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Situational Awareness

Posted by silversword 9A (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 18, 13 at 12:33

Every year it seems awareness goes down... the cell phone being the major distraction (IMO). I went to Moonlight beach the other day and it seemed everywhere I looked people were holding half-conversations with others while simultaneously "playing" on their smart phones.

I've banned phones at the table a long time ago at my house.

Driving home, I see nearly every driver looking at their phone at lights. I personally have to make myself put my phone out of reach so I leave it alone. It's not an addiction, more like a compulsion. It's real, I acknowledge it, and it's a bit frightening.

Sometimes I think it will go on a curve, like Facebook, and eventually we'll start coming back down from it. But with Google glass and new technologies sometimes I think it's only going to get more impersonal. Thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

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My thoughts are that petty crimes like purse snatching, and more serious crimes like kidnapping and rape will go up... if they haven't already... due to the rather unhealthy relationships people have with their technology... the distraction takes us away from watching our surroundings.

Some states have made it illegal to talk on cell phones or use them while driving due to the horrible accidents caused by looking away from the road... even for a few seconds.

While we're driving anywhere, I am in charge of answering the cell phone, as the passenger. That way, there's no distraction for the driver.

Will it get worse as technology moves forward? Probably.


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On FB this morning:

Here is a link that might be useful: the collar


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Driving while distracted is a very real danger to all of us. I've learned to be wary of people leaving the drive-through and entering the road. Is there a relationship to fast food and cell phones? I frequent a walking/bicycling trail every day and I fear for the people with ear-buds in both ears totally unaware of the bicycles coming up behind them or the potential muggers they will never see or hear.
If the danger is only to themselves, I would shrug and look at them as potential Darwin award winners, but I refuse to be a co-victim. If I'm talking to someone and they turn their attention to a device, I feel the conversation is over and I move on.


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Just ranted about this on the tablet post. I was watching a tourist mom trying to interest her children in looking around as they were walking across Houston street into SOHO.
2 girls, 1 boy all texting!
Though of the old song See You on September
See you on my cellphone!
On the flip side though so many people have become reporters or at least recorders of all manner of events from the hilarious to the tragic.


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A young kid drowned at a local beach while their babysitter was texting and playing games on her smart phone.

A senior driver answering his very first cell phone call while driving (according to them) hit two teenage girls waiting to cross the road to an ice cream stand, killing one and badly injuring another.

I couldn't even imagine having to live with such guilt.


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Yes, distracted driving is a tremendous hazard, in Mass. texting while driving is completely outlawed, and commercial and inexperienced drivers are not allowed to use the cell phone while driving AT ALL. (Commercial drivers can use a hands free device I think.)

Airports, restaurants, stop lights, walking down the street - half the people have their noses buried in cell phones or tablets. What on earth is so important that they must view these devices constantly?

Yes they are incredibly useful at times, but I'm thinking they are primarily a big distraction from many people's boredom or otherwise "lives of quiet desperation".


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I believe it will only get worse. The genie is out of the bottle and there's no putting it back in!

My husband for the longest time refused to get texting on his phone. I kept telling him he needed to do it because I wanted to be able to text him. He has a smart phone and got his email, but did not have texting turned on. He'd say just email me. No, not as immediate as texting. Eventually, and mostly because our son went to middle school and got a phone and he needed to be able to text daddy, he had texting turned on. He texts more than a 13 year old girl!!!! I can't believe how much he texts. It's constant. I almost regret having him have it turned on. Almost.

Related to situational awareness --- Why do people walk out the front door of office building (in NYC) and immediately stop??? This happens to me all the time and just happened again while I was going to get my lunch. A large group of people leaving building, obviously together, probably going out to lunch. Out the door. Immediately stop. A large group of them so I cannot get around them. Probably going to discuss where to go for lunch. Although why you'd do that out on the street in the 95 degrees instead of inside the cool lobby I don't know. But, please people. You are the not the only ones around. Move away from the door before stopping to discuss whatever. Geez....have some situational awareness, will you, please!

My rant for the day! Thanks, silversword, for giving me the oppotunity :-)


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I do not agree. I think people have been distracted for different reasons in the past, but not less than currently. Technology just changed the media through which it happens. People turning to speak to passengers, or pickup something in the floor of the car, or tuning the radio distracted before phone ever entered the picture. For instance. Technology is just the latest in the blame game.


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A recent study indicated that talking on hands free while driving is nearly as distracting as talking on the cell phone while driving.

I do not answer my phone while driving. If I do, how can I tell my children not to do it when they drive one day? They see what you do as opposed to listening to what you say.


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LOL Pidge, thanks for the cartoon.
And Jill, you're welcome :) That's a pet peeve of mine too. So often I find myself wondering how others do not see that people are attempting to conduct their business AROUND those standing in the way.

I agree with Rob that the distractions have always been there (I wasn't allowed to use the radio while driving when I first started) but I think the handheld devices are far more engaging than anything we've had to deal with before. Also addicting.... a person can think they're just going to look "real quick" and five-ten-twenty minutes go by so fast!

"I just looked away for a second" seems to be a really popular refrain.


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Many years ago, the roads were empty compared to today.
I got stopped by a State Trooper for reading while driving.
The book was propped by the steering wheel and I would look up, memorize the road ahead and drive another few seconds or the next paragraph - whatever.
He rode alongside/behind me long enough to know what was happening. Reckless driving. That cost me for a number of years, enough to be always aware now.


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Being a pedestrian in Los Angeles requires absolute awareness of your environment.

Walking anywhere near the beach in summer doubles the need for awareness.

Guy coming down the pedestrian path on a skateboard (being pulled by his designer dog) with a Starbucks in one hand and talking on the phone. You'd better be aware because he sure isn't.


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silversword, the time of day compounds the problem further.
I once read that Emergency Personnel are busiest towards evening, "...when people are tired, nerves are frayed...."


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It is the extremely rare message that can't wait until a passenger car has stopped and the motor is turned off. Why don't all non-emergency vehicles have blocking devices? The little 'convenience' isn't enough to make up for one person killed or injured.

This is NOT the same as talking to a passenger or applying makeup or reading -- distractions that cannot be halted.

Some cars can go well over 100 MPH, but most US passenger cars have governors to prevent that.

Put Down the Cell Phone and DRIVE.


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What? I must be reading it wrong. Reading and putting on makeup can NOT be halted. Huh? All the things listed except passenger interactions can and should be halted. They ALL are distractions. I don't talk, text, or put on makeup. I really don't eat. That should be the biggest no-no. Phones aren't the problem. Try pointing at self-absorbed people.


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When I take my grandchildren to a movie (3 + myself) and pay good money, I don't appreciate the little bright screens popping up in all the seats between us and the big screen.
Why would these people go to a movie and feel a need to check their e-mail or whatever?
It strikes me as rude to distract others in a theater. I know doctors and emergency personnel need to be alerted, but wasn't there some research done in blocking cell phones in public venues some years ago?
I do know that was a self indulgent rant and I apologize in advance.


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This is NOT the same as talking to a passenger or applying makeup or reading -- distractions that cannot be halted.

I also must be misunderstanding. Talking to passenger, ok. Applying makeup or reading? While driving? No, not ok. And I will add shaving to that list. When I used to drive into NYC everyday, the amount of people reading the paper, applying makeup or shaving while driving was astounding.


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Situational awareness doesn't only pertain to cell phone distraction. I had a lot of training in the military on the issue. It has aided me thruout life every day. Always be aware of a safe place to exit a road while driving, see who is in the elevator before entering, be selective on where to sit while dining oyut, keep an eye on surroundings in a crowd, where are exits, and so on. It doesn't mean you need to be paranoid, just aware of your surroundings and situation. There are many distractions every minute of every day. Its prudent to practice situational awareness. I must admit that as I age, and my life style has changed, I have lost some skills


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Well... not everyone is as good at multi-tasking as they might think, even though it's become standard fare to try to juggle multiple things at once.

Some distractions have been a part of driving since the invention of the automobile, but life has gotten a lot busier and hurried, or fast paced, and some people tend to ignore safety in favor of multi-tasking.

I've witnessed people driving, while at the same time trying to accomplish any number of other tasks... reading, applying makeup, shaving, changing clothing, eating and drinking, using cell phones and other gadgets... and even trying to bottle feed infants strapped in the back seat. None of these things are safe to do while flying down the highway at approximately 65 mph, surrounded by other vehicles moving at similar speeds.

All it takes is one other car to change lanes without the use of a turn signal, or to lose concentration for a few seconds and veer into another lane, or for some other incident to take place... and it could be all over.

When we travel, it's not our car I worry about... it's the other drivers around us! Who knows what they're distracted with, or how good of a driver they are to begin with?! Driving a vehicle is not everyone's strong suit!

