Newspapers all love planned cellphone ban

June 12th, 2008 at 7:09 am by David Farrar

Sigh, all the newspaper editorials are supporting the proposed ban on non handheld . I hope none of them ever have reporters whom they call while out driving to a job!

The Dom Post says:

Driving while using cellphones reduces safety margins. Those who assert they know the difference between safe and unsafe use of phones should ask themselves if they are equally confident that the testosterone-loaded 18-year-old rushing from football practice to meet his girlfriend will show the same good judgment when his phone beeps as he approaches in the opposite direction.

I would retort that 18 year old will simply break the law anyway.

The Press says:

Cellphone use is such a highly visible, plainly dangerous activity that targeting it directly sends a clear road-safety message to drivers. Specific messages are more effective than general ones.

So what has been the impact in countries which have banned callphones? Has the number of deaths and accidents due to distractions dropped, compared to before the ban?

And the Herald says the ban is too timid:

For years, the Government’s failure to ban the use of handheld cellphones while driving has been a complete puzzle. So compelling is the case for outlawing the dangerous practice that any delay appears untenable.

It proposes that the penalty for breaches of the ban would be a $50 fine and 25 demerit points. But American research suggests that so ingrained is the habit of texting and dialling that modest penalties might not be enough to discourage drivers from using cellphones. That seems a reasonable conclusion, especially given that strict enforcement will be difficult. To have an impact, a penalty of at least $150, plus demerit points, would be necessary.

Or how about jail, like with drunk driving? I mean we hear that it is just as bad a distraction, so lets lock up anyone who uses a cellphone in a car – that will be a real deterrent.

Equally compelling is the fact that at least 45 countries, including Australia and most of the European Union, have outlawed handheld phones. In Britain, indeed, matters have moved on to increasing the penalties imposed on motorists whose cellphone use causes the death of a fellow road-user or pedestrian.

This is a very different thing. If one actually causes a fatal accident due to a decision you made to use a phone, then you should face the full force of the law.

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35 Responses to “Newspapers all love planned cellphone ban”

  1. dad4justice (8,313 comments) says:

    Wonderful, this will have a huge impact on criminality within communities and make the place a lot safer. Yeah-right gangsters got tinted windows paid for by WINZ, but Harry the imported tulip over stayer feels important and gets his red face on the news again.The idiots tried to ban cellphones in prisons which has proved to be another failure . Wear a hoody and the keystones won’t be any the wiser. I do wonder if the Police Minister has banned certain off spring from crashing ministerial cars while off their faces on drugs and booze? Don’t worry girls as the taxpayer will fix the car and Aunty Helen will have a word to animal farm Howard and sweep it under the carpet. Don’t be late for your make over Annette you bent viper. Put another vid on Howy and Rob stitch up another Scott W ‘cause you both excel in your sordid fields of expertise. The corruption runs deep in the land of twisted pollies and bent pigs! The greens hoodie day worked well, just ask store owners in Dorkland.

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  2. jcuknz (704 comments) says:

    The proposed fine is not worth worrying about but the 25 de-merit points is the real penalty. personally I find even a radio distracting let alone a cellphone … but I guess to ban radios/stereos would be a culture shock.

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  3. reid (16,634 comments) says:

    People who allow themselves to become so involved in a phone conversation they forget they’re in charge of a lethal weapon need to be banned from driving forever. There are so many such airheads that it would probably solve Auckland’s congestion and fix our carbon emission (non) issue at the same time. Wonder how many are lefties?

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  4. Michaels (1,318 comments) says:

    I thought I stood alone on this, this is a dumb arsed law. But if they must do it why not for once go the whole way?? Also ban radios expecially CD players, children, wives, eating, perving at pretty woman walking the street, smoking, especially smoking after perving, and a whole raft of other things.
    How many people died at crossings in the last year???? Ban crossing the road.
    Infact why not ban fucking cars???? 400 or so people died last year by driving them.
    And then, how many people feel like death every time the Labour party opens their mouth?? Ban them!! Ban gangs and call Labour a gang, then make them illegal.
    There, one problem solved.

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  5. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Its a good idea.

    How many fucktards have you seen causing road menace because they’ve been preoccupied Talking or Texting?

    Get a hands free kit or headset, it aint that hard.

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  6. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Shit – they’ll expect me to stop blogging while I drive next!

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  7. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    How many fucktards have you seen causing road menace because they’ve been preoccupied Talking or Texting?

    Get a hands free kit or headset, it aint that hard.

