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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default NTSB recommends ban on driver cell phone use



    WASHINGTON (AP) - States should ban all driver use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices, except in emergencies, the National Transportation Board said Tuesday.

    The recommendation, unanimously agreed to by the five-member board, applies to both hands-free and hand-held phones and significantly exceeds any existing state laws restricting texting and cellphone use behind the wheel.

    The board made the recommendation in connection with a deadly highway pileup in Missouri last year. The board said the initial collision in the accident near Gray Summit, Mo., was caused by the inattention of a 19 year-old-pickup driver who sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes immediately before the crash.



    The pickup, traveling at 55 mph, collided into the back of a tractor truck that had slowed for highway construction. The pickup was rear-ended by a school bus that overrode the smaller vehicle. A second school bus rammed into the back of the first bus.

    The pickup driver and a 15-year-old student on one of the school buses were killed. Thirty-eight other people were injured in the Aug. 5, 2010, accident near Gray Summit, Mo.

    About 50 students, mostly members of a high school band from St. James, Mo., were on the buses heading to the Six Flags St. Louis amusement park.

    The accident is a "big red flag for all drivers," NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman said at a meeting to determine the cause of the accident and make safety recommendations.

    It's not possible to know from cell phone records if the driver was typing, reaching for the phone or reading a text at the time of the crash, but it's clear he was manually, cognitively and visually distracted, she said.



    "Driving was not his only priority," Hersman said. "No call, no text, no update is worth a human life."

    The board is expected to recommend new restrictions on driver use of electronic devices behind the wheel. While the NTSB doesn't have the power to impose restrictions, it's recommendations carry significant weight with federal regulators and congressional and state lawmakers.

    Missouri had a law banning drivers under 21 years old from texting while driving at the time of the crash, but wasn't aggressively enforcing the ban, board member Robert Sumwalt said.

    "Without the enforcement, the laws don't mean a whole lot," he said.

    Investigators are seeing texting, cell phone calls and other distracting behavior by operators in accidents across all modes of transportation with increasing frequency. It has become routine for investigators to immediately request the preservation of cell phone and texting records when they launch an investigation.

    In the last few years the board has investigated a commuter rail accident that killed 25 people in California in which the train engineer was texting; a fatal marine accident in Philadelphia in which a tugboat pilot was talking on his cellphone and using a laptop; and a Northwest Airlines flight that flew more than 100 miles past its destination because both pilots were working on their laptops.



    The board has previously recommended bans on texting and cell phone use by commercial truck and bus drivers and beginning drivers, but it has stopped short of calling for a ban on the use of the devices by adults behind the wheel of passenger cars.

    The problem of texting while driving is getting worse despite a rush by states to ban the practice, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said last week. In November, Pennsylvania became the 35th state to forbid texting while driving.

    About two out of 10 American drivers overall - and half of drivers between 21 and 24 - say they've thumbed messages or emailed from the driver's seat, according to a survey of more than 6,000 drivers by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    And what's more, many drivers don't think it's dangerous when they do it - only when others do, the survey found.

    At any given moment last year on America's streets and highways, nearly 1 in every 100 car drivers was texting, emailing, surfing the Web or otherwise using a handheld electronic device, the safety administration said. And those activities spiked 50 percent over the previous year.

    The agency takes an annual snapshot of drivers' behavior behind the wheel by staking out intersections to count people using cellphones and other devices, as well as other distracting behavior.

    Driver distraction wasn't the only significant safety problem uncovered by NTSB's investigation of the Missouri accident. Investigators said they believe the pickup driver was suffering from fatigue that may have eroded his judgment at the time of the accident. He had an average of about five and a half hours of sleep a night in the days leading up to the accident and had had fewer than five hours of sleep the night before the accident, they said.

    The pickup driver had no history of accidents or traffic violations, investigators said.



    Investigators also found significant problems with the brakes of both school buses involved in the accident. A third school bus sent to a hospital after the accident to pick up students crashed in the hospital parking lot when that bus' brakes failed.

    However, the brake problems didn't cause or contribute to the severity of the accident, investigators said.

    Another issue involved the difficulty passengers had exiting the first school bus after the accident. The bus' front and rear bus doors were unusable after the accident - the front door because the front bus was on top of the tractor truck cab and too high off the ground, and the rear door because the front of the bus had intruded five feet into the rear of the first bus.

