B.C. Canada has just banned using your GPS while driving.
This is a new law that included banning cell phones, texting and GPS's while driving. There are hands free cell phones that will fill the gap although there is some evidence that talking on hands free is still distracting. Texting is right out and most GPS's have safety locks that are more than likely disabled. They haven't included adjusting your radio, eating or doing your makeup although all of those things come under one law that has been in place for a long time. That law is called "Driving without due care and attention". I see lots of people that drive without cell phones in their ears that are breaking that above law but unless they crash it is hard to prove. Another law will not make driving safer. Enforcing the laws that are already there will!
Just my two cents. Now it is your turn.
I agree on banning hand held cell phones and it's undoubtedly distracting fiddling with a GPS while you are driving, but there are also a lot of things that people do that aren't enforceable. I have followed people that were shaving, putting on makeup, reading maps, tending to a baby in a car seat, and too many other things to mention. How do enforce that?
I was talking to a state trooper about people doing things that distract them while driving and he told me about the guy that actually passed him doing about ten over with a map draped over his steering wheel. When he pulled him over and asked him if he knew how fast he was going, his answer was no he couldn't see his speedometer because his map was covering it up.
I get very upset when someone is trying to punch in the telephone number on their cell phone and at the same time, they are coming over the line into my lane. That could happen as well with a GPS, but where do you draw the line? People eat in the car, smoke, reach over for their soda, shave, put on makeup, read a paper, all which can be distracting. I don't have an answer to all of this but for me, I wish all GPS and cell phones were hands free. I use my cell phone with my GPS. Total hands free. But, then there are people who cannot multi-task. Even with a hands free cell phones, they can't talk and drive at the same time.
Magellan has speech recognition for hands free operation. Last I tried to use it, it was a lot more distracting trying to get it to understand me than to just use the touchscreen.
I agree with the cell phone being banned. But I rarely use the GPS while driving other than to see how far my next turn will be. That is just a quick glance at the screen. Considering that it usually helps me plan on which lane to be in for my next turn it has probably helped me be more alert than distracted. I always enter the route before starting the trip so that hasn't been an issue.
After a bit of research, this law doesn't come into effect until Jan 1, 2010.
But, regarding the other posts, as the saying goes, "You can't fix stupid". If you don't self-regulate, someone will do it for you.
But people still don't get it... Lemmings; all of them!
From the BC government's press release
“As physicians, we often see the consequences of those injured in a car crash because a distracted driver was using a cellphone," said Dr. Brian Brodie, president of the BC Medical Association. “This is preventative legislation that focuses on being responsible with new technology in a way that doesn't put people's lives at risk.”
Clayton Pecknold, vice-president of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police said, “Police have been looking forward to these changes because it gives us another enforcement tool to create safer roads in this province.”
According to independent research and studies, cellphone use while driving is the number-one cause of distracted driving. On average, about 117 people die each year in B.C. and 1,400 are sent to hospital because someone was not paying attention behind the wheel.
Prohibited actions and devices
· No operating or holding hand-held cellphones or other electronic devices.
· No sending or reading emails and/or texting (e.g., BlackBerry, PDA, cellphone).
· No operating or holding hand-held music or portable gaming devices (e.g., MP3 players, iPods).
· No manual programming or adjusting GPS systems, whether built into the vehicle or not, while driving. Settings must be programmed before driving.
Permitted actions and devices
Hands-free cellphones that are built in or securely fixed to the vehicle, and used by pressing a single button - once only – in order to activate a hands-free device for incoming or outgoing calls.
· Pre-programmed and voice-activated GPS devices.
· Two-way radios for industry (e.g., trucking, logging, oil and gas).
· Any of the above devices can be used if the vehicle is legally parked and not impeding traffic.
· Call 9-1-1 to report an emergency.
While I applaud the concept, I do not believe that the injury numbers they quote are specific to cellpone distraction - nor that cellphone-based distraction causes more deaths than, say DUI.
There may be some issues with poeople getting ticketed for adjusting their car radios, which appears not to be prohibited - how will they be able to tell the difference between that and playing with your in-dash GPS?
Besides, for those who can't walk and chew gum at the same time there is already a law on the books of every juristicuin that can be applied, whether it be called dangerous driving or whatever.
Further, they exempt police officers and ambulance drivers from the legislation (not quoted in this post) - why? Can't they use handsfree phones? Those people need to pay extra-special attention to their driving and need fewer, not the right to more distractions.
At least we'll be able to USE our navigators - when Quebec posted the first version of it's distracted driving legislation they made GPS illegal if the screen was in view. The wording was since amended, however.
With the changes announced for BC, Garmin's decision to eliminate the displaying of upcoming cross-streets in the banner boxes of maps is made all the more ludicrous - we can't adjust the GPS while in motion, yet to see street names we will need to zoom in - and then back out again to see where the roads go . . .
So, unless they change their policies, my 760 continues to be the last Garmin GPS I'll own.
In my opinion a GPS should be considered a gauge like the speedometer or tach. Interaction with them should be while the car is stopped although if you are interested in when the next turn is coming up then pushing that button would be safer than a driver lost on route and making dangerous U turns to get back on track. I have used my GPS during heavy rain to let me know when the road ahead will turn. Road signs can be too late or missed with traffic blocking that lane. Hopefully police and law makers will leave them alone since for now there are few hands free GPS's out there and until voice controlled units become the norm they are an aid to driving and not a distraction.
My son is CHP. Those guys are constantly talking on their cell phones or texting while driving. It makes me nuts.
There are hands free cell phones that will fill the gap although there is some evidence that talking on hands free is still distracting.
How is that different from talking to someone sitting in the car...or are we supposed to have a "sterile cockpit" in our cars?
The argument I've heard is that talking to a passenger somehow differs from talking to someone on the phone because the passenger 'participates' in the driving experience and 'sees' what the driver does, so appreciates that pauses and such due to the need for action or attention are met with sympathy.
A crock, if you ask me.
Passengers rarely pretend to be driving and rarely participate in the experience - they are looking out the window, reading books or doing aything except actually 'driving along' with the driver unloess they are back seat drivers themselves, in which case they are more of a distraction than any person at the far end of a cell phone connection.
I always want to reach out and slap back seat drivers silly when they are in my car.
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