Sydney and Melbourne being the worst by far, with it being so bad it has become entertainment
On any given commute you'll see dozens of people playing with their phone while doing 110km/h down the freeway, doing make-up, eating cereal out of bowl, reading, blowing red lights (not "late orange" but "it already went red and now the other direction who got a green have to hit the brakes to not get t-boned", ignoring lane lines, ignoring indicators, and/or ignoring the existence of any/every rule or nearby vehicle.
It's like a national sport. How much of a dickhead can you be in your car then get violently angry if anyone dares even tap their horn at you to remind you the light has been green for 30 seconds now and you're still flicking through Facebook.
Australian roads are unceasingly sensible. Every road is an appropriate width, every road has a logical speed limit, overtaking zones are clearly marked, heck, every bend on a fast road has a sign indicating the recommended cornering speed. All this sensibleness breeds complacent drivers that rarely need to engage their brains.
The UK is full of incomprehensibly narrow roads, arbitrary speed limits and a national fetish for complex muliti-lane roundabouts. And to top it off, most cars have manual transmissions. All this complexity breeds more competent, switched-on drivers.
Speed limits are seen more as a recommendation; if you leave reasonable space between you and the car in front someone will cut in; we have a lot of three lane roundabouts, and large interchanges which are fun in the middle of winter when you can't see the lane markings (or when they decide to resurface it and paint lines a few weeks later); oh and I see plenty of people using their phone while driving every day.
The roundabouts thing is interesting actually. We have a lot of large roundabouts, which I assume stems from Soviet times. In more Western countries they would have traffic lights, but here they are basically a free for all - I think adding traffic lights wouldn't actually help traffic flow as it blocks the traffic further down, in one case there are two large roundabouts ~800m apart, and the road between is always crawling in rush hour.
Last year they repainted all the lines so each lane corresponds to a specific exit or two. When you enter there are signs showing which lane you should be in, then you just follow that lane and don't need to worry about crossing into another lane (plus the lines are solid so you can't, legally). In a lot of cases they have reduced roundabouts from three to two lanes, but the traffic flow has actually increased.
That has caused another issue in that because it's easier to drive on roundabouts, people now drive faster, so getting on is harder if there is a steady stream of traffic. This year they have experimented with adding speed bumps before each entrace (reducing your speed to 30kmh or less) which seems to have alleviated that.
Since they introduced these changes I can't actually remember seeing any accident on roundabouts, where as it was a common event before.
I've also noticed that the cars that offer the most 'comfort' to the driver, are the most dangerous for others - the luxury SUV's, the sports cars with high-torque engines, etc. I believe that the environment of the car begets the attitude of the driver - and in many cases its imperious, officious, classist. For some reason, people who drive the more expensive cars believe they 'deserve the road'.
Then, there is Hungary. It is easily one of the most dangerous places I've ever driven, and I've been around the world. Hungarian drivers seem to have absolutely no fear with overtaking slower vehicles, no matter the state of oncoming traffic. So many times I've had someone overtake me - me, doing the speed limit - only to have to crush an emergency lane recovery in split-second timing in order to avoid certain, violent death from oncoming traffic.
All around the world, driving is a cultural artifact. I sure am glad to have gone electric - slow, weak, but it takes me out of the speed-freak zone and puts me in the slow lane, where its .. relative to the other lanes .. pretty safe, all things considered.
Also, by your logic, French and Italian drivers should be really competent, but they're not. If anything, southern European drivers are less sensible than those in the northern countries, that tend to have more sensible, well-maintained roads. However, statistics make it seem that that is not the case. 
If that's what you got from my post then I've failed in conveying my intent. If anything I think that the median Australian driver is among the best in the world. Perhaps even better than the UK, depending on the metric. The only problem is that we're rarely asked to think for ourselves—everything has already been thought about for us.
Really the vast majority of drivers in every country I've visited have been similarly competent. The local variances mainly change the manifestation of badness in the remainder.
You can see many times per day how they overpass other cars (sometimes even in 2-3 rows simultaneously: one car starts overpassing, then another starts overpassing first, then third..) just before a blind corner. You can witness several times per day how in the middle of the highway where average speed is about 100 km/h somebody may just make a U-turn without using indicators and passing the double solid line.
You can ride 100 kmph on a highway and then suddenly there's a truck or a bus or a motorcycle on your lane coming into you because the driver decided that waiting 2km for the next place where he can make a u-turn is too long.
If you drive even for one day in India you'll witness all these cases and more.
Statistics of deaths on the roads incidentally confirms this.