    Passengers had to exit through an emergency window, but the raised latch on the window kept catching on clothing as students tried to escape, investigators said. Exiting was further slowed because the window design required one person to hold the window up in order for a second person to crawl through, they said.

    It was critical for passengers to exit as quickly as possible because a large amount of fuel puddled underneath the bus was a serious fire hazard, investigators said.

    "It could have been a much worse situation if there was a fire," Donald Karol, the NTSB's highway safety director, said.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Good Enough Bostonian's Avatar
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    I agree 100%...

  3. #3
    ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ Number 47's Avatar
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    Make it so. This shit is so out of hand anymore, but turn on your TV and all you see is some new gadget and a super plan to go with it, with all the great apps you just can't live without. We are losing our humanity because of this shit.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk CaboChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Number 47 View Post
    We are losing our humanity because of this shit.
    See, I told you so...




  5. #5
    ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ Number 47's Avatar
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    Sorry, I don't think it's funny. If I could clearly convey my thoughts on this issue here in print I would, but I'm not even gonna try. There is an entire generation of addicts and enablers that will start chalking up an entire new kind of body count before anything is ever done about it. And most will just roll their eyes and think that restrictions are ridiculous.

    ...out

  6. #6
    Eruption donkost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Number 47 View Post
    Make it so. This shit is so out of hand anymore, but turn on your TV and all you see is some new gadget and a super plan to go with it, with all the great apps you just can't live without. We are losing our humanity because of this shit.
    I agree 100%. A number of times at the office I'll be talking to someone and they're staring at their smartphone. One guy I found was always playing one of the embedded games, like he was addicted to it. I basically refuse to talk on my cell phone in my car while driving. If my wife calls me from her cell while driving I tell her to talk to me when she's home or parked in the store parking lot, etc. Handsfree, Bluetooth, etc. doesn't do a thing to help because the people using those methods are still distracted. Texting while driving, well that just takes it to a whole new level of stupidity.

  7. #7
    Baluchitherium
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    12.11.17 @ 01:55 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Number 47 View Post
    Sorry, I don't think it's funny. If I could clearly convey my thoughts on this issue here in print I would, but I'm not even gonna try. There is an entire generation of addicts and enablers that will start chalking up an entire new kind of body count before anything is ever done about it. And most will just roll their eyes and think that restrictions are ridiculous.

    ...out
    Agreed^. Did you ask track5 before you used his catch phrase? "...out"
    "Alcoholism, is like, the only disease you can get yelled at for having" - Mitch
    Hedberg

  8. #8
    ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ Number 47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Punch View Post
    Agreed^. Did you ask track5 before you used his catch phrase? "...out"
    No. Sorry T5... I just had to stop and that worked.


    ... endive!
    Last edited by Number 47; 12.13.11 at 02:30 PM.

  9. #9
    Hang 'Em High RRMB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkost View Post
    I agree 100%. A number of times at the office I'll be talking to someone and they're staring at their smartphone. One guy I found was always playing one of the embedded games, like he was addicted to it. I basically refuse to talk on my cell phone in my car while driving. If my wife calls me from her cell while driving I tell her to talk to me when she's home or parked in the store parking lot, etc. Handsfree, Bluetooth, etc. doesn't do a thing to help because the people using those methods are still distracted. Texting while driving, well that just takes it to a whole new level of stupidity.
    As a truck driver, I have had to use a bluetooth for the last couple of years. When I was on the road, I would talk to my wife & daughter, but ONLY if I was out of city traffic. If I was coming in to a city, no matter what size, I'd tell them I have to hang up. If they called while I was in a city driving situation, I wouldn't answer the phone.

    Truckers are in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't," situation. A lot of the times, directions we get aren't that great, and we don't know that until it's too late. Usually after we've searched & searched. Trying to find a place to safely pull a semi out of traffic to call a business is next to impossible. Especially in large metro's.

    Then, if we get a phone call from our company, trying to find a place to pull over on the highway is next to impossible. More & more states are banning trucks from stopping on off ramps, due to people not paying attention and slamming in to us. More & more rest areas are being closed, due to budget cutbacks, and truck stops are full 24 hours a day, because of the lack of truck parking.

