[FoRK] Laws that ban texting while driving could be counter productive

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Thu Sep 15 01:42:01 PDT 2011

On Thu Sep 15 01:01:37 2011, Damien Morton wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 3:40 AM, Stephen Williams<sdw at lig.net>  wrote:
> Umm, Stephen, I have seen your car and I know how full of gadgets it is, but
> depriving someone of time spent on a cellphone, or blackberry, computer or
> whatever, in no-way equates with depriving someone of life, especially when
> they have the option to pull over to make their call. It might feel that
> way, to some, but its not.

Have you commuted much in the last 10 years?  Had a significant other 
who also commuted?  Had older children to help and coordinate?  Had 
challenging family or work or other activities to maximize?

Pulling over A) is sometimes far more dangerous than multitasking and 
B) doesn't solve the problem of otherwise unusable dead time.  
Sometimes something must be handled immediately.  Usually, you're just 
trying to get something out of uninteresting and otherwise life-wasting 
travel time.  For me, thousands of hours have been saved from the 
wastebin of mindless driving.  Plus, I've been lucky to avoid commuting 
much of the time.

The only effective alternatives to multitasking while driving (i.e. 
talking on the phone) are: A) public transportation (but rarely 
applicable and often slower than driving) B) driving much faster (not 
considered as an option in the US although perfectly feasible) C) limo 
/ service (common in Manhattan, rare / unreasonable elsewhere), D) 
robotic cars (go Google / Thrun), E) work shuttles (if you work for 
Google, coming from SF) or F) personal flight (flying cars next year, 
but you need landing strips, expensive vehicle and training, not ready 
for it in general).


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