Honestly, as an Australian living in the US, i'm not sure you have enough context. After living in both Asia and the US, we're a nanny state on this stuff. In the US, people barely ever get breathe tested and often drive drunk, speed everywhere (70-80mph is a lot faster than 110-120kmh). I've also seen Facetime in use multiple times while on the freeway.
Driving in other countries - the Americas, Asia, Europe, even the supposed peak of Western organisation and efficiency Germany had significantly poorer driving than I see in Australia.
But use of phones is an issue and I'm glad to see this being put in place.
I think driving habits and behaviours are regional.
Comparing the drivers of Newcastle, NSW and Sydney, NSW - just 160KM apart and there's a lot of weird differences.
- When merging/changing lanes - Newcastle drivers tend to speed up/close any gap if you put your indicator on, to prevent you from merging ahead of them. Sydney tends to be more permissive.
- When passing a parked car on a suburban street (single lane each direction), drivers in Sydney will continue on without deviating speed or course significantly. Newcastle drivers will slow down and cross almost entirely into the opposing lane/side of the road. Even on hills and around corners where there's a huge amount of space in their lane.
You get a variation on this in Sydney. No one wants to be behind another car so they will change lanes and speed to over take you just to improve their position by 1 car. Some will continuously do this, switch lanes with no regard of where they need to be, then create a mess for everyone when they try to merge into the lane they need to be in.
I can’t figure it out though, they have some strict standards getting a license, red p’s for 12-24 months + 120 logbook hours, then green p’s where they are restricted to dangerous below highway speeds so have drivers aggressively overtaking them. Despite this, standards seem far lower than Europe.
The horn thing is really annoying, often the person being beeped can’t move forward anyway due to traffic across a junction and people are just being impatient but sometimes it’s the other way and people are just day dreaming at junctions when the light changeover is quick so you ha e to go.
It seems car first. Cross a road in Europe a car a few hundred meters down the road will back off the accelerator slightly when they see you and let you cross. Australia they see a pedestrian and will speed up as it’s their road and the light is green, they’ll speed up to the point they are deliberately trying to hit you.
Speed limits are annoying here. For such a big country it’s really difficult to travel big distance like you can in Europe or the US. Most people on the highway drive 100km/h as lots of police and the limit is 110. Also everyone will do 100km/h in the outside lane, inside lane doesn’t exist for most people as that’s where the p players are doing 90 and they are afraid of overtaking. It’s also odd as when you pass someone going well below the limit, a minute later they’ll aggressively speed up, fly past, then 5 minutes later they are slowed down and you are overtaking them again when you have kept a constant speed.
I’ve found driving in Northern Africa and Asia far less frustrating than Australia and those countries are bit of a free for all, especially Ho Chi Minh. It’s easier in those countries as no one follows any rules and you know that, AU being 50/50 you just have no idea what drivers are going to do and makes it harder to judge.
Compare that to the European system where you are requiredto hire a professional driving instructor to teach you (at great expense I might add) for the entire time you are learning.
And because of that, the culture in Australia seems to be that driving is a right where as Europeans seem to treat it as more of a privilege.
I had picked up a habit of going much too fast around every corner, because the owner of the car I was practicing in insisted that it must be done that way. She did it because that's what her brother taught her. The real instructor got rid of that bad habit very quickly.
It's a bit more expensive, but honestly it's so much quicker to get good and less stressful that I recommend it to anyone who has the option.
People lie in the log book, too. So I don't believe many actually do the 120 hours they claim.
Example: often you can cut the oncoming traffic off and turn left before them. This has the advantage of not having to wait 2 minutes in the middle of the road hoping that some poor soul will let you go. Instead, you just do it and people will slow down without honking at you (ironically, since they basically use the honk as a “I’m here too” signal)
Which one is better? Having left turns take forever or simply slowing down for 2 seconds when you cross an intersection?
Driving on motorbikes especially is infinitely smoother than in any other countries. I’ll take driving in Ho Chi Minh City over LA any day.
If you cut people off in the US people will honk, get unreasonably mad and chances are a police car will appear out of nowhere.
Keep in mind that:
- Most Vietnamese traffic is on 2 wheels; motorbikes are inherently less safe, that's not necessarily related to traffic rules.
- "The [US] federal government estimates that per mile traveled in 2016, the number of deaths on motorcycles was nearly 28 times the number in cars." 
I would classify Vietnam as safer for a biker than the US.
That said, street safety can certainly be improved in Vietnam: people wear dirt-cheap helmets that protect nothing. 
My general attitude is to be courteous. That doesn't mean I dont nip through on amber, or go over the speed limit by a couple kph, or park.
