Transportation Chief Calls for National Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving

By Jim Forsyth | April 27, 2012
driver texting

  • April 27, 2012 at 11:07 am
    Ins Guy says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    “…Using a cell phone while driving delays reaction time the same amount as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08, the legal limit,…

    “…by motorists talking on cell phones, including children in wheelchairs who were paralyzed.”

    They should also be held CRIMINALLY negligent!

  • April 27, 2012 at 11:49 am
    Delinquent says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    We have this law in Maryland for texting and cell phone use, but you never see it enforced as it is a secondary offense and really only gets tacked on it you are pulled over for something else. They need to make it a primary offense, and require the addition of hands free devices with all new cell phone sales in all states.

  • April 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm
    Scott says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    LaHood said, however, he was not as concerned about people who eat, apply makeup, or perform other distracting activities in cars because “not everyone does that.”

    “But everyone has a cell phone and too many of us think it is OK to talk on our phones while we are driving,” he said at the summit, sponsored by insurance company USAA, the

    HUH??? I didnt realize that “everyone” has a cell phone, I guess the folks I know that do not own one do not count?

  • April 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm
    DW says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    The only problem is that the feds do not have the authority to make that law. That is up to the states.

  • April 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm
    paul says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    i am really liking this action. florida has been monkeying around with a ban for 5 years or so and isn’t any closer now than day 1. this state is full of elderly drivers who are a near miss as it is. add the phone and we have a real problem down here. i can see where a federal act is headed. if it passed and states didn’t adopt it, they lose federal funding for the interstate roads. just as it was with the reduction to 55mph. those who did not adopt lost the money. let’s get rolling with this now!

    • April 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm
      Mike N says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 0
      Thumb down 0

      Then stop being lazy,and relying on the federal governmant take on what you refuse to enact in your own state. If you really cared about this, you would be working within your state to pass such a statute, rather than waiting for the feds to come in with an extra-consitutional power grab.

      “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” Ben Franklin had it right. State’s Rights are an important liberty, and must be fiercely guarded.

  • April 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm
    Commuter says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    Good luck getting this enforced. On my daily commute on the Interstate leading into the State Capitol area 1 in 2 drivers are on their cellphones. Legislation should force the communication service providers to terminate standard cellphone use while in motion. That and hold the cellphone service providers legally liable. Otherwise this won’t amount to much.

    • April 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm
      Chris says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 0
      Thumb down 0

      “Legislation should force the communication service providers to terminate standard cellphone use while in motion.”

      That seems like a good idea until you are a passenger in the back seat of a car looking for directions and you can’t use your phone. That would be rediculous and there would be no way to regulate whether you were driver or passenger. Also what if you are on a train or a golf cart at the golf course. Should you be denied cell phone service because you are moving? That is just not going to work.

  • April 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm
    Scott says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    It’s about time!! Years ago when this was attempted, the major cell phone providers screamed bloody murder about lost revenue. Now that people have “unlimited call plans”, this is a non-issue. The fact is, nearly 80% of cell phone usage is still PERSONAL use; i.e. not business use, so no call is that important that you can’t pull off the road.

    • April 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm
      Mike N says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 0
      Thumb down 0

      Then stop being lazy,and relying on the federal governmant take on what you refuse to enact in your own state. If you really cared about this, you would be working within your state to pass such a statute, rather than waiting for the feds to come in with an extra-consitutional power grab.

      “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” Ben Franklin had it right. State’s Rights are an important liberty, and must be fiercely guarded.

  • April 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm
    Jon says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    This article: http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100203/A_OPINION0619/2030310/-1/NEWSMAP

    Debunks the myth that cell phone bans reduce accidents. The studies done by various states did not see a reduction in accidents post cell phone ban (some states saw an increase.)

    I believe that what it comes down to is this: People who are distracted by cell phone usage and get into accidents will be distracted by other things just as easily, and also get into an accident.

    • April 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm
      Chris says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 0
      Thumb down 0

      I agree with you here. I use my phone (calls only, no texting) while driving on occasion and I feel that I am still being safe and responsible. On the other hand I’ve seen people do terribly unsafe things because they are talking/texting away and are mentally distracted. It depends on the individual. It would be nice if people would just choose to be responsible and pull over if it’s necessary.

    • May 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm
      Jon says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 0
      Thumb down 0

      You gotta love people who red-check in spite of factual data.

      Some people just can’t handle the truth.

  • April 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm
    Mike N says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    The federal government has zero business interfering with individual states on this issue.

    To show how absolutely feckless the government is, in respect to manging transportation, here is an overview of CAFE standards:

    “According to the Brookings Institution, a 500-lb weight reduction of the average car increased annual highway fatalities by 2,200-3,900 and serious injuries by 11,000 to 19,500 per year. USA Today found that 7,700 deaths occurred for every mile per gallon gained in fuel economy standards. Smaller cars accounted for up to 12,144 deaths in 1997, 37% of all vehicle fatalities for that year.

    How many deaths have resulted? Depending on which study you choose, the total ranges from 41,600 to 124,800. To that figure we can add between 352,000 and 624,000 people suffering serious injuries, including being crippled for life. In the past thirty years, fuel standards have become one of the major causes of death and misery in the United States — and one almost completely attributable to human stupidity and shortsightedness.”