    Forget the frigging hands free kit/headset. 99.99% of the cellphone-bearing human race could do with ego liposuction, because most of us just aren’t so important that the world will stop spinning if we have to return a couple of messages or (horror!) texts aren’t replied to within seconds. While we’re at it, your head won’t explode if you have to put up with this radio station or CD until you can safely pull over. The car really isn’t that over/underheated that you MUST adjust the air conditioning NOW. And try telling your kids to shut the fuck up or they’re walking home — and you’re not joking. It won’t cause any permanent damage. Really.

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  8. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    He’s Back!

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  9. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    What other Weapons of Media Distraction do Hullen n’ Sullen have to keep attention off the road smash that is the country under their rule?

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  10. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I also want to express a personal opinion about the timing of the Govt’s announcement on this. It coincided, did it not with teh release of the leaflet? So as far as I can see it is ‘chaff’ designed to get the leaflet out there under the media radar.
    That said; I have cleverly twisted the topic to the leaflet and now shall repeat my post as I have waited and waited and David hasn’t posted on it. I mean – I haven’t got all day….:

    “So this is how it is going to be. Pamphletgate all over again. Regarding the rather tawdry attempt to appropriate tax-payer cash to fund labour’s election war-chest,

    “The brochure carries Labour’s authorising statement but Prime Minister Helen Clark has so far refused to comment on the leaflet, beyond saying the party’s election expenses would be included in its post-election returns.

    She has not said whether the party considers the brochure to be election spending, which must be included in its $2.4 million spending cap.”

    Why does this remind me of the little dance of deceit that accompanied the Pledge Card. oh yes. Because, eventually under pressure from the Elctoral Commission, Labour said they would include that in their election expenses. Then after the election, changed their minds. So this is how it goes. Face it out then bully the EC into submission.
    Ever heard the phrase: ‘A favour once granted, becomes a right.’?
    Well this is the right that labour clearly feel they have been given;
    To obscuficate, misrepresent, lie, dissemble and deceive, then grudgingly accept responsibility. Then later, renege on their word.

    But don’t take the word of one witless Monkey with Typewriter. Ask yourself these questions: Has Winston been made to pay back what he owes yet? Did Labour pay back the Pledge card cash willingly, or because they realised that public had rumbled them? Will they change the law after the event should it suit them? Finally have they anything to fear from prosecution, given the police’s record on hunting out Labour’s corrupt practices?”

    But as long as the media, blogs and talk radio can occupy itself with this car-phone trinket eh?

    Lee – MWT

    Do I get demerits?

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  11. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    FUCK THESE EVIL FASCIST FUCKTARDS.

    And that’s all I really have to say about that.

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  12. Bob (497 comments) says:

    I don’t understand your attitude David. If a ban on cell phones saves two lives a year it is worth it. I have seen drivers using phones while driving around busy roundabouts with only one hand on the wheel. A ban might not make much difference to the road toll overall but if it represents a reduction a few accidents a year it is worth it.

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  13. infused (660 comments) says:

    Hands free kits are shit. I just got a blue ant even that’s not great.

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  14. Flashman (184 comments) says:

    Whaleoil is correct.

    This silly nonsense is just another lame and desperate Weapon of Mass Disraction plucked out of the Labour Party’s collective backside over a Cabinet meeting catered lunch.

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  15. francis (712 comments) says:

    H. L. Mencken: For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong

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  16. Brian Smaller (4,026 comments) says:

    I have been way more distracted when driving trying to find a radio station or seperating the kids when they are hassling each other in the back seat than I have been talking on my cell phone. This is garbage proposition. If they were serious they would ban obvious distractions mentioned above but I would add GPS systems, RT’s, Coffee and sex in cars.

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  17. Peter (1,723 comments) says:

    I can see both sides, but am in favour of a ban. Many countries already do so: cellular-news.com/car_bans/ The distraction level between texting and adjusting a car stereo is in a different league.

    Will a ban inconvenience people that much, compared to the potential safety gain? Is a wireless kit really such a hardship? And who is so important that they must answer the phone right now?

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  18. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    If a ban on cell phones saves two lives a year it is worth it.

    Well by that logic, why don’t we ban cars altogether and save 450 odd lives a year!

    If we banned swimming at the beach, we’d vastly reduce the rate of drownings.

    We could ban smoking and stop lung cancer! Banning eggs and butter would reduce heart disease!

    God, let’s just have the government ban everything that’s bad for us and then we’ll all live to 100. That’s if we don’t die of boredom beforehand. Hmmmmm, what can we ban to avoid that? Maybe we’ll all have to become Zen Buddhists? The government could make it compulsory! Then we’d all be happy! Right?