However I do behave as I would want other to behave. I don't drive too close to cars in front. I zip feed always. I indicate, even if nobody is around. I treat bikes and bicycles like other cars. I defer to busses. I slow down and wave pedestrians across if it's safe. Just good manners really.
I always wonder how people like that act outside vehicles. It's really no different to jumping a queue, but I bet of you did that to them outside a metal box they would call you out.
I also find overly courteous drivers to be dangerous, particularly when they ignore right of way.
There was a crossroad I had to go through daily that often had a long line of cars waiting because it crossed the offramp joining a major highway and a motorway. You would get idiots stopping to let cars go and actually causing accidents behind them because they caused the offramp to quickly congest out onto the highway.
It got so frequently bad that an enterprising local stuck their own Do No Stop cardboard sign there.
In a queue, you can appeal to the emotions of a clerk, attendent, or some other agent with power. Further, if no power agent exists or is sporadic enough that they virtually don't exist (like, say, police on the same roadway you describe) then the action of calling out devolves to simple game theory in which the best mode of action is to simply not participate.
I challenge you to change your mindset:
>take advantage of 2-second gaps
that 2-second gap is simply a buffer. when buffers are filled do we call it 'being taken advantage of' or do we simply empty the buffer and continue our routine?
It was an open secret (by secret I mean bragging) that people would forge their logbook hours - that hour rule only came in semi-recently so I'm not sure on the age of some posters here who haven't mentioned this.
Either way, P plates statically have a high propensity to get into accidents although from experience alone I would not say the majority of these are the "aggressive" drivers you see on the street. Maybe it's my own bias but it feels like the majority of P platers are trying to drive safe because of their inexperience, it's the full licence drivers who believe they know best and start showing aggressive behaviours.
I regularly see women doing makeup while driving, stretching up to see their face in the mirror, their car often drifting from left to right.
The things some people do while driving are... amazingly fucking stupid.
She had kids in the back and looked to be driving only using her elbows.
I guess that means they don't take it seriously enough for your tastes, but if you've driven elsewhere in the word you would find Australian's take adhering to the road rules _very_ seriously compared to just about anywhere else.
Other's here have called in nanny state'ism. Maybe that's true, but it's also true the expansive nature of the country means we drive long distances at high speeds on wide roads. Someone deliberately driving down the wrong side of the road, which I have seen numerous times in countries like France and Italy would get someone killed in Australia. A drunk drivers mistake at 50km/hr it likely to end up at the panel beaters, at 100km/hr at the morgue. Even in major Australian city like Brisbane I'd say I do most of my driving at 100km/hr. So there is a point to nanny state'ism.
On the other hand if you had driven in highly congested environments like France and Italy tend to have, you would notice a little extra chaos on the roads actually helps. Other drivers are seem to be far more accommodating of you breaking the rules because you've been sitting there for 5 minutes and it is your turn.
> tap their horn at you to remind you the light has been green for 30 seconds now and you're still flicking through Facebook.
The number of times I've seen this happen then the idiot wakes up, goes, and the light is now red - and we're all still there. Better not even tell them next time.
Walk around in a downtown area and it’s blatantly visible how many drivers use their phones while driving , often performing illegal maneuvers due to their distraction.
It's gotten to the point where I actively avoid any car that has an Uber sticker or Lyft light.
Bigger reason: This amounts to "set up cameras that record exactly what's on the screen of every phone that goes by", which is an utter nightmare in terms of privacy.
That is exactly the main argument that I would make:) It also amounts to a permanent warrantless recording of a space that most people would expect to be semi-private, which is worrying even if you assume that it will only affect the guilty.
There are better ways to increase driver and road safety than setting up an ever-present surveillance network in every city. I'm surprised by how many HN users argue against surveillance (for example some fuzzy ad tracking) and yet are fine with having recordings of every physical movement.
Sure, it's effort now to do the smarter-but-harder thing, but the payoff will be huge in a few decades. Sure beats having a police state that is precipitated by goody-two-shoes demanding video surveillance of nearly all public roads in the USA.
Edit : Do the down-voters care to explain how a networked camera system is somehow better or less orwellian than a human cop?
2. I really don't understand how having a cop on the street corner is any better than the "Orwellian" camera. In both cases, you're being watched, but one case comes with the added benefit that the watcher has a loaded gun.
3. The power imbalance is worse with a cop than a camera. With footage, you might be able to subpoena the footage. With a cop testifying against you, it's their word against yours and cops are almost always trusted more than the people they arrest/accuse.
