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How do you ask carpool drivers of your kids not to talk on the phone while driving?

I have 3 children, and as they get older, the only way I’ll stay sane is if I receive (and contribute) to carpool help. However, the use of cell phones while driving seems to be so ubiquitous (not illegal in our state) that I can’t assume drivers of my children will refrain from their use while my kids are in their car. What are some suggestions for how to delicately make this request (something OTHER than, “I know you don’t mind risking your own kids’ lives by talking on the phone while driving, but could you please can it when you’re driving mine?”)? Any ideas greatly appreciated.

What are you willing to do if the driver say’s no, or if they say they’ll stop and then talk on the phone anyway? Don’t mention it until you know what you will do if they don’t stop talking on the phone while driving.

In a real carpool situation you drive somedays and others drive different days. If the offender keeps it up, then kick him/her out of the carpool. If you can’t trust your kids are safe then you have to drive them yourself.

I think that’s a good suggestion (considering actions I’d take if they refuse). The way much gets done in my circle is an impromptu offer to drive my kids. So maybe the best action is to include, as a follow-up, something about how if that’s not possible or if they aren’t comfortable with it, please just say something and I can drive the kids myself. Better that I’m inconvenienced than that my kids are injured or worse.

Is this even an issue yet? How old are your kids? Are they old enough to tell you if one of the drivers used a phone while driving?

Perhaps talking to your kids might be a good idea. If they are old enough, you could teach them to politely ask, “Would you please pull over if you are going to use the phone?”

My parents never had a talk with me about these issues, but my best friend’s parents did. They explained that if am ever in a car with someone who is being unsafe, tell the driver to pull over, get out, and call for someone to come get you. If that doesn’t work, do whatever you have to do, including taking the keys out of the ignition.

To the other driver, “I’m sure you are aware of the hazards of driving and talking on a cellphone, and even noticed how distracting it can be. If you promise not talk on a cell while my kids are in your car I promise I will not talk on a cellphone while driving when your kids are in are in my car.” could be a starting point.

Diplomacy; I like that.

I wouldn’t say anything other than what you say in your comment. Tell this person there is ABSOLUTELY nothing that can be so important to warrant using the phone while driving your kids around. If the comments offend him/her…TOO BAD! Risk your own insanity (as you say!), and drive them yourself. People need to get a clue with cell phone use. I don’t understand what makes us all so important, that we cannot turn the phones off for an hour or so!!! I think in general, people are inherently bad drivers. By adding more distractions it only gets worse. PLEASE hang up the phones when you drive! Thank you.

You could also raise awareness at the school or PTA. Fliers sent home with children telling the dangers of distracted driving, and how they should politely ask their parents not to use the phone while driving. Sometimes from the “mouths of babes” has the most effect!

Have the carpool driver(s) over for coffee and discuss the issue openly. Establish clear ground rules for the safety of all the kids. I’m sure the other drivers are as concerned about the safety of their kids and they might even welcome such a discussion with open minds.

Here in NY, where it IS illegal, I used to see so many parents on cell phones driving through the pick-up line at our religious school. This is when there are two solid lines of cars, children moving through and between cars to get to their own, etc. It is hazardous to say the least. Apparently speaking with parents hadn’t worked, and when one mother almost mowed someone down, the administrator tried to berate her - and ended up in a very public screaming match. The administrator is one of the most soft-spoken, diplomatic people I know, too. People just won’t learn.

This is just like any other driving concern I may have regarding carpool drivers. I’m not in a position to rehabilitate anyone’s driving (who of us are?), so I decide to participate in the carpool, or not, according to the level of my concern. I quit a carpool some years back because one of the drivers was erratic with speeds, even when conditions were poor due to winter weather. Nobody else in the carpool seemed to care, so I dropped out.

It may be inconvenient, but if necessary I’ll do all the driving, making some excuse to the rest of the carpool as to scheduling or a need to use the vehicle for something else immediately before or after. Then, be on the lookout for a different carpool or recruit another driver or two to form one.

Tell them straight up that you don’t want them talking on the phone while YOUR kids are in the car! If they balk at it, find someone else to carpool with. As if having a bunch of kids in a car is distracting enough!

I rarely speak up on matters like this (you know, glass house and all), but I have to agree with katidid on this one. They’re your kids, you’re responsibility, and ultimately, you’ll be the one who bears any burden should something unforeseen happen. in this case, I would say it’s actually not unforeseen, but quite easily understood and a decision that should be respected. Tell them straight. Not with your kids in the car. If you find out otherwise, then you go the other route of different carpool, or do your own thing.

You could start with Mountainbike;'s philosophy, and if that fails, go from there.

Here in Texas, it’s illegal in school zones - unless you’re handsfree. However, if you’re driving a bunch of kids around…really, can you even have a conversation with someone outside the car? When i was a kid, I know my mom would have been very hardpressed to hear anything outside ours. We were just kids, doing what kids do. I define that as regular squabbles, lots of yelling, and even some loud fun thrown in for good measure - but only once in a while…you can’t let your brother know you actually LIKE him, for God’s sake. And sisters? No way. They’re just downright EVIL. :slight_smile:

I’d agree with katidid79 and chaissos, except that I’m pessimistic about compliance. What am I going to do, fire the carpool drivers? Well, in effect, that’s what I recommend doing.

The problem is - to a lot of people, talking on the cell while driving is like a lifestyle. They can’t imagine not doing it, they think everyone else does it (and within their cell phone calling circle, they do!).

The only practical thing to do is disengage. Which might mean more driving, but it’s the only surefire solution.

In the state of Nevada, if someone who is talking on the cellphone while driving is involved in an accident and it causes death or serious injury…They’re looking at 1-6 years in prison…It’s only a matter of time before all 50 states make it illegal to talk and text while driving. I am a mother and if someone is yacking on their phone while my kid is in their car…I’ll give them a piece of my mind and won’t ever let them take my kid anywhere again!

If new regulations demand that all phones be equipped to disconnect when moving the cell providers will jump on the prospect of selling new equipment to all subscribers. If regulations demand that all future cell equipment be equipped to disconnect when moving sales of new equipment will be severely cut. Which route will the lawmakers take?

If new regulations demand that all phones be equipped to disconnect when moving the cell providers will jump on the prospect of selling new equipment to all subscribers.

That WON’T happen. So driving down the road with my wife…my wife won’t be able to make a phone call while I’m driving???


SO…it WON’T happen…There is no way it’ll ever pass. You go ask some executive or Senator to NOT use their cell-phone while being chauffeured to work???

Those are special people, Mike. They get special consideration.