Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Good Luck With That, Bucko; NTSB Edition

Washington (CNN) -- Federal accident investigators Tuesday called for a nationwide ban on the use of cell phones and text messaging devices while driving.
Good luck doing that.

I live in New York State. Talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving has been illegal for ten years. Right now, a violation is a $150 fine and two points on the violator's driving record.

I can stand out alongside the secondary state highway that goes through my town and it will take me less than thirty seconds to spot someone driving and yakking away on a hand-held cell phone. It's widely flouted, right up there with speed limits, "everybody wear seat belts" and "turn on your headlights when it's raining.". People regard getting a ticket for illegal use of a cell phone in the same way that they do when a bird shits on their car: It was just bad luck.

Passing laws that people widely disobey only lessens respect for the rule of law.

16 comments:

Latitude 43 said...

You might think different if little miss chats-a-lot runs your bicycling ass over while texting about fucking Brad wanting to steal her virginity. You ever get hit by a car? It fucking hurts!! Let's face it, humans can't talk and drive at the same time. I know it's more gov't intrusion, but WTF, they really can't do both at the same time, so why should I fucking die, or get crippled because of a god damned text message!

Comrade Misfit said...

I am not questioning any of that. But my point remains: Such a law will be unenforceable, and I base that on living in a state where such use has been illegal for a decade.

If people can't talk and drive at the same time, are we going to outlaw conversations with the drivers of cars? How about outlawing signing while driving (I've seen that going on and the driver had to keep her eyes on her passenger). Are we going to outlaw having kids in cars (I once saw a mother distracted by her kid roll through a red light and get t-boned).

Unenforceable laws are, to my mind, worse than no law at all.

OldRetiredDude said...

Why can't we just put a jamming device in the steering wheel or dashboard so the driver's phone is inoperable while moving? Not that people would stand for such a government intrusion into their right to be stupid.

Comrade Misfit said...

I see a lot of cops yakking on cell phones. But they are "the Only Ones Who Can (insert item here)", so that makes it OK.

Latitude 43 said...

OK, at least with talking, you may see my ugly ass on the bike, and probably miss me, but texting while driving is just plain stupidity. It is a technology that could be manipulated enough to inhibit texting while the vehicle is in motion. I think it's been a law that's not been enforced because it's hard to catch someone unless they're right in front of you, so a tech solution is required. Somehow some way this needs to be enforced, as it is different from mommy putting the pacifier back into the babies mouth while driving. It's like mommy reading a paragraph from little bo peep to her kid while driving.

bmq215 said...

I've gotta agree with Misfit. There's no way to enforce it and therefore passing such a law simply weakens respect system, thereby weakening other laws. Talk of a tech solution is ludicrous. The amount of time and money it would take to develop and implement such a system would be absurd and could be better spent on a million other things that would save a helluva lot more lives.

Plus how would you do it? Motion-based? Passengers and mass-transit commuters will love that. Jammers? There goes pacemakers, GPSs, and $$s. Require that the entire nation replaces their phones? Sure, that'll fly.

In short, why waste the time trying?

Latitude 43 said...

Actually it's easy to disable the texting. Bluetooth communication between your phone and some cars already exist, and a packet from the car to the phone indicating motion would trigger the phone to disable texting. Cake. Takes a law to get it started.

BobG said...

I'm afraid you're right, Misfit. There are too many celltards who will completely ignore any law like that, and an ignored law only causes more problems. Personally, I think the only time a person should use a cellphone while driving is in an emergency situation.

bob said...

Read you vehicle insurance policy. In most states if you are violating the law, your policy is NULL and VOID, and therefore you have no coverage.

Here in the Germany one of the first things that your insurance company does is determine if you were on your cell phone at the time of the accident. They also determine if you where under the influence when you were driving (police report, cannot refuse drug test, on this issue you do not have the right to remain silent). They check the tires on your vehicle for type and tread wear, both which are described in the law. Snow or M&S tires are required in Winter by law. Tread wear limits are described in law. They also check to see that your vehicle has been inspected by the TUV within the last 12 months.

If it the case that you have violated the law then YOU are on your OWN, and the 9 Million Euro of liability insurance which you are required by the law to have is NULL and VOID.

An now you will understand the real meaning of personnel liability.

bmq215 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bmq215 said...

Paul and Deb: That's all well and good but how do you determine who's the driver and who're the passengers? Is no one in a moving vehicle allowed to text? I mean, if no one shares cars that might work, but most of us don't have that luxury. And what stops one from simply disabling bluetooth? I know I do that unless I'm using it as it effectively changes my battery life from 3 days to <8hrs.

Comrade Misfit said...

bob, if the insurance companies here tried to say "your tires were .025 psi under spec, so we're voiding your coverage", there would be the sort of outrage that cause CEOs to have sleepless nights.

Joe said...

Why don't we make it illegal to run into cyclists, regardless of why you did it?

Nangleator said...

We ought to invent some sort of technology that will convert your voice into text, and at the other end, convert that text back into a voice. It will be all the rage!

Of course, if the other person can't take the text right then, it would have to be recorded somehow, so that it could be listened to later...

Comrade Misfit said...

They can then try to outlaw listening to an audio-book or a Pimsleur language course while driving. Outlaw singing along on the radio, conversing with passengers, glancing at maps/directions/GPSs.

You can't fix stupid and I'm not too sure you can outlaw it.

(Then again, we had no problems with societal compliance when they outlawed using drugs or consuming alcohol.)

bob said...

Comrade Misfit;
It is not the tire air pressure but the depth of the tire tread that they are concerned with.

The sleepless nights for the CEO does not seem to be an issue, at least here in Europe, the case law on the issue of operating your vehicle within these defined limits atleast in Europe is pretty concrete. For US Military personnel it is a major item in our in processing.

From my experience in United States, Europe, and Japan there is one very fundamental difference concerning operating a motor vehicle, in Europe and Japan vs. the United States, in Europe and Japan is not considered to be a "RIGHT".

Consequencly the process for local nations obtaining the privillage of operating a motor vehicle is long and very expensive, at a minimium the training is at least $4000.00 per individual.

For those of us operating under SOFA, we are allow to drive with our US license, provided that we pass local testing, we are issue a SOFA license (60 percent fail this test the first time they take the test).

For those here visiting you are operating on your US license provided you have current international documentation.

In many civil cases there are at least four (4) different lawyer in the court, the defendant, the defendant insurance company, the plaintiff, the plaintiff insurance company.

If both parties are unlucky enough to have the same insurance company, well you do the math.

As far as insurance companies enforcing the terms of their policies and the CEO losing sleep, I would suggest that many of the individuals who had or have home owners and flood insurance in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida and who have experienced a tropical storm or Hurricane could give you an earful on their experience on what is exactly covered and what is not covered.

Insurance companies are NOT in the business of paying claims, they are in the business of making money. This is done by explicitly following the letter of the law and the letter of the contract.

If the insurance company does have to pay a claim, a significant part of their organization is tasked with the purpose to minimize the amount of the pay out.