The Daily Wire: At last... mobiles phones get a looking at. - The Daily Wire

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http://www.abc.net.a.../07/3132112.htm

This, I have admit, is one of my pet hates... people driving and talking on their phone, whether hands-free or not. I really hope this report drives law-making on this issue.

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Until we see a definitive link between hands-free mobile use and accidents, I think this is a bad idea. I would not consider one study sufficient. There needs to be a balance between safety and practicality.
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There have actually been a great number of human factors studies on this issue, consistently showing the same outcome - that any diversion of attention makes for more driver errors. This is the same for hands free phones as for ones being held by the driver.

The report refers directly to two studies of mobile phone usage and driver error - you canfollow the links fromthe original ABC online article.
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Mm.. okay but if I may draw a parallel between speeding and deaths, for example. At what point do you say that the level of driving-related casualties is acceptable? Do we keep dropping speed limits until everyone is driving along no faster than in the age of the horse-driven carriage? I mean, there needs to be a degree of reasonable compromise.

And so it is with mobile phone use. The productivity losses through banning handsfree mobile use in cars could be enormous. What about truck drivers with their CB radios? Do you ban them too?
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hmm.. I really don't think that there is a single workplace agreement or award, for example, that specifies productivity gains made by using mobile phone car kits are a negotiable item. They may well have come to be an expected part of the work scene, however a long time ago so was 8 year olds working in coal mines - which doesn't mean that 'expected' is acceptable.'

Furthermore, I think that if research shows that mobile phones are a safety factor then they will come to be banned under OH&S and car safety legislation, regardless of the so-called benefits.

I think this is different to the speed debate in that use of a phone is a known to definitely degrade attention to driver performance and can be controlled by not using the phone. Going faster on the other hand has a statistical relationship and has not been shown to degrade driver performance in the same way as, say, alcohol has.

Regarding speeding - change of topic - I've always found it kind of ludicrous [? sp] that even though there are many VERY high speed accidents leading to deaths, anyone can buy a car that will do well over 120km/h, and even up to 180km/h. There really seems to be no will to change this.
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Ever talked to someone in a passenger seat? How is that any different from talking on a hands-free?
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Senexx, on 13 February 2011 - 05:17 PM, said:

Ever talked to someone in a passenger seat? How is that any different from talking on a hands-free?



good point - but it is different due to the lessor demands on attention processes.

On the other hand, adjusting the radio is well known to be at least as distracting as talking on the phone and a documented cause of many accidents.
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scotto, on 14 February 2011 - 07:35 AM, said:

Senexx, on 13 February 2011 - 05:17 PM, said:

Ever talked to someone in a passenger seat? How is that any different from talking on a hands-free?



good point - but it is different due to the lessor demands on attention processe


I can't see how. A conversation is a conversation, electronic or not.

It would be close to impossible to police handsfree use anyway.
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Phones cut out about 90% on the information value of the spoken word - tone, pauses, changes in inflection and so on - this is just how they work. Therefore they require a good deal more concentration to converse with effectively and take more of our attention as we do so. Speaking in person, even with someone we are not facing is much less taxing and the conversation is much more sensitive to the ongoing situation outside the car. These are the known facts about phone versus in person talking.

It wouldn't be so hard to police - just ban handfree kits from sale or installation. Fines etc for talking on a phone whilst driving.
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Wow... here's a great little story about a P-plater pulling the ton whilst chatting on his mobile device... read and enjoy!

http://www.abc.net.a.../17/3141089.htm
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