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  # 246320 13-Aug-2009 22:19
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Are we behind the wheel of a car to safely navigate it to the next destination, or is it simply an inconvenient requirement that gets in the way of our texting, phone conversations, meals, makeup routine, etc. etc.?

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  # 246329 13-Aug-2009 22:40
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marmel:
drajk:
Essentially what I am saying is that we cannot regulate for all situations, people need to use common sense, and good drivers should take responsibility for their actions and ensure safety - there is already an offence of dangerous driving and another of reckless driving so why do we need a specific offence relating to cellphone use - what we need is better driver education about good / sensible / safe driving.

... and no I don't think people should txt and drive but I also thought we had moved away from the nanny state.


We do have those offences already in law but why would you want to send someone to court for a minor offence? The court system is already bogged down as it is. Using this rationale we could charge speeding drivers with dangerous as well but it just isn't practical.

The law certainly isn't perfect but it's about getting a balance that lets people go about their daily business without them exposing others to undue risk.

Also both of the offences you mentioned carry mandatory periods of disqualification (6 months) which would be a bit excessive.


Because if someone is seen to be driving dangerously it is an issue - if they are not noticeably distracted or dangerous it is no more an issue than the many other potential distractions which I outlined in my post - the point is that what we really should be focussing on is better driver education in general and people being taught to be responsible.

If cellphone use is GENERALLY/PREDICTABLY as dangerous as SOME people make out then is an $80 fine and 20 demerit points satisfactory when distracted drivers can kill? Millions of cellphone conversations have taken place without accident and thus it must be concluded that in the majority of cases there is no dangerous/reckless driving. When you quoted from my post you selectively omitted the other distractions which I used as examples (such as drinking hot coffee etc ...) which are all as likely to distract a driver.

The answer is that dangerous/reckless driving should be punishable but that banning cellphone use will not make a significant difference if other distractions are not similarly banned.

Is an $80 fine and 20 demerit points going to prevent the behaviour? Sure the demerits will discourage it but many people will figure that they can get away with a first offence - there are 20 demerits for going 61km/hr in a 50km/hr zone and that doesn't prevent MANY Aucklanders from regularly exceeding such speeds - you probably have more chance of being picked up by a radar at distance than of a police officer noticing mobile use - you will probably be able to drop the phone in visible distance of a police car without being noticed but once you see a police car with a radar you are probably already in trouble.

Legislating to attempt to make idiots act safely will likely not work - I haven't even mentioned the huge number of people who drive without licences, drive while disqualified etc... etc... .

 
 
 
 


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  # 246332 13-Aug-2009 22:46
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This evening I was listening to Radio NZ and they had someone on their programme who is involved in running a used car website. His opinion is that the Police should have a number of padded bags, whereupon if you are caught talking/texting whilst driving, the Police have the power to confiscate the phone, you write your name and address on the envelope and they mail it back to you. The analogy used was that the fine+demerit system is like putting your hand in the fire, and getting burnt two months later. This suggested way, you are burnt immediately.

As Drajk says, the "fine+demerit" method works well as a deterrant for the average "white middle class" (also a term used on the radio programme) however outside this bracket of society unfortunatley there are a large number of youth with thousands of dollars of unpaid fines.




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"Technician like ninja... live in shadow, move in silence"


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  # 246352 14-Aug-2009 00:58
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drajk:you probably have more chance of being picked up by a radar at distance than of a police officer noticing mobile use - you will probably be able to drop the phone in visible distance of a police car without being noticed but once you see a police car with a radar you are probably already in trouble.



You probably have less chance of noticing the police car if you are distracted by the phone.



davide: The analogy used was that the fine+demerit system is like putting your hand in the fire, and getting burnt two months later. This suggested way, you are burnt immediately.



I would think that the average driver has more intelligence than a dog or a two year old and is capable of making a connection between actions and consequences that are not concurrent (the cell phone use and the fine).



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  # 246379 14-Aug-2009 06:49
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i still cannot believe that people are still arguing against it! :( ! really!




Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


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  # 246387 14-Aug-2009 08:16
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I have no problem with this penalty, in fact I think it has been a long time coming.

I am pleased that this government has taken a pragmatic approach, it was my concern that it may have been a "knee jerk" reaction and banned all cellphone usage in vehicles (which is what the previous administration would probably have done).

When the vehicle cellphone ban came into force in the UK, the company I was working for and many others were forced to have hands-free car kits installed (bluetooth wasn't around then) - which was a good thing.

The ultimate aim here is to make driving safer. IMO this is a step in the right direction.




 

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  # 246402 14-Aug-2009 08:35
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For billions of years since the outset of time, every single one of your ancestors survived, every single person on your Mum and Dads side, successfully looked after and passed onto you life.  What are the chances of that like?

 
 
 
 


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  # 246403 14-Aug-2009 08:38
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Are handsfree kits actually that much safer? I read a study where handsfree and handheld were roughly the same level of distraction, but talking directly to a passenger was much less. The explanation? Something to do with the passenger being involved in the journey and able to adapt the conversation to what was happening around them, whereas the caller couldn't.

