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If it’s such a ‘BIG red flag,’ why does she have to exaggerate so much to make her case?

NTSB Chair Supports Cell Phone Ban With Lies & Obfuscation

Conservative columnist Mona Charen contacted the NTSB and found out that the 3,000 fatalities statistic actually was for all distracted driving. Of those ~3,000 fatalities, the agency considered 995 to be due to cellphone use. So NTSB Chairman Hersman was misleading the public, exaggerating the risk of cellphone use by a factor of at least three.

How many of those 995 were drivers using hands-free phones?

Via Instapundit.

UPDATE: Also: There’s No Reason To Ban Cellphone Use While Driving

A 2009 NHTSA study found that 80% of all car wrecks are caused by drivers eating or drinking — not cellphone use — with coffee-guzzling the top offender.

Let’s see Washington ban coffee drinking while driving. The Second American Revolution would begin three minutes after it passed. It would be the first thing to unify all Americans since, well, ever.

Look, Murdoc is opposed to distracted drivers, and that includes drivers distracted by cell phones. He could be convinced that a ban on texting was appropriate. He would even listen to arguments in favor of banning hand-held phones, though it would be a tough sell. Bans on hands-free phones are just plain stupid. Especially at a national level.

Oh, and for all those who keep telling Murdoc how much worse things are now that everyone is yapping on their phone all the time:

According to federal data, traffic deaths have fallen from 2.1 per 100 million vehicle miles in 1990, when virtually no one had a cellphone, to 1.1 in 2009, when almost everyone does.

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Comments

  • Nadnerbus says:

    More laws to hang over the citizen and empower the government. A federal law no less.

    California passed their hand-held cell phone ban while driving, and nothing has changed. It was already against the code to drive while distracted, the law just added another layer. You still see people talking while driving every day, some who driver better than others. Very few tickets are written, anecdotally anyway.

    Another case of the government trying to empower itself even more at the expense of every day liberties, all for our own good. No thanks.

  • Toejam says:

    Same for the Garden State, Nadnerbus,

    I agree there are many other things besides cellphone use that cause auto wrecks (I don’t use “accident” as it implies no-fault).

    I commutted on some of New Jersey’s most notorious highways in my multi-year career.

    NJ Turnpike (exit 18W to 11), Garden State Parkway (Exit 165 to 131), Rte 287 from Woodbridge to east Hanover and Rte-80 from Hackensack to Parsippany.

    I saw some pretty bad wrecks during those days and all were caused by a driver’s inattention.

    Nothing is going to stop people from “multi-tasking” while operating a 3-ton car, pick-up or SUV;

    BECAUSE,

    They know (HAH) they can handle it and nothings gonna happen to them.

    The car companies do have a device that blocks cellphone calls/texts while the engine is on in the vehicle, but it will be found to be illegal, against human rights and banned thanks to the big bucks of Verizon, AT&T and other cellphone providers.

    Life is cheap and people are stoopid!

  • Sailorcurt says:

    As an avid motorcyclist, I tend to personalize it more than that. I don’t really care what the statistics are…and I seriously doubt that the families of those who’ve had loved ones killed or injured by distracted drivers do either. Would it really matter to you should “distracted driving” fatalities be reduced to 1 a year if that one was your wife, your mother, your child?

    My own personal, un-scientific “study” tells me that the vast majority of cage drivers who’ve tried to kill me on my motorcycle in the past few years, have been yapping on phones rather than paying attention to what they’re doing.

    With that said, I think history proves pretty reliably that attempting to ban an object to prevent its misuse is an exercise in futility…not to mention that bans are not appropriate in a free society. Severe consequences for actual harm caused would go much farther than trying to ban distractions IMHO.

    The guy who blew through a red light and t-boned my sister’s car a couple of years ago, almost killing her, causing her severe brain injury resulting an a two month coma and permanent disability, was not distracted by a cell phone, he was futzing with his radio.

    He paid a $400 fine for “failure to obey an automatic signal, resulting in an accident”.

    He was broke so suing him wouldn’t yield anything and his insurance money was gone before she even got out of the coma, let alone out of neurological intensive care or the rehab hospital.

    Perhaps if negligence that results in injuries, death or damage actually incurred some consequences, people would take their responsibilities more seriously, when operating two-ton lethal weapons.

    Oh…and it should be perfectly legal for motorcyclists to drag inattentive drivers out of their cars through the driver’s side window and beat them senseless as a consequence of trying to splatter us across the highway.

    In other news: Futzing is actually a word. I thought it was just slang, but it didn’t pop in the spell checker as misspelled so I looked it up. It’s in the dictionary and everything.

    Learn something new every day.

    • Murdoc says:

      Would it really matter to you should “distracted driving” fatalities be reduced to 1 a year if that one was your wife, your mother, your child?

      No, but it still wouldn’t be a good reason for legislation.

      Oh…and it should be perfectly legal for motorcyclists to drag inattentive drivers out of their cars through the driver’s side window and beat them senseless as a consequence of trying to splatter us across the highway.

      Only if it’s also perfectly legal to run asshole motorcycle drivers off the road. There seem to be as many assholes on bikes as there are in cars, percentage-wise, from my experience.

      I will agree that penalties for negligence could often stand be quite a bit stiffer. I’m all for allowing people 2 or 3 times as much freedom and then upping the penalties for doing bad things 2 or 3 times.

  • Sailorcurt says:

    Sorry I let this thread go stale, I posted on it from work and then forgot to check back on it.

    Only if it’s also perfectly legal to run asshole motorcycle drivers off the road. There seem to be as many assholes on bikes as there are in cars, percentage-wise, from my experience.

    Believe it or not, I’m right there with you on that one. Being on a bike doesn’t give one carte blanche to drive like a freaking moron.

    In biker terminology, riders like that are called “squids” because that’s what they’re going to resemble someday when they inevitably splatter themselves across the highway due to criminal stupidity.

    • Murdoc says:

      I can buy that. My dad, brother, and many friends do at least some motorcycling. As far as I know, they’re all pretty straight shooters. On the roads, though, there are enough of the “squid”-wannabes that they’re the ones everyone remembers.

      Like with gun owners, it’s the one bad example that all the non-gun-owners remember, not the thousands of good examples.

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