[FoRK] Constable Bell on Road Safety and Pregnancy...

Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK) fork at ianbell.com
Wed Jan 19 16:00:27 PST 2005

On 19-Jan-05, at 3:30 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:

>> 3. A cell phone conversation does not have constant background sound, 
>> as most
>> music does; talking is intermittent, allowing external sounds in.

The question is not one of acoustic bandwidth over time, but one of 
attention span and our brain's bandwidth.  As an experiment, try 
calling your girlfriend/wife/whatever while playing an online 
multiplayer first-person shooter, such as BF1942 Desert Combat.  See 
how good your kill ratio is.  Either your score, or your relationship, 
will suffer a decline.

The only reason that we can get away with yakking on the phone in the 
car is because it doesn't actually require that much attention -- for 
those of us who are comfortable behind the wheel and are likely driving 
on frequently traveled routes.  There are of course those among us who 
should allocate as much attention as possible to the road and their 
vehicle and for all of us, if we're talking on the phone we're less 
adept at reacting to emergencies regardless of headphones, etc.  
Effectively, so long as we're capable drivers and nothing unpredictable 
happens, which it usually doesn't, we are OK.

British Columbia has a graduated licensing program.  It includes 
limitations at various stages on driving at night, driving with 
passengers, age of passengers, etc.  Perhaps BC should add a 
stipulation for talking on phones only at the highest level.

Riding a bicycle or motorcycle requires much more care and attention in 
traffic than driving a car does.  I think personal stereos and radios 
should be illegal for all two-wheeled vehicles on the road.

As a driver who has thus far enjoyed a safe record I don't want to run 
over some guy who was riffing out to Van Halen's "Unchained" and 
installed himself, and his bicycle, as my new hood ornament.

That said, I don't know how any of this is analogous to a woman's right 
to choose what happens to her body and the jesus jumpers attempting to 
inflict their (a)moral views upon total strangers can kiss my fucking 



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