Hmm; that feels a dishonest argument - I would expect HN audience to understand the differences between the two without being prompted. One of them will record the observation, store it potentially indefinitely, and enable unfathomable correlations for unfathomable purposes.
If it's really not clear, I would venture most people being OK with cop but not OK with a camera, feel that an honest cop may notice a particular law being broken right now, but a network of cameras may notice all kinds of things that are not illegal, as such, but may still be used against you.
(not to say that I disagree with your premise of US Cops being more dangerous than cameras; just that it shouldn't take much effort to have a basic understanding about other perspectives)
I would expect you to not be so condescending. The comment I replied to didn't make any sort of actual argument; it's just a statement. Therefore, I don't understand how they reached their conclusion.
> One of them will record the observation, store it potentially indefinitely, and enable unfathomable correlations for unfathomable purposes.
Right, and the other will not record the observation, potentially beat you or shoot you, and if you take it to court, have their word trusted against yours almost universally by a jury, leaving you absolutely no recourse when you lose the case because the police officer may or may not have lied in their report.
> just that it shouldn't take much effort to have a basic understanding about other perspectives
Sorry I'm so dumb, I guess?
I am still not certain - were you literally unable to understand why somebody would prefer a cop, or were you unwilling to make the effort, or - something else? :|
And just to be double clear, I understand the downsides of having everything on video; in this hypothetical situation, it's my opinion that having a cop on every street corner of the US is the greater evil, while having a camera in their place is a lesser evil. Both evils, both absurd hypothetical scenarios. Both fun to think about because I like dystopian societies.
- If your message is "I vehemently disagree, with every bone in my body, with the idea of having cops instead of cameras" - sure, that's a valid viewpoint we can have a lot of fun productively discussing, even if we never in the end agree.
- If your message is, as you repeatedly indicate, "I literally don't understand [the other point of view]", there is no discussion to be had. From where I'm standing, you are either unwilling, or incapable, of making the effort. A physical/sociopathic lack of empathy, or inability or willingness to process and examine different perspectives, or incredible amount of stubbornness, whatever it may be. If details of other side are presented to you, and you still "literally don't understand" it, then... I don't know, discussion is done one way or another? We are failing on point one of the pyramid of productive/honest discussions and arguments .
[note in this framework, understanding, and agreeing, are entirely separate considerations]
Frankly I’d rather have things like automatic cameras than police posted at every intersection.
Look at how stuff like speeding works. Putting cops on the highways just makes people alert each other on waze to slow down in one specific area.
I'd be fine with that if we first can have a conversation on speed limits. It seems on the road network places put in interval cameras and drop the speed limit by 10+mph. On motorways we get a de facto 80mph road going down to 50, regardless of conditions and traffic flow. That seems way to extreme a limitation IMO.
Though if the trains were cheaper it wouldn't bother me!
Sure, we should have a conversation on speed limits. I know some places use them as revenue sources, and this would have to disappear. But speed limits are sometimes (usually?) set for safety reasons too. And we can't move forward on getting the speed limits set to safety-optimal values while almost all drivers completely disregard them. This is one case when I'm supportive of metaphorically beating the drivers into submission, so that they start following the law, and traffic engineering can be done under assumption that people follow the law.
Doesn't really sound like this is actually about safety.
I doubt these cameras can capture the photo do a decent quality on that angle for anything but standing or very slow moving cars
But I guess we can hope it will stop some people, even if there will be a lot of people caught that weren't really endangering anyone
I got front and rear dash cams after the 1st hit, to protect myself for insurance claims etc, and caught the following 2 + uncountable near-misses almost all of which were people using their phones, doing make-up, or at one point eating a bowl of cereal while driving.
People don't take it seriously at all, and having had a close family member killed by someone blowing a red light while playing on their phone, and my best mate killed by a truck driver mounting the footpath because he was checking his job computer, I'm 100% for stricter punishment against people who don't take driving seriously.
Mobile phones, drink driving, all of them can and do lead to people dying and should be treated as such.
They aren’t paying attention and when the light turns green they may either hit a pedestrian as they hurry to move , or not notice the green and be rear ended by a driver who expects them to begin moving.
I've also started glancing left & right going through the green even if it's been green a while.
Once the traffic in front of me stopped suddenly, I stopped, and the truck behind me didn't and totaled my car, nearly killing me. Since then I glance in the rearview mirror when I have to stop hard, which paid off one day when I figured the guy behind me wasn't going to stop in time, I pulled off onto the shoulder, and he hit the car in front of me.
This is what I was taught when I learned to drive 20 years ago, and texting wasn't really a thing back then.
