OMG: U.S. bans truckers, bus drivers from texting while driving - Macleans.ca
 

OMG: U.S. bans truckers, bus drivers from texting while driving

Drivers could be fined up to $2,750


 

The U.S. has officially banned truckers and bus drivers from texting while driving in an effort to curtail driver distractions. The move is being seen as a step towards banning cellphone use by all drivers. The announcement comes after a Virginia Tech study found that truckers texting were 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or a near-miss. However, the new law is regarded as more symbolic than practical: “The enforcement problem here is enormous,” said Russ Rader of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “How does anybody spot a trucker or any driver on the road using some device that they’re holding below window level?” Texting and cellphone use while driving is already banned by major commercial fleets, such as FedEX and UPS, as well as by federal employees driving government vehicles.

Washington Post


 
Filed under:

OMG: U.S. bans truckers, bus drivers from texting while driving

  1. How hard would it be for manufacturer's to add the capability to detect motion (ie based on triangulation from cell towers) and then disable sending or receiving until stationary for X minutes?

    • That would prevent anyone from using a phone in any moving vehicle, whether train/auto/other and whether passenger/driver. It would also prevent the victims of a car crash from calling emergency/police/home until X minutes has elapsed.

      • Absolutely true.

        I did realize that there would be some 'costs', but I would be at least willing to consider this type of 'solution', assuming that there is some agreement that the current situation is a problem that should be addressed.

        I started from the perspective that 15 or 20 years ago essentially no one had mobile communication devices and for the most part we all went about our lives From there we have moved to the current situation where we can communicate to essentially anyone at any time without consideration of possible risks that we are creating.

        Perhaps we just need to step back a quarter of a step. Just throwing it out there.

        • I'm the only person I know without a cell phone. I can assure you that it's profoundly liberating — I had one before and much prefer life without it. Freedom!

          Cell-phone-free blissful life-enhancing choice!
          No bell, no chain, no brand, no master's voice!

          Of course, many people need a cell phone for work, and I can see why one might want one for emergencies, but I urge people to try giving it up if that's practically feasible; at least use it for practical purposes only (if that's psychologically possible).

          • Just to build on the 'giving it up' thought…

            I'm very confident that if cell phones were modified so that they could not be used while in motion we would all get used to the new way very quickly. Some folks might actually feel liberated, because in that new situation they would not even have the option of deciding whether or not to attempt to answer that tempting incoming call.

          • I agree about mobile usage, I've got a mobile but I don't use it a lot.

            However, I do know a few people that got phones for the sole reason of having them in case an emergency occurs, such as their car breaking down, or them getting lost, so the X minutes thing would be very annoying for such people who would have to wait the only time they ever want to use their phones. Maria below is not uncommon.

            Moreover, I'm almost always opposed to restricting freedoms because some people wish to use them dangerously. It's like outlawing online banking because some people try to hack the web sites, or outlawing driving altogether people some people drive dangerously. Better to do what you can to make these things as safe and secure as possible, and target laws directly at the problematic behaviour, rather than blanket restrictions on everybody.

          • IF, and it is a big if, this idea were pursued, there are obviously some details to work out, such as:
            – how long is X minutes
            – is there actually a need for a time delay at all (maybe enable the device as soon as speed = 0)
            – perhaps 911 calls could/should be exempt, etc

            Wrt the bigger question of restricting everyone's freedoms versus targetting specifc people and/or specific behaviours, I'm generally in favour of targetting, but I also ask myself questions such as:
            – is the behaviour harmful to 'them' only or to bystanders as well
            – are the 'freedoms' that the rest of us would need to give up really important or are we actually talking about a mild inconvenience to achieve a 'greater good'
            – are other options available and workable; in this case targetted laws are possible, but I question how enforcable and therefore how effective they will be.

  2. Absolutely true.

    I did realize that there would be some 'costs', but I would be at least willing to consider this type of 'solution', assuming that there is some agreement that the current situation is a problem that should be addressed.

    I started from the perspective that 15 or 20 years ago essentially no one had mobile communication devices and for the most part we all went about our lives From there we have moved to the current situation where we can communicate to essentially anyone at any time without consideration of possible risks that we are creating.

    Perhaps we just need to step back a quarter of a step. Just throwing it out there.

  3. I have a cell phone in the car, but never use it. It is only there for emergengies. (Have used it twice for that reasong) The only people that have my number is my two sons. That is it.