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  19. Peter (1,723 comments) says:

    Are seatbelts a good idea?

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  20. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    A number of companies are banning phones in cars. You can even get disciplined for using a company phone in your own car. If you have an accident on work time they check your phone records to see if you were engaged in a call. BP did have a slogan something like “key on, phone off”. RTs are banned by some truck companies too.

    These companies claim the evidence is compelling. But they also do it as part of overall saftey and training programmes so it might not be representative of the general population.

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  21. Brian Smaller (4,026 comments) says:

    So, cops will pull people over who they see using a cell phone because the government says doing so is distracting to driving and unsafe. These will be the same cops who are driving around using RTs, dashboard computers and personal radios. Yeah Right.

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  22. LabourMustBeLiquidated (290 comments) says:

    Its already illegal to drive carelessly – surely this law covers driving texting with a cellphone? Or if it doesn’t maybe we need other laws like, for instance, smoking/eating/drinking and whatever else while driving?

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  23. Adam (563 comments) says:

    While we are at it we should also ban hot women from walking down the street. Many a time I’ve almost rear ended the car in front. :-D

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  24. first time caller (384 comments) says:

    Do we really need to legislate every-bloody-thing???

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  25. RRM (10,026 comments) says:

    It will be interesting to see if any ban includes RT radios too.

    I would imagine the RT is slightly less of a distraction than a cellphone, if only because there’s just one big button to make it go, and “conversations” tend to be brief and of the form “Ten Four to Rubber Ducky, come in please, over…”

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  26. GPT1 (2,123 comments) says:

    Jerk knee, ban; jerk knee, ban; jerk knee, ban… That seems to be the response of governments and political parties to any problem facing society. What happened to the social contract – did we ban that as well?

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  27. GPT1 (2,123 comments) says:

    Also good point above – hands free are not that good. Last one I had lasted about two weeks before crapping out.

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  28. RRM (10,026 comments) says:

    it’s official – Dad4justice hates everything and everyone!

    Dad4justice (3759) Says:
    June 12th, 2008 at 7:29 am

    Wonderful, this will have a huge impact on criminality within communities and make the place a lot safer. Yeah-right gangsters got tinted windows paid for by WINZ, but Harry the imported tulip over stayer feels important and gets his red face on the news again.The idiots tried to ban cellphones in prisons which has proved to be another failure . Wear a hoody and the keystones won’t be any the wiser. I do wonder if the Police Minister has banned certain off spring from crashing ministerial cars while off their faces on drugs and booze? Don’t worry girls as the taxpayer will fix the car and Aunty Helen will have a word to animal farm Howard and sweep it under the carpet. Don’t be late for your make over Annette you bent viper. Put another vid on Howy and Rob stitch up another Scott W ‘cause you both excel in your sordid fields of expertise. The corruption runs deep in the land of twisted pollies and bent pigs! The greens hoodie day worked well, just ask store owners in Dorkland.

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  29. Sean (301 comments) says:

    “A ban might not make much difference to the road toll overall but if it represents a reduction a few accidents a year it is worth it.”

    By that logic, we should also ban police officers from driving patrol cars – aside from the fact that police car radios are not handsfree, there’s always nobs like this who think a few reflective stickers makes them invulnerable:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4579369a12855.html

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  30. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    DPF, apologies for the link whoring. I know IV2 has made it acceptable but it normally makes me feel icky..
    Anyway. The cellphone ban is just the beginning. Nobody else seems to have picked up on the press conference he held today.
    I have posted it and it is a bit long to reproduce here..
    Go and have a look;
    http://barnsleybill.blogspot.com/2008/06/public-service-announcement.html

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  31. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    DPF, apologies for the link whoring. I know IV2 has made it acceptable but it normally makes me feel icky..
    Anyway. The cellphone ban is just the beginning. Nobody else seems to have picked up on the press conference he held today.
    I have posted it and it is a bit long to reproduce here..
    Go and have a look;
    http://barnsleybill.blogspot.com/2008/06/public-service-announcement.html.

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  32. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    sorry for the duplication. comment did not appear the first time I submitted.. Must be a linkthingy..

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  33. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Bob says:

    If a ban on cell phones saves two lives a year it is worth it.

    Aside from the fact that there’s no evidence that it does… you’ve just inspired me to invent a new aphorism: Every erosion of the freedom of the many can be justified by claiming the protection of the few.

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