Perhaps, but I too frequently encounter the notion that having the legal right of way means one doesn't have to look. I've especially encountered this with bicyclists. Sometimes they'll tell me that it's ok because if someone hits them, they'll get a huge lawsuit judgement. I counter with what good is that if you're dead or crippled?
Some people I just don't understand.
This has been the case for years. When people aren't paying attention they are pavlovian in staring forward when they notice movement around them. But this doesn't necessarily have to coincide with cell phone usage, just bad driving.
I've seen an increase of motorcycle cops lane filtering at traffic lights, looking into the laps of the drivers. If there's a phone there, they're booked.
This sounds like a different issue that can arise without phones being involved. Just because you look at your phone does not mean you need to be sheepish when you look back up. The problem is people are more worried about getting going than being safe.
> ...or not notice the green and be rear ended by a driver who expects them to begin moving.
If someone rear ends you when the light turns green that is 100% their fault. You can't start moving if the car in front of you is stopped. This has been the case long before the existence of phones.
Most collisions require two unsafe drivers. One to swerve out of their lane, another who thoughtlessly drive down the highway alongside another car; that sort of thing.
Vehicles can remain standing on a green for reasons like the engine having stalled, or there still being a pedestrian in front of them.
It is not comparable to doing something poorly considered for which there cannot be a good reason, like driving in someone's blindspot on the freeway for hundreds of meters, in low traffic.
If someone drives into a stationary car just because the lights go green they are an incompetent driver because they haven’t checked the road is clear before moving off.
The car in front could have stalled, the driver could have had a heart attack, a child could have run into the road 3 cars down and you can’t see them.
Anything could have happened and if you’re not prepared for that at all times YOU are not in control of your vehicle and hence a bad driver.
Too many drivers have cognitive dissonance of the form “I already know I’m an excellent driver, so it couldn’t possibly be my fault...” for every situation this why we need presumed liability.
What? If you ever hit someone like that, I'd say you're ten times more dangerous than anyone texting.
That wouldn't be the front driver's fault at all. What if there's someone crossing the road in front of that person and they can't drive off. The person behind them shouldn't be so focused only on the color of the traffic light that they start moving the moment it turns green.
That'd be even more unsafe.
apparently some cameras are fixed and some are mobile, but presumably they're checking cars that are both moving and stationary (if it so happens to be in view of the camera when/where it stops).
distracted driving is a real problem, and phones are a large part of that problem. genuine efforts at curbing distracted driving are welcome, as long as we don't have to trade away all our privacy in the process. i'm generally against camera surveillance for that reason.
in any case, continuing improvements in voice control will go a long way toward reducing distracted driving via mobile devices.
Actually studies have shown that people on (hands free) phone calls are also very distracted from the task of driving, driving slower than the traffic, around corners etc. [Haque et el at QUT. A small study in a simulator, but it certainly matches anecdotal observation... https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S00014... ]
Just tuning the radio or even listening to the radio can increase response times. Unsurprisingly, having children in the car can also significantly increase risk. [MUARC] Remember that next time you see a Baby On Board sign.
It'd have to be a lot of continuing improvements because at the moment, voice control is an absolute shitshow and IMO way more distracting than pushing predictable buttons.
At least once a week I see people who are too busy playing with their phones to realise all the cars in front of them had already driven off, the traffic light was now red again, and pedestrians were about to start crossing. The sudden realisation then makes them slam the accelerator without checking their surroundings first.
At the same intersection I witnessed an accident where the first driver in line was playing with their phone, got spooked by someone honking, and ran the red light straight into traffic.
It's like they're tricking themselves into thinking they're paying enough attention.
If you want to argue that they're not about revenue raising tell me why the Police here strike for pay rises by warning motorists of where the cameras are?
They've done this for at least 3 pay rises in the past and they actually have followed through.
1. Detecting when people are using their phone while driving?
2. Imposing a penalty when people are caught?
Applying a high fine for infringements is a good deterrent. It's definitely about safety as much (if not more) than revenue raising.
If people don't want to give revenue to the government, it's simple - don't use your phone while driving.
A) need a huge volume of them so people assume they will certainly get caught if they use their phone even just once
B) place them at critical spots and make them very clearly visible e.g. via adding signs
Otherwise, they're just hidden and rare enough that nobody actually changes their driving style. Now neither A nor B are the case. So what's their use besides making money?
Also, why take money only? Off the top of my head, why not something like each time you get caught, you get a "buffered" 1-day driving restriction and once it adds up to some amount it's applied? Currently you can just speed all the time as long as you're not grossly over the limit. All you need to do is pay a little money which might be trivial for some people. A driving restriction might not be.
