In-Car Comms Can Kill! Or Not.
As U.S. politicians respond to the imperative "Do something, anything about all those soccer moms driving around while yakking on cell phones (except my wife, of course)," it looks like we ain't got game. According to the country cell phone bans list, use a cell phone whilst driving in New Delhi, India– hands-free or no– and you're looking at prison time. But do all these legal strictures actually increase road safety? The Wall Street Journal [sub] reports that many researchers have concluded that the only deterrent that makes a difference is the New Delhi solution. The New York Times [reg] recently reported on work from Carnegie Mellon saying that even listening on a hands-free cell phone impairs drivers as much as knocking back a few beers. Nobody seems to talk about the safety benefits of cell phones including calling AAA for help with a flat tire, calling 911 to report accidents, reporting road debris before someone gets hurt or calling in drunk drivers. Perspective people, perspective.
Well then, zoomy my boy, you can go right down to the IG's office and talk to him about all the "atrocious" drivers you know so that they can have their drivers licenses pulled before they lose the ability to exercise all that expensive training they got. While you are at it, you can tell him what you said to a civilian in the same post as you identified yourself as a member of the USAF. As a retired officer, I happen to know that he will be VERY interested in THAT. I would thank you for your service, but I am not so sure I am getting my money's worth out of you (and yes, I pay enough taxes to cover your salary AND benefits).
I think most of the people who read TTAC are driving enthusiasts; I know I am. So here of all places I expect to see 100% support for a ban on texting whilst driving - it's simply indefensible - you cannot text and drive safely. Equally, if you're so busy that you need to be on the phone whilst you're supposed to be driving - stop whining and buy a hands-free unit. Too many people have died for this to still be a debate - just ban it.
Sorry, driving, but the ban it people want to ban it, PERIOD. Not just hand sets. They think that if you are talking, even on a hands free set, that you are just as dangerous as a drunk driver. It sounds ridiculous to me, and I find that most of the ban supporters are the same people who will scream bloody murder if we try to enact any safety regulations that might prevent people who are really dangerous from driving cars. They don't want tougher testing, enforcement of violations other than excessive speed or failure to stop, and they REALLY don't want us to take licenses away from people who have continuously shown lack of judgement or ability.
[...] stand together. Thus far that line seems to be “hands free,” but the statistics there don’t seem strong enough to hold off a regulatory offensive. On the other hand, this is clearly another one of those policy [...]