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Here is a new development that may get the cell phone ban moving: a man placed an ad in the paper, apologizing for running a red light and killing people while talking on a cell phone. To read the story, go to:

[This message was edited by JB on 11-18-11 at .]
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Only the indictment should seek a deadly weapon finding if they want the verdict to have teeth.
Posts: 319 | Location: Midland, TX | Registered: January 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For the latest discussion of litigating negligence in cell phone use, see description of upcoming trial.
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nov. 3, 2003, 6:07AM

Cell phone fumble cited in fatal wreck
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle

A teenage girl was killed and another was hurt Saturday when their car slammed into a guardrail on the Eastex Freeway, police said.

The accident happened shortly after 2:30 a.m. when the passenger dropped her cell phone, reached down to pick it up and hit the car's steering wheel, an accident report says. The car then hit the left guardrail before crossing the freeway and crashing, police said.

The passenger, Sarah Nicole Perez, 15, of the 3100 block of Rosemary, was killed, authorities said. The driver, whose name was not released, survived.
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cell phones don't kill people; people kill people ...

Posts: 2427 | Location: TDCAA | Registered: March 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If I have to listen to one more idiotic cell phone conversation ("Yeah, I just got on the plane...), you may be able to say people kill cell phone users.
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here is a dangerous combination: drunk and talking on a cell phone. Also interesting because:

1) one of the victims is in a coma, but her unborn child has been born alive; and

2) the defendant has to carry around a photo of the victim (in his casket) in his wallet.

Texas justice.

[This message was edited by John Bradley on 01-14-04 at .]
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here is a first peek at statistics showing when cell phone usage contributes to accidents: read the story.
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Another reason to ban the cell phone:

May 12, 2004, 9:04AM

Teen caught using cell phone to photograph exam
Associated Press

SALINAS, Calif. - Cheating has gone high tech at Everett Alvarez High School, and administrators have the pictures to prove it.

School officials banned cellular telephone use after a student was caught using a camera phone to photograph an exam and trying to send it to a friend.

``All we are doing is stepping up the enforcement level, because of the student's flagrant violations,'' Principal Joe Rice said Monday.

Cheating by using camera phones and text messaging has become a nationwide concern.

Last year, six University of Maryland students admitted cheating on an accounting exam by using their phones to send information to one another via text messaging.

The Salinas Union High School District has had a ban on ``electronic signaling devices'' since April 2003 but has let individual schools decide how to enforce it.

A teacher caught the student who took the photograph of a test before he was able to transmit the image, Rice said.
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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New Yorkers are just learning that it is a crime to use a cell phone in a movie theatre. Read the article. Can Texas be far behind?
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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John, more than half of the articles you link up instead of cut/paste are to newpapers that require subscriptions or registrations to use. While I usually enjoy the material, my hotmail account (the email I used for that sort of thing) is overwhelmed with spam. If it isn't a subscription, is there a reason not to paste?

Though, just from reading your post, I think it sounds GREAT! $200.00 fine should fix that problem right up.
Posts: 764 | Location: Dallas, Texas | Registered: November 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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September 13, 2004

Despite Cellphone Ban in Theaters, Dialing Continues

he legislation passed 19 months ago, but few people, it seems, have taken note that chatting on your cellphone in a New York City movie theater is now illegal.

Three teenagers who had left the United Artists Court Street Stadium 12 theater in Brooklyn were unaware of the law last week when asked about it by a reporter. One of them offered a Clintonesque defense of the transgression she had committed inside. "O.K, I picked up, but I only whispered," said Eva Davila, 15.

Even several owners and managers of movie theaters contacted last week were unfamiliar with the measure, which provides for a $50 fine for talking on a cellphone in public performance spaces, including museums, cinemas and Broadway theaters.

But there is at least one movie theater where the managers are well aware of the law - and their customers are getting well acquainted with it, too.

At the Cobble Hill Cinemas, an independently owned five-screen theater a few blocks down the road from the Court Street 12, the theater's prohibition of cellphone use is made clear by signs laden with exclamation points and tacked to every imaginable surface, along with other signs explaining the rules regarding outside food, bathroom use and smoking.

"Other theaters don't put up signs and don't do anything about it, which makes our job a lot harder," said Kathy Angotti, the theater's general manager. "It's a good law, and we try to enforce it. But I'm telling you, it's hard."

Hard, she said, because the city has provided no extra officers to issue tickets, leaving the theater's employees to try to hail an officer off the street or call 911 - a measure that is both extreme and ineffective, because the offender is usually long gone by the time an officer arrives. Even when the police have arrived in time, she said, they have declined to issue citations.

A police spokesman, Detective Walter Burnes, said issuing tickets for cellphone use was not a priority for the department. The city has no record of any tickets being issued for cellphone use.

That does not bother Councilman Philip Reed, the sponsor of the law banning cellphone use in theaters. Mr. Reed, who represents East Harlem, readily admits that the law is unenforceable and that it would be foolish for the police to issue summonses. Rather, he said, the law was intended to "embolden the community," to make the public feel all right about saying, "You can't do that."

"Anyone talking on a cellphone is a significant disturbance when you've paid a lot of money to see a performance," Mr. Reed said.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg vetoed the law, arguing that it would be unenforceable, but the City Council overrode the veto. Still, Mr. Reed says that the measure has been effective, citing anecdotal evidence about declining cellphone use in theaters. He also said that other big cities like Los Angeles and Chicago had called seeking advice on how to implement similar laws.

"It's like the pooper-scooper law: it's not enforced, but now that people know about it they clean up after their dogs," he said. "That's what's happening here, that's why there's been such a significant improvement in people's behavior. Like we say: You can have your phone on vibrate, look and see who's calling and, if it's so important, take your behind out of your seat, go outside and call them back."

And that's just what Seo Yun Yoon did on Thursday evening while watching "Garden State" at the Cobble Hill Cinemas. Hurling herself past two friends after her phone silently lit up the theater, the 16-year-old marched down the aisle and out the door to return the call.

"It was my mother," she said as she hung up. "She gets mad if she can't get in touch with me."
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yet another reason to avoid cell phones:

Exploding cell phones, and how to avoid them
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Curtis Sathre said it was like a bomb going off. His 13-year-old son Michael stood stunned, his ears ringing, hand gushing blood and body covered in black ash.

In a split second last August, fragments from Michael's exploding cell phone had hit him between the eyes and lodged in the ceiling of the family's home in Oceanside, Calif.

Over the past two years, federal safety officials have received 83 reports of cell phones exploding or catching fire, usually because of incompatible, faulty or counterfeit batteries or chargers. Burns to the face, neck, leg and hip are among the dozens of injury reports the agency has received.
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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November 26, 2004

Hi, I'm Your Car. Don't Let Me Distract You.

DETROIT, Nov. 25 - Darrow Zeidenstein talks to his 2005 Acura RL, and it listens, answering him in a soft voice that guides him to a gas station or the nearest A.T.M. "You can say, find bank, find A.T.M., find gas station," Mr. Zeidenstein said. And the car readily complies.

Mr. Zeidenstein, an associate vice president at Rice University, can also tell his Acura RL to make phone calls for him, and the car will direct his cellphone to dial. He can have a conversation without ever having to lift a finger.

These high-technology gadgets in the Acura RL reflect a growing trend in the automobile industry to design cars so that drivers do not have to take their hands off the steering wheel.

Automakers, their suppliers and cellphone manufacturers are pitching hands-free technology as a safe way to rein in the expanding clutter of gadgetry that can leave drivers grabbing for everything but the steering wheel.

But how safe are these devices, really? According to early evidence, probably not as much as you think.

Some states endorse the trend. Florida, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C., have passed laws banning hand-held cellphones, requiring drivers to use headsets, speaker phones or phones built into their car. But federal regulators, consumer advocates and some independent safety researchers are concerned that hands-free technology may give a false sense of security.

A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that drivers who use hands-free cellphone adapters are actually no safer behind the wheel than drivers who hold the phone with one hand and steer with the other.

"Our focus is on trying to understand what the combined effect may be on overall driving performance," said Joseph Kanianthra, the associate administrator for vehicle safety research at the highway safety administration. "If these technologies keep coming into the vehicles, how well are drivers able to cope?"