It's one thing to lazily meander down an empty sidewalk in small town America, where one could easily manage a cell phone or some other gadget... it's quite another to be part of the crowd on a busy city sidewalk or other heavily populated area.

It would be too easy for a petty thief to sidle up and grab that cell phone or gadget and run, or to have someone pick your pockets clean, or snatch your purse, while you're otherwise engaged.

I worry, too, that kidnappers, rapists and pedophiles and such will catch on to these kinds of distractions, and find it easier to grab targets while they're looking down, or while they're focused on a phone call or texting, or a video game... especially as teens, and even younger children, seem completely distracted by today's handheld technology, and every bit as oblivious to their surroundings as their older counterparts.

There are all kinds of reasons to keep one's focus on immediate surroundings and what's happening. It pays to keep one's head in the game, as it were.



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our to keep their head out of the game, in this case.

;)


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I didn't say other distractions are "OK". I said there's no way to stop them. There IS a way to block cell phone reception in a moving vehicle. "Hands free" is no help because it isn't "Brain free".

What cell phone call or message have you made or received that was more *vital* than risking a life to distracted driving? How did you 'cope' before cell phones?

We can't stop people from other distractions or even from driving drunk. We can block cell phone reception. It could be introduced as seat belt use was introduced. It could get you an insurance reduction. It could be required of novice drivers. (Can we save some teenagers' lives?)


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lol Rob


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In some states, it's already against the law to be using handheld gizmos while driving... a good, sensible law, in my opinion.


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Speaking of DUIs and situational awareness, one of our relatives has had an accident and several near accidents as they have to blow into the interlock system repeatedly while driving.

One of our employees that drove their vehicle from the installer's business to our warehouse nearly had an accident as well.


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We've had cell phone laws for years, however they're scoff laws as the chance of getting caught and penalties are low.

Those on probation or with junior licenses have their license suspended for 60 days for violations.


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Last summer, when we were cleaning out the attic, we found a bag with old toddler toys including a bright yellow plastic telephone with a dial ring thingie. My son, wanna-be comedian, puts this on the dashboard of his car, and at stop lights starts talking into it and gesturing wildly.


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Here's some info on the DUI Interlock Rolling Retest.

A Misdemeanor DWI in New York Equals the
Ignition Interlock Device

The IID is a device which connects through a motor vehicle’s ignition system and prevents the vehicle from starting without first determining through a breath sample the operator’s blood alcohol level. The IID is calibrated to a set point of .025% BAC. If a person were to provide a sample greater than the set point, the vehicle will not start. In addition to providing the initial breath sample to start the vehicle, the person is required to submit to rolling retests within 5-15 minutes, and then to random rolling retests not to exceed every 30 minutes. Practically speaking, the person must simultaneously provide a breath sample while also driving the vehicle

If you see someone blowing into a device, drive defensively...


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"Hands Free" is the law in my town, but that is not the answer. The driver of a motor vehicle should not be dividing his attention between conversing by phone and making driving decisions.

If the conversation is trivial, it can wait. If the conversation is important, stop the car and devote your attention to it.

People WILL continue to drive drunk, apply makeup, shave, read, drive on suspended licenses. We can't stop it. We have the technology to prevent them from using a cell phone while driving. Why don't we do it?

How did we ever *live* before cell phones? Big Whine. It would be funny if it wasn't causing accidents through misuse.


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Full disclosure - I don't have a cell phone, I don't need a cell phone, I don't want a cell phone.

I was driving through a parking lot the other day looking for a space to park. This guy was walking towards me down the middle of the road, texting and not paying any attention to where he was going. I finally stopped the car because I was going to run over him - he didn't even know I was there. He walked right into my car and got mad at me for being in his way. I just shook my head.

Situational awareness - A woman near where I live was killed by a train last week. She was running with ear buds in and didn't even hear the train as she crossed the tracks. She obviously didn't even look as she crossed. Just so sad.

I don't do anything in the car except drive - it takes all my attention, never mind patience, to avoid and watch out for all those people who are trying to all their daily chores while they're driving. you know the stuff - personal hygiene, eat their 3 meals, make their appointments, do up their grocery list, etc.


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Yes, there is a way to stop eating, reading, putting on makeup. Teach the kids, don't do it in front them, and don't poo-poo it saying, nothing can stop it. It's can be done and it's easy. As easy as putting the cell phone in the pocket and leaving it there. Not all cell phones users use their phones in the car any more than everyone puts on makeup in the car. It's just limited to really believe it's all about cell phones.

One you don't see any more but was rampant back in the 50s-70s, cigarette smoking. One hand on the wheel, puffing away and the other with a cigarette as close to the window as possible. I remember, pulling up to lights and being able to smell them in my car?! Or they'd have the cigarette, puffing away, inches form the baby they were holding. I hated seeing that. It's gone now. It was the rage and now it isn't. Phones are just the latest scape goat. How about kids up and walking around in the car? Remember that? No car seat. Ugh! That must've been an incomprehensible distraction.

I can go on, but let's just realize, people will alway have distractions if they let them be. We've learned. If you think aobut it, you won't eat, read, put on makeup... One wrong thing and you've wiped out your life or someone else's. It's not worth it to be distracted.

blfenton, he was in the middle of the road? What?!


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Hilarious, David! :-) I can just picture the slightly confused looks on other drivers' faces! I wonder how that would go over if a cop were sitting next to him in traffic?!


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The last two Broadway plays were rudely interrupted by idiots on cell phones. When we saw Wicked , the woman in front of me was on her FB the whole play with the glaring light distracting me. You pay huge prices to see a Broadway play, and YET FB is more important.

Last month seeing Jersey Boys ,an announcer said before the play started... put away ALL cell phones ,cameras, and other electronic devices and turn them OFF!!!!! A middle age woman sitting beside me apparently thought it was n't meant for her. When the main character in the play, Frankie Valli gets a phone call in the dead silence on stage about his daughter's death, the woman's phone rang just as loudly about four times and was heard all over the theater. Ring ring..and she said in a loud voice HELLO>>>>>I was so pissed and asked if she really was going to talk and others said the same and she left to never return. I'd like to think they would have thrown her out.


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How is hands free cell phone use any different than talking to a passenger in the car? I'm not saying people are not distracted while having a conversation. But, are we supposed to not talk at all while driving?


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No cell phone and no texting here.
I run a business and it is surprising how little business comes by telephone. All I can see wherever and whenever I go places are people distracted from their own lives. They seem to be unable to participate fully in their own lives without calling or answering the phone. I'm always saddened by the parents spending "quality" time with their children and their telephones. The telephones get the brunt of the time.
I can only assume that the reason people speak so very very loudly on cell phones is to convince themselves how important these calls are.


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Jill, I discussed this with my husband just a few rides ago. When you are talking with a passenger, both are pretty aware of traffic and the conversation tends to flow according to what is going on with traffic. Music or talk radio is also fine at a normal level because the brain can tune it out when absolute focus is needed.

But any interactive device such as phone conversation where the other end is not seeing what the driver is seeing - I believe that is where the difference is, the driver's attention and focus is too divided even with hands free, IMO.
Time and statistics will eventually decide that question, Im sure.

Not too long ago Mr M was driving down the freeway and I saw a young man driving with his KNEES while texting. He must have felt me staring because he looked over at me and I actually shook my finger at him * LOL* (Standing in for his mom)

I will hand it to him, he had the sense to look very sheepish.
My husband gave me heck for shaking my finger, he told me that kid could have pulled out a handgun instead of looking sheepish. I guess he's right, but my finger acted independently from my brain, it was beyond my control.
That's the excuse I gave and I'm sticking with it * LOL*


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I saw someone on the highway the other day, driving with his knees, with a laptop open on the steering wheel.

He was going slowly, just after an intersection with two main highways, I imagine checking google maps or something similar.


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LOL David, I would say you son is something of a comedian!

In Mass, we had a notorious incident a few years back when a subway driver was texting, and crashed into another subway. So since January 2012, commercial drivers are banned from using hand held devices. They are allowed to use a dash-mounted device that can be operated with a single button, and CB radios and emergency use are permitted.

Apparently Massachusetts thinks hands-free is less risky.

I have an old flip phone, and have been know to look at the screen while driving on rare occasions. I should know better. Women are supposedly better at multi-tasking than men, but that would not be me!


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Oh gosh Mylab be careful. One late night I was driving down the I-15 (not a lot of off-ramps, and the ones that exist are in the middle of nowhere) and saw the car ahead of me flick out their cigarette, which landed on my windshield.

I immediately laid on my horn and flashed my lights in indignation and they retaliated by switching lanes, getting behind me and flipping on their brights, following me at a very close clip, then passing, then returning to follow for the next ten miles before I could make my escape to a known, well lit off ramp.

My DD (around 4) was in the backseat.

The entire time I kept kicking myself, "what is it worth to be right"...


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This cell phone rant is really old. Really old. The tool is only as good as the user. There are many many people who are wise and know when to use it and not to use it. Plenty of people interacting with their children and not using their phone. Driving wthout texting. Dinners eaten with looking into each others' eyes with the phones tucked away and turned off. I don't know exactly where you live and with whom you interact, but those are the kind of people I am and I know.

My son is away out of town and, although we text all day long every day (he'll ask me questions about topics they've discussed in class while he's at lunch or I might ask him where he is if I have a change in plans when he's headed towards me after work. And to say I love you a lot!), not once have we texted each other since he left Wednedsday night. Nor will we.

He's having a good time, interacting with the other kids he's hanging out with, skateboarding, at the aquarium, singing, playing basketball, and other activities. They don't have their technology either. When he gets back, we're going out to dinner so he can tell me all about it. We'll also talk about his upcoming goals for the school year (starts in 13 days) and toast a toast (he with gingerale and me champagne) to another successful year, with great wishes for the next! And when we're winding down after all that celebrating, we are likely to get our phones out. He for a vidoe to laugh, and me to catch up at work for a whole 30 minutes. We'll get back to interacting and laughing techology free or watch tv.

We're a great generation. With our faults to be sure, but please stop harping on the cell phone issue as though every last one of us has all lost our way. In some ways, I think a lot of us more in tune with our communities, lives, homes, friends, the environment, etc. than the last generation. Or maybe we're just different. You have your distractions too, lack manners sometimes too, but cell phones aren't the end of civilization. Rude people are everywhere and how they commit that faux pas, is up to them. It's the user, not the tool.


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Jill I hear you about people just stopping in their track in the middle of the street and then there are others that just keep going and walk right in to you. Only yesterday I watched someone knock someone else down because they weren't paying attention.

Walk into a restaurant and how many times you see people who are sitting together talking or texting to others on their cell phones, ignorning their companions. .It is ridiculous.

Cuomo now has deployed specially outfitted spymobiles on highways and they are out in force going after people who use their cellular devices while driving.

I have rules that I try to live by. No phones at the table, no cells or texting in the car. No phone conversations or texts when in a social situation etc. We have a few exceptions to the rules like emergencies but IMO cells need to be used for what they are intended for, to benefit our lives, not interfere or put us in harm.


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Agree...I don't eat at fast food places, only nice sitdown restaurants and I observe this behavior in the best of them. A couple will be sitting across the table and both will be on their devices. A family will be sitting with the parents each texting away and not talking to their kids. It's NUTS.

I have problems in my own family with get togethers where they each are holding their iPhones like it would kill them to lay them down. Grandson is always on Twitter.

In grocery stores , someone will totally block the aisle while gabbing away oblivious to all. Call me an old fuddy duddy, I don't care.


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Jill I hear you about people just stopping in their track in the middle of the street and then there are others that just keep going and walk right in to you.

I almost got knocked over on the street the other day. Person walking down the middle of the crowded sidewalk, and they were actually looking in the opposite direction (behind them). If I hadn't moved over because I saw them coming, they would have walked right smack into me. I almost yelled something as they passed -- "WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING" -- but I thought better of it.

It's just amazing to me how clueless people are!

mylab - I hadn't thought about that -- other person in car is watching situation also. I will have to consider it. But what about when having a conversation with your kid in the back seat who can't see the road? I don't think I'm any more distracted by that than I am a hands free phone call.


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rob....your cell phone...text etiquette is very
commendable but you and yours are 1 in 10,000.

Some friends and I ate at OutBack a few nights ago and
commented on the fact that at most of the tables at least
one person (or more) was either texting or picking up the phone often to check it.
Age was not a factor. Some parents were as guilty as the kids.
I do not have a cell phone. When I retired...so did my cell phone.
I communicate by home phone or face to face.
Before I leave my home...I have to make sure I know where I am going (address etc).
I love to hear my son's voice. I love the sound of my granddaughters deep belly laugh when we share that special ha ha moment.
That old......lol.....text just didn't get it for me.
Hearing people tell me over the phone "I love you" means sooooo much more than ......luv u in a text.

If I had my way......cell phones could only be used for making 911 calls.


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Okay... so, situational awareness is at an all-time low, as evidenced by multiple anecdotes.

What's up with the lack of common courtesy?

A few days ago, we went to the local gas station to grab a gallon of milk, and as I walked up to the door, I could see a group of people getting ready to exit, so I stood and held the door open for them... two adult males and about four young people. Not one person said thank you. Not one.

One of the adults said "hi" as he walked past.

I was about to call out, "YER WELCOME!"... but thought I'd just hold my tongue.

What gives? Do people not know that it's impolite to just ignore someone like that?


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Jill, it can make one go mad. Add it to the groups of tourists and just inconsiderate people that stop in the middle of a crowded street. and block others, to converse instead of going off to the side.

There have been studies that show that cellphone conversations are more distracting than personal conversations with other passengers in a car but kids fighting in the backseat of a car is still way up on the list.

December 1, 2008 - Drivers are far more distracted by talking on a cellular phone than by conversing with a passenger in an automobile, according to a new study by University of Utah psychologists Frank Drews, David Strayer and Monisha Pasupathi.

The study, which used a sophisticated driving simulator, found that when drivers talk on a cell phone, they drift out of their lanes and missed exits more frequently than drivers conversing with a passenger.
...

Previous studies by Strayer and Drews have found that hands-free cell phones are just as distracting as handheld models because the conversation is the biggest distraction. They also have shown that when young adults talk on cell phones while driving, their reaction times become as slow as reaction times for senior citizens, and that drivers talking on cell phones are as impaired as drivers with the 0.08 percent blood alcohol level that defines drunken driving in most states.

Strayer says he often is asked about the distraction caused by conversations with passengers versus people on the other end of a cell phone, "because in both cases you have a conversation."

But "when you take a look at the data, it turns out that a driver conversing with a passenger is not as impaired a driver talking on a cell phone," he says. "You see bigger lane deviations for someone talking on a cell phone compared with a driver talking to a passenger. You also find when there is a passenger in the car, almost everyone takes the exit. But half the people talking on the cell phone fail to take the exit."

After reading some of those studies and yes, missing some exits, made me rethink my driving habits and it has made a big difference. Unless it is absolutely necessary I do not talk on the phone while driving.

Other studies show that overhearing a cellphone conversation is more distracting than a room full of people conversing, and last but not least, texting is more distracting than talking on a cellphone .

Lily,I don't know how old your grandchildren are but you have the option of setting rules and boundaries. Unless there is a good reason otherwise, there is nothing stopping you from insisting that in your home or your presence that they put their phones away. ATwitter obsession is not healthy under any circumstance.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here's one of many studies


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CW, cellphones serve a very good purpose and for many including myself do not replace conversations or other ways to communicate, if used properly they enhance it and are also useful in getting information and as you point out for emergencies. It all depends on the people who are using them and what they are taught/learn. My youngest DS doesn't live for his phone, he uses it responsibly and there is nothing nicer than hearing his voice telling me he is on his way home and he loves me and it is very convenient when I need to reach him during the day and to find out where he is and what he is doing. The same with the older kids, it keeps us close and in contact. The bottom line is because we all use it responsibly and courteously. It is what one is taught, not the device itself.

In many ways we are safer because of them. The benefits and outweigh the downside. To be able to call someone if one is running late is helpful and visa versa and to be able to find alternative ways to get places is another and there are many many more. It isn't black and white or either/or as you describe.


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Epi...Grandkids are 23(yesterday) and 15, and I do make them put the devices away at dinner. But my own kids are just as bad, and they should know better. I think I scared both G-kids away from Facebook because they're on Twitter now. Some things GS tweets are cool like a "selfie" of him sailing on Turks & Caicos yesterday with dolphins swimming beside him. Today he tweeted a pic of him with a dog they"rented"on the beach. Potpet? His parents closely monitor his online activities.


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Lily, I understand. We all have our own ways of doing things. For me there are some things that just aren't tolerated and being connected to social media when the family is together is one of them. I also understand the Twitter phenomenon. My youngest isn't there yet he still loves his computer games and my older step kids are on it but not all the time and I have an account as well but hardly on there. I also understand that teens and tweens are different. We all do what we are comfortable with and I know am lucky my family doesn't have the need to be attached 24/7 because I have friends with kids that are.


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Dave:

"Last summer, when we were cleaning out the attic, we found a bag with old toddler toys including a bright yellow plastic telephone with a dial ring thingie. My son, wanna-be comedian, puts this on the dashboard of his car, and at stop lights starts talking into it and gesturing wildly."

