenly speeds up to make up the space.

> Do you think that someone driving on a rural Interstate and
> observing a drunk driver should /not/ call 911 to report that
> observation?

That occurs so infrequently compared to all other cell phone
conversations that it isn't an issue.

Using a cell phone while driving ought to be 100% illegal in all

Why are people so damn addicted to their cell phones they can't put
them down while driving?

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