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Are Hands Free Laws Effective?

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Are Hands Free Laws Effective?

Old 07-28-21, 07:17 AM
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Are Hands Free Laws Effective?

I don’t spend much time in A&S so this has probably been discussed ad nauseum…….I didn’t do a search but didn’t spot any recent posts.

For those whom live in States with Hands Free regulations, how effective do you think they are? I’m in NC and wish we’d adopt them. I see people driving and weaving everywhere, especially on Interstates where drivers are already greatly exceeding speed limits. It’s very conspicuous while driving when it’s dark enough to see the phones held by drivers lit up and held in front of their faces. It seems tractor trailer drivers are even weaving more these days…..or maybe there’s just more big rigs on the roads and it’s the law of percentages?

Knowing the independent thinking in SC I’d be shocked if they ever adopted them. “You can’t tell me I have to wear a motorcycle helmet to ride my motorcycle”……..

I see some drivers texting while out riding but I notice it more occasionally versus regularly. But fortunately I’m normally out riding on less traveled two lane roads.

Before I retired my employer went even further. They required you to be stopped in your vehicle when using a mobile device for talking, texting, emails etc.. However it could be used as a GPS device for navigation but it had to be hands free. My employer put a huge emphasis on safety.

I’m disappointed NC hasn’t taken that step to limit its use but there are a lot of items that need addressing.
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Old 07-28-21, 08:05 AM
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In Colorado text messaging while driving is prohibited, drivers under 18 are prohibited from ANY mobile communication, even hands-free, and drivers of any age with a learner's permit are also prohibited from using any mobile communication device. I don't think Colorado Springs has any additional prohibitions. Even so, I see fewer and fewer drivers with phones up to their heads while driving. At stoplights, the phones come up for texting.

This is where my AirZound airhorn come in handy. A quick toot gets a driver's attention, and if a texting driver in front of me doesn't notice the light change to green, I honk also.

I still remember watching how cellphones began distracting drivers as they became more popular. However, I also remember as a kid in Chicago watching drivers read newspapers, magazines, books and maps behind the wheel in traffic before that.
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Old 07-28-21, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
In Colorado text messaging while driving is prohibited, drivers under 18 are prohibited from ANY mobile communication, even hands-free, and drivers of any age with a learner's permit are also prohibited from using any mobile communication device. I don't think Colorado Springs has any additional prohibitions. Even so, I see fewer and fewer drivers with phones up to their heads while driving. At stoplights, the phones come up for texting.

This is where my AirZound airhorn come in handy. A quick toot gets a driver's attention, and if a texting driver in front of me doesn't notice the light change to green, I honk also.

I still remember watching how cellphones began distracting drivers as they became more popular. However, I also remember as a kid in Chicago watching drivers read newspapers, magazines, books and maps behind the wheel in traffic before that.
Good point on driving distracted……I guess it’s always been something. I used to see people shaving, doing makeup and flossing their teeth when I was commuting into Charlotte.

And I’ll admit to solving engineering problems on my front seat while driving 3 hours to sit for the Professional Engineers exam……
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Old 07-28-21, 05:34 PM
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Indiana has a hands-free law,
"July 1, 2020 marked a new day for Hoosiers. The state enacted the hands-free law. Indiana law prohibits drivers from holding mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, in their hands while driving to reduce distracted driving and improve safety on Hoosier roadways."

All BS, has made no difference that I can see. About 1/3 of the cops are looking at their laps as they drive by.

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Old 07-28-21, 05:40 PM
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In Hawaii it's illegal to hold an electronic device while driving. When first passed the media were highlighting it, and think maybe HPD was doing special enforcement, but that went away. Not sure if it actually is making a difference or not.

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Old 07-28-21, 09:54 PM
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Unless there is enforcement those laws are USELESS!
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Old 07-29-21, 06:03 AM
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I'm curious how many states have this law. In Florida it was required to have at least on hand on the handlebars, until a major change in the bike laws, which for some reason the issue of number of hands was totally omitted. However, I never had a problem when it was a requirement, no cop ever stopped me because I had two hands off the bar.

As for texting and cycling (or any phone use on the bike), nothing is mentioned in the Florida bike law and I don't remember ever seeing a cyclist using their phone while riding; however, we do have a law prohibiting use of a listening device while riding.