That's not wannabe. That's the real thing!! Genetic?

Epi and others on cell phones:

" it is very convenient when I need to reach him during the day and to find out where he is and what he is doing."

Growing up, there was no phone of any kind in my home. No car, either.

Many times I'd hitchhike into town and hang out at a gathering of friends at someone's house. It'd get late and I wouldn't feel like hitchhiking back for whatever reason. Call home? No way. I'd spend the night and next day I'd stroll into my home. "Hi, mom". No big deal.

I don't have a cell phone and hope that I can last a very long time before I feel compelled to "need" one.

Old Fogey, Hay


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Interesting studies about cell phone conversation vs those with passenger. I just don't understand why there is a difference. I don't think there is a difference for me. I'll have to pay closer attention.

Jodi - that is just so rude! That would drive me crazy too.

Don't get me started about the tourists on the sidewalks. The stopping to decide where to go next...the stopping to take a picture of a tall building...just makes me crazy. It's a building for goodness sakes! Not even a special building. Ugh, I know the city needs their tourist $$, but please just go home :-)


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I traveled for 20 years and the airports are different. Cellphones were cost prohibited so every Joe did not have the distraction. You saw business people off in a corner on their phones and computers. They recognized privacy and respectful usage of electronic.

I was in the airport last week and I finally started just rolling my luggage over their feet. If they did not have the good sense to walk on a side as they text or talked then I decided I would no longer keep trying to go around them only to have to go around someone stopped or walking and not notice they were walking into you.

If I have to use my equipment, I step over to the gate areas. I realize people are trying to get to their connecting flights and not get in the way standing in the middle of the walk using devices. That can cause someone to miss their connection. They do not realize they cannot walk and chew gum at the same time.

I encoutered a family walking side by side all using their equipment. A Mother and Father and 4 of their children ages appearance of 7 - teens. There was no where for opposite walkers to go in either direction. All of them looking at their devices and not looking up to let anyone keep moving. I moved over toward the adult male and ran over his little sandal toes. He noticed and got this family in a two by two situation. After he sat down and rubbed his toes. I did say "Oh excuse me but there was no where to walk"


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People get so entranced by their devices , it's as if they are the only people in the world. I hate it when they block sidewalks , doors and aisles in stores. And do you notice , if they are talking, it's always EXTRA loud for all the world to hear. Some times it's personal stuff too. Again, I'm an old fuddy duddy .


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I encoutered a family walking side by side all using their equipment. A Mother and Father and 4 of their children ages appearance of 7 - teens. There was no where for opposite walkers to go in either direction. All of them looking at their devices and not looking up to let anyone keep moving.

That is similar to what Jill and I were saying about the NYC streets. I don't mind the tourists just when they do stupid things like what Marquest mentioned or stop in the middle of the sidewalk to take a picture instead of moving off to the side. People are in a hurry since they have limited time during lunch hour, pr are on their way to an appointment. Not everyone is on vacation. I also find it funny when they take the subway at the height of rushhour and loudly complain about the crowds when all they would have to do is wait an hour.

I have had a cell for many years, mainly for business and always found it helpful especially for the airport. There were times that I was either running late or knew I was goin to miss my flight so the ability to contact the airlines and either change my flight or find out an alternate schedule and then being able to notify the people on the other end was great. Also makes picking people up much easier. But I never use(d) it to just have a conversation, I would rather use the time to read.

Most higher end restaurants now have a no cellphone use policy. they understand that it is necessary for some to be able to make/recieve calls but if you need to use your phone they require you to go to a designated area to do so You are not allowed to use it at the table and it is enforced.


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I'm happy for those of you who think you are not distracted from driving while using a cell phone, hands-on or hands-free. This has been PROVEN to be wrong. I'll be sorry when you have an accident, but I'll be furious when your distraction causes an accident that involves me!

How nice that you and your families are polite and believe that you don't over-use your gadgets. Do you never think about the 'other driver'? Is it OK for him to be distracted any more than it's OK for him to tailgate you or play Roadrunner on the highway you share?

I'm not posting here because I am interested in electronics etiquette or bringing up children. I want to prevent automobile accidents that are PROVEN to be more frequent when people are distracted from driving while their minds are engaged in a cell phone conversation.

Tell me again what *urgent* calls you've made or taken while driving. Johnny's going to be late for dinner? Your MD wants to discuss options for your cancer therapy? (One is trivial and can wait. The other requires more of your attention than you can give it while at the wheel.)

I shouldn't be so amazed that so many here are entirely resistant to being parted from their gadgets while driving. You'd think you were all long-haul truckers! Oh, but many trucking companies do prohibit all but emergency calls while the trucker is on the road... Seems it is NOT SAFE.


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While my husband can get lost if you turn him around in the driveway, I'm a fairly decent map reader. I don't require the use of a GPS unit or any of those types of gadgets, either.

The continual voice from a unit on the dashboard drives me absolutely insane! To me, this is far more distracting than a phone conversation, though we don't use a cell phone in the car unless it's necessary. And when it is, I'm the one using it. I'm always the passenger.

As an aside, my husband has no problem finding his way in and out of woods or forest, as an avid hunter/trapper. While he can easily get lost in urban areas, you can rest assured that he will exit a wooded area in exactly the same place he entered. It's uncanny.


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My son works for a long-haul towing service and is prohibited from using his personal cell phone for any reason and limited to using the company cell phone for business only. The company monitors his truck cell to make sure.

While driving, I either don't answer the cell or perhaps will answer and ask the other person to call back in 15,30, or more minutes later. There are some days when I see most drivers of vehicles around me chatting away, often times with hand-helds and not Bluetooths or similar hands free comm. They all are distracted, some tend to go slower and slower so that they are a menace to traffic speeding by them.

I too am irritated by people welded to their handhelds. I've sat in on some of the Institutes classes, sitting in the back of the room, and watching students check cell phones and other electronic devices. Some are using the devices to record the lectures but others seem oblivious to the class. Others are using open laptops, sometimes recording or taking notes but at other times playing video games, puzzles and other amusements.

I am also on a tear about those earbuds and devices pocketed for their applications. These are distractions that show up in work performance; mostly these people slow down and even stop working. When working in teams, communications between members become a pain because the offender can't hear or only partially hears directives.

Enough ranting for the day. I am firing one such person because when I am not on the job, he wires up and goes through the motions of working. After a third complaint from long-time customers, I pay attention.


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Lightening hit a tree which severed an optic cell line which incapacitated Verizon, Sprint, T -mobile in my area last night. You would think a terrorist attack was in progress. People were freaking out on FB and other forums demanding when their service would be restored. Withdrawal symptoms... omg!!! Fortunately for them, service has been restored.


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I find a lot of complaining about electronic devices just silly. Sure kids in class can not pay attention by using their electronic devices, but please, if someone doesn't want to pay attention they don't need any electronic device to do so. There were plenty of times in college when I was bored in class and found plenty of ways to not pay attention and there were no electronic devices way back then.

Before cell phones, plenty of people were distracted in their cars by playing with the radio dial, eating, singing, talking, whatever.

I am not saying there should not be laws about electronic devices while driving. Obviously, looking at your phone to dial a number, or texting, or anything like that while driving is ridiculous and should not be allowed. I'm just not sure I buy into the distracted more when talking on phone than to a live person. Obviously, shouldn't be having in depth, emotional conversations while driving, but that's true for live person as well as cell phones.

And don't get me wrong. I hardly talk on my cell phone while driving, or anywhere else for that matter. I am not a phone person and hate talking on the phone (cell or landline). My iPhone is used for lots of things, the least of which is phone calls.


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While driving, I either don't answer the cell or perhaps will answer and ask the other person to call back in 15,30, or more minutes later.

Same here. I usually don't answer and call them back when I get off the road. It is no big deal. I also don't answer when I am spending time with friends or family, even just walking through the streets and times I don't have my cell with me at all. I am not attached to my cell 24/7 and I am not one who spends much time talking on the phone.

For me it is a handly device like other things and as Jill said it has much more other uses than just a phone.


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I barely know how to use a cell phone, its a basic pre paid thing. I use it for long distance calls as we have no long distance on the land line. I carry it when out with the chain saw or doing other dangerous duty. I find most users are rude, no damn manners at all. I just walk away if they have to answer some call while talking to me. I really hate the idiots who always have the thing on speaker!!


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I get a kick out of replying to people chatting away on their no-hands comm devices. "I mean, gosh, I thought you was speaking at me. I am so courteous, I replied in kind; otherwise, only crazy people talk out loud with themselves. You're not too crazy, are you?"


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It IS a little disconcerting to see people with hidden earsets talking out loud, as if to themselves! For a brief second you wonder about them, then realize they're on a call with a hands-free wireless unit. No, they're not crazy people mumbling to themselves... LOL!

I think there's a time and place for this sort of communication, and somewhere in there, one must use a little common sense and common courtesy.


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Would anyone here oppose a law requiring a device in passenger vehicles that would block cell phone use when the car was in motion?

You have all piped up about how careful YOU are, but you are not the only people on the road -- and I have to doubt you ARE that abstemious with phone use while driving.

Remember when people complained about seat belts? I expect there would be complaints about this -- until, as with seat belt compliance, fewer people died and/or sustained painful and costly injuries in crashes.

There have been some changes in licensing teenagers. We might start with requiring the device on their vehicles -- and those of Seniors -- whatever group is proven most at risk.

I couldn't understand why legistlators and insurance companies wouldn't be pushing for such a law -- until I read some of the 'addicted' backlash here.


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I would not have a problem with that Chisue. It would be SOO much safer.


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Yes, I would oppose a law like that. As the passenger, I sometimes have to deal with getting directions to a location, letting someone know where we'll meet them, when we're arriving at a location, and other equally important messages have to be passed back and forth.

Just make it illegal for the driver to be engaged with handheld technology while driving. That's a simple enough thing that would prevent a lot of accidents from occurring.

If one couldn't use technology within a vehicle, it would make it difficult when one has a breakdown on the highway, when one is lost, or for myriad other emergencies and other issues.


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"Would anyone here oppose a law requiring a device in passenger vehicles that would block cell phone use WHEN THE CAR WAS IN MOTION?"

There is no reason that you could not pull the vehicle over and talk on the phone.


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On the freeway/expressway? The drivers coming up the lane while talking or texting would odds-on likely to sideswipe your car or worse.


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  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 21, 13 at 14:32

"Just make it illegal"

We've had that here since (2007) 2010.

Here is a link that might be useful: Washington’s new cell phone law takes effect this summer


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No, it won't work to block only the driver's phone, nor to have the block on a phone. Those are too easy to get around.

Susie says, "Jennifer, my cell phone has a governor. I can't use it when I'm driving." "That's OK, Suze, we'll use mine. Let's call Jimmy!"

Jodik -- You can pull over and make or take the call. If it's not important enough to pull over, well, there's you answer to how much less important it is when compared to lives saved and accidents avoided. Look again at the 'important messages' you cited. They sound inconsequential to me. What did you do before cell phones? Do that.
marshallz_10 -- The other drivers won't be using their phones. This has to be the law. Like seatbelts.

I do see people pulled over on a shoulder of our expressways who appear to be concentrating on an important call. Most of the people driving and talking appear to be just blathering on. This seems to correlate with my observation about how unnecessary most calls are. IF the conversation is consequential, you need to devote your full attention to it, not try to drive and talk/listen.

So...only Frank is onboard with this?


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  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 21, 13 at 15:30

If he's onboard you won't have to pull over to call him.


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Why would it be necessary for the car to pulled over while the PASSENGER talks on a cell phone?


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It depends on what "this" is in its entirety. I want to be able to use my cellphone should my car breakdown on the road.I want to be able to pull over on the side of the road to get directions if I am lost and don't have a gps or the gps is incorrect which happens. Do I care if I am unable to make "chatty" calls while on the road, no since I don't do that anyway. Same if I need to make a longer call and pull over on the side of the road or into a parking area. I should have the ability to do so, not be prohibited and I also think that being able to call for emergencies should not be prohibitied like being followed in a car and needing to call the police which sadly happens too often.

Susie says, "Jennifer, my cell phone has a governor. I can't use it when I'm driving." "That's OK, Suze, we'll use mine. Let's call Jimmy!"

So you want no one to be able to use a cell phone in a car? The problem is more about the drivers distraction, answering or texting while driving. If Jennifer can dial and talk while Suze drives then I don't see how that can be prohibited.

If I am driving with my DH (he is driving) and we are running late and I want to call and tell them we will be there in a little while there is no good reason that I shouldn't be able to do so. Saje with getting directions, This is not distracting him from operating a vehicle since he is not dialing nor talking.

This is NYS law now. As I mentioned before they have specially fitted vehicles on the road to monitor and catch people.

What are the laws on cell phone use, texting or sending email while you operate a vehicle in NYS?

Under New York State law you cannot use a hand-held mobile telephone or send a text or an email while you drive. If you use a hand-held mobile telephone while you drive, except to call 911 or to contact medical, fire or police personnel about an emergency, or use a device to text or send email, you can receive a traffic ticket and pay a maximum fine of $100 and mandatory surcharges and fees of up to $85.

In 2013, several changes are being made to the penalties for these violations as described below.

Increased Driver Violation Points
•For offenses committed between October 5, 2011 and May 31, 2013, this violation carries three driver violation points.
•For offenses committed on or after June 1, 2013, this violation carries five driver violation points.

New Suspensions and Revocations for Probationary and Junior Drivers

For violations that occur on and after July 1, 2013, the following changes affect drivers with probationary driver licenses, Class DJ or Class MJ driver licenses or learner permits:
•Conviction will result in a mandatory 60-day driver license or permit suspension.
•A second such conviction within six months will result in:

◦a revocation of at least 6 months of a probationary license, or
◦a revocation of at least 60 days for a Class DJ or MJ driver license or learner permit.

New Minimum Fines and Increased Maximum Fines

For violations that occur on or after July 26, 2013, there are new minimum fines and higher maximum fines increase as follows:
•For a first offense, the minimum fine is $50 and maximum fine increases to $150.
•For a second offense committed within 18 months, the minimum fine is $50 and the maximum fine increases to $200.
•For a third or subsequent offense committed within 18 months, the minimum fine is $50 and the maximum fine increases to $400.

New Penalties for Motor Carriers and Commercial Vehicle Drivers

For violations committed by commercial vehicle drivers on and after October 28, 2013, the following changes take effect:
•A motor carrier must not allow or require their drivers to use cell phones or texting devices while driving.
•A mobile telephone used by a person who operates a commercial motor vehicle shall not be deemed a "hands-free mobile telephone" when the driver presses more than a single button to dial or answer the phone.
•A commercial vehicle driver is not allowed to make a phone call or use a texting device while the vehicle is temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays.
•A commercial vehicle driver who holds a mobile telephone to, or in the immediate proximity of, his or her ear while the vehicle is temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays is also presumed to be engaged in a call.
•A commercial vehicle driver who holds a portable electronic device in a conspicuous manner while the vehicle is temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays is presumed to be using the device.

For complete information on this traffic safety issue and a copy of the law, see the Distracted Driving page at the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee web site.

Here is a link that might be useful: NYS law


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Ahhhh, Big Brother. The California law has similar provisions; Nancy might know those better than I.

BTW, I am in favor of banning use of electronic devices that are distracting on personal vehicles and some classes of commercial ones.

I am reluctant to urge every one to pull over to the shoulder of roadways, engage in distracting conversations/texting/emailing, and then re-merge into traffic. Entering and existing major roads that are will marked is dangerous enough and sites of many fender benders. Imagine another million or so IT comm addicts pulling over to get their fixes. (shuddering)


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I am reluctant to urge every one to pull over to the shoulder of roadways, engage in distracting conversations/texting/emailing, and then re-merge into traffic. Entering and existing major roads that are will marked is dangerous enough and sites of many fender benders. Imagine another million or so IT comm addicts pulling over to get their fixes. (shuddering)

Good point(s).


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Ah yes, Marshallz... merging and yielding... two things many drivers are unaware how to do properly or safely, judging by the many, many times I've witnessed these actions while on the highways. The use of a turn signal doesn't always seem to be uppermost on the minds of some drivers, either.

I very rarely see anyone on the side of the road talking on a cell phone... usually they're doing it right in traffic, while driving.

I think that as long as the driver is not preoccupied by gadgetry, that should be good enough.

It's not practical to disallow everyone in the vehicle from using technology.


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Sorry, I still think the benefits in lives saved in auto accidents due to distracted driving (Driving While Yammering) outweigh the little inconveniences. People would stop yammering on cell phone calls of little consequence if they had to PULL OVER to do it.

The car has to stop ALL communication because there is no other way to prevent the driver from using the passenger's phone.

This would not prevent anyone in a STOPPED car from calling, so there's the end of the 'out of gas', etc. argument.

YES! It IS 'big brother'. So are all safety laws.

Weigh it again, please. "We're going to be 10 minutes late for dinner." Versus: "Blah, blah, blah"...OMG! I hit that pedestrian! He's not moving!"


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How is hands free cell phone use any different than talking to a passenger in the car?

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but there is a difference. I have no idea why, but I focus less intensely if the person is in the car. My attention gaps with voice-activated-hands-free conversation are too risky.


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The car has to stop ALL communication because there is no other way to prevent the driver from using the passenger's phone.

But as others have already noted the passenger can use the phone and not the driver alleviating the need for the driver to dial, text or talk. There is no good reason that a passenger shouldn't be able to use these devices.

This would not prevent anyone in a STOPPED car from calling, so there's the end of the 'out of gas', etc. argument.

And what about other emergency calls for help such as if one is being followed (the last thing you are advised to do is stop) or other times when it is physically impossible for you to stop or pull over as well as the problems that Marshall indicated, when people stop and get back on the road.

I don't disagree with you that people chatting for no good reason is a problem and drivers on cellphones are dangerous and distracted but eliminating phones completely is not the answer. There is no perfect solution but ALL situations have to be considered. Preventing passengers from using cellphones doesn't seem like a good or tangible solution.


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I see what Chisue is saying though. The only realistic solution is if the car is moving cell phones will not work. Otherwise people will get around the law by borrowing the passenger's phone.

I do not know how people ever got by twenty years ago without the emergency cell phone that was needed for people following them or passengers making chit chat.


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It was a struggle, Frank, but we survived through the plague of all of us being followed all the time and the agony of garrulous passengers.

Now we are potentially being followed all the time by ubiquitous gps and video and satellite technologies. And now we can listen to our passengers chatting on their handhelds while avoiding the distracted drivers around us.


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I do not know how people ever got by twenty years ago without the emergency cell phone that was needed for people following them

It was a struggle, Frank, but we survived through the plague of all of us being followed all the time and the agony of garrulous passengers.

If that is all you both took from my posts so be it. Having once been followed in a car upstate on a deserted road I don't find much humor in it but If it gives you pleasure and ha ha's then please, carry on.

This post was edited by epiphyticlvr on Sun, Jul 21, 13 at 19:35


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How is hands free cell phone use any different than talking to a passenger in the car?

I forget sometimes whether I already posted something or just intended to, but I didn't see my name in a scan of the topic so I think I'm good. Anyway, studies have revealed that passengers in the car unconsciously adjust the tenor and topic of the conversation because they can see the stresses of the road that the driver is dealing with.

A cell phone conversant clearly can't do that.

epiphyticlvr I understand about being followed. I was followed as a teenager twice, once without a cell and once with. Just using the phone was enough to make one guy swerve on around ... for the other though, I had no idea where to go ... but I ended up at my work which was Astroworld Theme Park at the time ... they had a security station near the employee entrance and it was just a place where I knew there would be "good guys."

I'd always been taught to go to a police station, but who knows where the nearest police station is to every part of town when you live in a city of millions? Unless of course you dial 411 ...

I don't think outlawing phones in the car is the answer either. I don't think most of the phone use I see on the road is wise, but when you look at the road rage, ignorance of basic traffic laws, and general inconsideration among drivers, I think it's clear that the problem is much bigger than just phones. JMO.


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"I don't think outlawing phones in the car is the answer either. I don't think most of the phone use I see on the road is wise, but when you look at the road rage, ignorance of basic traffic laws, and general inconsideration among drivers, I think it's clear that the problem is much bigger than just phones."

Cell phone use by the driver is as bad as drunk driving.

EDIT I know that passengers should be able to talk on their phone, but can you guarantee that they will not hand their phone over to the driver? Can you guarantee that a driver is not going to make their kid hold onto their cell phone?

This post was edited by frank_il on Sun, Jul 21, 13 at 21:25


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Epi, I apologize if you thought I was picking on you. I wasn't. I too have been stalked by a car full of punks wanting to teach me manners or whatever. Another time I was followed through freeways and surface streets by a road-rager. I was in my town so knew where the police station was. The young feller took a quick look at the sign and roared off.


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Epi, I didn't mean anything by it either. I do often wonder how people got by without cell phones.

I know if I were being followed, I would want to have the ability to use a cell phone. But I just don't know if it is worth the trade off of my safety the other 99.9% of the time.


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epiphyticlvr I understand about being followed. I was followed as a teenager twice, once without a cell and once with. Just using the phone was enough to make one guy swerve on around ... for the other though, I had no idea where to go ... but I ended up at my work which was Astroworld Theme Park at the time ... they had a security station near the employee entrance and it was just a place where I knew there would be "good guys."

I'd always been taught to go to a police station, but who knows where the nearest police station is to every part of town when you live in a city of millions? Unless of course you dial 411 ...


Thanks TxanGoddess. I am glad you knew where to go to find safety and it turned out well. I was in an area that I didn't know and wouldn't have known where to go. I was visiting friends upstate and didn't know the area at all, it was the first day I was there and I was on a dark country road. I was followed and harassed for a short while and then pulled out my cell phone and called 911 (and then my then BF, now DH) and when they (it was a car with 4 men/boys in it) saw the phone they drove off. The police met me on the road but when I was on the phone they told me "to keep driving and they would find me" so in my case the cell phone came in very handy. Had I known the area I would have just driven to a safe place. When I lived in Brooklyn years ago I was coming home late at night with a friend and we were followed. Since I knew where I was I drove directly to the police station.

Cell phones are useful for more than just chatting for some and a friend of mine may not have been sexually assaulted 22 years ago if she had one so I guess we know "how (some) people got by twenty years ago without the emergency cell phone that was needed for people following them" in her case, not very well. Now we do, and people are safer for it. Even law enforcement encourages the use of them for women traveling alone.

Sorry but some of these flippant, insensitive remarks made by some, make me sick.


Marshall, thank you. Apology accepted. To be honest I was taken aback at your remark "knowing" you from posting here I was surprised, so thank you for coming back to post and for clarifying.

I was lucky. I didn't know what their intentions were but I was scared, and TxanGoddess was also lucky that she knew where to go to find help but my friend not so much. Things may have turned out differently if she had a phone to call for help.


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My wish would be no cell phone usage while a vehicle is
in motion period.
It gets on my nerves when I am driving to have one sitting next to me yapping on their cell phone. That distracts me.
Get your talking over before you leave the home and if you did have to make that "special" call........then the car would have to be stopped ........even for passengers.
Works for me.

I have umteen relatives and we stay in constant contact.
But not when I am out to eat with friends , in an airport
shopping etc.
I have set boundaries regarding cell phones and everyone friends and family know the limitations.
Some might not like it but I want and insist on no texting or phone calls at my table.....in my home.....in my car or out to eat..
I'm still as busy as ever so that proves to me I am respected.
I hope I live to see them outlawed in every state in many situations.


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I carry a tracphone for emergencies, i.e., car breaks down. I won't allow the driver of a car I'm riding in to use their cell phone. There is no need to be constantly "connected" IMO.

I suppose being followed would be creepy. Around here (rural) it is commonplace for a lot of people to carry a firearm, which is probably a good deterrent to would-be bad guys.


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But I just don't know if it is worth the trade off of my safety the other 99.9% of the time.

I think any woman or anyone for that matter that has used a cell phone to get themselves out of a bad situation may think otherwise.

It seems that some seem to think that everyone uses their phones the same which simply isn't true. I don't know anyone who uses their cell phones to frivolously chat especially in the car. None of my family or friends do and as I mentioned up thread nor do I. In fact, I like the alone time if I am on a long drive and I don't spend much time phone chatting on a land line let alone a cellphone in the car or around others. I do not chat when I am on buses, walking down the street or in elevators either.

As I also mentioned before I don't use it when I am with people but only for specific reasons and the calls last for much less than a minute if that much and 99.9 of the time it is not when driving and I don't initiate calls when I am even with the voice dial feature. I am glad when I am driving alone late at night and it is on the seat next to me just in case.


It gets on my nerves when I am driving to have one sitting next to me yapping on their cell phone. That distracts me.
Get your talking over before you leave the home and if you did have to make that "special" call........then the car would have to be stopped ........even for passengers

I have set boundaries regarding cell phones and everyone friends and family know the limitations.

Which is it? You said two very different things.

If you are driven (no pun intended) to distraction with your car mates yapping because they are making their "special call", whatever that means, then they don't seem to be respecting your boundaries at all. Why are they making a "special" call when they are with you?

I have never had anyone in my car who has used their phone to chat while they are with me. When I am with people we are talking to each other. It doesn't matter where we are, in the car, the table or walking on the street. If a friends child calls to ask if they can go to a friends house or to check in it is a very short conversation that consists of no or yes, be home at __ or if they call home to check on a baby sitter or to ask if everything is ok or do they need anything all these calls are very short. I can't understand why anyone would be spending time with you yet "yapping" to others unless they don't want to be there.

I don't see anyone here advocating people chatting on the phones while driving or needing to be constantly connected. On the contrary.

I'd rather have a cell phone next to me than a gun.

