Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    173

    Tell your congressman: Help make bicycling safer

    By Earle Bower
    If you knew that a totally unnecessary activity caused more U.S. fatalities in just one year than all American deaths in Afghanistan from 2001-12, wouldn’t you want to do something about it?

    That activity is distracted driving. Consumers Union reported 3,331 distracted-driving deaths in 2012, versus 2,287 American deaths in Afghanistan in 11 years. Every one of the distracted-driving deaths was preventable.
    The National Safety Council believes the death toll is vastly underreported. It estimates 23 percent of traffic accidents are caused by cellphone use: 1.3 million crashes annually. This breaks down to 1.2 million drivers talking on cellphones and 100,000 texting. The NSC has called for a ban on cellphone use while driving.
    Unlike drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists are totally exposed and vulnerable. In a major study published in Public Health Reports, November-December 2013, the University of Nebraska Medical Center evaluated fatalities of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists caused by distracted driving from 2005 to 2010. The rate of pedestrian deaths increased 45 percent over this time. Bicyclist deaths increased 32 percent.
    I’m a road cyclist, and sometimes I feel like a target. For protection, I wear fluorescent clothing and use a mirror, which more than once has saved me from being hit. Why riders wear dark clothing and ride without mirrors is a mystery to me.
    In a particularly disturbing trend, automakers are loading more and more distracting electronics into vehicles. The October 2013 Consumer Reports states, “Widespread adoption of smart phones ... has made the distraction potential much worse. Automakers keep adding more electronic systems to the vehicles, which we’ve often found to be overly complicated and distracting to use while driving.”
    Automotive News, the trade paper of the industry, has started a “Connected Car” page that “covers automakers and suppliers developing … services to bring information and entertainment to the automobile.” Wonderful! We sure need information and entertainment at 65 mph. Some 3,300 deaths a year may be just a start.
    Unless you want drivers watching movies on the Interstate, you must help stop this now.
    Legislation has been ineffective in reducing cellphone use. Eleven states ban hand-held use while driving. Thirty-seven states ban any cellphone use, hand-held or otherwise. Studies show hands-free use is just as distracting as hand-held use. Forty-one states ban texting; six more ban novice drivers from texting. Despite all this, the distracted-driving death toll keeps rising. After years of declining vehicular deaths, they showed a 5 percent upward spike in 2012. Since drivers simply disregard the laws, we must find another way to prevent these deaths.
    We must tell Congress to propose and support legislation requiring every cellphone to have software that makes the cellphone inoperable when it is moving. This technology already exists.
    We must tell Congress to propose and support legislation that restricts automakers from putting monitor screens in any vehicle and limits entertainment devices to a radio and digital music player. These must be controlled by buttons and not by touch screens.
    This will take powerful citizen action to achieve. If you want to help and avoid being killed by a texting driver, we’ve made it very easy. Here’s how:
    Go to the website blog www.seemewear.com/writecongress for a sample letter and email addresses for our U.S. senators and representatives. With just a few clicks, you can send emails directly to Congress. It’s easy; you can do it!
    Let’s deluge them with emails. Don’t leave it for someone else. Your life and the lives of those you care about may depend on it.

    Earle Bower, a retired businessman, is a News & Record Town Square community columnist.

    http://www.news-record.com/opinion/c...a4bcf6878.html

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    where the rough and fluff live
    Posts
    4,185
    Quote Originally Posted by bloski View Post
    By Earle Bower
    If you knew that a totally unnecessary activity caused more U.S. fatalities in just one year than all American deaths in Afghanistan from 2001-12, wouldn’t you want to do something about it?

