What? No tv, fax, phone, yada, yada in the car?

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How will American's survive if there is a law passed requiring them to do without all these marvelous distractions on the road? Is it true that those who indulge are four times more likely to have an accident? Even that Global Positioning System is said to be a culprit. Well, it is all being tossed around in our government--wheather or not to pass a new law banning it all!

I just have one isolated question: What is my son to do now? His dream for 18 years has been to own a Knight Rider Car. Believe it or not, there are many others with this same interest. As a matter of fact, many of them will be meeting at the Trans-Am Nationals in Ohio during the weekend of August 25th. This car is known for all its customized electronics which include two tv screens, a computer which talks, and a plethera of buttons, switches and lights--all of which could be construed as interfering with road safety. What is the government gonna do, ban the car? Its entire motif is at stake is it not? My son is now very worried. For five years he worked to pay for the cost of building his car. Is he now going to be told soon to strip it down? Perhaps he will only be allowed to tow it places if he wishes to keep its dashboard with its televisions intact.

What do you all think? Should he be worried?

-- Anne in TN (imnot@work.com), July 19, 2000


Your son needs to grow up and realise the world does not exist for his pleasure.

People DIE because of the distractions that selfish people indulge in, that they want to enjoy.

If people cannot behave in a responsible manner then they force the government to make laws to force them to.

If I want something that belongs to you do I have the right to walk into your house and take it? No? Why? Because my selfish wants are restricted because they impose upon you. Your son, and every other person who does not have enough common sense to use their toys responsibly, are imposing upon the lives of others. They are KILLING people. The people who have created these cars are irresponsible too, to have TV screens in the cars???? They KNOW people will be taking their eyes off of the road.

You should take your son to the scene of an accident caused by someone who is not paying attention and look at the bloody, twisted, torn bodies of the victoms of this selfishment. It isn't as if your son is persueing a dream that will benifit society, his life will be ruined also if he is playing with his toy and kills someone, but he will have learned his lesson too late.

It is dissapointing that you worry about him achieving his selfish dream and do not seem to have any concern for the possible problems achieving his "dream" may cause.

Yes, these things will have laws made restricting them, people will whine about their rights being taken away by the mean ol gubment. But it is the lack of self control that brings government to the point where they have to do it. Be glad that we at least have a government that will eventually do it.

-- Cherri (sams@brigadoon.com), July 19, 2000.

As I recall, KITT could also drive itself. When that option is fully developed (and made a prerequisite for all the other options), I'll have no problem with the TVs, the faxes, the cell phones, the computers, the wet bars, the hot tubs, the eight-way surround stereo systems, the microwave ovens, the mini-porta-potty, and the passenger ejector seat.

Until then, it's probably cheaper to hire a limosine and chauffeur, anyway.

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), July 19, 2000.

FYI Only


From the UK Department of Transport . .


"Mobile Phones and Driving

Mobile phones can be an essential means of communication away from the office or home and for motorists they can be an important security asset in the event of an emergency. However, using a mobile phone while driving can distract your attention from the road, and driving today requires all your concentration all of the time.


It is unsafe for a driver to use a hand-held mobile phone.

Making or receiving a call, even with a hands-free phone, can distract your attention from driving and could lead to an accident.

Responsibility for the safe control of a vehicle always rests with the driver.

The law says...

You must have proper control of your vehicle at all times. If the use of a phone causes you to drive in a careless or dangerous manner you could be prosecuted for those offences. The penalties include an unlimited fine, disqualification and up to two years imprisonment.

And remember - it's not just mobile phones. It can be just as dangerous to take your hand off the steering wheel and your eyes off the road for any reason not connected with driving, for example to change a tape.

Never use a hand-held phone while driving

You are not in full control of your vehicle if you are holding a mobile phone while driving. Doing so will risk the safety of yourself, your passengers and other road users.

When you are driving, switch off your phone, use a message service or let a passenger make or answer a call.

It is safer not to use a hands-free phone while driving

Conversations using hands-free equipment can distract your attention from the road. If you have to receive a call, say that you are driving and keep the conversation brief. Use a message service and take regular breaks

To ensure the safety of yourself and other road users use voicemail or call divert so that messages can be left for you when your phone is switched off. Find a safe place to park in order to make a call or check for messages. On a long journey regular breaks will also help you to relax and reduce tiredness, but remember it is against the law to stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency. At a petrol station, switch off the phone when you are outside the vehicle.

