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Thread: Cell phone/ Seat belt sting

  1. #31
    Registered User natrab's Avatar
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    From the recently released CHP lane splitting "guidelines" ( http://www.chp.ca.gov/programs/lanesplitguide.html ):

    - At just 20 mph, in the 1 or 2 seconds it takes a rider to identify a hazard, that rider will travel approximately 30 to 60 feet before even starting to take evasive action. Actual reaction (braking or swerving) will take additional time and distance.

    I believe this is fairly accurate. Combine this with the amazing ability cars have to swerve in the worst possible direction at the last second and I think that does make lane splitting more dangerous than moving at the speed of traffic. In stopped traffic I also believe sitting behind a car is asking to be rear ended. These all fall into the dangers of riding a motorcycle in general, and I don't believe they are dramatically riskier than driving a car. I tend to ride just above the speed of traffic and I lane split and I commute approx 80 miles a day four days a week. So far in my mind this seems to be the safest way to ride, combined with choosing a route with the least traffic. Every time I lane split I recognize the possibility of a car jumping out directly in front of me in a situation where I have nowhere to go and no time to stop. I guess that's on par with being rear ended as it's usually from a driver who is paying no attention and not looking in their mirrors before they change lanes.

    I agree that cellphones are a huge cause of distracted driving and accidents, but I think they are in a different class from seatbelts. While cellphones may cause more accidents, seatbelts are a limiter of damages in an accident, very similar to wearing a helmet on a motorcycle and the statistics really back it up. Just googling a random study (ironically one about the dangers of airbags) gave a 67% reduction in fatalities from seatbelt usage. Airbags generally seem to help, but also cause damage at low speeds and need refinement. The other big factor in modern cars are their crumple zones. Wearing seatbelts combined with the crumple zones has allowed people to walk away from accidents that in the past would have been guaranteed deadly. No seatbelt, and you typically get hurled out a window and thrown to the pavement at whatever speed you were travelling (imagine getting tossed out of a building from 50 yards up). I have been pulling people out of wrecked cars for about 10 years now and usually the dead ones were the ones with no seatbelt on.

  2. #32
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    Killem' ALL!

    Okay, I really haven't been paying much attention to this thread. That changed about forty minutes ago. I am now a foaming-at-the-mouth-hunt-them-down-kill-them-and-eat-them supporter of cell phone bans while operating a motor vehicle.

    Rant: ON

    I was on the way home on my /5 and passed under the freeway overpass headed to the freeway on-ramp. There is a left turn lane under the overpass, and I had the left turn arrow. My path is shown by the green line in the photo.

    Soccer-cow (represented by the red line in the photo) comes down the hill toward the intersection in the turn lane, catches a GREEN light (#1), makes a right turn, and proceeds to head under the overpass. Problem is, she doesn't see the RED light (#2) that controls the intersection between light #1, and the over pass. You can just see the white limit line in front of the white car in the photo (not her).

    I'm leaned over and committed to the turn, tailing behind a the car in front of me (also entering the freeway) and my maneuvering space is restricted. I glance up in time to see soccer-cow, displaying the classic gesture of oh-my-God-I'm-going-to-die!, throw up both hands (off of the steering wheel) as if to protect her head and proceed (now out of control (unless she's steering with her knees)) through the intersection ... and what is that that she has in her right hand? Why, it's acell phone. I'm sure she must have been talking on it, why else would she have it in her hand? Her yakking friend, in the right seat, is clueless to what going on outside the windshield. I catch an opening and manage to narrowly avoid her right front fender.

    If there had been no children in the van I would have followed her home and given her a very healthy piece of my mind. She was obviously thoroughly distracted by kids in the back, her girlfriend in the right front seat, while talking on her bloody cellphone. She's endangering the public, her children, and is a bad influence on them; they will grow up thinking they too can drive while not thinking about it. I don't talk on the phone when I drive my POV, I don't use a hands-free device while on my bike, and I sure as h3ll don't use either while I'm behind the wheel of a 75,000 pound semi (I have a Class A license).

    In California it is against the law to drive a motor vehicle while talking a handheld cellphone. Period. I think it should be illegal to talk on any device while driving. What more of an example of why it is illegal can there be? Texting... don't even go there.

    Google Earth is great!



    As an aside, this type of road design has perplexed me since I moved to CA in 1978; Frontage/access roads are developed into arterial thoroughfares. Odd "short-coupled" intersections like this one are the result with little room for proper traffic control measures. But it no excuse for not paying attention.

