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Ford first to support bill banning handheld phones while driving

We’re on the verge of having a nationwide ban on using handheld cell phones while driving, and Ford is the first automaker to stand behind the cause. According to The Detroit Free Press, Ford’s vice president of government affairs, Pete Lawson, said that this “represents a practical, commonsense approach to a national problem.”

Ford has already made hands-free calling technology widely available across its model range. In addition to SYNC – found in just about every new Ford product – the automaker has rolled out its MyFord Touch infotainment system, and the Blue Oval boys are already working on major upgrades to improve general ease of use.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the other major American automakers – General Motors and Chrysler – have yet to comment about the proposed cell phone ban. However, both automakers have supported previous efforts to reduce hand-held phone use while driving.
[Source: The Detroit Free Press | Images: Copyright 2011 Chris Shunk / AOL]

I see that headline and think “uh, well duh.”

Ford sells vehicles with integrated hands free cell phone systems. Ford wants to sell more of them. Solution? Make non-hands free cell phone use illegal to force consumers to buy more crap!

I 100% agree that driving while on cell is extremely dangerous…and should be outlawed…

I also agree 100% in what Shatdofax said…Ford isn’t doing this for consumer safety…They are doing this to sell more hands free cell phone systems.

Agree 100% with MikeInNH.

Corporations care about their bottom lines… they don’t generally have altruistic intents…

I question the statement “We’re on the verge of having a nationwide ban on using handheld cell phones while driving”.

The problem with what Ford is doing is that talking on a cell phone while driving is a cognitive problem, not a physical problem. By selling hands-free systems, Ford is a part of the problem. Using any cell phone while driving, whether hand held or hands free, whether talking, texting, or surfing the internet, should be illegal. With anything less, you’re just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Whitey, I actually agree with you!

Whitey, I actually agree with you!

I agree that talking on the cell while driving is dangerous…no matter if the hand held or hand free…That’s why when I get in my truck…my cell phone is turned off…

Unfortunately it’ll NEVER be banned…and if it is it’ll NEVER be enforced…Drive in NY State sometime where talking on a cell-phone while driving is illegal…you’ll see drivers ALL THE TIME…doing it…so obviously the law isn’t stopping them from doing it.

The Only Problem I Have Is More Laws On Top Of More Laws And People Looking For Loop Holes And Then Still More Laws.

Texting ban, cell phone ban, dog on lap ban, eating a Big Mac ban, etcetera.
Can a law officer stop a driver and issue a warning or citation for any type of distracted driving ? Do they have to wait until a car is swerving or involved in an “accident” (collision).

To me it’s common sense (no pun intended) not to participate in any of these and other distractions, but I see others doing it every day. Can’t one law cover all forms of distractions and be done with it ? Do we need a new law for every new type of distraction that comes along, with new technologies, etcetera ?

CSA

the biggest problem with enforcing the law is the fact that they’ve cut budgets so much that most police forces are skeleton crews as it is, so they can’t be everywhere at once.

and they used to be everywhere at once?

the biggest problem with enforcing the law is the fact that they’ve cut budgets so much that most police forces are skeleton crews as it is, so they can’t be everywhere at once.

I was watching the show on how the states got their shapes…and they were talking to a guy in Wyoming…The county he lived in is the Size of NH…and there are a total of 6 cops in that county…They don’t have enough police to cover basic protection let alone traffic.

My uncle is in a similar situation. He lives in the southern tip of Illinois, and the southern tip of his county. It once took the police about 45 minutes to get to his house, and this was before the budget cuts.

The problem with what Ford is doing is that talking on a cell phone while driving is a cognitive problem,

I agree, but caution that we should not therefore assume that driving with a cell phone is inherently dangerous for everyone. There are two types of drivers: Those who put paying attention to driving first, and those who do not. For the latter category, if you take away the cell phone, they’ll be playing with their GPS, or the radio, or putting on makeup, or eating, or reading, or having sex (yes, I actually saw this once). Unless we are suggesting that we ban everything in a car that is not absolutely essential to driving itself (radio, nav, anything with words on it and, apparently, attractive passengers) then we need to realize that cell phone legislation is not the solution. Rather, very strict distracted driving laws with harsh penalties is the way to go. This gives us the added bonus that it doesn’t require you to be distracted by a cell phone in order to be pulled over and cited. It doesn’t matter if it’s a phone or a burger that has you weaving all over the road like a drunk, you still get the same penalty. Singling out phones is silly and nothing more than scapegoating in order to avoid tackling the real problem, which is that driver training, licensing, and skill levels in this country all suck.

I’d actually say that cellphone use isn’t just a cognitive problem. Come on, how many times have you seen someone looking down at their phone to dial/text, with just one hand on the wheel. They don’t even have their eyes on the road and if they needed to react, their ability to steer would be impaired with just the one hand on the wheel.

Hands-free still poses cognitive problems, but at least it allows you to keep your eyes up and on the road and your hands on the wheel.

shadowfax: “I agree, but caution that we should not therefore assume that driving with a cell phone is inherently dangerous for everyone.”

Um, yes, we should. It has been proven, in repeated studies, that talking on a cell phone impairs EVERY driver more than driving drunk. It’s impossible to have a conversation and not pay attention to the other person.

Multitasking is a myth, and you obviously don’t understand how cognitive behavior works. However, you demonstrate, quite adeptly, the concept of “cognitive dissonance.”

We single out drunk drivers, and it’s been proven, without a doubt, a drunk driver is slightly less dangerous than a driver talking on the phone while driving. It’s been proven … decidedly … removing all doubt … accept it.

eraser1998, in studies that compare hands free cell phone use to hand held use, both situations were more dangerous than a drunk driver.

Denial … it ain’t a river in Egypt.

The only such study that I have seen posted here was rife with procedural errors in the study. Show me a study that proves the cell phone itself is the problem, and not the attentiveness of the driver to driving, and we’ll talk. :slight_smile:

Mike: I seen that episode too, but I thought the state was Montana and it was 6 highway patrol cars for the whole state. Have to wait for a rerun to find out