Feds looking to ban all cell phone use in vehicles

America’s Nanny-in-Chief is at it again. Ray LaHood, a former Republican Congressman and now Transportation Secretary in the Obama Administration, is considering a ban on any use of a cell phone while driving.

“I don’t want people talking on phones, having them up to their ear or texting while they’re driving,” LaHood explained in an interview last week with Bloomberg. This and other public statements by LaHood make clear it is his personal view that people should not talk on the phone at all while driving, that is the basis for his anti-cell phone zealotry. The draconian ban LaHood is contemplating would extend even to hands-free sets and new technologies being developed by struggling American automakers to attract new buyers.

LaHood’s crusades against what he perceives as social ills includes bans on texting while driving and mandating seats belts on schools buses. But this latest trial balloon of his, which comes at the same time President Barack Obama is traveling the country promoting a $50 billion infrastructure initiative that includes ambitious plans for high speed rail, is beyond the pale and is the latest of his attempts to “coerce people out of their cars.”

As counterintuitive as it may sound, a study published earlier this year by the Highway Loss Data Institute shows that cell phone bans in three states and the District of Columbia did not lead to less accidents. The laws did, however, increase use of hands-free devices.

Even with a lack of consensus, however, LaHood still has powers at his disposal with which to coerce states into accepting this latest draconian policy of his; such as withholding federal highway funds, much like the federal government did to force states to comply with the nationally-mandated drinking age in the 80’s.

While it is being disguised as a feel good crusade to make us safer, this is the latest example of intrusion by the federal government into an issue that should solely be left to states to decide.

132 comments Add your comment

Joseph

October 13th, 2010
6:41 am

If you had almost been hit on a motorcycle by a driver totally absorbed by his cell phone conversation,
you might see this issue differently.

Also, I have seen people texting while driving being totally oblivious to their surroundings.

Maybe if one of Bob Barr’s family members were killed by one of these distracted self absorbed drivers, he might feel differently.

He is just the typical Republican who cares nothing for his fellow members of society and is piling on Washington, just to have something to do.

Just Curious

October 13th, 2010
6:46 am

I’m not certain this is some anti-driver conspiracy. I would personally favor a ban on cell phone use by drivers while a vehicle is in motion. It has nothing to do with “hands-free” devices; that cop-out is the territory of the ignorant who don’t understand that when the mind is on a conversation and not on the driving, the driver might as well be watching a football game. Ask any skilled driving instructor about the issue. I agree that people should be free to kill themselves if they want. But sometimes the killing includes me and others like me who will not get on a cell phone while driving. If a cell phone conversation is so important, let the driver pull off the road, turn off the engine, and talk to his heart’s content. But he should not be permitted to endanger the rest of us.

Skip

October 13th, 2010
6:49 am

It’s time cars stopped being an entertainment center. You folks who think driving is a part time job, your wrong.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

October 13th, 2010
6:51 am

Thank goodness we have overlords to make the right decisions for us. Since cell phones are so useful to terrorists, why not ban them entirely?

Motocross Survivor

October 13th, 2010
7:05 am

This is one gov’t intrusion I can support. We’ve all got our favorite cell phone in-the-zone stories from out on the roads, but I think my personal fave is from several years ago on 400 Northbound just past Sandy Springs. I was driving along, behind and to the right of a woman drivin and yackin. She had her left blinker on but began drifting over into the lane to her RIGHT, right in front of me, completely oblivious. With so many people driving around half-zonked (yes, I’ve been hit by one–woman blasted off from a STOP sign and slammed into me as I was passing in front of her on Atlanta Country Club Drive) on prescription drugs now, the last thing we need are cell phones, gps, TV’s etc., etc. I’ve had cell phones in the past, but have dumped them. No c phones for me believe it or not. People have clearly become addicted to using these things, yakking for the most trivial of reasons, endlessly. Now, with Web access on them and all the other bells and whistles, they are an unstoppable force and everybody sooooooo neeeeeeeeeds them. All pretty sad.

Mark

October 13th, 2010
7:05 am

Cellphone banning laws are a placebo. Only put in place to make people feel better. As was pointed out, studies showed that it doesn’t decrease accidents. Additionally, phones are NOT the only distractors. If you’re going to ban phones in cars, you should also be banning eating while driving, talking to other people in the car with you while driving, applying make-up while driving, reading while driving, watching movies while driving, and listening to your radio while driving. All of those things are also distractions.

Thrasherville

October 13th, 2010
7:11 am

@Mark. While we’re at, let’s utilize some big brother government heavy hand, and slap some sense into your selfish, nonconformist, late 20th Century, minnie-me, mindset! Oh but not the least…ban Mark!

Still@theBAR

October 13th, 2010
7:13 am

So what is the difference in carrying on a conversation with a passanger in your car than talking on a hands free phone? Some people are to stupid to live.
I don’t need the government to survive everyday life, but the government needs me for it to survive.
No worker can talk on the phone and type on a computer at the same time either. No talking on the phone while you are cooking dinner because you might burn down the kicthen.
If you want to stop traffic accidents why not make all cars have a breathilizer on them so drunks can’t drive. Now, that would make a difference.

Shep

October 13th, 2010
7:19 am

I think that when people are driving, they need to be focused one thing and that is DRIVING. If anyone were to ever hit me while they were driving and talking on the phone, texting, surfing the web, etc. (and I would subpoena their phone records if necessary ) I would take them to court and sue them for neglect (in their driving) and endangerment and take every dollar they have to their name. And no I am not a lawyer, just a person who has had too many near misses with too many dumbass drivers oblivious to thier surroundings while yakking away on the phone.

James

October 13th, 2010
7:23 am

Bob, in the 4th paragraph, first sentence, don’t you mean “fewer accidents” instead of “less accidents”?

jakesdad

October 13th, 2010
7:23 am

well, if we’re shutting down our brains to “think of the children” we’ll have to ban them from cars too – they’re 10x the distraction a hands-free call is (”HE’S TOUCHING ME!” “HER HAND’S ON MY SIDE!” “HE KICKED ME!” “SHE HIT ME 1ST!”)

Still@theBAR

October 13th, 2010
7:30 am

No kids in car seats are allowed in a car unless there are 2 parents/adults( over21). I small child in a car is too distracting for the driver so there has to be an adult to take care of the child. No car can have more than 2 children in it because 3 kids will be screaming and jumping around in the back of the vehicle and cause a distracrtion to the driver.
You people better be real scared. I drive all over Atlanta All Day in a Dump Truck talking on the phone all the time doing business.
Some people can do more than 1 thing and be good at it.
I can have sex, talk dirty at the same time all while watching a football game on TV.
People we don’t need more government in our lives. How the F would any of you people made it on the frontier in say the 1860’s?

Seriously

October 13th, 2010
7:33 am

Today your cell phones, tomorrow…? People had better wake up before it is way too late…we have people in power who are swimming in its ecstasy. This guy is no better than a North Korea dictator…they want to control you in any way possible.

Silverchief

October 13th, 2010
7:34 am

Hey Joseph, I was hit by a car, but the guy wasn’t talking or texting on a phone, he was tring to find a radio station on his radio, wanna ban radios from cars??

Just another typical Democrat that wants the Guberment to control every aspect of our life………

Still@theBAR

October 13th, 2010
7:37 am

I just learned something. There was never a car accident before cell phones.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
7:38 am

There are already laws in place covering this. It’s very simple. Reckless Driving.
The problem is enforcement by a cop that is himself, engrossed in their cell phone conversation, or even texting themselves.
We don’t need a law for everything. Enforce the ones on the books.
We need a law that bans new laws, until the ones on the books are actually enforced.

Still@theBAR

October 13th, 2010
7:40 am

Here is your last warning
This Dump Truck Driving Cell Phone User is about to head out and I will be on the roads. Run scared get in your safe lil office now.
PS I am allowed to carry a gun too.

Marky

October 13th, 2010
7:41 am

Hey I know… let’s just ban all conversation with the driver. Even the passengers inside the car. That’s about how much sense it makes to ban hands free devices.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
7:44 am

Another thought.
Since these car things are very dangerous. Let’s just ban them. Dust off the horses and carriages….uh oh, those are dangerous too, scratch that. Someone will get kicked or thrown from their horse, while eating a hamburger in the saddle. Then, it’s lawyer time all over again.
Wait a minute, I got it. Let’s ban all concourse of humans. If we don’t interact with the environment, we will all be safe and snuggled in our lawyer free space. Free at last!

Aquagirl

October 13th, 2010
7:48 am

It’s our God-given Constitutional right to kill people while blabbing on the phone. Awesome, Bob.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
7:49 am

Strill@the BAR,

You don’t scare me. i am a heavy equipment hauler. I have sex, talk dirty, and watch a football game on an I-Pad…while driving 75 MPH on I-285.
Top that loser!

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
7:52 am

Still@the BAR,

Another thing. i am special forces trained as a sniper and have bad breath.

Lewis

October 13th, 2010
7:52 am

There are already laws against distracted driving. What’s needed is consequences to bad behavior. I favor summary executions. The sight of a driver being shot at the side of the road (texting his last tweet and testament) might cause others to reconsider if they really need to let their friends know that they’ll be there in seven minutes instead of six.

KimZ'sPackage

October 13th, 2010
7:53 am

Aquagirl
You Are Wrong. It is our right to get hammered falling down drunk and get in a car that doesn’t have a built-in Breathealizer and kill people.
Can you not drive and carry on a conversation with a passanger in your car and not have a wreck?
Have you people seen CASH CAB? The TV gameshow in a NY city cab. If the cabbie can do that and not wreck I think I can handle driving and talking on a phone.

DebbieDoRight

October 13th, 2010
7:54 am

Well Bob have no worries abt. cell phone use, you may not be able to text in Georgia but you can still text your newest “young thing” while driving in all the other states AND if you’re lucky, (which since Viagara has come out you’ve been having a streak lately), you can even get a sextext back from her!! (Well, as long as her homework is done and her mom doesn’t find out…….)

Motocross Survivor

October 13th, 2010
7:55 am

@Still@theBAR wrote:”So what is the difference in carrying on a conversation with a passanger in your car than talking on a hands free phone? Some people are to stupid to live.”

This is a stock retort to this issue. The mind dynamics of talking to a person in the car with you is different from talking to a person not physically present, but somewhere else. It’s “too” btw.

” No talking on the phone while you are cooking dinner because you might burn down the kicthen.”

Poor analogy. Driving a car and preparing dinner at home are completely different situations. Driving requires more alertness and gives far less wiggle room with time for reaction.

“If you want to stop traffic accidents why not make all cars have a breathilizer on them so drunks can’t drive. Now, that would make a difference.”

Good idea, but not practical because statistically, far, far more drivers will yack and drive than will get into their car drunk.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
7:56 am

DebbieDoRight,

Are you the same Debbie that does Dallas? Sounds like it. Just curious.

landover

October 13th, 2010
7:58 am

Go to bogota colombia and you will see talking on cellphones while driving is not allowed. That is one of the benefits of going there in addition to there are no overweight people there.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
7:59 am

Aquagirl,

Don’t fret. One day, you too will be able to afford a cell phone. I know using the library computer to post on blogs must get old.
Now, back to risking my life by, LIVING IT!

Motocross Survivor

October 13th, 2010
8:00 am

In addition to the yacking distraction, don’t forget the preparation. A lot of times I see the idiots fiddling around with their damn monkey toy long before they start the yack–pressing buttons, checking voice mail etc. I’ve seen it a hundred times. They start to weave, usually slow down, sit at green lights….most people are simply too dendrite challenged to drive and play with their toys at the same time. Lots are not good drivers even WITHOUT the distractions.

lin

October 13th, 2010
8:01 am

what talk about ban the cell phone – would love to add to the list
start with cb that truckers use while driving
then there the walkie talkie workers etc use
reading newspaper or magazine truckers due or even in vehicles
eating with hands and drive with knees
talking with hands off the wheel
this is only a few listings i am sure we could list a whole lot more
worse one is the drunk and wrong way driver

KimZ'sPackage

October 13th, 2010
8:03 am

Landover then why don’t you move to the Cocain Capitol in Colombia and have a blast of gun fire kill you if you drive down the wrong street.

Near Miss?

October 13th, 2010
8:04 am

@James, too many “near misses”…..wouldn’t that be a hit…if you nearly miss something, you actually hit it…..right?

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
8:04 am

Motocross Survivor,

Just do what everyone else does. If you are hit by someone on a cell phone, texting, etc…, just beat the crap out of them…if you are not dead or being loaded into am ambulance.

You ought to try it sometime. It makes you feel much better, punching the dweeb texter multiple times.

interested observer

October 13th, 2010
8:05 am

For those who oppose a ban on cell phone use while driving, here’s an alternative.

Whenever a driver is at fault in an accident causing injuries or fatalities, require the authorities to check his/her cell phone records to determine if he or she was on the phone at the time. Then implement mandatory prison time and mandatory steep fines for the cell phone use at the time of accidents. And I mean years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

Just be prepared to build and staff a lot of jails.

As for the nanny state Bob mentions in every post, sadly it is very clear that an awful lot of Americans NEED nannies, being unable to make responsible decisions for themselves. While I don’t think the government is up to the challenge, it is easy to understand why the trend is to more restrictions. American citizens are irresponsible and selfish and we don’t want anyone to get in the way of our rights, no matter how adversely they affect others.

Motocross Survivor

October 13th, 2010
8:05 am

@Shaggy Tell us something. Just what is the content of most of your yacking while on your c phone? My guess is most of it is of the “hey, whatcha doin” variety. Now that’s really living! Tell me something else; just what did you yackers DO just a few years ago when these things didn’t exist? How in the world did you survive????

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
8:09 am

Motocross Survivor,

I gues the the thought beating the crap out of them makes you cry like a little girl. Too bad for you. It frees your soul.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

October 13th, 2010
8:09 am

I must admit this is a libertarian conundrum for me. sure, life, liberty and the…, but fact is, most folks can’t handle freedom (well, the responsibility that comes with it). how much cell phone in car use provides ‘general Welfare’ etc.?

KimZ'sPackage

October 13th, 2010
8:11 am

Motocross he probably survied the same way people survived before TV, Radio, & Electricity.
We need to ban video games. They are making our children Fat, Stupid, and Violent.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
8:11 am

Motocross Survivor,

I even go and find people that are just walking and talking on a cell phone and beat the crap out of them too. It sharpens the skills for those times when they are needed.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
8:14 am

Eeeek! How DID I survive before cell phones? That is a very deep thought….for a moron.

Screaming little girl, who said I even have a cell phone, or a car?

KimZ'sPackage

October 13th, 2010
8:22 am

Shaggy just smokes dope, eats, sleeps with Scoobie-Doo, and rides in the back of the Mystery Machine.

Cutty

October 13th, 2010
8:22 am

Barr has been riding in he back of limos too long. Try driving on the connector for a week in rush hour and see how he feels then.

Near Miss?

October 13th, 2010
8:24 am

@KimZ’sPackage it’s not the video games, it the parents making the kids fat, stupid, and violent. But adults are not policed on the road by parents, that is what the law is for….APPROVE the law, BAN them for good while driving!

Aquagirl

October 13th, 2010
8:27 am

I thought Shaggy was doing Velma?

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
8:29 am

KimZ’sPackage,

Yeah, that really stung, coming from a nasty “package” person. Let me guess, you voted for “change” and don’t know anything about government, business, etc… However, you can name every American Idol and never miss TMZ.

Eric

October 13th, 2010
8:29 am

If the research indicates a ban on cellphones has no effect on the number of auto accidents, then we don’t a ban. Certainly not at the federal level too.

KA

October 13th, 2010
8:30 am

A woman in an Expedition with South Carolina plates nearly hit me yesterday as she drifted into my lane on I-85 as I commuted home. I moved to another lane and she did it again farther up the road. When I finally got abreast of her car I could see her head was down, she was not looking at the road, and she was texting! Are there highway signs at the Georgia border that inform drivers that it is against the law to text in Georgia? In my opinion all non emergency cell phone use should be banned. Everyday I see cars randomly speeding up and slowing down, weaving or drifting into other lanes, and if I pass by them they are usually on their cell talking or texting. I already had my car totaled when someone plowed into me when I was at a full stop in traffic on I-85. I don’t know if the guy was on his cell, but he sure wasn’t paying attention. Distracted drivers are dangerous to everyone around them, and cell phones are huge distractions. We would all be safer on the road if all non emergency cell phone use was banned, no matter who passes the law, feds or states.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
8:31 am

Aquagirl,

Velma might wear glasses, but she is a screamer in bed. A total freak. Likes reverse cowgirl.

Ward

October 13th, 2010
8:33 am

I believe passengers should be banned from cars; all that needless chatter in the car distracts the driver. No radios… too much noise. And kids… no kids in the car. They scream, they fight, they throw things. Perhaps the driver should be locked in an isolation chamber where they are protected from the outside world… oh wait, they already are. Or at least, they seem to think so…

KimZ'sPackage

October 13th, 2010
8:34 am

Near Miss?
Just because some people can’t handle it why should I have to suffer?
Hell most people can’t stay faithful or married. Lets ban marriage too.
I have been driving for 28 years and driving with a cell phone for about 12 years and I have not had an accident. I do not like texting because you have to take your eyes off the road too much. It doesn’t take that long to punch in a phone number and get your eyes back on the road.

KimZ'sPackage

October 13th, 2010
8:35 am

Velma was the nerd that did all the work. She didn’t have time for sex.

chris

October 13th, 2010
8:37 am

I am 100% in favor of banning cell phone use while driving.

Krystal Kid

October 13th, 2010
8:38 am

80% percent of all rear end collisions (the most frequent vehicle accident) are caused by driver distractions. I doubt if we’ll ever stop the madness so I got one of these from sparebumper.com – to reduce whiplash and protect my family.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
8:39 am

Yes, you could say Velma does “the work”. Those nerd types are full of surprises and unfulfilled passion. Just gotta crack the seal to let the freak out.

Small-Business-Owning Tea Partier

October 13th, 2010
8:41 am

I don’t need Hussein Obama telling me when I can and can’t use my cell phone, just like I don’t him telling me I have to take my kids to the doctor. If I want to let them die from lack of medical attention, that’s my God-given right as an American!

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
8:41 am

OK, you folks that want everything but breathing banned. There are already laws on the books that cover this.
Why, pray tell, why do we need more laws that also won’t be enforced?

KimZ'sPackage

October 13th, 2010
8:43 am

Shaggy you sound like a real republican for sure. The only work it sounds like you do is to fill the bong and surf for porn.

Call it like it is

October 13th, 2010
8:43 am

Don’t care what the studies say, cell phones are a hazard. As an insurance adjuster for 20 years, I can tell you for fact they have increased accidents. Lets face it most of our fellow citizens shouldnt even be behind a wheel. You then give them a cell phone, gps system, handheld games and so forth, just one more thing to make them a poor driver.

*Hell last week had a guy come in who had taken his airbag out of his steering wheel and put in a small video screen that was tied into a dvd player that would allow him to play games or watch movies. Of course he is no longer insured with us, but he and his kind are still out on the road.

No body wants a nanny gov, but just damn there is a lot of dumb people out there.

Road Scholar

October 13th, 2010
8:44 am

Regardless, when operating a motor vehicle, you are operating a WEAPON! Treat it as such.

PS Lately, people w/cell phones have been driving too slowly on surface streets(below the speed limit) and leaving their turn signals on( I know that is amazing since no one in Atlanta uses a turn signal), and turning into side streets very slowly, totally engrossed in their world/conversation. How about a law which makes it ok to stop the car, take their cell phone, and throw it on the pavement or in the woods? Wake up people….you are not the only one on this planet!

Carlosgvv

October 13th, 2010
8:50 am

Since statistics show that using cell phones while driving is as dangerous as drunk driving, why would you object to their being banned? Maybe large numbers of people being killed doesn’t upset you as long as you can do what you want.

Common Man

October 13th, 2010
8:50 am

Shaggy is all blab…he talks about kicking butt to make up for his lack of self esteem from all the times he had sand kicked in his face on the playground. Cartoon sex is as good as it gets for him. We must pity the fool.

john

October 13th, 2010
8:52 am

Two cell phone users in the past week are lucky I saw them and avoided the accident they would have caused. What has to happen before the need for a law becomes obvious?

Ban the use of cells phones while driving. It is appropriate regulation.

Gator Joe

October 13th, 2010
8:56 am

Bob,
Don’t worry, because, the cell-phone companies, and the Chamber of Commerce money funnel will see to it that cell phone use while driving is never banned, even if means more people being needlessly killed or injured.

JDW

October 13th, 2010
8:59 am

So Bob, how do you feel about the intrusion to our liberty by drunken driving laws. Isn’t it terrible how the government can be so bold as to tell us how to behave behind the wheel.

You do realize that studies show drunk drivers are safer than those talking on a phone?

Pappa Grizzly

October 13th, 2010
8:59 am

I have a constitutional right to drive while talking on the phone or texting. If there is an accident and someone gets killed, they have a right to sue me. I then have a right to file bankruptcy and not pay a dime to my “victims.”

If you don’t like it. Stay off the road.

Richard

October 13th, 2010
9:00 am

People in Atlanta have a hard time driving normally. Get them off the phone at the bare minimum.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
9:01 am

Common Man,

Wow, you must take this blog very personal. That is unhealthy and you should pound sand where the sun don’t shine.

KimZ’sPackage,

You two might be the same person, or experiencing the realms of sensuality together. i am not sure. I don’t care either.
Twits like you always confuse Libertarianism, in it’s many flavors, with Republican political bent. The truth is that most Libertarians know that there is no difference in the dominant parties. They both will tell you what you want to hear, so they can be elected and couldn’t care less about your mosquito brain. That is all they are about.
If you really want “change” start voting pragmatic libertarians into office. “Change” would be almost guaranteed.

Common Sense

October 13th, 2010
9:04 am

Oh – and we also need to ban iPods, sattelite radio, crap rolling around in the floor, reading maps, street signs, nav units, hot chicks (or guys) on the roadside, that Gorilla on Floor and Decor on 85, sunlight in the morning and evening, wrecks on the side of the road, signs on businesses, hitchhikers, pretty flowers in the median, and any car color other than brown.

This way we can clearly focus on driving, and no daydreaming darn it, just drive

nelson

October 13th, 2010
9:07 am

According to a Harvard study, cell phones cause over 200 deaths and half a million injuries a year. That being said, cell phones have initiated a whole new field of employment, “cell phone accident lawyers.” There is a new specialty that lawyers are now pursing. Now, instead of getting into the more noble pursuit of Constitutional law, there are new opportunities.

I really have to give those guys credit, they can sniff business a mile away.

However, that being said, the solution to cell phone accidents, is having a teleprompter like President Obama uses, have the dialogue flashed on your windshield, then your eyes will not have to leave the road. Like those super sonic jet pilots have their target right on their winshield, this will reallllly work.

KimZ'sPackage

October 13th, 2010
9:14 am

nelson
Pilots have only a few other objects in the sky with them. The Heads Up Display is not letters he reads. You can’t read and drive any better than talking on a phone. Your eyes will be focused on the letters a few inches from your face not the Objects 30 feet from your windsheild.

Still@theBAR

October 13th, 2010
9:15 am

If 200 people die from driving and cell phones then there are 200 more jobs that need to be filled. In this economy that is a good thing right?

Near Miss?

October 13th, 2010
9:29 am

@KimZ’sPackage infedility and a bad marriage does not impact the public and strangers that walk beside you. Talking on a cellphone while driving can and will impact others. Just because it hasnt happened yet, doesnt mean that it wont. Help save the public when possible, including your family and friends.

Still@theBAR

October 13th, 2010
9:46 am

near miss
I think studies show failed marriages impact the child a lot. Doesn’t the PUBLIC need to be protected from this terrible curse too. Those children from broken homes do crimes and go to jail more often. You know I am kidding about banning marriage, but just because something kills you can’t ban it. Hell too much read meat, smoking, drinking, driving by itself can get you killed and it not be somebody elses fault.
Grow a pair and stand on your own 2 feet. The Government is too big already. 1000 page healthcare bill and a lot of it has nothing to do with healthcare at all.
Make a NEW LAW that everytime the government (on any level) wants to pass a new bill/law, then they have to take 2 bills/laws off the books.

Jefferson

October 13th, 2010
10:10 am

If they don’t ban them in cars, they have no hair on their butt.

jm

October 13th, 2010
10:21 am

It’s a great idea. Until the Google self driving cars hit the road.

Tim

October 13th, 2010
10:38 am

Studies have shown that use of handsfree devices are not safer. There is no debate about the safety risk of cell phone and electronic device use while driving. Any desenting opinions are coming from the communications and automotive industries.

LaHood is right. A cell phone ban is needed.

Stu

October 13th, 2010
10:41 am

I think you all are missing Bob’s point. It’s in the last sentence.
This is none of the business of the federal govenment. States should have the final say in whether or not they want to ban cell phone use.

Gixxer 1000

October 13th, 2010
10:52 am

As a pistol carrying biker I must say that I support this to an extent. I too have had near misses from people yakking on their phones and/texting while driving…but what I do is if you drift in my lane….1 of 3 things WILL happen…. one involves a dent in your door and the other involves your rear view mirror being kicked off…and if you’re feeling froggy and you wanna jump…the last one involves my pistol….now that I”ve gotten that out….LOOK TWICE SAVE A LIFE BIKERS ARE EVERYWHERE….but I am an SUV driver as well and I have bluetooth in my truck….I don’t see any difference between talking with someone riding with me and when I”m on the phone in my truck because my phone is never in my hand….so that’s why I say I agree with it to an extent…just about ALL phones are now bluetooth capable and now with speech to text on most phones there should be no excuse for people who need to hold their device while driving….they just need to learn how to use the technology on the phones they buy…..

Sandman

October 13th, 2010
10:55 am

This is just crazy! Next we’re going to be told that we can’t speak to the person next to us in the car because we would be engaged in conversation & that would be too dangerous.. No radio or music either because that can distract us from driving.. Oh, children will must be banned from vehicles now because they’re the most distracting thing ever..