    LaHood is complaining about 3,000 deaths, which he is attributing to driving while on the phone. However, he and Obama have just increased CAFE regulations from 35.5 MPG in 2016, to 54.4 by 2025. This means, due to Obama and LaHood raising CAFE standards, highway deaths will increase to 145,530 ANNUALLY.

    Math:

    – 54.4 mpg- 35.5 mpg = 18.9 mpg
    – 18.9 mpg x 7,700 annual deaths per mile increase = 145,530 additional deaths caused by Obama’s regulations.

    So, let’s quickly review:

    1. Obama and LaHood want to take away the right of states to make their own laws regarding the safety of their own citizens, in an extra-constitutional power grab.

    2. By stealing rights from the states, Obama and LaHood are using the justification of saving 3,000 live per year.

    3. At the same time, Obama and LaHood are raising CAFE regs, which studies show will kill an additional 145,530 American citizens annually. Not to mention the increase in mutilated and dismembered victims of auto crashes into the hundreds of thousands, per year.

    I believe each state should make using a phone (without a headset) and texting illegal while driving. This is the way our system of government was designed. This is the right, correct and Constitutional way of enacting such laws.

    At the same time, we see the failure of the federal government, which talks about trying to save a few people (pulling heart strings to con voters into allowing them to do so), all the while increasing auto deaths into the hundreds of thousands with sickening regulation.

  • April 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm
    spins22 says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    Cell phones and txting should be banned and there is technology out there now that can help. I agree, it is and always will be a States issue, not the Feds. I also think it may be taken a little more seriously when local and state police stop gabbing on their cell phones while they are driving. And don’t give me the “they’re working” BS. I wish I had a buck for every cop I see driving and talking on the cell phone, oh yeah, while speeding….

  • April 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm
    allrisk says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    The best way to prevent people being killed by cars is get the Idiots off the road. they can’t drive with out a phone and then they start chatting on a cell phone and they are deadly. They are the same folks who were causing accidents before there were even cell phones.
    And as for the eating, make up, talking with the passengers,,,,,, they all can be deadly if your not paying attention, hence the distracted driving laws.
    Enfore the hands free and pull licenes from those who can not walk and chew gum.

    • April 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm
      yessir says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 0
      Thumb down 0

      Yessir you nailed it. You could be talking on the phone and paying better attention than someone that is just absent minded. “pull licenses from those who can not walk and chew gum.”.. i’m dying over here. classic.

  • April 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm
    Water Bug says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    This is the 8th or 9th time I am going to quote an old magazine in my collection.

    An article says that some reckless individuals are going to install wireless sets (radios) in their automobiles. The country will see a coast to coast bloodbath as a result. An earlier edition of the magazine quotes a group of clergymen who were convinced that travelling at over one mile per minute can rip the soul from the body and the result could be not getting to heaven.

    BTW, allrisk is right about doofus drivers. When I taught drivers’ ed I was told over and that drivers’ ed is not designed to teach people how to drive-it was designed to get a license for the student.

  • April 27, 2012 at 8:20 pm
    Jennifer Zamora says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    Driving a vehicle is a privilege, not a right. When the use of that vehicle is done in a manner that endangers lives then consequences should be imposed. There is not an argument on this planet that can justify holding a phone in your hand while driving. Second hand smoke was rightfully utilized as an argument to ban smoking in public areas. Why then, is it such a fight to ban someone from dangerously operating a 4000lb piece of equipment at high rates of speed? Unlike second hand smoke, the act of distracted driving can instantly kill, maim or disfigure an innocent person. This is not big brother controlling our lives, this is a government reigning in an overly obnoxious, instant gratification, self absorbed society that selfishly believes that their desire to dangerously text or talk while driving supersedes my right to have my husband return home safely from a shopping trip.

  • April 28, 2012 at 11:18 am
    FlatCrazy 7 says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    I’ve got an idea for the Feds! Outlaw annoying mother-in-laws whose babbling back seat driving not only delays reaction time, but often encourages one to achieve .08 or above before the trip. Or, in extreme cases, even cause the poor driver to ELECT to crash in an effort to end the ride and stop the torture. Now THAT would be government in action. (BTW, is the Administration aware that the Secretary’s remarks were on time financed by an evil insurance giant perenially awash in the sins of profit?)

  • April 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm
    LD says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    When you are watching television, the phone rings, you answer it. What happens? You miss part of the show you were watching or you are not listening to the person whom you are talking to on the phone. You cannot concentrate effectively to both at once. The same goes for talking on the cell phone and driving. Something suffers and nine times out of ten, it is not your conversation!!! I watch people pull out of their driveways and immediately get on their cell phone. Come on, couldn’t you have completed the call before you left the house and got behind the wheel? Cell phone useage and driving do not go hand in hand. Either drive or talk on the phone. Don’t do both. I would encourage a law and it must be enforced. Right now, the police department would make a fortune within a week!!!

  • May 2, 2012 at 11:53 am
    Cat says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    You know where it’s safe to be on your phone (or even laptop) and in transit? Busses, subways, rail systems, and the backseat of a carpool. There are so many ills a push toward public transit could be a step toward curing. But in its absence, LD makes a great point- we’re just not wired to focus on two things that require concentration at once.

  • May 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm
    Dmw says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    I am in agreement that people shouldn’t be holding a cell phone while driving. However, and unfortunately, a law banning it won’t stop it or reduce its incidence enough to matter. People will ignore such a law just like they ignore posted speed limits because the police will be unable to enforce such a law effectively.



Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

More News
More News Features