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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default A New 'Radar Gun' May Spot Drivers Who Text Behind The Wheel

    A New 'Radar Gun' May Spot Drivers Who Text Behind The Wheel

    September 16, 2014

    A Virginia company is developing a radar gunlike device that would help police catch drivers as they text.

    The technology works by detecting the telltale radio frequencies that emit from a vehicle when someone inside is using a cellphone, said Malcolm McIntyre of ComSonics. Cable repairmen use similar means to find where a cable is damaged - from a rodent, for instance - by looking for frequencies leaking in a transmission, McIntyre said.

    A text message, phone call and data transfer emit different frequencies that can be distinguished by the device ComSonics is working on, according to McIntyre. That would prove particularly useful for law enforcement in states such as Virginia, where texting behind the wheel is banned but talking on the phone is legal for adult drivers.

    ComSonics, based in Harrisonburg, got its start in the cable TV industry and provides calibration services for speed enforcement equipment. McIntyre discussed the company's move into texting detection Monday at the second annual Virginia Distracted Driving Summit.

    He said the device is "close to production" but still has several hurdles to clear, including legislative approval and adoption by law enforcement. There are also privacy concerns, though McIntyre said the equipment could not decrypt the information that is transmitted by drivers.
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  2. #2
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    So what about when your passengers are texting? I doubt they can distinguish between whether it's the driver or a passenger.

  3. #3
    5150 wrr20891's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sickman View Post
    So what about when your passengers are texting? I doubt they can distinguish between whether it's the driver or a passenger.
    If you are alone in the vehicle, that'd be a clue.


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  4. #4
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    I think texting behind the wheel is wrong but I admit I've done it myself. But I still think our police can be more effective moving about on the highways, not sitting there waiting for the speeder or now texter to drive by

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk jimmy812's Avatar
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    When I first read about this, I was shocked. I almost drove off the road.
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    Good Enough wombattt's Avatar
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    Pie in the sky, bullsh*t!


    A radar gun that detects texting....right.
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  7. #7
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    pretty silly idea. First off, is emailing someone any less dangerous? or messaging via data vs text? Pretty useless product in my opinion.

  8. #8
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    Can it detect if you're watching porn! Seriously though cops should also have it used on them. I see a lot of my local police obviously texting while driving, not to mention talking on their cell phones. Yeah, I know, they are exempt from the law as long as it's "Police Business", yeah right.

  9. #9
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Default A New 'Radar Gun' May Spot Drivers Who Text Behind The Wheel

    Or using your phone to switch the song you're listening to on iTunes which I do myself a lot.

    I wasn't sure but it sounds like having the phone to your head while driving is illegal everywhere now.
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  10. #10
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrr20891 View Post
    If you are alone in the vehicle, that'd be a clue.


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    I drive a truck with tinted windows. If my sons are in the back seats you can't tell they are in the truck with me if you are a cop driving behind me. So I get pulled over and now have to prove that it was my kid texting and not me. Yeah, that's gonna go over well.

  11. #11
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    I support this. If they fine tune it.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Or using your phone to switch the song you're listening to on iTunes which I do myself a lot.

    I wasn't sure but it sounds like having the phone to your head while driving is illegal everywhere now.
    We can still talk on cell phones here. I think in Illinois it needs to be hands free and there are certain areas here in Missouri where texting is illegal or being under 21 and being on the phone is illegal, but there isn't a comprehensive law that covers it all yet.
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  13. #13
    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post

    I wasn't sure but it sounds like having the phone to your head while driving is illegal everywhere now.


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    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    This has been and will always be about money. The police, for half their job, act as tax collectors on behalf of the state. And while studies say this stuff is good, still others, especially recent ones, such as this one, and this one show that there is no decrease in accidents that can be attributed to people staying off of their phones.

    In the latter study, Cheng shows that many citizens stayed off their phones, figuring the law was in place and would be enforced. However, he suggests that these were offset by people whose cell phone use went "underground," meaning they hold their phone lower so it can't be seen, increasing the time it takes for their eyes to move from the phone to the road.

    It would make sense, then, that police would want to catch the people who are doing just that.

    The problem is that humans tend to get better at things, adapt, and develop habits. Think about what it was once like to drive. Hell, even just backing out of the driveway took all kinds of concentration, from moving the gearshift to looking for obstacles, looking in the mirrors, looking behind you, adjusting your foot on the brake, estimating distance, keeping the wheel and tires aligned, calculating what the mirrors tell you.

    Now, you back out of the driveway without thinking. Sometimes you make it to work and realize you don't remember any of the drive. That's because the brain has taken those chunks and turned them into habits to save energy. Now, when something breaks that habit, like a car behind you in the driveway, or a pedestrian, we pay closer attention and concentrate more. When what once took much concentration is chunked into a habit, it allows the brain to do other things like eat, talk, mess with the radio, look at our phone, and remain aware of th drive.

    What I am getting at is that not all distractions are the same, and fining someone just because a text came from their car doesn't mean they were distracted. A new driver eating a burger while his friends goof around in the car is likely much more dangerous and more distracted.

    Between Siri and dictation, I can send a text by pressing a button, and I can do it in moments where I feel safe, just like when I set my drink down when I need to concentrate more on my drive.

    Of course, by having reason I'm forgetting it's really just a tax because these are funds the cities and states need to operate.

 

 

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