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Mike 12-20-2011 01:12 AM

NTSB wants to ban distracted driving - no phones/GPS/laptops
So, what will you do if the NTSB gets their way and achieves a total ban on cell phones and other hands
on electronics while driving?
How will it affect you?
There's talk of banning all devices which require physical interaction, which would include most GPS
unit models and many people who use tablets and laptops as their GPS guidance systems.
We have a hands free only law in Ontario, but it's not enforced, or one might say extremely difficult
to enforce. Once in a while they blitz drivers, like speed trap blitzes, or unsafe vehicle checks, or
DUI checkpoints, but it's tougher, because it's primarily a consequence type law. If you're in an accident
the prosecutors would likely seek cell phone LUDs (line usage details) to determine if your phone was
active at, or close to, the time of the incident.

Ron J. Moore 12-20-2011 03:14 AM

Re: NTSB wants to ban distracted driving - no phones/GPS/lap
It will be interesting on what their finale resolve shakes out to get something done - without offending the world. As for me, if they would do away with texting, I would feel relieved. Ron

renrut 12-20-2011 01:28 PM

Re: NTSB wants to ban distracted driving - no phones/GPS/lap
Banning "hands on" cell phones I'm all for. It's annoying driving behind someone swerving all over the road, changing speed and driving dangerously because they are talking on their cell phone or texting. Seriously, there isn't anything that important that a person needs to be on the phone while driving.

In the recent past, a 17 year old kid drove past a school bus with the lights on and sign out, and hit kids getting off the bus. He went on the right side of the bus. This kid said he did not see the bus. The only reason he would not be able to see a big orange bus with flashing red lights, stop sign and roof strobe light would be if he was texting. He should have lost his license for a few years.

When they did ban cell phones while driving in Ontario, it became almost more dangerous than when the people would talk on their phones. I've had many occasions where someone would get a phone call, slam on their brakes to pull off the road so they could answer it. It is crazy doing that at highway speeds. Bluetooth earpieces are so cheap now, I can't understand why people don't use them more.

A girl who worked for me was proud that she texts all the time including when she was driving. Scary thing is, she had a newborn baby in the car with her. She argued for a long time because she uses texting as her main form of communication. It was an argument she would not win at work.

As far as GPS's go, if people used them properly, they wouldn't be a problem. Once the trip is set, it should just sit and give directions. Of course, there are people who like to play and try to find POI's while driving and are distracted. The one problem I have with banning GPS's is; it isn't always the driver who uses it. If there is a passenger, why can't they be using the GPS?

If the laws would change to make is a greater offence to use a cell phone or GPS while driving, it might deter people from using them more. But then again, if people want to use them, they will. Just look at the drinking and driving laws. People still do it.

Mike 12-20-2011 07:32 PM

Re: NTSB wants to ban distracted driving - no phones/GPS/lap
I remember 5 years ago when that mother and son drowned in the canal near Bradford. It got all kinds
of news coverage, and what struck me was, they interviewed the friend who heard it all, because they
were talking on their cell phones when it happened!!!! I couldn't believe it, when the rest of the witnesses
and police and even city officials blamed the canal, the road conditions, the snow, etc. but very few people even
mentioned that she was driving while talking on her stupid cell phone. If she hadn't been, they might be alive today.

I rarely see anyone obey the hands free only law in Ontario. It's just too difficult to catch people in the act.
Unless you crash and burn, and they get the LUDs, it just doesn't appear to be enforced, that I can see.
In principle, it would be a great idea to apply distracted status to everything that does distract people,
phones, laptops, talets, GPS units, radios/stereos, etc. In reality, it's almost too difficult for the police to
even bother trying to prove you were driving distracted.
In most cases, usage by a passenger would be OK, unless the usage distracts the driver as well.
Just my opinion.

renrut 12-21-2011 03:48 PM

Re: NTSB wants to ban distracted driving - no phones/GPS/lap
There always has been laws for using devices that distract the driver. When I took my driving course a long time ago, the instructor was an ex-Toronto police officer. He said you could get a careless driving charge for adjusting the stereo. It distracts the driver from the road.

In a way, if the NTSB want to ban devices, they should ban stereos from all vehicles too. This could really become a real pain if they want to enforce everything. Too bad they couldn't enforce "common sense". It's all you really need but it's not very common now days.

I know I try not to adjust my stereo but when I'm travelling and go out of range of a station I'm listening to, I scan to find another one. It does distract but I use common sense when I do it. If I'm in heavy traffic, I keep my attention on the road. If I have a passenger, they adjust it. Out in the country where traffic is light, no problem. I wouldn't do it on the US hwy 2 in Northern Michigan from before dust to dawn due to the amount of deer on the road up there.

Mike 12-22-2011 12:46 PM

Re: NTSB wants to ban distracted driving - no phones/GPS/lap
Build "distraction free" vehicles without radios, phones, GPS, etc.? I could survive without the radio and phone,
but we would find it challenging to try to travel without our Garmin. Possibly the greatest addition to our travel
tool kit.

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