Driver distractions, which include everything from eating to talking on cellphones to changing radio stations, play a role in 25 percent to 30 percent of automobile crashes, according to the highway safety administration. With 163 million cellphone subscribers nationwide, and many of them taking their cellphone conversations into the car, safety experts are concerned that the number of distraction-related accidents could rise.

The administration's recent study pointed out that when drivers used hands-free devices, they took longer to dial the phone and made more errors than when they were holding the cellphone to make the call. Drivers using a cellphone headset had to redial their calls 40 percent of the time because of mistakes, compared with an error rate of 18 percent for drivers who held the phone.

The study concluded that in most cases, drivers "overestimated the ease of use afforded by hands-free phone interfaces."

Drivers can be easily distracted, even when they have both hands on the wheel. "In many cases, it's the amount of brain power you're using," said David Champion, the senior director of auto tests for Consumer Reports. "Even if you're using a hands-free phone, you're using quite a bit of brain power to actually have a discussion."

Apart from regulating the use of cellphones in cars, state laws are silent on other distracting technology inside a car. The states and the federal government have left it up to the automakers to design features like navigation systems and DVD players so they are safe for drivers to operate.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which includes most of the world's top automakers like General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Ford and Toyota, has written a set of safety standards for vehicle technology. Under those standards, the automakers agreed to design DVD players and in-car televisions so that the driver cannot not see them while the car is in motion. They also agreed not to make devices that obstruct the driver's view or require the use of more than one hand.

"The goal is to minimize both visual and mental distractions," said Gloria Bergquist, vice president of the alliance. Ms. Bergquist said the industry believed it had drawn up guidelines that strike a proper balance between encouraging the design of entertainment-related features and keeping drivers safe.

"The guidelines recommend that no more than two seconds be required to look at a device - like a radio - to operate it, minimizing the amount of time a driver's eyes and a driver's mind are focused" on the device, she said.

"The old driver distractions such as the crying child in the back seat remains as powerful as ever," she added. "Today, however, a DVD player can help avoid that distraction by keeping the kids happy and entertained."

Still, with navigation systems, DVD players, speaker phones and satellite radio, some experts said that drivers have too many gadgets diverting their eyes from the road. And since the use of these potentially distracting technologies in vehicles is a relatively new phenomenon, there is little research on their safety.

"There's not as much data as we'd like to say how many people each year are killed because of these various devices," said Paul A. Green, a scientist at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Mr. Green oversaw a study in which drivers were asked to operate a navigation system while they performed normal driving tasks, like switching lanes. The results, he said, were not encouraging. On average, he found that drivers take 5.4 seconds to read and to process an electronic map.

"We see that use of these devices, depending on the task, can degrade driving significantly," Mr. Green said.

But he added that since navigation systems help to keep drivers from getting lost, the benefits of having one could outweigh the negatives.

"It's not as if all these devices all the time are bad," he said. "Navigation systems provide lots of nice safety benefits."

Automakers may be getting the message to make car technology less distracting. But it would be a mistake to conclude that voice-activated, hands-free features make the roads safer, Mr. Green said.

"There's this notion that speech is this panacea," he said. "It has the possibility to be a solution, but it depends on the implementation."

Joseph Coughlin, a professor at M.I.T. who has done research on driver distractions, said new technologies are being put in cars faster than drivers can learn how to use them. "We have too much of a good thing," Mr. Coughlin said. "A lot of these things are coming into the car and we haven't been taught how to use them."

One example of a complicated and distracting in-car technology is BMW's iDrive system. To operate it, drivers use a knob near the gear shift to scroll through a series of menu screens that control everything from the climate system to power steering. BMW began offering iDrive in 2002, but has since simplified the system somewhat.

Many of the world's leading automobile companies have begun to integrate cellphones into car audio systems so drivers do not have to use their hands while making a call. In addition to Acura, which is a division of Honda Motor, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler and BMW all offer hands-free, voice-activated cellphone systems in their top models.

The availability of Bluetooth, a wireless technology that allows drivers to link calls from their cellphones to their car audio systems, is also expanding.

In Mr. Zeidenstein's new Acura RL, Bluetooth enables him to walk from his home to his car while talking on the phone and to transfer the call to the car's speakers at the push of a button. Bluetooth, combined with the other gadgets in his Acura RL, could be overwhelming to some drivers, he said.