    If, and when, I'm on the phone, I keep it as short as possible. And texting is a HUGE no-no.
    "Jesus, that fucker just crawled out of his hen house that was destroyed by the Alabama tornados. Fucking 280mph plus winds sucked the gleam off this bitch and passed it on to a bird in Rhoad Island." - Hurricane Halen 5/3/11 (about my birthday chicken from seenbad)

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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    They're actually recommending a ban on all personal electronic devices.

    Cell phone bans haven't been shown to increase road safety. Text bans haven't either, and in some states accident rates for texters actually increased after the ban.

    Besides, these laws are completely unenforceable and, in some ways, defy logic. The proposed law would ban a phone being within reach, apparently.

    Well, are you more impaired reading GPS on your phone than you would be reading a printout of directions? Can I not refer to any directions while driving now? Should papers that might be able to be read be illegal if within reach? Shiny objects? Should we ban good looking women from walking along the road?

    There are already laws in every state about driving while distracted. Enforce them. Done.

  11. #11
    Eruption donkost's Avatar
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    Yeah, there are clearly occupations where it really comes in handy, such as a salesperson who is on the road all day. So the car becomes a mobile office and no doubt the company encourages being on the cell constantly as productive use of the person's time. I used to be on the other side of the coin. I had a new '87 Firebird Formula 350 with a cell phone installation, back when they required a separate control box which was hidden away somewhere in the interior. The phone was mounted on the side of the console and it was larger than most home phones nowadays and it had a coil cord (anyone remember those?). I was on that thing constantly and had huge phone bills. One of my friends had one installed in his vehicle as well, and we would each drive around with girls and play phone tag, giving clues as to where we were driving and then the other person would try to find them. We also collected the pay phone numbers from basically every pay phone in the city of Reading and we used to play around with anyone standing near the pay phones as we drove around. Back then it didn't cross anyone's mind that someone in a car on the street beside them had a phone installed in their car. All great fun back in the day and no one thought of it as being dangerous back then. That was the late 1980's and I wish I had the thousands of dollars spent on those cell phone bills!

    So just like that thread going on now in the non-music forum, "I'm getting old! WTF?" I realized a good number of years ago that it was very distracting to be on the phone while driving. Plus you see the accidents that occur and it makes you think more about the implications.

  12. #12
    Hot For Teacher OctobanAnimal's Avatar
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    Why don't buses have seatbelts? I've always wondered about that and have yet to hear a good answer.

  13. #13
    Hot For Teacher OctobanAnimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    They're actually recommending a ban on all personal electronic devices.

    Cell phone bans haven't been shown to increase road safety. Text bans haven't either, and in some states accident rates for texters actually increased after the ban.

    Besides, these laws are completely unenforceable and, in some ways, defy logic. The proposed law would ban a phone being within reach, apparently.

    Well, are you more impaired reading GPS on your phone than you would be reading a printout of directions? Can I not refer to any directions while driving now? Should papers that might be able to be read be illegal if within reach? Shiny objects? Should we ban good looking women from walking along the road?

    There are already laws in every state about driving while distracted. Enforce them. Done.
    Pretty soon it will be illegal to change the radio station or drink a cup of coffee while driving. Welcome to Orwell.

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OctobanAnimal View Post
    Pretty soon it will be illegal to change the radio station or drink a cup of coffee while driving. Welcome to Orwell.
    Oddly enough, in 2001, fiddling with the radio and eating/drinking both ranked above cell phone use in accident causation (i readily admit cell phones are much more ubiquitous today).

    Specific Distraction % of Drivers

    Outside person, object or event 29.4
    Adjusting radio, cassette, CD 11.4
    Other occupant in vehicle 10.9
    Moving object in vehicle 4.3
    Other device/object brought into vehicle 2.9
    Adjusting vehicle/climate controls 2.8
    Eating or drinking 1.7
    Using/dialing cell phone 1.5
    Smoking related 0.9
    Other distraction 25.6
    Unknown distraction 8.6
    (http://www.aaafoundation.org/pdf/distraction.pdf)

    Now, I'd imagine phones are higher up on this list. However, I'd be shocked if they had surpassed "other occupant in vehicle". If it hasn't surpassed that, should we ban all objects, radios, and passengers too?

  15. #15
    Good Enough cabomiro's Avatar
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    We just passed this law in Alberta in September. I fully agree with banning calling and texting without a blue tooth device.

    Here's a list of what is allowed while driving and what isn't.

    http://www.transportation.alberta.ca...teddriving.htm
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