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(Quad City Times)   Iowa's ban on texting while driving hasn't reduced the number of crashes on the state's roads. So, either people are still texting while driving or Iowans really suck at driving. Undoubtedly, it's the latter   (qctimes.com) divider line 52
    More: Followup, iowans, Iowa, texting and driving, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa Legislature, distracted driving, traffic reporters  
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1096 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Jun 2014 at 1:25 PM (27 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-08 11:51:05 AM  
Why not both?
 
2014-06-08 11:53:42 AM  
Actually most Americans suck at driving, to a level that borders on living in Third-World countries. And then there's the drunks, the elderly, the amature racer car drivers, etc.
 
2014-06-08 12:15:25 PM  
and red light/speed cameras haven't reduced crashes either but who cares? It's more government revenue.
 
2014-06-08 12:30:59 PM  

IamKaiserSoze!!!: and red light/speed cameras haven't reduced crashes either but who cares? It's more government revenue.


Illinois' laws haven't cut it back and I don't think they're writing tickets either. From what I see on the road, Illinois could balance it's budget if it started writing them.
 
2014-06-08 01:05:03 PM  
Idiots
Out
Wandering
Around
 
2014-06-08 01:26:02 PM  
It's because these things are about revenue, not public safety.
 
jbc [TotalFark]
2014-06-08 01:28:34 PM  
The next Iowegian who uses a turn signal will be the first.
 
2014-06-08 01:29:17 PM  

Aarontology: It's because these things are about revenue, not public safety.


Just like child car seats: http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_levitt_on_child_carseats
 
2014-06-08 01:29:21 PM  
Maybe a one-year mandatory suspended license for first offenses would make a dent.
 
2014-06-08 01:30:01 PM  
Those GD cornfields just jump right out in front of ya!
 
2014-06-08 01:31:06 PM  

One Bad Apple: Idiots
Out
Wandering
Around


Super. Did you hear airplane food is bad.
 
2014-06-08 01:31:41 PM  

markfara: Maybe a one-year mandatory suspended license for first offenses would make a dent.


That's scheme doesn't raise enough money.
 
2014-06-08 01:32:29 PM  
Michigan drivers stare open mouthed at headline, then swerve into the fast lane to slow down.
 
2014-06-08 01:34:36 PM  

One Bad Apple: Idiots
Out
Wandering
Around


Yay!
 
2014-06-08 01:37:24 PM  
www.quickmeme.com
 
2014-06-08 01:38:20 PM  

farkingismybusiness: [www.quickmeme.com image 433x715]


I'm going to hell on a bullet train for laughing at that.
+1
 
2014-06-08 01:38:47 PM  

AirForceVet: Actually most Americans suck at driving, to a level that borders on living in Third-World countries. And then there's the drunks, the elderly, the amature racer car drivers, etc.


If you think that then you've never seen actually bad driving. Americans are some of the best drivers in the planet compare to some places where streetlights are a suggestion and driving lanes are completely ignored. When I was in Paris, our tour guide told us to be very careful rounding corners on the sidewalk. Apparently, the fine for parking on sidewalk is less than parking on the wrong part of the road. So, people would routinely jump the curve and park on the sidewalk to run into stores to grab something. Unfortunately, those drivers were not much into look where they were driving and expected pedestrians to pick up the slack. Something like this would be unheard of as being common place in the US.
 
2014-06-08 01:39:04 PM  

jbc: The next Iowegian who uses a turn signal will be the first.


Is there a state in the country where "not using turn signals" isn't a stereotype?
 
2014-06-08 01:45:26 PM  
Automobiles only recently became available in Iowa. How easy do you think it is to pilot a Buckeye gasoline buggy when you have both enteric fever and livestock in the passenger seat?

/Lived there before they discovered fire.
 
2014-06-08 01:46:57 PM  
Everybody sucks at driving but me.
 
2014-06-08 01:47:57 PM  
They're still all texting and driving.  And driving badly.

/Non-native Iowan
 
2014-06-08 02:08:16 PM  
Interesting, since when they come up north to visit Minneapolis, they drive so conservatively as to become a hazard.
I-35/80 through Des Moines is a speedway, however.
 
2014-06-08 02:08:57 PM  

IamKaiserSoze!!!: and red light/speed cameras haven't reduced crashes either but who cares? It's more government revenue.


