PSA Most Effective

This PSA in the UK is the prefect example of an effective deterrent for young drivers on distracted driving. But the term distracted driving is such a broad category that laws against distracted driving will not only fail, they become onerous and the enforcement abuses are incompatible with a free society. Being Distracted while operating trains, busses etc should be outlawed per se but advancing computer technology interfaces and aids are also our best safety hope for the future.

Attention getting PSAs work, turning human activity into a crime against the state will fail.
Excerpt: USDOT Distracted and Operating under Influences

“U.S. Withheld Data on Risks of Distracted Driving”
What an amazing responsive government we have: from the NY Times report that the government is withholding safety data; to all of distracted driving studies being released and cited in multiple national media outlets; to 4 US Senators drafting and introducing the “ALERT Drivers” Act that would take away 25% of a state’s highway funding for non compliance; and the USDOT having set a date certain Safety Summit scheduled where Mr. LaHood assures action will be taken, in advance of the findings. ALL IN TWO WEEKS? Isn’t it incredible how efficient they can be when they want access to your wallet or subjugate you to their whim?
What’s more troubling is Congress’ and the USDOT’s et al lack of knowledge in this field. They’ve become so vested in propaganda, self and special interest, power and empire building, they missed the fact that roadways and their regulation is already in Constitution. Congress delegated roadway safety oversight to the USDOT; the US Constitution and federal regulations govern its conduct, and all acts by the states and US territories in this field are subordinate.
If this is a safety problem the mechanism to promulgate the appropriate regulations are already in place. It requires reasoned a hypothesis, empirical studies and field trials to verify the hypothesis and unintended consequence, acceptance, economic effects, and effectiveness in accomplishing the stated goals; if need substantiated, standards and practices are to be promulgated and implemented uniformly regardless of state lines or jurisdiction to assure safety, and due process.
The problem is the USDOT doesn’t do regulation oversight, reasoned, empirical fact based or uniformity well, in fact it could be argued it has been non existent for decades now. If Congress really wanted to be constructive, it would hold hearings to ask why the USDOT has strayed from its delegated by law fact based standards and oversight responsibilities, to assure we have one nation, application, expectation and due process protections.
Before we get into the underlying foundations of their arguments, let’s take a moment and look at the scope of what is included in the category of distracted driving: any human emotion or activity, including banning mothers from talking to their children while driving. Truth is always stranger than fiction; look at the SB 1800 that passed out of the California Senate Transportation Committee by the same cadre of Trojan Horse sponsors. It took considerable effort to thwart this. Once an act is passed, additions become all but impossible to stop. A be careful of what you wish for because it can be very scary!
Section 23123 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:
(b) For the purposes of this section, a "distracting activity" is any of the following:

(1) Using or adjusting a wireless telephone, regardless of whether the telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free operation
(2) Using or adjusting a personal electronic device, including, but not limited to, a personal digital assistant
(3) Adjusting the controls of an audio or other entertainment device
(4) Adjusting or manipulating the controls of an information system device
(5) Smoking
(6) Eating or drinking
(7) Interacting with children, animals, passengers, or objects in the vehicle.
(8) Performing personal grooming or personal hygiene activities
(9) Reading or writing
Besides the traffic stops that truly put you or your loved ones in real danger on the shoulder of a busy highway, feet away from high speed traffic to extract a few dollars, there is no evidence whatsoever that these cell phone laws have had any effect. It’s probably because there is no evidence that cell phone use has had any statistically significant effect on accident rates. Particularly when you add in the trips they eliminate or when they assist the driver to a more direct route.
Don’t worry; if you’re killed or injured as the consequence of traffic enforcement activity, there is no such database. Therefore, it never happened. The only thing they attribute is if the officer or their vehicle is involved. Oh, guess it’s also impolite to mention that none of these use bans were adopted per the requirements of the US Constitution or governing federal prerequisites; illegal. That’s OK, despite the USDOT’s oversight mandate, anarchy in oversight, standards, application, expectation and compliance is the norm, and its long-standing policy is not to act on violations.
As for FOIA and the withheld studies, that was a charade too because these studies were already in the public domain. Each was the result of USDOT grants whose conclusions were preordained. The video clip from Utah is a classic; a narrow, 10 foot wide serpentine course lined with low cones, that you cannot see when you are close to them. A course that some were having trouble navigating without distractions, then the students were told to drive at the same speed and dial their phones etc… DUH!
Aside from banning mothers from talking with their children or changing the channel on their radio, in regard to distracted driving what does a cell phone and its use represent to us a society, our safety and an incomprehensible probable-cause pretext law that would sanction traffic stops at will. That once passed would never be relinquished, a prohibition on steroids. The prelude to a Police State in which the USDOT is a already charter member; pilot efforts coordinate pretext traffic stops for quote ‘Community Policing’ - profiling and papers please, see Trojan Horse 3.
At best, the Trojan Horse Safety Summit is focused on looking backwards, like the Luddites who shunned technology, rather than examining what is good, where are we going and how can we take advantage of these technologies to improve our safety, commerce and environment.
What we know for sure when you look at the use and accident charts, there is no foundation for new draconian federal regulations that will be ignored, ineffective in its stated goals and irrelevant, except for the abuses and barriers to advancements that would come to pass. Which defines NHTSA’s regulation of technologies since its inception; where staff personal opinion, turf and special interest based regulations are the norm, not advances in science or the common good.
The term cell phone has been a misnomer for some time now. They’re Communicators: personal interfaces between people and computers in commerce, navigation, security, personal assistants, social networks and thousands of other applications whose use is ubiquitous in a 21
st century society. Electronic extension of our lives in a mobile society, tools whose use for many began when they were eight or nine years old when their parents provided them for security and communication purposes.
Driving, computer interfaces and communications use motor skills and cognitive thought. Our brains have a remarkable ability to assimilate motor skills that allow us to perform a host of tasks almost automatically—driving a car, riding a bicycle, typing on a keyboard, talking and texting for many. Cognitive thought requires our attention; nonetheless, our motor skills continue to work autonomously in the background.
It’s not uncommon when we drive and talk to miss a turn off, but that doesn’t mean a crash was immanent. Our safety record shows that doing both is not irreconcilable with safe driving. Humans are also amazing because we adapt and invent solutions accordingly to the need, taking advantage of the technologies at hand. If we’re uncomfortable with something, we stop because we do not like to be outside of our comfort zone. Those that can multi task safely do, those that are not comfortable with multi tasking, don’t.
Intelligent vehicles and roadways are our safety future. They will tell you of approaching curves, use adaptive cruise control to maintain safe following distances and even maintain your vehicle track in your lane.
Smart phones have many of the advanced navigation features too, including providing us with the most efficient route according to our choice, tell us in advance of a turn, which lane to be in, closest gas, food etc or of traffic jams ahead and possible alternative routes. These are very powerful computers that already have application options that can turn text to speech or speech to text. They’re advancing faster than we can assimilate all the options, so we pick a few that meet our needs best for daily use.
For those whose motor skills include texting, they prefer it speech to such a point that “An Iowa 911 Call Center is the First to Accept Text Messages”. There’s more than a little irony in those that have trouble texting a few words a minute, outlawed it for those that text on average 70 words a minute without looking, even when they’re stopped in traffic.
As for commerce, on board computing increases productivity, safety, reduces cost, fuel use and today, the NOT IN THE USA news headline: “Virtual co-drivers will make trucks of the future safer”
Trucks of the future could be equipped with an on-board digital co-driver to assist the human behind the wheel, or even take over if the driver loses control. The HAVEit project (short for Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport) has 28 million Euros (USD$40 million) at its disposal and is aiming to develop a virtual co-driver that responds to both traffic conditions and drivers' needs.
This type of seed money and research just doesn’t happen here, what they are doing there is the equivalent of DARPA for safer roads and vehicles. Thereby creating new jobs from technology. We need it here! Sorry, we do spend money on increasing the efficiency of processing the take.
Are there instances or locations where any activity that would cause an operator to be distracted to point of causing a safety problem, yes, and that needs to be addressed, but passing a draconian law to subjugate an entire nation to their whim is not an acceptable option in a free society.
Again the real crime here is the if USDOT took safety seriously, we could save thousands each year and injuries to hundreds of thousands more within a few years, without a single new law or enforcement program, if there was funding for infrastructure safety innovations, research, or solutions.