    Rant:OFF
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  3. #33
    Registered User 58058D's Avatar
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    Well, in answer to you perplex-ation, this is NOT a standard freeway interchange design. Yes there are some out there like this, but as a former Highway Design Manual editor and Design Coordinator for CT, this is NOT standard and is frought with minimum intersection spacing concerns as you noted..... I denied approval of several similar designs in that job but don't know the specifics of this non-standard situation. I do see a what appears to be a State route sign in the shot, that is unfortunate. But, as I said, that was a former position, don't do that no more, but it certainly is not considered 'standard'. (I think standard min spacing is 70')
    Jim Douglas '00 K1200RS >135,000 miles my primary bike again,
    Gone: '09 K1300S sold @ 22k mi, '93 K1100RS traded @ 78k mi, '85 K100RS sold @ 44k mi
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken F View Post
    Using the same logic, if you have so little concern for oneself and others you should not:
    Ride a motorcycle, bicycle, skateboard, ATV, Ski, waterski, own a gun, cross the street, use rollerskates, hangglide, it goes on and on, and on.

    We have so many regulations in this country, we have no freedom left. I don't wear a seatbelt because I have been in 3 automobile accidents during my lifetime that would have killed me had I been wearing one. So it's my CHOICE not to wear one. Remember when we used to have choices ?

    Ken
    So Ken, how many crashes have you been in where you were wearing a seat belt ? Or do you not wear one at any time.

    Scotty

  5. #35
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    Scotty,

    I do not usually wear them, and have never been in a crash while wearing one. If I'm going to sleep with someone else driving (on a trip) I will usually put one on.

    Sorry for not responding to Bck rider, I just saw his post. I'm not going to post too many details, or make each story too long, but here you go:

    The first was in about 1972 falling asleep and running off of Raton Pass headed North in Northern N.M. The road went straight for several miles while climbing a large hill. The road made a gradual left turn, and having nodded off, I did not. We flew probably 3-400 feet through the air, and hit a boulder easily as big as a house head on, throwing us both into the footwells. After hitting the boulder the car rolled over and over crashing on down the mountainside, smashing the top completely in past the top of the doors. Had we both not been "hiding" in the footwells, we would both have been killed.

    Another was in 1970, driving a VW Greenhouse bus on Hiway 1 North of Big Sur. Car ran a stop, hit the passengers side front door which threw me to about the middle of the cab, but was able to hang onto the steering wheel. as the bus rolled on it's side then was hit by another car coming from the other direction. Again, had i been belted in the drivers seat, the second car to hit the bus would have smashed me.

    The third was in a 1959 Austin Healey 100-6. Spun it going around a corner, hit a curb, climbed a telephone pole, and ended up sliding on top of a concrete retaining wall upside down. Had i stayed in the car, I'd be dead.

    I don't deny that in certain situations, a seat belt may save your life, however I feel equally as strongly that in other situations, staying put will kill you. I choose not to wear one.

    Ken
    IBA #44567 Pres. Springfield BMW Roadriders
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
    -Albert Eienstein

  6. #36
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    I do see a what appears to be a State route sign in the shot,
    Arroyo Grande, California; Highway 101 @ Brisco Road. A problem intersection for years. You should see it at 5:00p.m.

    North bound is to the upper left.

    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  7. #37
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    3 replies from the OP

    #31 Natrab - I've never ridden or driven in California. All I know about lane-splitting is what I have read. I THOUGHT the idea was to ONLY lane-split when traffic was so jugged up, either stopped or moving so very slowly, that it would be impossible for a vehicle to swerve in front of you because there was no lane to which they could move. When the speed starts to pick up, you signal and somebody lets you back into a lane. Do I have that wrong? I've also read of a motojournalist who did it for 16 years in Washington DC and only received one ticket. This kind of commute would be "hell on earth" for me, but I can see how lane-splitting could make it a little better. (Better idea: Move!)

    #32 Lew Morris - the "google earth" thing was great! And I'm so glad you came out OK. As the next poster with professional experience said, this looks like the kind of really badly designed intersection which WILL lead to crashes, even from fairly attentive motorists. Can you find a route which avoids this very dangerous intersection? But I'm completely with you on all kinds of cell phones. Don't use any kind on the road, tell your friend to shut up, and ignore the kids. MOMMY HAS TO CONCENTRATE NOW, even if she knows this weird road.

    #35 Ken F - I thank you for your reply. Beyond that I'm, for once, speechless.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    We have all (or most of us anyway) railed against the use of cell phones by drivers, those folks distractedness, etc.- so I won't be the one to disagree with a "sting" that targets cell phone users. On the contrary, I applaud such an effort.

    Seatbelt use? Right up there with the argument for helmet use. Smoking, drinking, recreational drug use, and other potentially unhealthy lifestyle choices all sorta fall under the same category- but I'll leave all the above to another thread or time.
    Everyone has an opinion and the right to make their own choices about these things. Their rights and freedoms MAY come into question or under scrutiny IF their CHOICE leads to the death of another. Yet I agree most of all that we NEED to have the choice... Often, these laws are written and enforced by those who either have no idea what it's like down here in the "real world", or those who abuse the laws themselves because they ARE The Law.