It's really not. It's a scam by American Traffic Solutions. They get more money than your municipality
 
2014-06-08 02:12:19 PM  

mekki: Americans are some of the best drivers in the planet compare to some places where streetlights are a suggestion and driving lanes are completely ignored.

compared to?
 
2014-06-08 02:13:52 PM  

AirForceVet: Actually most Americans suck at driving, to a level that borders on living in Third-World countries. And then there's the drunks, the elderly, the amature racer car drivers, etc.


I live next to I-4 in Florida, I would feel safer driving a humvee in iraq in 2003 then I am driving I-4 in Florida, especially around Orlando. Crotch Rockets doing 100, Granny doing 60 in her van, mean while the rest of traffic is in and out.

Even if they banned cell phones in Florida while driving, the record of crashes wouldn't go down, simply people have no situational awareness while driving, they just change lanes without a farking blinker and hope its going to be ok.
 
2014-06-08 02:18:02 PM  
I used to commute by motorcycle 22 miles every day. This season, I've taken the motorcycle ONCE. Texting/farking around on ones phone has reached absurd levels. While sitting at a stoplight, I watched a lady on a bicycle die at the end of last riding season because someone was on their phone. Nearly got clipped myself by another person while trying to pull off the road to help her. I managed to get to the lady that was hit before the person that hit her ended the phone call.

// "Hold on, I think I may have just committed involuntary manslaughter. Yes, I'll pick up milk and egs on the way home. Uh-huh.  Ok, I'll stop  at the bank too. Dry cleaning? Crap, forgot about that. That reminds me...ummm hold on, officer at my window, let me see what the heck he wants..."

/// Nobody is paying attention anymore, nor do they care to be reminded they aren't paying attention, even if they've just sent someone else into a ditch.
 
2014-06-08 02:20:29 PM  

rkiller1: Just like child car seats: http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_levitt_on_child_carseats


If you saw it on TED, it must be true. Especially in the face of decades of research stating otherwise.

Carseats don't work!
Helmets cause paralysis!
Republicans care about the poor!
 
2014-06-08 02:37:43 PM  

dragonchild: mekki: Americans are some of the best drivers in the planet compare to some places where streetlights are a suggestion and driving lanes are completely ignored.
compared to?


Uhh, Russian dash cam videos, anyone? How about those from India with thousands of mopeds and little cars scrambling around randomly like ants? There was a thread a little bit ago where someone was talking about how a Chinese person was surprised that we Americans stop at stop signs and signals when there was nobody nearby at first glance.
 
2014-06-08 02:38:16 PM  
In Texas, the police have laptops in their cars that they work on as they drive.
 
2014-06-08 02:39:12 PM  
True story.  Not long ago I was driving down I-35 here in Iowa and came upon an office chair lying in the middle of the road, almost exactly between the left and right lanes.  Had I not been paying attention, I more than likely would have rammed into it and at the least caused some pretty ugly damage to my car.  I have little doubt someone else did run into it.

Then there was the busy parking lot yesterday where I was stopped near the end of a row waiting for the car in front of me to turn, and some random lady, completely oblivious, walked right in front of my car, close enough to almost touch the hood.  If I had been distracted by my phone I probably would have mowed her down.

This happens almost everywhere I go here in Iowa.  It's frightening.  People are completely incompetent behind the wheel.  I admit I am not perfect, but  I've increased my vigilance quite a bit lately.  No desire to kill myself or anyone else in the midst of texting something inane that could have waited five farking minutes.  What an undignified way to go.

/It's Idiots Out Walking About because it rhymes
//OCD slashies
 
2014-06-08 02:40:01 PM  

One Bad Apple: Idiots
Out
Wandering
Around


Change the state's name to IODA, for idiots out driving around.
 
2014-06-08 02:41:19 PM  

One Bad Apple: Idiots
Out
Wandering
Around


Idiots
Out
Wandering
Aimlessly

I'm from Florida though so I will go repair my glass house right quick..
 
2014-06-08 02:42:15 PM  
I live in Minnesota and see people clearly texting on the freeway every day. We have virtually no state troopers on the roads anymore and drivers know this.
Recently I've seen more and more people video chatting while driving as well, and even rode with a friend the other day who was pulling up and watching youtube videos and holding them up while she whizzed down the road (its okay, she said she can totally handle it and does it every day).
Until touching your phone while driving is illegal in a car, its like bar rush 24-7 with all of the people veering out of their lanes and completely paying no attention to driving. I've been hit by inattentive cell phone using drivers and so have so many people I know. I think its insane that there isn't a nationwide ban on driving while playing with your phone.  Self-driving cars cannot come soon enough.
 
