Do anti-texting laws work?

October 1st, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

AP report:

A new study says laws that ban texting while driving don’t reduce wrecks and might actually increase risks.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s claim research arm released its findings Tuesday in Kansas City.

The insurance industry group compiled data from California, Louisiana, Minnesota and Washington immediately before and after driver texting was banned.

The study found the number of crashes actually increased in three of those states after the bans were implemented.

Institute spokesman Russ Rader says the increase might be the result of drivers trying to keep phones out of view while texting.

This is one reason I am sceptical of these laws. Do they actually reduce the number of people who do not use phones in cars?

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18 Responses to “Do anti-texting laws work?”

  1. jaba (2,117 comments) says:

    I still see people on their Mphones while driving but well still have every other road rule broken so why expect 100% compliance on any rule?

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  2. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Should never have been made a law. No rational basis whatsoever.

    Stephen Joyce is completely in the thrall of the self serving bureaucrats who run the Department of Transport and he needs to bloody well wake up or risk becoming the public face of the stupid party. An utterly useless politician with no idea about what is important and what really needs to be done.

    There is not even any real proof that the road safety department provides value for taxpayer money. An accurate cost benefit anlysis would see it closed down and the little Hitlers running it join the dole queue.

    It will never happen under the gullible navel gazing lamer Stephen Joyce.

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  3. RRM (9,745 comments) says:

    There will be a similar bedding-in period with the new give way rules too.

    Long term, it is better people know such dangerous practises are something they aren’t supposed to be doing.

    Pull over to the side of the road and call them back. No phone call’s that urgent.

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  4. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,863 comments) says:

    Too many negatives.

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  5. Repton (769 comments) says:

    Do they actually reduce the number of people who do not use phones in cars?

    I’m certain they do, because there are some law abiding people in this country.

    But they may also increase the risk of crashing amongst people who continue to use their phone in their car, which could lead to the overall crash rate being roughly unchanged.

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  6. Pete George (23,416 comments) says:

    What the government needs to do is run an awareness campaign. The best way to reach those most at risk is by text obviously, so they should send out education texts saying things like “Don’t read now! Learn to be patient, wait until you can pull over and stop before you read this!”

    I’m sure telcos must be able to detect cellphones on the move, they could be targeted.

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  7. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “What the government needs to do is run an awareness campaign.”

    Bullshit. We don’t need any more of taxpayer’s hard earned money siphoned off to advertising agencies and used to prop up antiquated socialist propaganda outlets like TV One and TV Three. The government should do nought else but ENFORCE THE LAW.

    And existing laws were sufficient in this case.

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  8. Dave Mann (1,200 comments) says:

    The intelligent approach to road safety law would be include the following in the standard driving test:

    – ability to text and/or email while driving on the motorway

    – talking on the phone and parallel parking at the same time

    – the driver’s level of safe performace while driving moderately drunk

    If all our drivers could pass these simple tests at the time of examination, then all these bullshit laws wouldn’t be necessary and the road toll would be reduced drastically at very little cost.

    Would the bureaucratic idiots listen? Of course not. Fuckwits.

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  9. jaba (2,117 comments) says:

    Steven Joyce as a Newby in Parliament is doing a great job considering the task he has.
    The Labour party spokesperson for transport is Daza Hughes, god forbid

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  10. Rex Widerstrom (5,342 comments) says:

    Repton suggests:

    Do they actually reduce the number of people who do not use phones in cars?

    I’m certain they do, because there are some law abiding people in this country.

    People who blindly obey a command from, as Redbaiter so aptly puts it, “little Hitlers” in command of our roads, just because “it’s the law“, as though said mini dictators had the omniscience of Gods (despite, as DPF points out, evidence suggesting they’re wrong)?

    Please reassure me that more of my fellow NZers haven’t given up and become sheep?!

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  11. Viking2 (11,334 comments) says:

    As one who spends a good amount of time dri8ving round our urban streets and motorways I’m very happy that phones are not allowed. The behavoir of the average mother motorist with 6 kids and a dog in the car in now much better.
    Don’t ever believe that people can multi task whilst driving their cars. Its simply stupid.

    Not even red can do it safely despite all his bullshit and bluster. I’ve noticed him.

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  12. Steve (4,538 comments) says:

    Multitask while driving – there are some who struggle with one task.
    ‘Get out of my fucking road you moron’ is the common mantra in Auckland

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  13. Viking2 (11,334 comments) says:

    Exactly!

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  14. Rex Widerstrom (5,342 comments) says:

    Viking2 notes:

    The behavoir of the average mother motorist with 6 kids and a dog in the car in now much better.

    I’d agree. But as you’re happy for knees to jerk and the “banned” stamp to be inked at every opportunity, what is it you’d advocate banning in that situation? Mothers? Their offspring? Dogs? Perhaps cars! Yes, let’s ban cars and then you’ll have a clear road.

    Or we could just fuck off out of other people’s lives and expect them to suck up the consequences of their choices, instead of imposing “choices” on them. I can drive and use my phone, I’ve done so for years without accident. If I’m wrong and it’s just dumb luck, then I’ll be penalised with an insurance excess. If I keep doing it my premiums will skyrocket.

    If however I continue to do so without incident, why the hell should I be penalised for the fact that others on the road can’t scratch their arse and drive without crashing into something, let alone conduct a conversation?

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  15. Jeremy Harris (323 comments) says:

    +1 to what Redbaiter has said…

    In fact if New Hampshire is anything to go by, (the only US state with no seat beat law) it may make us less safe:

    http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?articleId=8e2b630e-7def-4f98-bead-99b034881854&headline=Safer+in+NH%3A+Even+without+a+seat+belt+law

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  16. jcuknz (704 comments) says:

    Redbaiter is right .. it shouldn’t be against the law. No it should be common sense on everybody’s part that they appreciate that a vehicle is a killing machine and needs full attention to its operation.

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  17. GPT1 (2,111 comments) says:

    I suspect people who previously made a quick call now send a sneaky text. Well done nanny state.

    And on another note driving carelessly and/or dangerously was already illegal but still we get another law.

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  18. jackp (668 comments) says:

    It should be banned, I am in agreement with the law. Texting takes your eyes off the road. I look down when I hear my phone ring, then pull over and I can talk freely. When I look down, I do worry who walks in front of me. A old lady was run over by a kid on the phone or texting in Hastings. Family wasn’t too happy about that. No, the law is good. It this anti-smacking law that rediculous, talk about nanny state.

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