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

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Wed Jan 19 16:34:00 PST 2005

Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK) wrote:

> 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.
I didn't write this, I replied to it.

> 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.

Anything you do often enough you can become very automatic at, often 
using a very small percentage of your capabilities and attention most of 
the time.

> 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.

Many states have graduated licensing now.

> 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.

It may take more attention and care for you, but that's not necessarily 
very true for everyone.  At times, I have been very comfortable on a 
bike.  In 1994, I spent 6 months with only a bike.  I've spent many 
thousands of hours on the edge of a road, running 3000 miles a year in 
high school.

> 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 ass.

I was originally commenting on the rationale before the Supreme Court 
that abortion should be outlawed because it was supposedly harmful to women.

> -Ian.

swilliams at hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per: sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw

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