These cameras obviously aren't implemented with safety as a priority. It's about money first and foremost. Safety is just a pretense. Same thing for govt surveillance and so on. It's surprising to me that the same excuse can be used over and over effectively.
Speed cameras just cause people to behave in a single spot. Worse they usually backlog traffic because drivers brake when approaching them "just in case"
Wow, what an ignorant statement. I get a lot of people like to drive without following the rules and think there should be no consequences. Even though driving a car is usually the most dangerous thing you will do today.
Allow people to turn in video of people violating traffic laws in public places for money. Receive more money if it leads to prosecution/fine.
Rewards split amongst all who submit videos.
Big bonus if person is DUI/OUI/OWI prosecuted.
If it's too much to have just anyone do this, then have some sort of minimal-requirements program where you sign up, pay $X, get registered and a permit, and do it.
This can help homeless people.
Give the public a cut of the fine, have some rules to avoid abuse, and we'd all be buying dashcams. It'll help so much.
A friend told me Taiwan did something similar to great effect (perhaps it was for littering from vehicles) but I'm struggling to find a reference.
I watch these with my kids, who recently started driving, as it is a good lesson in why you drive defensively and not be too arrogant about your own abilities and reaction times - because you have to take into account the abilities, reaction times, and occasionally the boneheaded idiocy of any other driver in your immediate vicinity.
“If it weren’t for physics and law enforcement, I’d be unstoppable.”
I was bored on a 2 hour bus ride the other day and easily spotted hundreds of drivers fooling around in their phones while driving at highway speed. Mostly texting. Insanity!
Aiming to catch people on their phones is a perversion of the laws because we have made it too easy to get away with driving while distracted.
It used to be that distracted driving was subjective; but with dash cams on police cars, why can't police crack down on actual distracted indications objectively. All of us anecdotally can guess that someone not moving on green, going slow in the left lane, crossing multiple lanes at the last minute is on their cell phone; So let's start enforcing a law that applies more broadly (eating, intoxicated, cell phone, distracted by passengers, rubber necking) and start seriously enforcing it.
If we seriously enforced distracted and reckless behavior, maybe cities wouldn't even have to worry about congestion taxes.
Some are literally tablets I think (or very good imitations?) - the interfce had pull-down menus, swipe left/right app screens/desktops.
If you do want the footage to be useful though, you'll have to be willing to put enough personal information in so the police can use you as a witness in court. Your witness account is the primary evidence and the footage the supporting evidence.
This sounds like a hassle for anyone trying to use gps on their phones. Also, doesn't this essentially outlaw rideshare drivers? How can you accept rides or confirm a pickup if you can't touch the phone? I never saw any driver use voice commands for uber.
What hassle? Futzing with your GPS app while driving is just as dangerous as texting. Set your destination before you drive and pull over if you need to adjust it, just as you should if you need to text.
>How can you accept rides or confirm a pickup...
Just as dangerous yes, but using a standalone GPS or dashboard touchscreen is legal in Australia which makes this rule strange.
I talk on a handheld CB radio regularly in the car and that's perfectly legal too.
I cannot believe people are arguing for "efficiency" over traffic safety.
Can you demonstrate, using numbers, that the tradeoff is positive?
> I cannot believe people are arguing for "efficiency" over traffic safety.
People prioritize efficiency over safety all the time. It's a good thing. So do you, if you support non-zero speed limits. The current animus against cell phone use while driving is the result of a moral panic, not a rational cost-benefit tradeoff.
> If I pull over to a safe place to use my phone, nobody is harmed.
Untrue. The act of pulling is itself is a complex maneuver that practically invites accidents. Most accidents occur at low speed, and often, when you pull over, you pull over into an area where pedestrians are active. It might be the case that pulling over instead of using a phone at a red light results in more people being injured or killed.
> My wife was rear-ended while waiting
Anecdotal personal misfortune is not an argument for society-wide policy.
Are you kidding? If I pull over to a safe place to use my phone, nobody is harmed. If I'm driving and take my attention off of the road and over to my phone, and I smack into a motorcyclist because I didn't see them, I could kill them.
>The current animus against cell phone use while driving is the result of a moral panic, not a rational cost-benefit tradeoff.
Moral panic? My wife was rear-ended while waiting to turn because the driver of the car that hit her was on their cellphone and didn't see her - they admitted as much. She's still suffering from pain from that accident and the car she was driving was totaled. How is not getting into an accident "not a rational cost-benefit tradeoff"?