    Mojo Nixon once sang:
    "Psychedelic mushrooms, chain saws, and guns... Gotta make your own reg-u-la-SHUNs"
    There's an old bumper sticker that says it more succinctly-
    "Keep YOUR laws off MY body".
    As an e.g., your saying chainsaws should not have anti kick back chains on consumer models nor chain brakes required by law but it's OK to build them that way? Guns same thought,different parts?
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  9. #39
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    I'm with Lew all the way on this one. See this crap all the time; people are stupid and the guv'mint is too pansy to let Darwin do what's right. Sheeple and drones are the result.

    Around here, the cops are also talking on their cell phones while driving. Maybe it's easier or less crowded than the radio, or better for local coordination of their tasks, but it ain't exactly comforting.

    Even when I'm walking or riding my bicycle, there have been a more than few times when other pedestrians just walked right in to me, clearly because they are not paying attention. Just for fun, I've stopped ten feet away from them and watched as they walk toward me. "Duh??" It doesn't help any that parents and schools around here obviously don't teach kids how to cross a street either.

  10. #40
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
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    Seat belts are dangerous and can severely injure a person. I flat refuse to use them and have been cited by cops twice and gone to court and won. I believe helmets should be optional too.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

  11. #41
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    I think this question has been answered

    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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  12. #42
    Just me rad's Avatar
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    I think one of the things we sometimes forget in our cell phone while driving rants is the very real fact it is only one example of distracted driving. Every day we see people distracted by all sorts of things. We see people reading all sorts of things, eating, sometimes with two hands like the woman last week eating her ice-cream in a cup. There are new moms dealing with crying babies in the back seat because they are not allowed to ride up front. And what about the new trend of computer screen styles with in dash information systems that you must scroll through? The list goes on and on. I would guess distracted driving is probably illegal and specifically noted in the vehicle code in every state in the US.

    I really donÔÇÖt view it as a cell phone issue, it is much more a general misconception in our society that when we strap into our seat belted air bagged cars we are really safe. Reality is 50,000 + people die on roads in the US every year! I would imagine the count for life changing type injuries must be just as startling.

    Laws will not have a big impact on this social phenomenon. You could not put enough LEOÔÇÖs on the street to begin to curb the problem.

    And what about us? Just look at the cockpits of the new high end touring bikesOMG.

    It really is not about holding the phone, just talking on the phone, like some of us riders do, has been shown to be distracting by an English study a few years ago.

    Ride smart, and be careful; our roads are not a safe as we would like to think.

  13. #43
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    Angry Short memory

    Quote Originally Posted by 8ninety8 View Post
    It comes to mind, how did our forebearers ever get to where they needed to be without great overseers telling them what to do, where to go, what eat etc.? We may have smoked plenty in the past, ridden our pants off through the middle of the night, took risks in hand, buried our dead without oncologists hovering, and never thought twice about cell phones and PSAs. Never had a seat belt until my brother installed a set in our '63 Chevy. Never used one until '68 in my Volvo. Natural selection used to be a way of life. Had to look out for yerself in the not too distant past. Just a thought or two.
    DonnerParty 1846

  14. #44
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    As I have pointed out in the past, those who cherish freedom so much that they want to do away with seat belt and helmet laws should be consistent and abolish all building codes, plumbing codes, electrical codes, food inspection, and on an on. After all, why pick and choose only your own favorite laws to abolish or ignore? Then you can also revert back to the good old days where houses burned down at a more frequent rate, boilers exploded, and buildings pancaked in earthquakes. We could also take snake oil cures and abolish approval of drugs.

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

  15. #45
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    Sounds wonderful to me Harry. I think our society would be much better off if everyone still carried a peacemaker on their hip.

    However, I think you are going a little overboard to the extreme side of the equation.

    Did you survive child hood without seatbelts? Bicycle helmets? Were you able to ride in the back of a pick-up? Were you able to play Cowboys & Indians with toy guns?
    Were you actually able to fail in school, or god forbid loose a football or basketball game to learn the value of hard work and how it relates to success?
    Did you have a family doctor with his own office in your neighborhood? I'll bet he's been regulated out of business.

    I think the underlying side of this thread is that there are just too many rules and regulations that have run amuck.
    Do you know that there is new legislation in the works that you as a homeowner are unable to work on your own house?
    You have to hire a licensed contractor? (probably union) Even down to small remodeling jobs such as wallpaper & paint.

    I see your side of the coin, but I'll bet if you sit down and think about the other side objectively, you will agree that there are just too many regulations anymore.
    It has grown too big, and gotten out of hand.

    ....this is bordering on becoming political, so we probably should change the direction of this thread.......before the regulators get us!

    Ken
    IBA #44567 Pres. Springfield BMW Roadriders
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
    -Albert Eienstein

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