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New Road Hazard?

6928 Views 30 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  pplassm
Distracted drivers are the most dangerous hazard on the roads today. It can be a cell phone, a backseat child, trying to change a radio station, read, shave, put make-up on, etc... The bottom line is that if a person is doing something besides paying attention to the road and they cause an accident they should be severely punished. I support jail time, and lifetime loss of license for drivers who cause serious accidents. (of course in Tennesee if you are a state Senator and kill a motorcyclist in a hit and run, they name a highway after you). A person could get more punishement for having a joint than running over a pedestrian (bicyclist, motorcyclist,etc..)

Drivers need to wake up or pay a big price.

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Using the famous Keith Code analogy of $1.00 = 100% attention, I would bet that talking on a phone or reading takes up about 75 cents of the buck. That leaves 25 cents left for everything on the road. I bet even someone legally drunk is more on the ball than that. I know some states are considering a ban on auto sell use, and it can't come fast enough for me. Ironically, I have had the closest calls while driving in my car. On the bike, my radar screen is much higher and I avoid these people like the plague.
From what i have read (about studies not funded by the cell phone manufacturers), drivers talking on a cell phone are as bad as drunk drivers at maintaining vehical control and avoiding road hazzards. Even hands free sets are bad. The manufacturers have even had a law passed in florida that make it illeagal for local comunities and cities to pass a law banning the use of cell phones while driving.
This should be easy enough to fix.

Just come up with a small transmitter that attaches to your bike and knocks out cell phone reception for, say, 100 meters or so. This should be very easy to construct. I realize that would be illegal, but I wouldn't be surprised if one has already been built and used.
"Even hands free sets are bad."

How is this any different compare to talking to a passenger in your car?

I personally find it more distracting to talk to someone on the passenger seat than having a coversation using a hands free set.
Re: This should be easy enough to fix.

I recall awhile back there was talk of business establishments using something like that to block out cell service to restaurants, theaters,concerts etc. I am not sure if someone was actually marketing the equipment to do this or if it was in the idea stage. Problem there was that it would take out pagers as well. Doctors and other emergency care workers (who hopefully set their pagers on vibrate for such circumstances would be cut off.
"(of course in Tennesee if you are a state Senator and kill a motorcyclist in a hit and run, they name a highway after you). "

I'm not familiar with this case. Could you explain further?
Re: This should be easy enough to fix.

Hmm... That's an EXCELLENT idea... As an electrical engineer, I might need to get to work on that...

Although, I'd be a little worried that people would get even more distracted by their failing phones than just by talking...

Re: This should be easy enough to fix.

Any "jammer" could be constructed to operate only in the cell phone frequency ranges. These vary depending on your type of service. However, I agreee with the other post that a dropped call would generate further distraction by the driver as he looks at the phone to try to see what happened.

Re: This should be easy enough to fix.

Brad, you are exactly right, now instead of having people talking on cell phones, now we have them trying to repair them!!
Cell phones aren't the only road hazard

There is a new and seemingly endless wave of driver distractions being peddled by auto and electronics companies. Cell phones, GPS and navigation systems, DVD players, connections for video game systems, even normal automotive systems like stereos and climate control are now being controlled by video screens that, by their very nature, require drives to take their eyes off the road to do something as simple as change the radio station. Remember, just a few years ago, Detroit auto manufacturers were showing cars that had systems for mobile internet access. Something must be done about this.

This, of course, has the potential to turn into another personal rights vs. social responsibility debate like the SUV battle, but I think we, as motorcyclists, can all agree that the oncoming rush of driver distraction poses a major threat to everyone on the road, especially us.

The auto manufacturers' solution, of course, is that we should all crive bigger cars to be safe. But I digress...

Most troubling about this situation: auto manufacturers will not stop putting things into their cars for which they can charge a lot of money. Legislators are, generally speaking, in the pockets of the auto lobby, so there won't be any real push from capitol hill to limit driver distraction.

How many people - how many motorcyclists - will have to die before action is taken?
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I agree wholeheartedly with this statement.

Drivers will not start paying attention - to the road or to any new distraction legislation - until they realize their 'right' to drive is in seriously jeopardy if they break the rules.
Re: Cell phones aren't the only road hazard

"The auto manufacturers' solution, of course, is that we should all crive bigger cars to be safe. But I digress... "

And, of course, the 'technology as nanny' set insist that vehicles will operate themselves in the future. And then gush about how great that would be. But what do you expect in a society that lets television raise children, where a selling point of certain ISPs is that they filter content so that you don't have to pay any attention to what your kids are doing...
Re: Cell phones aren't the only road hazard

Amen, it's nice to hear someone who sees the real problems with kids these days. I agree with you completely that parents need to start doing more parenting, and less buying for their kids.
Actually, I see a big difference when using a cell phone. The person in the phone is conversing with someone who is not present in the vehicle, and becoming more detached from the task at hand than the driver chatting with a passenger.
You have heard me before on this

Today coming back from the Doctors office a lady in Tahoe (SUV) on a cell phone drifts in my lane without signaling. Almost took my fender off on my Accord. I honk tell her to get off the phone she flips me off. She feels tough in her SUV. I wish the AMA would get behind this. Doesn't NY state have a law on the books now??
Excellent Point. "I have had the closest calls while driving in my car. On the bike, my radar screen is much higher and I avoid these people like the plague. " You right on, today s(ee my post) I was in my car almost got clipped, on my bike I would of never been that close to her.

Re: This should be easy enough to fix.

I seem to remember that in tokyo restaurants they use a jamming device, to stop the impolite patrons from talking on the phone. Maybe we could tie this in to the radar/lidar detectors, oh wait those distract us from driving also , dang it!
The problem of cell phone use in moving vehicles (bikes included) can only get worse as more and more are sold. If you want to read a great rant about this go to and see what the Maliozzi brothers are saying. I am in complete agreement with their view that, except for emergency and police personnel, phone use MUST be banned in all moving vehicles.

Brief Story on Killing:

A grand jury has elected to send Tennessee State Sen. Carl O. Koella to trial on a felony charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident involving AMA member Terry Barnard, overruling an earlier judge's decision that Koella should be charged only with a misdemeanor.

Initially the case was sent to the grand jury as a misdemeanor. The grand jury reviewing the same facts provided by eye witnesses decided that Koella's case would proced to trial as a felony.

According to eyewitness accounts, the accident was caused when the driver of a minivan turned left across the southbound lane of Rt.321 in Blount County near Knoxville. When the van started across the lane the motorcycle sruck the van and then into a car stopped behind it. the driver of the van got out briefly to inspect his vehicle and then got back in and drove away. Eyewitnesses at the scene identified the senator as the driver of the van. If convicted the senator faces one to six years in prison, and a fine of $3000.00. A felony conviction could also result in the senator losing his state senate seat, an office he has held for 24 years.

To conclude, the Senator died before he was convicted, and then the same stretch of highway where he killed Terry Barnard was named after the Senator. Ironic, no?
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