2014-06-08 02:43:49 PM  
I'm
On
Welfare
Again
 
2014-06-08 02:56:20 PM  
How do you text with no cell service?
 
2014-06-08 03:17:05 PM  

jopy666: I live in Minnesota and see people clearly texting on the freeway every day. We have virtually no state troopers on the roads anymore and drivers know this.
Recently I've seen more and more people video chatting while driving as well, and even rode with a friend the other day who was pulling up and watching youtube videos and holding them up while she whizzed down the road (its okay, she said she can totally handle it and does it every day).
Until touching your phone while driving is illegal in a car, its like bar rush 24-7 with all of the people veering out of their lanes and completely paying no attention to driving. I've been hit by inattentive cell phone using drivers and so have so many people I know. I think its insane that there isn't a nationwide ban on driving while playing with your phone.  Self-driving cars cannot come soon enough.


Driving while even remotely touching a phone is illegal in Illinois, with stricter laws in several municipalities. Unfortunately, it isn't stopping any of what you are describing above....
 
2014-06-08 03:18:19 PM  

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: In Texas, the police have laptops in their cars that they work on as they drive.


Have them here too. You can usually identify the cops working on them by the swerving while driving 15 under the limit.
 
2014-06-08 03:40:41 PM  

mekki: people would routinely jump the curve


They would jump the what, now?
 
2014-06-08 03:42:04 PM  
But to be honest with the Texas cops, texting on  laptop, playing solotaire, updating facebook and surfing Match.com can tire you out. I remember a time, a pretty young gal driving a jeep with the top off of it, was engrossed in texting, only occasionally looking up from it while driving. I was in the next lane, honkrd my horn, saw her go apeshiat and swerve all over the road. Dickish, I'm sure, Taught her a lesson? Nah. Too hot and dumb. Here in NM last month, we had a gal go over the divider(sand) on the Interstate, swerve and hit a 94 year old guy head on. She got distracted while texting. a4 year old man. If you can remember when there were mno cars, shouldn't be allowed to drive.
 
2014-06-08 03:44:48 PM  
It's probably the former.  They've "banned" it in Massachusetts too, but I see people still doing it all the time and I've never even heard of someone getting a ticket for it.

Put the phone down.  You are not that important.
 
2014-06-08 03:45:31 PM  
The last report I read (can't get a citation or link) stated that 20% of cell-phone related car accidents were because of texting. That means that 80% were caused by something other than texting. So why not go after bigger causes? Then you might see a sharper drop in accidents.
 
2014-06-08 03:56:23 PM  

TerminalEchoes: The last report I read (can't get a citation or link) stated that 20% of cell-phone related car accidents were because of texting. That means that 80% were caused by something other than texting. So why not go after bigger causes? Then you might see a sharper drop in accidents.


Probably because phones do so many things that that 20% for texting is the biggest single chunk for one action. That's my guess.
 
2014-06-08 04:23:40 PM  

RumsfeldsReplacement: It's probably the former.  They've "banned" it in Massachusetts too, but I see people still doing it all the time and I've never even heard of someone getting a ticket for it.

Put the phone down.  You are not that important.


I ride a motorcycle which means a) I pass a lot of people, and b) I can see into their cars easily.

My schedule usually keeps me out of the DC area rush hour, but the last time I got caught in it, fully 75% of people that I passed were looking down at their phones. It's absurd.
 
2014-06-08 05:25:11 PM  
The thing that worries me about making texting in your car illegal is that if it's legal, people hold the phone up in front of them.  It's certainly a distraction, but at least you can still see in front of you.  When it's illegal, I don't think people are going to stop texting - but I suspect they'll hold the phone down in their lap so it isn't so easily seen.  And that means they aren't looking at the road at all, they are looking down in their lap where the phone is.
 
2014-06-08 06:37:12 PM  

JuggleGeek:   It's certainly a distraction, but at least you can still see in front of you.


Here's the problem, situational awareness is a big deal when driving - knowing what goes in front, to the sides and behind you. If you are busy chatting on a cell phone do you really believe your SA is 100%? Nope, when you are busy trying to juggle a phone and look around, your mind starts to wonder into the conversation and not driving.