This post was edited by epiphyticlvr on Mon, Jul 22, 13 at 0:19


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RE: Situational Awareness

"I'd rather have a cell phone next to me than a gun."

On a "deserted" road (well, not quite deserted, is it) with unknown person(s) following? In one of those "black holes" with no cell phone reception? Good for you. Hope it's a big one.


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RE: Situational Awareness

My cell phone is kept in the car we mostly used. Both new cars have voice dial ,but we have never used it. As I said before , we don't have an iPhone choosing to have an iPad instead since we don't make many calls. The flip top Samsung is very handy to use if an emergency arose ,or we were a victim of road rage. It's crazy out there. I would never be without it when I go somewhere in a car. No one but my kids know my number, so it's not like I chat a lot. We buy minutes.

Grandson is heading into the jungles of Costa Rico as I type and will be without cell / internet coverage. Mr Twitter will go into withdrawal. I see he was tweeting away while he still could...lol.


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RE: Situational Awareness

How did I get by before cell phones? Barely. It's saved my rear so many times. Ever been broken down the side of the road wthout a phone and had to get of the car and walk? What I wouldn't have given for a phone the night my car ran out of gas and I had a fever and was VERY pregnant. People walking down the interstate are targets. Ever been lost or can't find the person you're meeting? Or late to meet them? On the other side of campus or the world and need a question answered immediately?

It's still amazing to me that I can comminicate with someone standing on the Great Wall of China and I'm Nashville. Remember what is was like to try to communicate with people overseas in the 70s? Nowadays, kids can talk to their dads every night via Skype even in war zones. Have any idea what it was like to go years (Yes, years. He was a career officier) without seeing or hearing your dad? Loved the letters and Skype will never replace a hug or a kiss.

It was long distance to call my mom while at university. Long distance. Any idea what that was like when it was only a 30 minute drive? All week long in a scary place without a way to settle in. Frustrating!

Dude walking out to cross the street (a busy intersection, typically, which wasn't this morning, good for him!) in front of me, but he didn't have phone in his hand or ear. Hm? Stepped back upwhen he saw me sitting there. I sat still and waited, then he crossed. Good thing I wasn't on my EVIL cellphone.

The ills of our society have loads more to do with self importance than it does with technology. This whole discussion is so short-sighted, it's sickening me. Y'all can go back to sitting othe floor listening to them; how dare we go forward without radios.


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RE: Situational Awareness

Weird, rob333, to harken back to the days of analog communications as the bad old days. Some of us long for the old days of having personal spaces not dictated by technology and mores elevating them atop human experiences.


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RE: Situational Awareness

And I find that saying society was great before technology changed it is weird. Do you really hear yourselves?

I think the past gets glamorized in peoples' memories. Were partylines on the phone all that great? People listening in you didn't know? Was hitch hiking all that safe? Smoking was made out to be so elegant in films. Were they nuts?! I remember dialing dial phones. You'd mess up and have to start all over gain. Frustrating!!!! Do you realy want your milk sitting out on the curb in 90 degree weather? Really? Maybe we should've stuck to gowns that weighted 30 pounds and wearing boning corsets.

Times change. When you were younger it was just DIFFERENT not better.


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RE: Situational Awareness

So you are making my point. The past was not worse, just different, not a terrible time of deprivation and doom.


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RE: Situational Awareness

So you agree that cell phones have nothing do with present day ills?


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RE: Situational Awareness

Last night we were at a birthday party when an infant was run over by a large dog that started to bite the infant when they started screaming.

My brother shoved 2 users on cell phones out of the way (they were literally feet away) that didn't see the event unfold and didn't respond.


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RE: Situational Awareness

It gets on my nerves when I am driving to have one sitting next to me yapping on their cell phone. That distracts me.
Get your talking over before you leave the home and if you did have to make that "special" call........then the car would have to be stopped ........even for passengers

I have set boundaries regarding cell phones and everyone friends and family know the limitations.
*************************************************
Epip:
Which is it? You said two very different things.

If you are driven (no pun intended) to distraction with your car mates yapping because they are making their "special call", whatever that means, then they don't seem to be respecting your boundaries at all. Why are they making a "special" call when they are with you?
********************************************************************** **
Epip.......you are right. I should have used the word "It got"........instead of "it gets" and "that distracted me" instead of "that distracts me".
I didn't use the past tense in my wording.

We usually have to have a starting point to get from A to B
Having been distracted several years ago and having the yapping TO HAVE made me nervous was the A TO the B.
Did you really want an explanation for something so trivial or was that just another way to poke me.
I'm beginning to think we aren't ever going to be BFF. :)


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RE: Situational Awareness

I have to agree with Marshall , and also with rob to some degree. Some days I long for the "olden" days when life was simple . I have more stress today running a big house with multiple electronic devices and appliances that never last half as long as their earlier counterparts. I had a TV which got three channels, a land-line phone which always worked, a radio that turned off and on with a button. , not a fancy program. Same with the landline phones, no programming required. No digital appliances with touch pads controls which break with great regularity. As I said in another thread, my mother's Hotpoint stove bought in 1948 was still running perfectly 52 years later when I sold the house. There just wasn't the myriad of problems which happen almost every day on a regular basis. Like the $800 Dell which died three weeks ago, and we are still trying to restore programs on the new one. Costs too much to repair the old. Throw away society which I am contributing to.

However agreeing with Rob on the great invention of the cell phone. It has probably saved many thousands of lives. I remember long trips with babies in a VW Beetle which was so unpredictable. When it had problems, we were stopped along the road with no way to get help. I remember worrying about teens out late, and no way to get in touch with them.

I would never dream that I could buy a camera like I did yesterday which is two inches long and takes great pictures and videos. I used to take a roll and then wait days to get it developed. SIL took 500 on their vacation, we took maybe 10 on our ones long ago. I would never dream in my old days of black and white TV that I would be able to have large flat screens like a movies theater and never move off my chair to download movies and shows. Once I was hiking in the woods and got a call from my son in Puerto Rico as clear as a bell. We always limited our long distance calls because they were expensive. In college we stood in line in front of the payphone in the hall(like prisoners) I was Facetiming my daughter in Turks&Caicos every night last week on our iPads. In my wildest dreams i would have ever believed this technology would exist. I just wonder what my grandkids will see in their lifetimes.

But I still miss the gentle time when people actually intermingled with each other. Way less stressful time to live. . IMO.


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RE: Situational Awareness

Forgot to add this .
If cell phones couldn't be in use while motor is running the bride-to-be and her friends would be alive today.

Report: Limo driver on phone before fatal fire
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) ��" The estranged wife of the Northern California limousine driver who was behind the wheel when a fire in the vehicle killed five women celebrating a wedding said he had been arguing with her on the phone moments before the blaze, according to a newspaper report Sunday.

Rachel "Raquel" Hernandez-Brown told the San Jose Mercury News (http://tinyurl.com/ljazm9d ) that during their shouting match, Orville Brown turned up the music in the limo so his passengers couldn't hear the tense conversation.
"The music was really loud. And I kept yelling, 'I can't hear you. Turn it down,'" Hernandez-Brown told the newspaper. "I said, 'You're not paying attention.' You know, like, get off the phone. Stop calling me."

One of the nine nurses in the vehicle said she banged on the partition to warn the driver that the back of the limo was filling with smoke. Brown told authorities that he initially misunderstood the warning as a request to smoke a cigarette and kept driving.

Should this man go to prison?


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RE: Situational Awareness

It all seems to come down to whether or not a person can chew gum and walk at the same time...

Many people do not have issue with talking while driving... it's those who LOOK AWAY FROM THE ROAD IN FRONT OF THEM while using handheld gadgets that seem to have problems maintaining the travel of their vehicles, and thereby cause accidents.

It's not fair to penalize everyone just because the few have problems multi-tasking.

I would most heartily agree that the driver should be concentrating on the road, and that it's safer to keep both hands on the wheel while doing so... but I don't think everyone has the problem of not being able to carry on either a conversation with passengers, or one on a hands-free wireless unit, while driving.

Certainly, those persons who can't walk and chew gum know who they are, and they should be careful while driving... but there are many people who can walk and chew gum, so it wouldn't be useful to keep all technology from being operational within a vehicle.


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RE: Situational Awareness

Epip.......you are right. I should have used the word "It got"........instead of "it gets" and "that distracted me" instead of "that distracts me".
I didn't use the past tense in my wording.
Did you really want an explanation for something so trivial or was that just another way to poke me.

CW, snark aside, YES, a correct explanation is in order on a discussion board. We communicate by what we write so it would behoove you to use the correct tense to accurately state what you are saying. If I took your words and changed them I would be putting words in your mouth so to speak and I would be guilty of doing what you have posted you abhor...assuming what you meant. Right? You cant have it both ways at your convenience.

