?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile My Website Previous Previous Next Next
It's not the cell phone... - Mark's Journal
mhaithaca
mhaithaca
It's not the cell phone...
A recent flurry of discussion on the lack of hands-free dialing feature on the iPhone on TidBITS Talk reminded me of the point-and-counterpoint pieces we published in 14850 Magazine seven years ago, when New York was in the process of passing its ineptly conceived cell phone law.

* Driven to Distraction by Mory Katz
* It's Not the Cell Phone by MHA

I had a conversation with our then-assemblyman Marty Luster at the time, and he made it clear that while he agreed with me that the law was useless and unsupportable as written, there was a groundswell of pressure to pass it regardless, and there was nothing he could do.
13 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
kinnerc From: kinnerc Date: July 23rd, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

The State is Not my Mommy...

And thus we gained yet another law that everyone just simply ignores. Every single time I drive I see at least one person on a cell phone. I do it myself for the express reason you cite - its far more dangerous to fumble with a headpiece, etc. than it is to answer the damn phone.

Where was this "groundswell of pressure" to pass the law that Marty talked about? Nothing he could do about it? Did he vote for this stupid law's passage?

I feel the same way about the seatbelt law, and the helmet laws. Laws are supposed to be legislating behavior that is wrong, they are not supposed to be passed to protect a stupid insurance company's bottom line.

The State is Not Your Mommy!

If you think that the business risk is too great, get out of the marketplace!

If you think that the roads are too dangerous for you, stay off of them!

Fortunately, with regard to this cell phone stupidity at least, I only have to deal with it for another 24 days.
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: July 23rd, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I OFTEN - like nearly every time I drive - see people TEXTING which I just don't get. It takes me like, fifteen minutes of concentrated, frustrated effort to send a text.
kinnerc From: kinnerc Date: July 23rd, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I tend to doubt that.

How can you tell the difference between txting and dialing?
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: July 23rd, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh you do, do you?

There is a stark difference between texting and dialing a phone. People who are texting never put the phone to their damn head, you nutball.
kinnerc From: kinnerc Date: July 23rd, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're unconvincing. You're observing them for how long as they speed by in the car?
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: July 23rd, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am talking about people whom I drive behind for extended periods of time. I can see them clicking on a phone, looking down, looking up, looking down again. I can tell they are texting as they swerve all over the road.

fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: July 23rd, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am finding it very amusing that you don't believe people text while they are driving. I've been in cars with people doing it! Hello!
willdevine From: willdevine Date: July 24th, 2008 02:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, Doc, it does happen. My co-worker Jill has apparently become a master (mistress?) of texting behind the wheel, which frightens me greatly. (Though she has a QWERTY keyboard on her phone, which probably requires a bit less concentration than tapping out letters and words with the number pad.)
adelais From: adelais Date: July 24th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The State is Not my Mommy...

its far more dangerous to fumble with a headpiece, etc. than it is to answer the damn phone

One could always let the phone ring. Or turn it off. But I'm a Luddite like that.
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: July 23rd, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
20% of people admit to being so busy behind the wheel that they steer with their thighs? What? I don't even GET how that would work!

I think my biggest distraction when I'm behind the wheel are things off the side of the road. Whether it be a hot guy jogging shirtless or a cute bunny rabbit, I tend to linger and get distracted.
chesther From: chesther Date: July 23rd, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd still like voice dial on my iPhone. I used it on my LG/Verizon phone previously, both in and out of the car.

(Yes, I use my cell phone in the car. Morning commute time is one of the few times in the day when I can talk with my wife.)

Of course, scrolling through contacts on my LG was painful enough that voice dial made life suck less. The contacts interface on the iPhone sucks less, such that voice dial is less necessary.

Nonetheless, I miss just bumping the button on my headset and saying, "Call Home".
perisoft From: perisoft Date: July 24th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Lies, damn lies...

I saw this in the article you linked to, Mark:

According to the survey 57% of drivers are eating while on the road, 32% are reading and writing, and 17% are combing hair. Amazingly, 20% are so busy behind the wheel they admit to having steered the car with their thighs.

The wondrous part about this is the fact that the word used is 'are'. This implies that those things stack. Therefore, simple math yields that out of every 600 people in a given moment, one is steering with his thighs while he's combing his hair, reading and writing, and eating. That's impressive.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: July 24th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Lies, damn lies...

Well, I only need to steer with my thighs while I'm both eating and holding a book!
13 comments or Leave a comment