I don't have a problem with fines etc for cellphone use, but as mentioned, there are many distractions we face as drivers. What would be more distracting, a phone ringing in your handbag or a baby crying in the back seat? I dunno, but I can always check my phone later. Having said that, anything that encourages safer driving habits can't be bad.

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  # 246407 14-Aug-2009 08:50
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drajk:
Because if someone is seen to be driving dangerously it is an issue - if they are not noticeably distracted or dangerous it is no more an issue than the many other potential distractions which I outlined in my post - the point is that what we really should be focussing on is better driver education in general and people being taught to be responsible.


Just cause someone looks to be alright when they are driving doesnt mean they are. It's to do with being foused while driving and being alert in case something happens.

And yes, people do drive drunk, without licences and speed, and these things are dangerous. That's why they also are illegal, and if you are caught doing them you wont do it again, hopefully. I myself was given a ticket a couple of months back for not wearing a seatbelt (a nasty habbit I developed when I was a delivery driver at school) and now, the first thing I do when I hop in a car is put on my seatbelt.

Also, it doesnt matter how many conversations people have had without causing accidents. If this law only saves one life, then it's worth a slight inconvience to everyone else. If it's that important that you can talk on your cellphone while driving, get a taxi or hire a personal driver Tongue out



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  # 246540 14-Aug-2009 12:58
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i guess the point i'm trying to make is that 3.8 million vehicles and less than 1 percent of them are involved in cellphone related accidents.

alot of you seem to think anyones life is worth saving. this has to have limits though like free speech does where threats are speech but they are a crime and defamation is illegal too.

saving lives needs to have limits.

if 507 vehicles were involved in accidents because people were distracted by seeing a police car with sirens and lights should the police use unmarked cars with no sirens and lights? no because they need to clear traffic out of the way and without these, people will not make way for them because they won't no their cops.

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  # 246544 14-Aug-2009 13:03
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If you can afford to drive a car, afford to keep it on the road and afford to own/maintain a mobile then surely you can afford a handsfree kit to stop your "free speech" being limited.

As someone who spends more than 3 hours per day on the road and regularly witnesses the driver behaviour of those talking/texting this change cant come soon enough.

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  # 246546 14-Aug-2009 13:04
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batmann: i guess the point i'm trying to make is that 3.8 million vehicles and less than 1 percent of them are involved in cellphone related accidents.

alot of you seem to think anyones life is worth saving. this has to have limits though like free speech does where threats are speech but they are a crime and defamation is illegal too.

saving lives needs to have limits.

if 507 vehicles were involved in accidents because people were distracted by seeing a police car with sirens and lights should the police use unmarked cars with no sirens and lights? no because they need to clear traffic out of the way and without these, people will not make way for them because they won't no their cops.


I think you are looking at the stats wrong - surely you should be looking at 507 vehicles involved in accidents vs the number of accidents that have taken place, rather than the number of cars on the road?




For billions of years since the outset of time, every single one of your ancestors survived, every single person on your Mum and Dads side, successfully looked after and passed onto you life.  What are the chances of that like?

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  # 246547 14-Aug-2009 13:05
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batmann: i guess the point i'm trying to make is that 3.8 million vehicles and less than 1 percent of them are involved in cellphone related accidents.



Do you feel the same about the statistics for drink driving booze stops?  (I don't have figures on hand, but given the number of cars stopped vs those that were infringing when I last worked it out made quote a small number).


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  # 246555 14-Aug-2009 13:23
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http://gizmodo.com/5324018/youre-23-times-more-likely-to-crash-your-car-if-youre-texting

https://cdn.geekzone.co.nz/imagessubs/blog5fe035be071b22defaa39a06cfd68d6b.jpg

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  # 246557 14-Aug-2009 13:35
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Heard on the radio this morning that the chief of Police (I think, may have been some other higher up Police personel) that said he welcomes it, but thinks the real problem lies with the drivers who are barely competant, and thinks that more driver training is required.

I can understand that. You get immagrants coming in from places like China and India where there pretty much ARE no road rules. They hardly even think to change their driving habits. Then they get a racial bad rep! Of course, most of the drivers I know who are of Chinese or India backgrounds who have grown up and learnt to drive here are sweet as!

Thats not to say all kiwi drivers are great. A lot of them are just downright inconsiderate people on the road.
Not to mention people who are unable to just react in the right way when something happens. Eg if you have a car with no ABS and you have to emergency stop. Some people try and push the pedal further when they should be letting off to let the wheels roll.

When its compared to drink driving, I have to say I'm skeptical about that. Maybe for people who completely take their eyes off the road until they finish, but if I do text in the car, I text without looking at my phone, and only glance quickly to check predictive has the right word.
I wouldn't text and drive with an iPhone though.

Unfortunately, its something where a few people (perspectivley speaking) ruin it for the many.

Personally, I'm all for better driver training. Even mandatory training, like they have in Japan and Finland.

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