LaHood plans to keep focus on distracted driving

Discussion in 'Politics and other "Messy" Stuff' started by Nathan, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who has been criticized by highway safety advocates for his focus on distracted driving, said he'll keep the issue at the top of his safety agenda.

    “We will not be deterred by false choices about addressing distracted driving on the one hand and alternative critical safety issues on the other,†LaHood said today in Washington, responding to criticism from former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration head Jeffrey Runge.

    Runge told USA Today last week that the Transportation Department should focus on bigger causes of traffic deaths and injuries. According to the agency, about 5,500 people died and 500,000 people were injured in 2009 because of distracted driving. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety President Adrian Lund has also criticized LaHood's work, saying texting bans haven't reduced distracted driving-related crashes.

    LaHood has said says he believes motorists are distracted by any use of mobile phones while driving, including hands-free calls made using vehicle information and entertainment systems such as Ford Motor Co.'s Sync and General Motors Co.'s OnStar.

    LaHood said he will meet with the chairmen of Ford and Chrysler Group LLC in Detroit next week about curbing distracted driving. He said he has already spoken with executives of General Motors, Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG about the topic.

    LaHood said corporate bans on mobile phone use while driving help set an example.

    Safeway Inc., a U.S. grocery-store chain, last year banned drivers of its 797 tractor-trailer trucks and 403 home-delivery trucks from talking or texting, including hands-free devices, while operating its trucks, said Shannon Campagna, the company's vice president of federal government relations.
     
  2. Johngo

    Johngo New Member
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    Four words:

    Lack of driver training.
     
  3. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    I don't care how well you are trained - a cellphone is a distraction, pure and simple. I seriously doubt you'd ever see a Formula 1 driver holding a cell phone up to his ear while in the middle of a race, right?

    I never use mine in the car unless I'm parked.

    And if it's a problem for an experienced, careful driver, what is it for an inexperienced, poorly trained, uninterested driver? Your death, waiting around the next corner, maybe.....

    As to the in Sync and such, I don't know as I haven't used one, but anything that takes your focus away from what you're supposed to be concentrating on can't be good....and if you're a young, inexperienced, easily distracted, uninvolved driver to boot - where does that put your chances of an accident?
     
  4. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    And I feel that if the driver can continue to drive while talking he/she should be allowed some kind of way to continue to do so. My job req's me to drive about 100 miles a day and I can say with no hesitation that I can hold a conversation on my cell phone and still be a safe and cognizant driver. It all depends on how the driver can control their behavior while driving. Some can and some can't. But to penalize me for the mistake of others is going to far. What's next...no more radios.

    Yes, there are time when I need to pull over to finish a conversation, but by and large I am a safe cell phone using driver (15+ yrs of doing so........)
     
  5. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    T-Mobile has introduced a service to block incoming calls and texts while driving.

    I only see this as a revenue grab. If T-Mobile really wanted to do something then this would be included at no charge and turned on by default. Good intentions, terrible execution.
     
  6. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    The bluetooth in my MINI works great for talking while driving. I can answer the phone and talk, all without removing my hands from the steering wheel. That is no more dangerous than talking to a passenger in the car.

    Dave
     
  7. 1r53

    1r53 New Member

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    They better ban passengers in the car too, cause you are talking to them even when you have two hands on the wheel. Should aslo ban kids in there car seats in the back, cause parents are always turning around to get somthing for them. I love how they put numbers into there arguments 5,500 people in the United states died from distracted driving. 2,800 peolpe in Nebraska died last year from cancer. Why dont they spend more time on that. It is just one more way for them to tell us what we can and cant do. Politicians make me sick.
     
  8. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    I agree with Nathan that it is should not be something you should have to pay for, however, you can just turn the damn phone off - or ignore it if it rings. You don't need a program to sense when you should not be using your damn phone.

    I don't agree that people speaking to you in the car equates to speaking to someone on the phone - even on the handsfree. I also don't agree that keeping two hands on the wheel means you're not distracted. I find that it takes considerably more concentration to talk on the phone than it does in person, and whatever concentration is focused on the phone is not being focused on the driving. However, if you're out in the boonies and traffic is light to nonexistant it's a different thing than when you're in heavy city traffic.

    It's just not the same IMHO....and what is so important about your phone call that it can't wait, either till you get where you're going or till you can pull over safely?

    You may be the most capable driver in the world, but I don't care if you're Jeff Gordon or Michael Schumacher in your car handling skills, if something like your phone takes your attention off what's happening around you and you have a wreck - it's a preventable thing.

    My point is not to single out phone users over iPod users or anything else, my point is only that people need to pay attention to what they're doing when behind the wheel. That's it.

    Our cars have become so good at saving us from ourselves that we think we don't need to pay attention to what's going on, the car will save us. I think this is wrong
     
  9. 1r53

    1r53 New Member

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    I do agree that you should not be on your phone
     
  10. Johngo

    Johngo New Member
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    Never said cell phones are not a distraction. Driver training and the lack there of is a much larger issue than cell phones. Cell phones only compound the problems associated with no training.
     
  11. Justa Jim

    Justa Jim Well-Known Member
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    Don't all those drivers talk to the pit crew and spotters on their radios, while going flat out around the oval? Chris Meeke has to drive and concentrate on what his co-driver is telling him. How is that different?

    Jim
     
  12. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    It's a closed course where there for the most part there is no one coming the other way, no traffic lights, no stop signs and they know each others driving habits. They also pick the spots for radio transmissions and usually limit it to straight sections of track. Plus they are better trained drivers than 99% of us.
     
  13. Crashton

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    Jim he's not distracted because what the co-driver is telling him can make the difference between winning, losing or living & dieing. If he is distracted he will soon be off the road into a tree.

    As far as race drivers, pit communications are not really a distraction, but a help.

    It's not as if these professional driver's are talking about what club they are going to meet at later for a few brews.

    I spend my days driving & it is absolutely amazing what I see on a daily basis. :eek:ut:
     
  14. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    What this really comes down to is DISTRACTED drivers. Be it the cell phone, Kindle, DVD player, crying kid in the back.......well you know. It needs to be addressed by two things-holding drivers responsible for their own actions and having better drivers training. Make having an accident while distracted the same as having an accident while under the influence. Same choice and the same result.
     
  15. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Yeah....
    Not so sure the MINI Connect is something that's really needed in a vehicle.
     
  16. minimark

    minimark Well-Known Member

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    Then you have folks like the lady I got behind blocking the fast lane on a major interstate highway, talking and holding the cell phone to her ear with her shoulder while also putting on her mascara in the sun visor mirror.... Wreckless driving pure and simple....so shouldn't we ban doing your make up, eating some chicken wings or a hamburger and tending to the baby in the back seat too??

    Driver training is the best way to reduce highway deaths period and then let the police have more discretion in what is wreckless driving, IE: the idiot mentioned above.
     
  17. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    This is what I'm saying.....
     
  18. Justa Jim

    Justa Jim Well-Known Member
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    I agree completely with this being a not so good thing. The video of the guy buying flowers for his wife, shows how distracting that device can be. I do not disagree with anyone on distraction being a bad thing, but I think that a hands free device is OK. With mine, I merely talk to the phone and it does what I say without having to look at it or touch it.

    With that said, if they outlawed automatic transmissions the problem would be solved. You can not hold you phone, brush your hair or eat your lunch while trying to work a six speed. Or at least I can't. :D

    Jim
     

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