Reporting accidents and other incidents

You should contact the emergency services as quickly as possible if an incident needs immediate action. Stop your vehicle where and when it is safe to do so or ask a passenger to make the call. Be ready to describe exactly where the emergency is, for example by reference to the last place or junction you passed. On a motorway it is best to use a roadside emergency telephone so that the emergency services know your exact location.


Do not ask your staff to carry out two demanding tasks at the same time - your employees should not be expected to use a phone while driving. If you or your customers need to contact staff while they may be driving, ensure that you provide hands-free equipment with voicemail or call divert facilities and encourage your staff to stop regularly to check for messages and return calls. The emergency services, taxi drivers and couriers often need to be contacted while on the road. Where contact is unavoidable, it is safer if the vehicle is fitted with hands-free equipment and communication is kept to a minimum.

Installation of Hands-free Equipment

In order to reduce driver distraction and the possibility of interference with vehicle systems, hands-free equipment should be installed according to the manufacturers instructions and should follow the British Standards Institution's 'Guide to in-vehicle information systems' (DD 235: 1996).

***************************************** Road Accident Fatality Statistics - comparative.


Fatalities per 10,000 Vehicles

UK - 1996 - 1.42 USA - 1996 - 2.1 UK - 1997 - 1.4 USA - 1997 - 2.2

Fatalities per 100,000 population

UK - 1996 - 6.4 USA - 1996 - 16

UK - 1997 - 6.3 USA - 1997 - 16 ******************************************


-- W0lv3r1n3 (W0lv3r1n3@yahoo.com), July 19, 2000.

You must have proper control of your vehicle at all times. If the use of a phone causes you to drive in a careless or dangerous manner you could be prosecuted for those offences. The penalties include an unlimited fine, disqualification and up to two years imprisonment.

Bully for them. But I don't know that we need more laws as much as we need a better class of drivers. Oh, and a better class of employers, too (I liked that part, although everything not mandated by law cuts into the CEO's yearly bonus, which translates to: Fat Chance).

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), July 19, 2000.

I'm Here: Depending upon the passenger sitting next to you while you're driving, you just might want to hold onto that Passenger Ejector Seat. It could be most useful [g].

-- Patricia (PatriciaS@lasvegas.com), July 19, 2000.

Why people want to watch TV in their car is completely beyond me. I just don't "get it."

I've seen plenty of cell phone drivers and they seem to always be straddling the yellow line. I honestly think that people have a problem using a phone *and* driving at the same time. (Never mind watching the tube)

Basically, I agree with what Cherri said. And I don't like the .gov as much as the next guy. And I'm sick and tired of piles and piles of rules and regulation heaped upon us. But, I suppose *sometimes* it is a necessary evil.

Also, when cars can drive themselves, then you can turn cars into living rooms. I guess we're just going to have to wait until that time. It probably won't be long now anyway.


-- Not now, not like this (AgentSmith0110@aol.com), July 19, 2000.

Some may tub-thump to their heart's content about the evil of "more laws", (and since many people who post on fora such as these seem to view the establishment of any law no matter how sensible as a personal affront to their freedom and liberty, I'm sure someone will).

Meantime, the trend continues, with the most recent statistics showing that one is still almost 3 times more likely to be killed (i.e. DEAD, gone, forever !) on a free, libertarian, unlegislated American road as you are on a totalitarian, socialistic, over-legislated British one.

In 1997, 41,967 of your fellow Americans were killed in road accidents.

Of these,

5,307 were pedestrians,

813 were cyclists,

2,106 were riding either motorcycles or mopeds,

and 21,989 were in passenger cars.

I dont have any more recent statistics, but I'd be very surprised if the figures are much lower than these. I wonder at what point (measurable in cost of human lives) does legislation cease to be a "gubbmint sponsored plot against god-given freedoms" and start to be a rather good idea ?


-- w0lv3r1n3 (w0lv3r1n3@yahoo.com), July 19, 2000.

Incidentally, for those who care about these things.

Within the net statistic quoted in my last post . .

5,395 of the victims were under 17 years of age.

956 were under 6 years old.

Almost a thousand little lives.



-- w0lv3r1n3 (w0lv3r1n3@yahoo.com), July 19, 2000.

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