Really people! Do we need our government to protect us from life & everything else? Life happens, people make mistakes, their are stupid people out there and accidents happen ALL THE TIME! These accidents happen with or without cell phones, or alcohol or text messaging etc.. What about the women driving & putting on make up or the people reading the paper or books? Should we outlaw those things too?

It is always some sort of fear or pain that opens the door for more government control or intrusion.. Stop for a second & think.. I’ve been listening to the radio, changing the channel, changing CD’s, talking on the phone (w/headset), talking to my children, eating a hamburger & fries, reading maps…. And many many other things in the car for over 20 years and I haven’t had any major accidents or killed anyone.. Don’t let the stupid mistakes of a few people ruin our freedom because you are unable to think or act for yourself.

Fix-IT

October 13th, 2010
11:08 am

Make BlueTooth standard in cars, then hands free only….

Glenn

October 13th, 2010
11:09 am

Because some people are very bad drivers , talking or texting on a cell phone should be banned . I’ll take safety over the freedom to use a cell phone while driving any day . We need a strong military to keep us safe so we can let irresponsible drivers endanger us . Your nanny government argument is weak .

Dr. Pangloss

October 13th, 2010
11:33 am

Once we were at an intersection when a nice lady talking on her cell phone zoomed up and hit us without even trying to slow down. Knocked our car out into the middle of the intersection, but we were lucky: no other cars were coming, so we ONLY had our car totaled. Guess what? When somebody totals your car, the insurance company only pays you the value of the car, not the amount it takes to buy a replacement, so you’re out thousands of dollars because of somebody else’s stupid mistake.

And Bob is just a liar when he talks as if hands-free makes any difference.

I love the part of the Constitution that says, “The people’s right to be stupid shall not be infringed.”

HoyaLawya

October 13th, 2010
11:42 am

I’ve got it! Let’s install the “cone of silence” around drivers. That will solve all the problems.

DawgDad

October 13th, 2010
12:19 pm

A ban is the WRONG answer. Cell phones can be very useful in certain driving situations without being a threat to safety. Why should it be against the law for me to use a cell phone if I witness and accident or need to warn someone of a jam-up or if I’m lost? Punish bad behavior – driving while dangerously distracted. I have absolutely no problem with hands-free laws, but a ban is completely over the top and wrong-headed.

Vote these people out.

Mike

October 13th, 2010
12:34 pm

To KimZ: Just because you haven’t had an accident doesn’t mean you might not have CAUSED an accident by lane drifting (thereby causing someone else to swerve), or impeded traffic flow by driving 10-15 mph slower than the speed limit. Most of you cell phone drivers are in your own little “KimZworld” and are obliviots (oblivious idiots).

Mike

October 13th, 2010
12:39 pm

Agree with Shaggy. Vote Libertarian. I do. They believe in LESS government. What a concept!!!!

Jimmy62

October 13th, 2010
1:29 pm

So no passengers, no radio, too. Those are distractions, too. You can’t tell me that I’m more distracted listening to someone on a hands free device than I am talking to a passenger.

Ezra

October 13th, 2010
1:33 pm

Lets go ahead and ban everything and make government a big tyrant! You sympathy law people are disgusting. Aides killed people but you do not want to ban sex do you? You sympathy law people! Why dont you just stay in your homes and let someone deliver everything to you. Sympathy law makers take more freedoms from us than any tyrant.

Lady Liberty

October 13th, 2010
1:39 pm

I picture Shaggy as a short fat bald man riding around in a 2001 red Porche with a blue tooth…a carefully designed persona derived to over compensate for his small appendages. But he is a safe hands free driver.

Chuck

October 13th, 2010
1:40 pm

You can pass all the laws you want trying to prevent distractions, but the essential problem is recklessness and irresponsibility. Solution? Make sure people are punished for recklessness and make sure they are held responsible for their actions. If you’re texting while driving and kill someone, expect to pay the price.You should know better, moron.

Andy

October 13th, 2010
1:47 pm

Mr Barr, Would you allow government drivers who are drunk to drive? If the effect of talking on the cell phone is the same as drunk driving, why would you be against the ban on cell phone use while driving?

Andy

October 13th, 2010
1:49 pm

@Chuck, if I am dead because of someone who is texting while driving, I could care less about the punishment that person receives.

sonnyfab

October 13th, 2010
1:51 pm

It’s sad that so few people on here have any respect for the Constitution. What the document on which all laws in our country are supposed to be based says is “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Nobody said that there cannot be laws regarding cellular phone use (or radio use or eating or anything else) while driving. However, Georgia should make laws that govern all automobile use in Georgia. Florida should make Florida laws. Nevada should make Nevada laws. There is NO REASON that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT should be involved in this WHATSOEVER. Thank you for pointing this out, Bob. I hope one day we as a nation can take the 10th Amendment more seriously.

ND

October 13th, 2010
2:04 pm

As much as I hate seeing people going 20 mph below the flow of traffic while babbling on their cell phones, I hate unenforcable, arbitrarily applied laws even more. I use my phone’s built in GPS a lot more than I ever use it for talking; is that going to be banned too?

And for those of you who say that Bob Barr might see this issue differently if someone he knew was hit by a car driven by a cell phone user, think about it this way — even if you ban cell phones, you still have people eating, fixing their hair, applying makeup, etc. while driving which are all just as dangerous and distracting. Are you going to come up with laws for those too? And how the hell are cops supposed to enforce these laws?

Ezra

October 13th, 2010
2:04 pm

I read an article where a guy was cutting the grass around a day care facility and he backed up only to strike a child with the lawn mower. The manufacturer of the lawn mower got sued and lost. Now how did that happen? Well lets sue the cell phone companies for every accident that occurs while using one of their phones. Lets make cell phones so expensive that only responsible adults can afford to use them.

Just hang up

October 13th, 2010
2:43 pm

“…this is the latest example of intrusion by the federal government into an issue that should solely be left to states to decide”
UGH. You understand that we can freely drive through other states, right? Will I have to now do extra research to find out all the various laws that I would have to abide by for each state’s drivers, or will each state put huge investment in informational signs for their special laws at all borders? Sometimes standardization is a good thing.

Jefferson

October 13th, 2010
3:32 pm

There is no difference driving drunk vs driving while talking on a phone or texting. Studies prove it. Why not legalize both ?

Sick&Tired

October 13th, 2010
3:33 pm

If a ban on cell-phones while driving will keep those idiots in their lanes; I will support the ban 100%. My commute is bad enough, without having to avoid idiots on cell phones daily.

It shouldn’t take a ban from the government to get people off cell phones while driving; common sense should be enough, but that’s not always the case.

Michael

October 13th, 2010
3:38 pm

I think the point to all this is that… If there is already a law against driving recklessly, why make another one? When you drive a car you need to be responsible for your actions and if you hurt someone and are at fault you pay the price. I rear ended a car changing the CD player, but i could have just as easily sneezed or looked away. I was at fault and paid the cost to fix it. We don’t need all these specific laws banning one thing or another. It is redundant! It is another ticket that the police can give you to take your money!

Still@theBAR

October 13th, 2010
3:41 pm

All of you LIBs need to go to Getting Schooled blog. Over here you want more LAWS and over there you want the US to ingore LAWS. I love you guys. “MAKE MORE LAWS, BUT IGNORE THE LAWS WE ALREADY HAVE.

mpercy

October 13th, 2010
4:44 pm

Many of you are missing what I think is Bob’s point. It’s not necessarily that banning cell phone use is a bad idea, nor that it’s not something that government should consider, but that it is a far cry from anything in the Constitution to think that it is something the Federal government should be considering. Should there be a federal parking ticket program? No. It’s clearly a local or state matter.

Still@theBAR

October 13th, 2010
5:12 pm

Fed or Local I thing we need a LAW against saggy pants.
Wait we have that already too. It is the indescent exposure law.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
5:40 pm

Lady Liberty,

“I picture Shaggy as a short fat bald man riding around in a 2001 red Porche with a blue tooth…a carefully designed persona derived to over compensate for his small appendages. But he is a safe hands free driver.”

Let me take a stab at picturing you. “Lady” you aren’t; the “C” word is more fitting if you are really a female, which I doubt. You voted for “change” and didn’t know what the hell that meant; it just sounded catchy to you as you stared at TMZ and salivated over celebrites, probably mastur&*ting while you watched…with kids in the room. You think everything is everybodies fault, except yours and your bad choices that have left you with a possible, future, “opportunity” to work late shift at the Wendy’s drive thru…that is if they don’t find out you were caught, arrested, and pleaded guilty for stealing from a Toys for Tots collection bin. They had to taser you for that little incident, because you wouldn’t give up the toy truck and had shoved it….up there, to hide it. You will win one day. That’s why you dutifully take half of your “assistance” check that you scammed the gubment to get, and buy scratch off and drawing lottery games. Even though you always seem to spend WAY more than the free tickets you WIN, you call doing this, your “retirement plan”.

Still wanna play?????

Lady Liberty

October 13th, 2010
5:49 pm

Shaggy…that is no way to talk to your dear mother my beloved son.

Still@theBAR

October 13th, 2010
5:58 pm

Shaggy are you still the Libertarian looking to get it legal for you to have sex with Scooby Doo and have it be legal? You have to go to name calling? the C word! Really? You say you are better than that so prove it.
We know that is all you can do is PLAY. So now just go play with yourself or Scooby Doo.

Still@theBAR

October 13th, 2010
6:02 pm

wow many comments.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:02 pm

So, you wanna play, huh? and the mother line is the best you have?

Nah, i’m changing my mind. My guess is you couldn’t read, much less pronounce and comprehend most of the words in my post.
Go back to your itty bitty blank stare expression world. It doesn’t get better for idiots like you, and the horrible truth is, you probably can reproduce. That is sad.

5150 P.O.A.D

October 13th, 2010
6:03 pm

WOW time to vote out the fools and try for som different CHANGE

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:06 pm

Still@theBAR

Which handle do you like best, Lady Liberty or Still@theBAR?

Was anyone scairt today of your little truck? Oh I forgot, there ainl’t no truck, only a not so vivid imagination of a dullard.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:09 pm

Still@theBAR,

I shouldn’t have said “which handle”. I am sure you have your dirty fingers around your “handle” right now.

5150 P.O.A.D

October 13th, 2010
6:12 pm

Shaggy I don’t know Lady L.
I ran my 4 stops. Is that too hard for you to believe?
I OWN (as in no mortgage payment) a 2 bedroom house and a 50 acre Farm with 2 shop buildings. What do you do exactally? I did some deliveries today, but I don’t always have to be in a truck.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:12 pm

Still@theBAR,

I have a picture with Scooby at some bar givin it to some fat truck driver wannabee that won’t leave the bar….bathroom stall. Is that you in the picture or Lady Liberty?

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:14 pm

My, what a load of personalities the wannabe truck driver has, and such a mansion.

5150 P.O.A.D

October 13th, 2010
6:15 pm

I guess that is how you play. I don’t go that way, but if you have the guts to try and make me your Scooby Doo then you just get froggy young man.

5150 P.O.A.D

October 13th, 2010
6:16 pm

Where do you live sweetheart? what do you do? How much do you owe? What do you actally own? HAHAAHHA! Don’t answer I am sure it will be a lie or some cuss words/ name calling.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:17 pm

“froggy”???? Too much. You do realize you are typing on freakin computer, or have you lost too many brain cells to know?

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:19 pm

sweetheart???? You are kidding, right? You better go back to that bar, and never leave.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:22 pm

I would say it’s been fun, but it’s just been………not fun at all.
Go stick pins in your eyes.

Lady Liberty

October 13th, 2010
6:42 pm

Shaggy…don’t forget to put sunscreen on the top or your head when you go out to play in your sandbox. You remember how much you cried for mommy the last time the top of your head got sunburned.

Shaggy's mom

October 13th, 2010
6:44 pm

The pins he will stick in hie eyes are hopefully my # 17 Knitting Pins. The girls all told me if I was on top i couldn’t get pregnant. Well, Girls lie as much as Boys do.

Motocross Survivor

October 13th, 2010
8:15 pm

@Pappa Grizzly That arrogant attitude of “I have the right to yack/text and drive, and if I kill somebody I have the right to file bankruptcy and not pay anything” wouldn’t work too well. You may well face criminal charges, but if you hit me or mine, I would personally make it my prime objective to see you nailed to the wall, in addition to the charges. You’d wouldn’t be able to scrape together enough jack to buy a lottery ticket.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

October 13th, 2010
9:47 pm

If this law was passed, It’s Just another law i will ignore, Just like I ignore the anti-texting law we have now..and the seatbelt law..and the Income reporting laws..I even sell nazi memorabilia to people in germany and france ..If a law is anti personal liberty and pro nanny state, i will ignore it.

Auf Weidersehen, ya collectivist B*st*rds

ODDOWL

October 13th, 2010
9:50 pm

Transpotation Sect. Ray Lahood is exactly right, Talking on phones and texting while driving is more dangerous and deadly than drunk drivers. These inconsiderate, stupid idiots have become a menace to society on the roads.

Little

October 14th, 2010
8:12 am

This issue brings up the spectre of chicken little tweeting, “The sky is falling” while driving at rush hour causing an 80 thousand car pileup.

Once again, Bob Barr is right. If only readers would listen.

retiredds

October 14th, 2010
12:07 pm

Dear Bob, the states, especially in the South, have punted on this one, ergo, the need for the feds to step in. By the way, a persons “right” to drive and talk on the cell phone (which he or she chooses to do), ends at the bumper or skin of my car if he or she hits me. I have the true “right” to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, and I don’t want that destroyed by some idiot and self-serving distracted driver, period. There already is too much carnage on the roadways. If the states are so negligent in keeping the roadways safe then the feds can step in any time as far as I am concerned, period.

Allyana Ziolko

October 14th, 2010
1:20 pm

Mr. Barr, You are grasping at straws to put down the Obama administration. I grew up and lived for 55 years before cell phones came along, and you know what? We lived through not being in touch with each other when we were away from a land line. There is no way a person can fully attend to driving while talking on a phone or texting. Driving is a PRIVILEGE – not a RIGHT and I, personally, hate it and feel threatened when I see someone speeding down the road in a >2,000 lb. car failing to use their turn signal at every single turn because the hand they would use to turn on that signal is holding a phone, or weaving between lanes because they are typing while they drive. You want to make putting people lives in danger a civil right. If people are too stupid to realize you need to pay attention to your driving WHILE you are driving, then maybe we do need the government to hold our hands.

[...] automatically responds to text messages with a "user-is-unavailable" message when …Feds looking to ban all cell phone use in vehiclesAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Will LaHood Ban All Use of Cell Phones While Driving?The [...]

bon

October 14th, 2010
10:44 pm

@Mark – actually eating and doing other things (in Oklahoma) are technically illegal, but not enforced. while I abhor phone use in cars, I know that a law like this would not be enforced except via consequences after the fact.

magog

October 14th, 2010
11:27 pm

Jennifer

October 19th, 2010
7:26 pm

I find myself paying more attention to the road than the talker. I am a diligent hands-free driver who has never broken any driving laws, or been in an accident while talking or not. They can try to enforce it all they want, the enforcers are just as guilty as the rest of us. I have seen them while on duty driving down the roads talking on their cell phones( not hands free by the way), so until they can comply leave us responsibile drivers alone.

gilly

October 19th, 2010
9:44 pm

It’s bull-sh-t! What’s next,you can’t have coffee,soda,snack,smoke,radio ect. I’m a Prof.truck driver & see Idiots weve in&out 2-3 lanes, then BOOM. So what, $50-100 fine for inproper lane change but make it $1,000 + 7 to 14 day licence suspention & the same for day dreamers who rear end you. If the GOV. put’s heafty fines on operators,I’m sure there attention while driving will be 100% better. The fines now are nothing,a ticket wouldn’t make them think twice, but the one’s I suggest will!!