We can be generous and put the intrinsic value of a human life at the average lifespan in the US of 78 years, or 41 million minutes. That means you’d be inconveniencing people at the rate of 65 human lives per day by implementing your law.
Why do you hate human life so much? Think of the children. Hail Satan, etc.
Once you need to pull over to check your phone you realize that you can just wait until your destination. I never touch my phone while driving, but I'd estimate the time I spend pulled over to use my phone to be more in the area of 5 minutes per couple thousand km.
>Untrue. The act of pulling is itself is a complex maneuver that practically invites accidents. Most accidents occur at low speed, and often, when you pull over, you pull over into an area where pedestrians are active. It might be the case that pulling over instead of using a phone at a red light results in more people being injured or killed.
As I've said before, driving is always an inherently dangerous act, and I'm not disputing that point. It seems to me as though you don't believe risks should be mitigated; that you're saying, "Well, pulling over could be pretty dangerous, so I think you should still be allowed to distract yourself with your phone while driving". Is that correct?
Driving in an area with a lot of pedestrians is certainly dangerous, but to my point, it's far more dangerous if the driver is staring at their phone rather than consciously looking for people walking around in an effort to avoid them.
>Anecdotal personal misfortune is not an argument for society-wide policy.
Again - how is not getting into an accident "not a rational cost-benefit tradeoff"? Can you provide any sort of valid argument in support of taking your eyes off of the road? Do you have any kind of data that shows that not looking at the road is safer, or for that matter safe at all?
Spend some more time walking then, it'll feel a lot more personal when you have daily close calls with multi-ton monsters doing rolling stops with their eyes glued to a screen.
> The act of pulling is itself a complex maneuver that practically invites accidents
Well, 100% of car trips involve at least 1 pull-over. Of the major causes of crashes, injuries and fatalities, attempting to pull over safely isn’t even listed as a major cause of accidents in any stats I can find anywhere for any country. Can you demonstrate with numbers that pulling over is dangerous?
> Most accidents occur at low speed
Your link is talking mostly about commercial vehicles bumping into walls at 3mph. Most injuries and fatalities do not occur at low speed. The number one cause of vehicle fatalities in the US is speeding, second is alcohol. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/Publication/8124...
Same is true in Australia https://www.qbe.com/au/news/the-most-common-causes-of-car-ac...
Same is true worldwide https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/189242/9789...
This is true, if they didn't we wouldn't have cars in the first place. 40,000 people are killed by drivers every year, that is more than gun deaths.
Also, I'm on board with a world that minimizes ape-driven cars. I can't even imagine how much more amazing my city would be in that utopia.
I don't understand why pulling over before fiddling with your gadgets is so much to ask of you, though.
Because driving is an inherently dangerous act, and we should be doing as much as we can to minimize said danger. We wake up and leave the house understanding that there are a litany of risks in the world that could bring harm to us. Many of these risks, such as driving, are accepted because we put restrictions on drivers to minimize the risk of harm that they would otherwise pose.
Driving requires a significant amount of focus and attention from the driver. What you're arguing for is to allow drivers to remove their attention and focus from the situation entirely. Should they use their GPS while operating their car, they then become unaware of what is happening around them and are unable to respond quickly and safely.
Do you really think that is OK?
And a wonderful world that would be.
For GPS and speed apps, it IS legal to touch the device, as long as it is mounted.
The relevant info is in the first table.
I've just noticed the rules about making and answering calls and audio playing uses the term EITHER, as in Either in a cradle OR can be operated without touching. So it appears that drivers can touch the phone when making calls or playing audio when the phone is in a cradle or mount. If the device is used for GPS or speed monitoring then it can be hand-held.
I think safety is more important than avoiding hassle. I think someone touching their phone for navigation is distracted from driving. Their eyes are away from the road. Their mind is focused on finding the place to touch, touching it, and getting confirmation, possibly repeatedly. Without tactile controls, that requires focus.
> (1) A "road related area" is any of the following—
> (d) an area that is not a road and that is open to or used by the public for driving, riding or parking motor vehicles;
Now that would be a real moneymaker.
"The police from NSW, ACT, Northern Territory and South Australia also confirmed it was an offence to have a mobile phone in your hand while sitting in a running car at a drive-through."
That's a key feature. It creates probable cause to pull over a huge chunk of drivers and possibly (at the discretion of the cop/department) rake in some revenue while doing it. Screw the poors and their non-integrated GPS.
I'm sure someone will tell you it's about safety but if it didn't also please the pro-revenue crowd and the pro-control crowd it wouldn't get done. There's plenty of ways to be pro-safety that are better bang for your buck. This gets done because the other two groups like it too.