Under these circumstances what you are calling trivial isn't. If you cannot properly state what you mean then don't expect others to "know" nor should you assume they do. I can only go by what you write since I don't know you nor do I read minds.

As for your last statement, another false accusation. Based on my explanation above and common sense I was doing nothing that you are accusing me of...poking. Properly stating what you mean isn't trivial on a discussion board or in any intelligent discussion and is expected. Correctly stating what one means avoids communication problems. I stated what I interpreted your words to mean, and as posted, I was correct. You then were able to correct yourself but instead of just doing so you had to throw out a false accusation?

To be honest I never gave any thought at all as to whether we would be friends or not. :)

Lily, you can simplify your life in many ways if you choose. You can go out and buy a simple phone like we have in our house for blackouts which is corded and you plug it in to the wall. No fancy bells and whistles. It does one thing and one thing only. Same with your appliances and gadgets. I know someone who hates answering machines and doesn't have one and lives a perfectly good life. Everyone knows that they have to call him back if they want to reach him. I have another friend who has no cell service where they have their summer home. Everyone knows that if they want to reach them then they call their landline. You can get rid of your microwave and other appliances and use your oven, get rid of your DVR or other devices, get rid of cable or satellite and have just a few channels that you get from rabbit ears or roof antenna (unless you live in certain areas like Manhattan where there is no reception at all without cable) etc.

You can also get rid of or shut off your cell phone. One option is to put a message that simply states I do not use the cell often or check messages so if you want to reach me please call me at ____and give your landline number or another options is to shut off the answering device completely. If they can't leave a message and want to reach you they will figure out how. No one is forced to use these things but do so by choice and again, if you want to simplify your life you can.

One can also put a message on their cell phone stating that they do not answer their phone while driving and they will get back you when they are out of the car, There are many options available.

Since we know that many accidents are caused by tired drivers do we prohibit anyone from driving that hasn't had a certain number of hours sleep or even worse, jet lagged. Do we prevent them from driving for 2-3 days when they return? How about doing other things that are distracting like setting a thermostat in the car, or other devices; changing the radio channel; eating; yelling at screaming kids in the back seat and all the other things that take one's mind and eyes off the road for a moment and have also been PROVEN to cause accidents? We can't legislate common sense and driving without talking on a cell phone or texting is just that but not everyone is irresponsible or does so, in fact not everyone behaves the same.


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RE: Situational Awareness

While I definitely think talking/ texting on cell phones is a dangerous practice., I think the new cars with all their devices are just AS distracting. While you used to be able to scroll up the dial without taking your eyes off the road, now it's all programed with Sirius and you have to see the screen which shows the stations. The screens on these cars are as distracting as checking cell phones.

Epi I do have two stationary phones, AND four portable home phones, one base , three other phones. . . which all need programming for all the numbers of the people I call on each phone. My cell phone is turned off, but the answering machine is part of the base phone, and I happen to much prefer that over the voice mail which I also have. Much less convenient and is only activated when the home phone is in use. Then I have to dial a number, put in a code to hear the message. .

I can't give up my big screen TVs once I have had them. But they all have to be programmed too. You can't go back in time. I'm just saying products were built to last longer years ago. The $899 two year old Dell which I loved ,with all the bells and whistles, died suddenly and with it three weeks of problems which are still not resolved, because now we have Windows 8. We are not like the 22 year old geek whose fingers flew across my keyboard fixing things in a flash.

When I was a little kid we didn't even have a TV!!!


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RE: Situational Awareness

You can't go back in time.

In some ways you can. It all comes down to choices. You complained up thread about the stress that programming your items cause you yet you chose them. There is a plethora of choices out there and you could have/can choose those that fit your lifestyle, needs and wants better including going back to just the basics. Nothing is preventing you from downsizing your gadgets to basic ones or easier to use ones if what you previously chose is stressful or difficult to use. Not all answering machines require a code and there are usually options to turn certain features off of all gadgets and appliances. You can turn off voicemail and attach a basic answering machine that when you press a button it plays your messages. These gadgets are supposed to make your life easier, not add more stress. You can go back to the "good ole days" by simply choosing to not take advantage of the technology available today and avoiding things that need to be programmed.

I agree that many items aren't built as well as they used to be and they simply aren't made to last since they want you to replace them. It isn't a surprise that the more bells and whistles something has, the more chance that something can/will go wrong since there are simply more things on it that can break and it is all connected. It also isn't surprising that something made of plastic isn't going to last as long as something made of metal like the phone when I was very young. It was metal and heavy but it wasn't made or meant to be portable.

Back to the op and cellphones...it also comes down to choices. We all have the choice on how and when we use them and teaching our children that they don't have to be connected at all times, especially when they are driving, is a good lesson for them to learn and important for parents and guardians to stress.


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"they simply aren't made to last since they want you to replace them"

Planned obsolescence.


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RE: Situational Awareness

Planned obsolescence is right , Frank.

Epi..I love the answering machine which is what I use. I deployed the voice mail which only is used when the phone is in use and messages can't be left since the machine is part of the phone. .

Three weeks since the Dell broke, and now we can't send pictures with Picasa or even send attachments on the new one. Every day it's something else.


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RE: Situational Awareness

Planned obsolescence is right , Frank.

Epi..I love the answering machine which is what I use. I deployed the voice mail which only is used when the phone is in use and messages can't be left since the machine is part of the phone. .

Three weeks since the Dell broke, and now we can't send pictures with Picasa or even send attachments on the new one. Every day it's something else.


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RE: Situational Awareness

Wheeeeee :)

As I said before, we have options, lots of them.

I am off this merry-go-round. Enough of hijacking this thread with silliness. Apologies for my part in this circular conversation.


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RE: Situational Awareness

Ban cell phones for everyone in the car? Not just the driver? That's ridiculous. My son uses his on long trips to entertain himself. Sometimes when we travel DH has to deal with business on his cell while I am driving. We have to pull off the road for hours so he can do that? Crazy. I don't think so.

I don't understand how him talking on the phone, or getting us directions, or anything else he wants to do as a passenger can be distracting to me. It may be for some people and those people are free to set the rules for their car as city woman has done. But you cannot legislate that I do that because you find it distracting.


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RE: Situational Awareness

Exactly what I was getting at, Jill... it doesn't really make sense to ban gadget use for all persons within a vehicle.

Of course, everyone is free to set their own rules for car rides within their own cars.


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RE: Situational Awareness

If the driver allows herself to become distracted, that is against the law (inattentive driving). We're legislating ourselves too much.

But the driver should leave the phone be.


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RE: Situational Awareness

It also isn't necessary to even touch the phone or look away from the road in some cars. It can be dialed and answered just by voice commands and I can receive calls and know who it is without ever touching or looking at the phone because it tells me (as well as displays it on the dashboard). I can also tell the phone to tell the caller that I will call them back without speaking directly to them. Even if I answer my phone using voice control and tell the person quickly that I will call them back it can be less distracting and time consuming then doing other things in cars like changing the radio station.

It may be for some people and those people are free to set the rules for their car as city woman has done. But you cannot legislate that I do that because you find it distracting.

I agree It is very rare that people have more than a quick conversation when they are in my car but if they do, depending on what it is, I don't know why I would be distracted if it isn't my business and I don't have to concentrate on it.

This post was edited by epiphyticlvr on Mon, Jul 22, 13 at 21:00


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RE: Situational Awareness

although I am totally faint after the shock of finding myself on the same page as Hay, I must concur - the landline has always proved sufficient for all my needs - I make my calls in my own comfortable house, sitting in peace and privacy, with a nice cup of tea, when I wish to do so. Why would I want to do this while at work, gardening, resting, eating, chatting???? I have a completely humdrum life where a message stating where I am or what I am doing would be a substitute for strong vallium or other sedative. Nothing ever happens to me that is worthy of any notice and if, for some insanely unlikely chance, I had some dramatic or exciting news to import, I generally find a bit of reflection while waiting till I can use my landline, has frequently saved me from making a complete arse of myself.
Furthermore, like everyone I am plagued by annoying calls selling some rubbish financial advice or other useless service (for which I have never expressed the slightest interest whatsoever).....at least I can escape to a place where no-one has any call on my time or privacy. Yep, I know I could always ignore it or even turn it off....but I have found that it is easier and cheaper to simply not bother.


But hey, I am already irredeemably out of touch with civilised humanity because I can't drive a car either........and I tell you now, I would be severely ticked off if I was sitting in one being driven by an idiot on the phone.....and if I was a nearby pedestrian, I would be f*****ng livid.

Ho, Nancy, we get heaps of lurching teenage language students (although badly ridden bikes are more popular than skateboards)....and I know for sure who would be ending up on their ass in your situation.


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