"You might get the impression it could be sensory overload, " Mr. Zeidenstein said. But he was quick to add that he does not believe he is any less safe in his new car.

"It's no more distracting than my old car without all the fancy gizmos."
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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December 10, 2004

Cellphones Aloft: The Inevitable Is Closer

The day may finally be coming when you will be allowed to make calls on your own cellphone from an airliner. Trouble is, so will the passengers sitting on either side of you, and in front and in back of you, as well.

Federal regulators plan next week to begin considering rules that would end the official ban on cellphone use on commercial flights. Technical challenges and safety questions remain. But if the ban is lifted, one of the last cocoons of relative social silence would disappear, forcing strangers to work out the rough etiquette of involuntary eavesdropping in a confined space.

"For some people, the idea of being able to pick up their phone is going to be liberating; for some it's going to drive them crazy," said Addison Schonland, a travel industry consultant at the Innovation Analysis Group in La Jolla, Calif. "Can you imagine 200 people having a conversation at once? There's going to be a big market for noise-canceling headphones."

The always-on-the-road business travelers may become the worst offenders, predicted Roger Entner, a telecommunications analyst with the Yankee Group and a frequent flier. "Businessmen will now compete with toddlers for the title of 'most annoying in the airplane,' " Mr. Entner said.

It may be years before cellphones become widely used in the skies. To begin with, conventional cellphones, besides raising concerns about interfering with cockpit communications, typically do not work at altitudes above 10,000 feet or so.

But some airlines have already begun their own tests of technology meant to make cellphone use feasible at 35,000 feet. They know that the seatback phones they now offer, costing $1.99 a minute or more, have never really caught on.

The airlines also know that, while illegal, surreptitious cellphone use at lower altitudes is already common. Airline attendants have caught some passengers using cellphones in airplane lavatories, and others have been spotted huddled in their seats, whispering into their cupped hands. For that matter, the use of BlackBerry hand-held e-mail devices is also rampant, if sub rosa, despite their also being banned on airliners.

Famously, some passengers' emergency use of cellphones played a significant role in the final minutes of the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 before it crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 11, 2001.

A major federal effort to revisit the rules will begin next Wednesday at a Federal Communications Commission meeting, where the agency is expected to approve two measures. One, an order that is expected to be adopted, would try to introduce more price competition among phone companies to offer telephone and high-speed Internet services from the seatback and end-of-aisle phones that are now on many planes.

The second measure will begin the regulatory process of considering whether there are technical solutions to some of the current obstacles to passengers' using their own mobile phones on planes.

Safety will be a major consideration in any rule changes. The Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing, the nation's largest builder of airliners, both support the F.C.C.'s ban, arguing that cellphones can interfere with navigation systems.

In fact, European newspapers widely reported that use of a cellphone contributed to the crash of a Crossair commuter plane in 2000. LX Flight 498, carrying 10 passengers and crew members, was bound for Dresden when it crashed outside Zurich minutes after it took off, killing all on board. Officially, the reason for the crash remains unknown. But news reports at the time said a passenger apparently took a cellphone call at the same time that the pilot engaged the autopilot controls. The plane subsequently went into a dive.

Despite such questions, airlines have begun their own tests of whether cellphone use can be made feasible. Last July, American Airlines, the nation's biggest, tested a system that it said was still at least two years away from being available on commercial flights. That system would require passengers to pay to use special cellphones provided by the airline, not their own phones.

Last summer's test was considered successful, because it allowed the use of conventional cellphones to place and receive calls by way of a picocell - a miniature cell tower the size of a pizza box - installed by the wireless equipment maker Qualcomm inside the jet.

The picocell linked to several antennas inside a cable that gathered signals from passengers' cellphones and sent them all to a small satellite dish, no bigger than a laptop computer, on top of the plane. From there, the calls were beamed to an orbiting satellite, which sent the calls back to special cell stations linked to phone networks on earth.

"It's only a matter of time before we have cellphones on planes," said Scott Becker, senior vice president of Qualcomm's Wireless Systems division. "A lot of the airlines are more open to looking at it now, and people are getting used to using their phones everywhere."