"The poors" can still use their non-integrated GPS, just in a safe (set your destination before you drive, pull over to adjust) manner. That's what everyone should be doing anyway.
Actually it's still legal to adjust the GPS on your phone while driving, if it's in a cradle.
"They aren’t paying attention and when the light turns green they may either hit a pedestrian as they hurry to move , or not notice the green and be rear ended by a driver who expects them to begin moving."
We used to call it "common sense." Though it does not seem to be so common anymore.
I know this crowd is too high class to know what it's like but something like using your phone for GPS can be the difference between leaving a fishing stop with a warning or a ticket depending on what kinds of citations the department is trying to prioritize.
Here in south australia, if you're on your P1s you cannot use mobile phones in any way while driving, including handsfree and mounted GPS function. I got a Garmin (as a birthday present) which I still use even though I can use my phone now, since it's actually very nice (especially traffic/red light camera warnings, school zone and speed limit change notifications, live traffic, etc.).
I'd be heartily in favor of phones being banned from being used as GPS/navigation aids, since it seems most people don't have the self control not to interact with their phones while driving - it would remove it as a distraction and hopefully prevent "opportunistic" phone use.
I think distracted driving is a real problem but just like photo radar this punishment weeks after the fact when you get a fine in the mail will have very little impact on the underlying behavior. It's like watching your kids do something unacceptable and then grounding them a week a later as punishment. If they wanted to really change behavior they need to get in the faces of drivers like drinking and driving check-stops; pull them over, ask them if their using their phones, warn them of the danger (they could check for impaired driving at the same time). The problem is cops on the ground costs money; this makes money.
Yes, I think that makes sense.
If the car owner is a car share company, they will know who the car was shared to, at the time, and then they will send the ticket to that person.
And if the car owner just borrowed the car to a spouse/child/friend/whoever, they can pass the ticket to the borrower.
I'm also very nervous because I'm 100% sure this will end up being abused or "enhanced" in some scary way in the future, or used as an argument for more government AI cameras to police other transgressions.
“>There is no doubt drink-driving as far as I’m concerned is on a par with mobile phone use, and that’s why we want everyone to be aware that you’re going to get busted doing this anytime, anywhere,” Constance told Australian Broadcasting Corp."
But the further down we read:
>"Photos that show suspected illegal behavior are referred for verification by human eyes before an infringement notice is sent to the vehicle’s registered owner along with a 344 Australian dollar ($232) fine."
I'm guessing the penalty for being caught driving under the influence in Australia is far greater than $344 AUD. Why wouldn't they price the infraction for driving while texting similarly then?
All they need is inspectors on motorbikes riding between cars that are stopped at traffic lights.
Large number of people are using their phones when waiting at the lights.
A motorbike inspector riding between cars would make an infinite number of catches.
In my mind, I'd rather people check their phone at a stopped traffic light, going 0kph; then while driving at 100kph or turning etc...
Ultimately tickets should have a purpose - prevent the most atrocious behaviour we see.
There's a poorly marked off-ramp from a major freeway in Toronto; and after off-ramp it's still a divided highway that basically looks like freeway. Cops are constantly staking out this exit because they know they'll get tickets - but what are you teaching? Most of these people were honestly trying to do the relatively right thing. There's no lesson or behaviour modification, just income.
(if you want to modify behaviour at that particular offramp, add signing and/or lights etc).
Understanding that it's against the law in most places (because technically you are "operating a motor vehicle", I honestly don't have a problem with people glancing at their phone on a red traffic light. Others, I suppose, may vehemently disagree.
At the end of the day this is still a camera network capable of being repurposed for more sinister means of revenue generation at the whim of the government.
If you really want to stop this behavior post a cop on the corner. His presence will prevent people from all sorts of other minor traffic violations too.
This Phone Use camera technology literally records every car AND who is in it (at least in front seats) for AI to process. Since they admit to using AI, it is likely that they are keeping all of the images.
This is definitely creepier technology. Imagine a fresh popular candidate caught 10 years ago in a leaked photo of being in a car with a racist. Well, poor example but you get the drift.
if you are between 18-34 in the US your highest probability of death was/is motor vehicle accident
i'm guessing most people here are anti bodily harm/death/opportunity loss due to stupidity/impatience more than anything else
It's not very productive discourse to make these claims about others.
This is an article from 2016: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2016-08/08/content_263919...
It helps me not fiddle with the phone whilst in the car.
I'm not saying that people should be free to use phones but it's increasingly obvious to me that the police's main objective is to keep mostly lawful people in line, pursuing criminal activity is a secondary concern.