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Picked up from the bikers against distracted driving website...

WASHINGTON-Updated: July 22, 2009 A new report claims the U.S. withheld important information about distracted drivers. A consumer advocate group says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shelved a 2002 study about the dangers of using cell phones on the road.

Researchers say drivers distracted by cell phones caused nearly 1,000 fatalities and 240,000 accidents nationwide in 2002. Researchers found that driving while talking on your cell phone can increase the risk of an accident by three or four times. Consumer groups say releasing the information, years ago, could have saved lives.

Two consumer groups, Center for Auto Safety and Public Citizen, say the government kept the information private and misled the public

"The idea that the federal government can withhold important safety data and its research on public safety is really disasterous," said Margaret Kwoka, an attorney for Public Citizen.

The consumer groups filed a lawsuit to have the information released, claiming there were political reasons why the NHTSA withheld the 2002 findings. Reasons included pressure from the wireless industry, which has spent $35 million lobbying Congress, and pressure from lawmakers. Back in 2002, many states were just starting to create distracted driving laws. Some people in Congress warned the highway traffic agency not to lobby states over the safety issue or risk billions of dollars in funding.

The Department of Transportation says it is deeply concerned that drivers are taking their focus off the road to send text messages or use their cell phone. The government estimatesone in 10 drivers talks on a cell phone. Consumer groups are pushing for lawmakers to ban drivers' phone use all together. Researchers say driver distraction contributes to about 25 percent of all police-reported traffic crashes in 2002. The newly released data says the risk of talking while behind the wheel is almost equal to drunk driving.





Distracted Drivers: Texting while driving
WMBF - Myrtle Beach,SC,USA says 20 percent of drivers on the road are texting while they drive. It's dangerous. ...



US agency withheld data on distracted drivers
Kansas City Star - MO,USAdrivers[/b] to assess the safety risk posed by cellphone use behind the wheel. ...]



NHTSA accused of withholding info on distracted driving
WTHR - Indianapolis,IN,USA - There are reports that federal transportation officials withheld important research on the dangers of distracted drivers using cell phones. ...
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Yeah I posted a link to this story last week at the end of a thread called Death Wish, when Predator was talking about people on cell phones in their cars. Aint it great that they get to randomly select what they want to protect us from. :gunhead:

John
 

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I also posted on that in the Misc section a day or two ago
 

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I passed a guy on a Harley Soft tail the other day who was either dialing or texting with his left hand while driving (and weaving) on a US highway.



Maybe cell phones will replace alcohol for the death record on bikes.
 

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ccsial wrote:
Maybe cell phones will replace alcohol for the death record on bikes.
If I'm not mistaken, I think I heard on the network news 2-3 days ago that texting while driving has recently proven to be far (14 times?) more lethal than drunkenness...:baffled:
 

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Jluvs2dive wrote:
Aint it great that they get to randomly select what they want to protect us from. :gunhead:

John
 

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nightwizard40 wrote: Yeah in our state they just outlawed the sale of the small bikes. :X It doesn't get much more ridiculous than that!:gunhead:

John
 

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The govt. could stop all cell phone operation while driving in a heartbeat if they wanted to.

The phones contain gps that can be made to shut the phone off at any given speed.....say 5mph.

Flip the switch already and get it over with. Talking on a cell phone while driving is just "not smart" (I'm trying to be PC here) and don't even get me started on texting.
 

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Dont get me started on a Nanny State rant...a situation that has grown under administrations of both flavors for many years.

Incessant incrementalism, it is how to get anything done.
 

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norton wrote:
The govt. could stop all cell phone operation while driving in a heartbeat if they wanted to.

The phones contain gps that can be made to shut the phone off at any given speed.....say 5mph.
The argument would be that the passenger would also be restricted. I'm just being the devil's advocate but we are fighting major corporate money here and they aren't going back to the good old days without a fight. Cell phones are profitable to everyone involved except the traffic victims.

One problem is that the phones have become too cheap to buy and run. My first car phone (Bolted in) cost about $400.00 and basic service was fifty cents per minute so I didn't chat a lot and cut people off if they weren't brief.

Now cell phones are free with cheap plans at a fraction of the cost per minute. Add unlimited texting and you have a disaster.
 

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How did we ever get along without cell phones. An entire generation has grown up with them. Think they're going to give them up? Maybe, as money gets tighter, we'll see this happen. But maybe not.

There are too many distractions, in cars. Not enough visibility and a serious lack of focus on driving. I have to assume that the vast majority of drivers have had some form of drivers ed in school or privately taken. So training isn't an issue. This is a behavior problem, too me.

Trying to make our society safe for the stupid to operate in, is only going to make things worse. The sad fact is, congress is a big brothel, for anyone with the money to buy them. JMO
 

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norton wrote:
The govt. could stop all cell phone operation while driving in a heartbeat if they wanted to. The phones contain gps that can be made to shut the phone off at any given speed.....say 5mph. Flip the switch already and get it over with. Talking on a cell phone while driving is just "not smart" (I'm trying to be PC here) and don't even get me started on texting.
That would probably be political suicide since so many voters want to do it. There wouldprobably be a powerful lobby against it too. There would also be some emergencies where a callcould notbe made while driving and could result in bad press or a suit. I'd be in favor of the phone shutting off when the person is right on your tail.
 

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I'm thinkin' we could prolly just lay back in the shade, and watch the inevitable lobbying battle between theauto/liability insurance companies and the cell phone service/phone providers and see who ultimately wins!!

No matter what, we the people WILL lose, thru increased insurance rates (lobbying payola) and cell plan rates (lobbying payola) and more useless highway deaths due to innattentive driving. Who wins, you ask??? Our Congressional Representatives of course (hello...PAYOLA!!...) or do we believe that the lobbying payola is returned to us in the form of reduced taxes??? :cheeky1::cheeky1::gunhead:
 
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