Archive for December, 2011

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The Latest on the TEXT BAN LEGISLATION…

December 14, 2011

Hey guys, I just found this article that I thought you may find interesting. It is more about what I discussed in yesterdays blog. I have no idea who the author of this article is, but it popped up on my yahoo feed this morning and I just thought I would share. I would love to hear from you guys on this issue.

Feds urge states to ban texting, talking on roads

By SHAYA TAYEFE MOHAJER Associated Press The Associated Press

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 8:47 AM EST

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ren Bishop is one of many American drivers who texts, tweets and talks on her cellphone while she’s behind the wheel — and thinks it should be up to drivers to use their discretion when it comes to safety.

Though she admits thumbing her phone while driving is bad habit, the University of Missouri student says drivers “are mature enough to understand when it is appropriate and when it is not.”

The National Transportation Safety Board disagrees, and it declared Tuesday that texting, emailing or chatting while driving is simply too dangerous to be allowed anywhere in the United States.

The board is urging all states to impose total bans except for emergencies following recent deadly crashes, including one in Missouri after a teenager sent or received 11 text messages within 11 minutes.

The unanimous recommendation from the five-member board would apply even to hands-free devices, a much stricter rule than any current state law.

NTSB chairwoman Deborah Hersman acknowledged that complying would involve changing what has become ingrained behavior for many Americans.

“We’re not here to win a popularity contest,” she said. “No email, no text, no update, no call is worth a human life.”

Currently, 35 states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving, while nine states and Washington, D.C., bar hand-held cellphone use. Thirty states ban all cellphone use for beginning drivers. But enforcement is generally not a high priority, and no states ban the use of hands-free devices for all drivers.

The immediate impetus for the NTSB’s recommendation was last year’s deadly pileup near Gray Summit, Mo., involving a 19-year-old pickup driver.

The board said the initial collision was caused by the teen’s inattention while texting a friend about events of the previous night. The pickup, traveling 55 mph, hit the back of a tractor truck that had slowed for highway construction. The pickup was rear-ended by a school bus, and a second school bus rammed into the back of the first bus.

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11 Texts in 11 Minutes Before This Crash

December 13, 2011

The National Transportation Board released a statement today calling all states to pass legislation banning the use of any cell phone and other portable electronic device usage while behind the wheel. According to the associated press this, “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 cell phone use.” Although the number of phone related accidents over the last decade is astronomical, the straw that broke the camel’s back was the multi-car pile-up in Missouri this past July, that was caused by a 19 year old driver that sent and/or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes leading up to the accident.

With the recent increase in automobile accidents caused by the use of technology behind the wheel, where do we as a society stand? Where do we draw that line, and is it a line drawn in the sand or a line drawn in the concrete? Even the National Transportation Board attached a caveat “other than in emergencies” to their recommendation. What qualifies as an emergency to me may not even resemble an emergency to you. What is the cost to law enforcement while they are spending time trying to decipher whether or not the driver actually has an emergency or that they are just trying to get out of a ticket? And even if legislation is passed, how many will attempt to push the limits?

As we search for answers to these questions and more, people continue to die in the name of convenience and luxury. After all, just fifteen years ago there were only a small minority of people that even owned this new invention called the cell phone. Now you are in the minority if you don’t have one. And as if being distracted while talking on the phone were not enough, a few years ago we added this new element of texting. While texting is ever so convenient, it has been taken to an extreme and it has become almost normal to text and drive. So here we stand at a crossroads, where we are finally deciding as a country if there is a value that we can place on human life. This value is not a dollar amount but a time amount…Is convenience worth the risk of sacrificing lives? Is this not the same question that was asked about the advent of the automobile? So now it is your turn, what say ye?