Australia uses new technology to catch drivers on phones [telecom]

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - An Australian state is attempting to persuade people to put down their smartphones while driving by rolling out cameras to prosecute distracted motorists.

New South Wales Roads Minister Andrew Constance said Monday that Australia's most populous state is the first jurisdiction in the world to use such technology to punish drivers distracted by social media, text messages or phone calls.

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Reply to
Monty Solomon
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In many places, talking on handheld cell phone while driving is il- legal but using a speakerphone is okay.

In my humble opinion, it is the conversation itself that is distracting, not whether one is holding the phone or not. I believe, that in the interests of safety, one should not talk on a cell phone while driving, regardless of the hardware.

Of course, in today's world, an awful lot of people talk on their cellphone while driving. People get on the phone the moment they get into their car. When stopped at a traffic light, I can see all the other motorists yakking away on their hand held phones, even in places where hand held use is illegal. Given that, I'm not sure laws will be that effective. (Trivia note: The old TV detective shows Mannix and Cannon air on the rerun channels. Both men had mobile phones in their car, though only the handset was shown, not the control unit. Incoming calls were announced by a buzzer, not a ringer.)

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I've also missed exits on the highway because I was talking to a passenger -- should we ban that as well?

This seems like a "pick your battles" situation. There will be too much of an outcry if they try to ban all talking, but banning hand-held phones is something people can get behind.

Reply to
Barry Margolin

Cameras are not the answer. Forcing the cellular carriers to deny service except for 911/999 calls when in motion at greater than a walking pace on a roadway is! Research has shown that a conversation that the driver can hear only 1 side of is just as distracting as one in which the driver is engaged. Emergency calls should be the only exception to NO cellular while in motion.

For those of you who say it doesn't effect you, then you are part of the 0.5% of the population for which that is actually true. In other words only 1 out of every 200 of the population will not suffer a degradation of their driving performance when participating in a telephone conversation or hearing one side of such a conversation. The research subjects were young healthy college students with normal hearing and vision.

This will never happen because the legislators want to use their cell phones while driving just like so many of their constituents but it is the only step that would reduce the carnage being caused by this newer addicting intoxicant.

Reply to
Tom Horne

I don't think it is Dunning-Kruger, per se. D-K refers to a very specific set of circumstances, that don't quite apply here. It is like a lot of things that come out of academia; a specific, academic principle, that gets transmogrified in the public consciousness to become something else.

That all said, I don't at all disagree with your basic point, in fact, I think it is more extreme that you are putting it. I would put it this way:

What percentage of the population would agree (publicly) with the following self-descriptive statement: "I am not capable of talking on my cell phone and safely driving a car at the same time."

My guess is that that number is about 0.5% (if that). Note: When I say "agree with" above, I mean "and publicly admit to it", Many people might actually understand better but would never publicly admit it.

It's all part of the marketing culture we live in, in which the guiding principle is that everybody has to "believe in themselves" (despite any/all indications to the contrary - that such belief is misguided). In fact, here in the US of A, our Fearless Leader is the very epitome of someone who believes in himself, despite massive evidence that such belief is misguided (to say the very least).

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