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Old 07-29-21, 06:52 AM
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Effective at what?

Quick googling shows that the law probably reduces the most obvious examples of people overtly texting while driving, but that there's no evidence this has any effect on the number of fatal crashes in a state.
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Old 07-29-21, 07:03 AM
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Texting while driving is illegal in both MN and ND. MN requires hands free for voice while ND does not. I honestly don't see any difference in phone use while driving on either side of the river. The real issue is the attitude of drivers.
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Old 07-29-21, 09:38 AM
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In my state they had good intentions when they introduced the legislation many years ago to curb phone use while driving, but after a lot of derision and bickering it go watered down to simply not texting.

So you can read email, watch videos or anything else you care to do with your phone while driving a motor vehicle here. Just don't text!
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Old 07-30-21, 10:24 AM
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From initial responses it’s apparent that without enforcement the regulation doesn’t work…….probably the case with any law???? I suspect any law deterring the use of mobile devices while driving needs to be easily enforceable and the penalties have to be large enough to get everyone’s attention. Plus, there needs to be sufficient personnel to enforce the law…..

I know the state I live in is woefully understaffed with Highway Patrolmen and drivers are practically going whatever speed they want on interstates.
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Old 07-30-21, 01:16 PM
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There are so many laws that are quite difficult to enforce. Hands free cellphone use seems to be yet another of them. I think the law is more a "lets make it look like we're doing something" than it is actually doing something. I don't see much difference in before and after hand held cellphone usage in automobiles.

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Old 07-30-21, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
I don’t spend much time in A&S so this has probably been discussed ad nauseum…….I didn’t do a search but didn’t spot any recent posts.

For those whom live in States with Hands Free regulations, how effective do you think they are? I’m in NC and wish we’d adopt them. I see people driving and weaving everywhere, especially on Interstates where drivers are already greatly exceeding speed limits. It’s very conspicuous while driving when it’s dark enough to see the phones held by drivers lit up and held in front of their faces. It seems tractor trailer drivers are even weaving more these days…..or maybe there’s just more big rigs on the roads and it’s the law of percentages?

Knowing the independent thinking in SC I’d be shocked if they ever adopted them. “You can’t tell me I have to wear a motorcycle helmet to ride my motorcycle”……..

I see some drivers texting while out riding but I notice it more occasionally versus regularly. But fortunately I’m normally out riding on less traveled two lane roads.

Before I retired my employer went even further. They required you to be stopped in your vehicle when using a mobile device for talking, texting, emails etc.. However it could be used as a GPS device for navigation but it had to be hands free. My employer put a huge emphasis on safety.

I’m disappointed NC hasn’t taken that step to limit its use but there are a lot of items that need addressing.
I moved here(NC) from MD in November of 2019. While I live in an area that seems more rural, than suburbia. Before I moved, they(MD) were really resistant up there. Laws were eventually passed in DC, MD, and VA. The problem with the original law in MD. Was that it didn't make it illegal to talk on the phone if a driver used a 'hands free' device while driving. Then they(MD) changed it to no talking at all. After accidents were still happening. I really got on my elderly parents' for this very problem. They didn't take me seriously at first. Now they don't talk on the phone while driving.

But here in NC. I have noticed a resistance to giving up the phone while driving.
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Old 07-31-21, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
In Colorado text messaging while driving is prohibited, drivers under 18 are prohibited from ANY mobile communication, even hands-free, and drivers of any age with a learner's permit are also prohibited from using any mobile communication device. I don't think Colorado Springs has any additional prohibitions. Even so, I see fewer and fewer drivers with phones up to their heads while driving. At stoplights, the phones come up for texting.

This is where my AirZound airhorn come in handy. A quick toot gets a driver's attention, and if a texting driver in front of me doesn't notice the light change to green, I honk also.

I still remember watching how cellphones began distracting drivers as they became more popular. However, I also remember as a kid in Chicago watching drivers read newspapers, magazines, books and maps behind the wheel in traffic before that.
The cell phone is a bit different from many other distractions in that it actually summons the user for a response.

While those other distractions are bad, once put down, they do not summon you. Phones ring, make attention sounds for texts and otherwise demand attention. That IS by it's nature, distracting.
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