Many industry executives say the type of technology tested by American Airlines and Qualcomm is particularly promising because, by funneling all calls through a single communications path, it will be more feasible for the airlines and carriers to track and bill the calls. (The airlines assume they would charge an access fee beyond whatever the customer's own wireless carrier assesses.)

The transmission system is also more efficient than using conventional cellular technology, which would require many in-flight phones to continually search for cell towers on the ground. And because calls will be beamed to satellites and then back to earth, passengers will be able to talk while flying over water and other areas where there are few cell towers below. Also, fliers would have the added advantage of being able to receive calls as well as make them.

None of this will happen soon, though. Participants in the tests, as well as members of the committee appointed by the F.A.A. to study the various technologies, do not expect any resolution to the debate for at least another two years. A crucial assessment, by the United States Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics, will not be completed until at least 2007.

Others note that a technology already exists that could eventually enable passengers to call from the sky: Internet phone software that runs over high-speed data lines. So far, passengers on some non-United States airlines can pay to use high-speed Internet connections in flight through a service called Connexion by Boeing. In theory, once online with a laptop, a passenger could use Internet phone software and a headset to make calls. But so far, the Internet service is offered by only a handful of airlines like Lufthansa and JAL on a few long-haul flights, and Connexion by Boeing is not promoting the system as a way to make phone calls.

Given the cash-short airline industry's need for income, though, many travel industry analysts say that - whatever the regulatory and technical hurdles - phone calls from the sky are inevitable.

"They will be a revenue stream," predicted Terry Wiseman, publisher of, an online newsletter. "If the price is low, and if you can get billed directly through your carrier, people are going to use the phones."

Which is what worries some frequent travelers. "The last thing I want is a bunch of jabbering business geeks," said Paul Saffo, a technology industry consultant who travels 200,000 miles a year on United Airlines and said that flying was his only escape from e-mail and phone calls. "The only quiet time I get is when I fly. It's my meditation time."

It will be up to the airline industry, and its passengers, to work out the new terms of engagement, even if the results are as uneven as in other travel industries. Around metropolitan New York City, for example, the main commuter railroads allow unfettered use of cellphones - to the annoyance of tens of thousands of nonchattering commuters a day - but on many East Coast Amtrak trains there are typically one or more "quiet cars" where the phones are prohibited.

Rich Salter, an in-flight electronics expert with the Salter Group, a consulting firm in Irvine, Calif., said there was already an airline industry proposal circulating that would restrict phone use to only certain portions of each flight. "Maybe the old 'No Smoking' sign could be used as a 'No Talking' sign," he said.
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cell phone limits are on agenda

Lawmakers will look at restricting drivers' talk time
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

Many states have restrictions on the use of cell phones while driving, including:

� Require hands-free cell phone devices: New York, New Jersey, District of Columbia
� Requires hands-free cell phones only in certain local jurisdictions: Massachusetts, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania
� Prohibits cell phone use by school bus drivers, except in emergencies: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Tennessee
� Bars cell phone use for novice drivers operating a motor vehicle: District of Columbia, Maine, New Jersey
� Prevents local jurisdictions from prohibiting cell phone use: Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Oregon
� Number of foreign countries restricting or prohibiting hand-held cell phones in cars: 25

Source: Governors Highway Safety Association, Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, AAA Government Relations, State Highway Safety Offices (as of September 2004).

AUSTIN - Sen. Rodney Ellis admits his mind drifted from the road and into his cell phone conversation a few years ago while en route to his district office in Houston.

Just as he was passing Rice University, he awoke to reality, startled as he nearly crashed into another vehicle.

"I almost hit somebody when I was on the phone," said the Houston Democrat. "I think that driving with a cell phone to your ear sometimes can be as hazardous as driving while you're drunk. This phone can be as mind-altering as alcohol."

Increasingly legislators across the country are taking up the issue of driving while talking on cell phones with mixed outcomes. The various approaches include barring school bus drivers from using cell phones, restricting use by novice drivers and only allowing hands-free devices. Some states have passed laws preventing local jurisdictions from placing their own restrictions on drivers using cell phones.

In the upcoming 79th Texas Legislature, lawmakers will consider bills by Ellis and fellow Democrat Rep. Jose Menendez of San Antonio, that allow only hands-free cell phones while driving, except for calls to emergency responders.