    That activity is distracted driving. Consumers Union reported 3,331 distracted-driving deaths in 2012, versus 2,287 American deaths in Afghanistan in 11 years. Every one of the distracted-driving deaths was preventable.
    The National Safety Council believes the death toll is vastly underreported. It estimates 23 percent of traffic accidents are caused by cellphone use: 1.3 million crashes annually. This breaks down to 1.2 million drivers talking on cellphones and 100,000 texting. The NSC has called for a ban on cellphone use while driving.
    Unlike drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists are totally exposed and vulnerable. In a major study published in Public Health Reports, November-December 2013, the University of Nebraska Medical Center evaluated fatalities of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists caused by distracted driving from 2005 to 2010. The rate of pedestrian deaths increased 45 percent over this time. Bicyclist deaths increased 32 percent.
    I’m a road cyclist, and sometimes I feel like a target. For protection, I wear fluorescent clothing and use a mirror, which more than once has saved me from being hit. Why riders wear dark clothing and ride without mirrors is a mystery to me.
    In a particularly disturbing trend, automakers are loading more and more distracting electronics into vehicles. The October 2013 Consumer Reports states, “Widespread adoption of smart phones ... has made the distraction potential much worse. Automakers keep adding more electronic systems to the vehicles, which we’ve often found to be overly complicated and distracting to use while driving.”
    Automotive News, the trade paper of the industry, has started a “Connected Car” page that “covers automakers and suppliers developing … services to bring information and entertainment to the automobile.” Wonderful! We sure need information and entertainment at 65 mph. Some 3,300 deaths a year may be just a start.
    Unless you want drivers watching movies on the Interstate, you must help stop this now.
    Legislation has been ineffective in reducing cellphone use. Eleven states ban hand-held use while driving. Thirty-seven states ban any cellphone use, hand-held or otherwise. Studies show hands-free use is just as distracting as hand-held use. Forty-one states ban texting; six more ban novice drivers from texting. Despite all this, the distracted-driving death toll keeps rising. After years of declining vehicular deaths, they showed a 5 percent upward spike in 2012. Since drivers simply disregard the laws, we must find another way to prevent these deaths.
    We must tell Congress to propose and support legislation requiring every cellphone to have software that makes the cellphone inoperable when it is moving. This technology already exists.
    We must tell Congress to propose and support legislation that restricts automakers from putting monitor screens in any vehicle and limits entertainment devices to a radio and digital music player. These must be controlled by buttons and not by touch screens.
    This will take powerful citizen action to achieve. If you want to help and avoid being killed by a texting driver, we’ve made it very easy. Here’s how:
    Go to the website blog www.seemewear.com/writecongress for a sample letter and email addresses for our U.S. senators and representatives. With just a few clicks, you can send emails directly to Congress. It’s easy; you can do it!
    Let’s deluge them with emails. Don’t leave it for someone else. Your life and the lives of those you care about may depend on it.

    Earle Bower, a retired businessman, is a News & Record Town Square community columnist.

    http://www.news-record.com/opinion/c...a4bcf6878.html
    might be easier to ban cell phones from cars, though that wouldn't stop the drivers who use a tablet and surf the toobz while driving

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    29,897
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  4. #4
    Hugh Conway Guest
    How about you just tell the assholes on TGR posting from their cars not to post from their cars and learn how to fucking drive?

  5. #5
    spook Guest
    i love cycling but how about telling the cyclists in portland that you either follow the rules of the road on the road, or you ride in the bike lane. you can't serve yourself as you like it and expect not to have problems.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    TCMI
    Posts
    688
    I agree with the sentiment, but I'm not a big fan of legislating problems away.

    We teach our kids to wash their hands after they poop. Why can't we teach them to toss the phone in the back seat when they drive?

  7. #7
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Blizzard7763 View Post
    Why can't we teach them to toss the phone in the back seat when they drive?
    because the parents are too busy sending important e-mails and running red lights?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    none
    Posts
    6,303
    Quote Originally Posted by Blizzard7763 View Post
    I agree with the sentiment, but I'm not a big fan of legislating problems away.
    I agree. But I'm not sure how you can legislate the problem. It's not just phones, it's food, dogs and kids. Just about anything can distract a moron and we got plenty of those.
    I saw this chick swerving all over the place, slowing down and then punching it. I go to get past her and she's on the phone, applying makeup, with a dog in her lap.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    xanadu
    Posts
    589
    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Conway View Post
    How about you just tell the assholes on TGR posting from their cars not to post from their cars and learn how to fucking drive?
    Talk about preaching to the choir - haven't you read the road rage threads Hugh? The roads are filled with moron drivers (doubly so in Colo-rad-bro!), not one of whom has ever visited this website...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    nm
    Posts
    983
    Quote Originally Posted by spook View Post
    i love cycling but how about telling the cyclists in portland that you either follow the rules of the road on the road, or you ride in the bike lane. you can't serve yourself as you like it and expect not to have problems.
    Doesn't sound like you've cycled much in heavy urban traffic. It is a question of choosing wisely. Stopped at a light? It can be safer to get a 2-3 second jump by running the last bit of red. There are other examples. Granted, being on a mutherfukiin BIKE doesn't give you license to be an asshole, but it can get pretty situation dependent out there.

    Of course it's always unutterably stupid to ride at night without a light.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •