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davieG

Hands-free phone ban for drivers 'should be considered'

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Making the legal speed limit 15mph ... WILL SAVE LIVES!

 

Still s fvcking stupid idea... im sick of people saying, if its for safety...security... prevention... then anything is OK.

 

Its VAR for driving... we live in an imperfect world and there will be times that things go wrong... its life (and death).

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This is a positive step imo.  Talking to someone on the phone takes a lot of concentration because you only have the words to go on, unlike speaking to someone you are with where you can pick up on their actions and more easily distinguish their tone or volume.

 

I accept that some people find it easier and less distracting than others, but those that really struggle can be a real danger.

 

I agree with the points about it being difficult to police, but legislation needs to reflect the objectives.  Retrospectively investigating a serious collision where someone is killed is easier to show that the phone was in use than random stop checks. 

 

Make it an offence to use a mobile whilst driving.  Acknowledge the difficulty in prosecuting the majority of casual users, but if someone is killed in a collision because a driver was using the mobile (which would be easier to prove as part of a thorough investigation) then it should be a serious aggravating factor when it comes to sentencing.

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9 hours ago, davieG said:

On that basis you would need to ban radios and satnavs, eating anything, taking a drink etc. Are any of these things more or less important?

The difference is I choose when to look at the satnav, when to take a drink of water etc and I do it when it is safe to do so. When a call comes in it is unexpected and could cause you to look away at the wrong moment. This also goes for conversations with a passenger or shouting at kids in the back you do it on your terms not someone else's.

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1 minute ago, Captain... said:

The difference is I choose when to look at the satnav, when to take a drink of water etc and I do it when it is safe to do so. When a call comes in it is unexpected and could cause you to look away at the wrong moment. This also goes for conversations with a passenger or shouting at kids in the back you do it on your terms not someone else's.

Maybe for some of those but you tend to look at sat navs when the road layouts get complicated, as for shouting at the kids I really don't see how you can choose when even if you could they would still be a distraction.

 

Anyway I'm not disputing whether phones are a distraction just that they are one of many and would be impossible to police. Oh and you can choose whether to answer them just like you can choose when to drink.

 

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11 minutes ago, davieG said:

Maybe for some of those but you tend to look at sat navs when the road layouts get complicated, as for shouting at the kids I really don't see how you can choose when even if you could they would still be a distraction.

 

Anyway I'm not disputing whether phones are a distraction just that they are one of many and would be impossible to police. Oh and you can choose whether to answer them just like you can choose when to drink.

 

But you can't choose when they ring. 

 

Responding to kids is different as they are unpredictable little bundles of joy, but unless they do something completely out the norm you will phase out/get used to their behaviour. For the satnav I won't suddenly just look at the satnav I will look around first then check the satnav, but I have a picture of the road ahead so I know what is around and I will have most likely slowed down in anticipation having to do something.

 

I'm not necessarily in agreement of this but I can see why phonecalls are different to other distractions on the road.

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The issue here isn't taking your eyes off the road to check the phone when you hear a notification or incoming call. It is to do with actually holding the conversation on a phone. 

 

There's only have a finite amount of things that we can pay attention to at any one moment. Holding a conversation on the phone (be it hand held or hands free) takes up some of those attentional resources, so during the phone conversation less attention is being paid to the roads, and driving gets worse. Buttons on the steering wheel or voice commands can't solve that problem. 

 

The strange thing about the data from experiments is that this does seem to be specific to talking on the phone. We seem quite capable of talking to people in the car without it harming our driving ability. 

Edited by Fktf

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As an aside, Mrs CF has just been on a speed awareness course and actually came back and told me two things I didn't know ...

 

1. Cyclists are now told/encouraged to ride 2 abreast ..   apparently it's in the Highway Code ..

2. The little fuel gauge on the dial shows if the filler cap is on the left or the right of the car, by where it is positioned on the dial.

 

Well ...   you learn something new every day !! ...   :)

 

Be impressed if someone knew both those things ...

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2 hours ago, Fktf said:

The issue here isn't taking your eyes off the road to check the phone when you hear a notification or incoming call. It is to do with actually holding the conversation on a phone. 

 

There's only have a finite amount of things that we can pay attention to at any one moment. Holding a conversation on the phone (be it hand held or hands free) takes up some of those attentional resources, so during the phone conversation less attention is being paid to the roads, and driving gets worse. Buttons on the steering wheel or voice commands can't solve that problem. 

 

The strange thing about the data from experiments is that this does seem to be specific to talking on the phone. We seem quite capable of talking to people in the car without it harming our driving ability. 

In fairness, if I have to walk down the street behind someone talking on their mobile, as often as not they're wandering around all over the shop, blissfully unaware of their surroundings, and that's presumably nothing to do with them holding it in their hand.

 

I read something that suggested the effect is equivalent to being at the blood alcohol limit, and also (and I've no idea how this was measured) it's also equal to reducing the competency of an experienced driver down to that of a novice

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1 hour ago, Countryfox said:

As an aside, Mrs CF has just been on a speed awareness course and actually came back and told me two things I didn't know ...

 

1. Cyclists are now told/encouraged to ride 2 abreast ..   apparently it's in the Highway Code ..

2. The little fuel gauge on the dial shows if the filler cap is on the left or the right of the car, by where it is positioned on the dial.

 

Well ...   you learn something new every day !! ...   :)

 

Be impressed if someone knew both those things ...

I knew about the second one, but literally only found out about it in the last 12 months, having been driving for 20 years or whatever it is.

 

The second one I was gloriously unaware of. Must admit to not having looked at the Highway Code for years - I suspect I might not be alone in this.

 

What I do know, having only recently started cycling, is that the tip other cyclists gave me to not hug the curb too closely and ride a bit further into the carriage way is the best advice I've had. Drivers give you loads more space, and it feels about 20 times safer

 

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46 minutes ago, Bellend Sebastian said:

In fairness, if I have to walk down the street behind someone talking on their mobile, as often as not they're wandering around all over the shop, blissfully unaware of their surroundings, and that's presumably nothing to do with them holding it in their hand.

 

I read something that suggested the effect is equivalent to being at the blood alcohol limit, and also (and I've no idea how this was measured) it's also equal to reducing the competency of an experienced driver down to that of a novice

That's what's currently being reported in science journals.

 

In case you're interested, things like that are measured by comparing the performance of groups in experiments. A simple experiment would be to have a group of novice drivers, a group of competent drivers on the phone, and a group of competent drivers not on the phone (this is a bit flawed, but explaining why will make this post longer than it already is going to be). In earlier experiments, participants drove a route in a simulator that was programmed to show various hazards at certain points along the route (things like kids playing football on the pavement, wobbly cyclists - typical hazard perception test stuff). Once the drive was finished, participants were asked to describe the hazards they spotted. Novice and competent drivers on the phone would remember roughly equal numbers of hazards, but competent drivers not on the phone would remember far more than both of these groups. This type of measure wasn't great though. Just because you can't remember a hazard after the drive, doesn't mean you didn't react to it during the drive. So now the measures tend to focus on actual driving behaviour. For example, when the kids playing football a running towards the road, does the driver slow down, perhaps move more towards the centre of the road if there's nothing on-coming in case the kids come out into the road. Again, novice and competent drivers on the phone react to fewer hazards than competent drivers not on the phone. There's usually a reaction time difference too -  even when novice and competent drivers on the phone react to a hazard, they tend to do so much slower than competent drivers not on the phone. 

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Why not just incorporate using a handsfree device into driving lessons and tests as they do for mirrors etc. The police etc use them whilst driving, so what's the difference.

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