Under Menendez's House Bill 237, violators could pay fines ranging from $25 to $100 outside a school crossing zone and $125 to $200 inside a school zone.

Similar laws have been enacted in New Jersey, the District of Columbia and New York, although complaints arose after New Yorkers began ignoring the law shortly after enactment as law enforcement grew lax, said David Strayer, a member of the University of Utah's psychology faculty.

Taking a different approach, Sen. Kel Selinger, R-Amarillo, is seeking to ban the use of all telephones while driving for those under 18 with restricted licenses for novice drivers.

Hands-free debate
Selinger's approach shows promise, since similar restrictions regarding operating hours and number of passengers have reduced fatalities for beginning drivers by as much as 50 percent, Strayer said.

Yet, bills that simply ban hand-held cell phones are missing the point, he said.

"Legislation like that isn't really based on sound science. You're equally impaired when you're on a hands-held telephone and a hands-free phone," he said. "It's a cognitive or mental distraction, not a physical distraction."

Although well-intentioned, bills outlawing hand-held cell phones while endorsing the hands-free variety could imperil safety, researchers say.

"I think hand-held bans do exactly the wrong thing," said Dave Willis, director of the Texas Transportation Institute's Center for Transportation Safety. "They send a subliminal or direct message that hands-free is safe. That's not the case."

Worse than drinking
Strayer, who refers to a condition he calls "attention blindness," said cell phone conversations distract the mind in a way that conversing with passengers inside the car does not.

Passengers are aware of the driver's situation and automatically adjust their behavior.

The same is not true for those on the other end of a phone line, he said.

Strayer said he recently worked on a study in which the subjects were given the legal blood alcohol content of .08 that qualifies as drunk and then tested on a driving simulator.

The same subject group was retested a few days later, while sober but also while in the midst of cell phone conversations.

"What we found," Strayer said, "was the cell phone drivers were more impaired than when they were drunk."

The Texas Department of Safety, meanwhile, has gathered data showing increased collisions related to cell phone use and road rage.

In 2001, cell phone accidents jumped from 716 to 1,032. Road-rage related accidents more than doubled, from 90 to 219.

Mantill Williams, a spokesman for the American Automobile Association, said it's typical that drivers hate other people's cell phones while loving their own.

"Our recommendation is people should not talk on the phone and drive at the same time unless it is absolutely necessary or there's some kind of emergency," he said. "That, we think, is common sense. It's very difficult to legislate common sense."
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Rifle shot deflected by cell phone
Truck driver expected to be released from hospital.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
WILLIS � Authorities said a homeless man fired a shot at an Irving truck driver Thursday, hitting him in the ear and neck. The shot was partly deflected by the victim's cell phone.

Trucker Willie Ray Goree, 50, had parked at a restaurant for lunch in Willis, north of Houston, and was walking while talking on a cell phone when he was struck.

"He heard a shot, and then a bullet hit his phone and then hit him near his right ear," Willis Police Chief James Nowak said in Friday editions of The Courier News of Conroe.

Police and Montgomery County sheriff's deputies responding to the incident arrested Feofaakia Hafoka, 36, a homeless man originally from the South Pacific island of Tonga. Goree identified Hafoka as the shooter. Officers caught up to the suspect as he was walking nearby.

"He was not armed, but did have two .22-caliber cartridges in his possession and was wearing ear plugs," Nowak said.

Hafoka has been charged with aggravated assault.

The shot from a .22-caliber rifle shattered Goree's phone and then passed through his ear and the soft tissue of his neck without causing any major damage, authorities said. He was hospitalized but was expected to be released Friday, Nowak said.

Nowak said multiple rounds were fired. At least one hit Goree's truck. He said the motive for the shooting was unknown.

Nowak said that Hafoka was identified by a Massachusetts ID card, but his last address on file with the FBI was in New Orleans.

The FBI reported that the suspect is not a U.S. citizen but that he is in the country legally, Nowak said.

"His previous addresses were all shelter locations," Nowak said.
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Kevlar cell phones coming soon to a retailer near you!
Posts: 1089 | Location: UNT Dallas | Registered: June 29, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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At least one state is considering a new crime of driving while texting (DWT). For details, read the article.
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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