What happens if you are only looking straight and some jackass on a crotch rocket comes flying up behind you, and you switch lanes without giving a good look? Might not be your fault still, but your insurance and someones life is on the line.

Just saying I think people are to ignorant about technology, put down the cell and pull over if not wait - then again nobody really cares because every call is more important then another life so its never going to curb the accidents.
 
2014-06-08 07:17:11 PM  

JuggleGeek: The thing that worries me about making texting in your car illegal is that if it's legal, people hold the phone up in front of them.  It's certainly a distraction, but at least you can still see in front of you.  When it's illegal, I don't think people are going to stop texting - but I suspect they'll hold the phone down in their lap so it isn't so easily seen.  And that means they aren't looking at the road at all, they are looking down in their lap where the phone is.


THIS.

I'm a cop and it's not easy catching people texting. People yapping on the phone isn't too hard, but most people are suave enough to text down at their lap. Luckily I patrol in a hilly area and I can find spots where I can peer down into cars and I do get a ton of lap texters that way. And of course those that text right in front of their face.

I'm open to suggestions though.
 
2014-06-08 07:23:15 PM  

mekki: AirForceVet: Actually most Americans suck at driving, to a level that borders on living in Third-World countries. And then there's the drunks, the elderly, the amature racer car drivers, etc.

If you think that then you've never seen actually bad driving. Americans are some of the best drivers in the planet compare to some places where streetlights are a suggestion and driving lanes are completely ignored. When I was in Paris, our tour guide told us to be very careful rounding corners on the sidewalk. Apparently, the fine for parking on sidewalk is less than parking on the wrong part of the road. So, people would routinely jump the curve and park on the sidewalk to run into stores to grab something. Unfortunately, those drivers were not much into look where they were driving and expected pedestrians to pick up the slack. Something like this would be unheard of as being common place in the US.


I was in southern France the first three months of this year (45 min NE of Marseille, out in the country).  Good lord they drive like they have a death wish over there.  Passing cars on curvey mountain roads with incoming traffic, and there wasn't a week that went by that I didn't see at least one accident between home and work (about 7 miles).  Hell, one guy at work died from a traffic accident.

And you are right about the parking.  Even in the rural areas, it was "park where there is space".  Sidewalks, curbs, medians, in the town center.  Hell, I only went to Aix once because I thought I was either going to die or kill somebody just from driving around.

Seriously, when I came back, I felt a goddamn king of the road with lanes that give you an extra foot on each side.  I do miss the round-abouts though....at least out in the country.  In the city they were a mess.

/and don't even get me started on the people driving motorcycles over there.
 
2014-06-08 10:01:45 PM  
In
Omaha
Without
Asking
 
2014-06-08 10:07:33 PM  

poisonpill: JuggleGeek: The thing that worries me about making texting in your car illegal is that if it's legal, people hold the phone up in front of them.  It's certainly a distraction, but at least you can still see in front of you.  When it's illegal, I don't think people are going to stop texting - but I suspect they'll hold the phone down in their lap so it isn't so easily seen.  And that means they aren't looking at the road at all, they are looking down in their lap where the phone is.

THIS.

I'm a cop and it's not easy catching people texting. People yapping on the phone isn't too hard, but most people are suave enough to text down at their lap. Luckily I patrol in a hilly area and I can find spots where I can peer down into cars and I do get a ton of lap texters that way. And of course those that text right in front of their face.

I'm open to suggestions though.


1. Patrol on a motorcycle.  You can see every goddamned thing that people are doing in their cars, and they don't even realize it.  If you're lucky, you might even see someone getting road head now and again.  I do.

2. There are a number of giveaway behaviors that make it obvious that someone is texting, even if you can't see the phone. Leaving a lot of extra space in front of their car in heavy highway traffic is a big one.  Lots of unnecessary brake tapping is another.  Anyone looking down while driving for more than a couple of seconds is texting.

Also, people who wait 5-10 seconds to go after a light turns green?  Texting, guaranteed.

Basically, you're safe assuming that everyone is doing it, because pretty much everyone is... seriously. If I were a cop, I could pull cars over on the DC beltway in groups of 10 or 12 at a time.
 
2014-06-08 11:20:29 PM  
The stats mean that the texting law is either unnecessary or that it's ineffective.  But that doesn't matter.  This law, like all statues (lately) is about two things only: (1) will it help an incumbent get re-elected? and (2) will it generate revenue for the state?  THIS is democracy.
 
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