(in less than) Ten days from now you will no longer be allowed to decide whether or not you are capable of safely holding a cell phone to your head and speaking while driving. Governor Maggie Hassan has taken the decision out of your hands.
For the record, you will get cited and fined an increasingly greater sum (illegal “use tax”) should you get caught disobeying Nanny Hassan. And all for nothing, actually, because there is zero evidence that revoking this privilege for everyone will do anything the proponents have claimed.
To borrow from past posts…
CNN 2010– A new study suggests laws banning the use of hand-held devices while driving have not reduced the rate of accidents in three states and the District of Columbia.
In addition to the nation’s capital, the report by the Highway Loss Data Institute reviews insurance claims in New York, Connecticut and California. It also compares the data to other areas that do not have cell phone bans.
Followed by this…
ScienceMag.org 2012– You can take the driver away from the cell phone, but you can’t take the risky behavior away from the driver. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which finds that people who talk on their phones while driving may already be unsafe drivers who are nearly as prone to crash with or without the device. The findings may explain why laws banning cell phone use in motor vehicles have had little impact on accident rates.
…confirmed by a recent bit of peer reviewed research about such bans out of California, is for naught–unless the real goal was to pass a talking tax to generate revenue.
The researchers looked at the average daily number of collisions, verifying that other factors such as the number of miles traveled, rainfall and gas prices did not affect the numbers. The final figures also accounted for holidays, as the numbers show accidents fell 15 percent because people drive less on those days. No matter how the numbers were analyzed, the results did not change.
“When we go to the data we just didn’t see any evidence that accidents actually declined in the six months after this ban that was put in place,” Kaffine explained.
From the NHTSA Dec 2011 Report executive summary key findings.
The most commonly performed potentially distracting behaviors while driving are talking to other passengers in the vehicle (80%) and adjusting the car radio (65%). Other common behaviors include eating/drinking (45%), making/accepting phone calls (40%), interacting with children in the back seat (27%), and using a portable music player (30%).
What is even more amusing is that if you look at the national data, deaths, accidents, and injuries have all declined as cell phone use has increased.
According to the US census in 1997 there were 17.9 million accidents and 53,000 deaths as a result (includes deaths months after the crash resulting from injuries received). In 2009 there were 7.1 million fewer accidents (10.8 mil), and 17,000 fewer deaths (35,900).
Deaths per 100 million miles traveled dropped from 1.7 to 1.1. Per 100k licensed drivers it dropped from 23.9 to 16.1. Per 100k registered vehicles it dropped from 21.1 to 13.1. And per 100k in population from 15.6 to 11.0.
Cell phone use skyrocketed. These things must be the CO2 of accident reduction in the US. The more CO2 we have the colder it gets and the more cell phones there are the fewer accidents there are. Call it settled science.
The National Transportation Safety Administrations (NHTSA) FARS reporting system mirrors the census data. More drivers, more vehicles, more miles traveled, and fewer crashes and fewer deaths. All while exponentially adding cell phones, and presumably, cell phone use.
The latest national numbers confirm the trend. Despite a slight increase in 2012 the 2013 numbers were lower than 2009.
And New Hampshire saw a record decrease in fatalities in 2014 without the ban.
So why do we have it? Effective lobbying, I suppose. The state police wanted it even though they couldn’t provide one bit of data to support the idea that passing such a bill would accomplish anything.
Apparently, less than 3 in 10 fatal accidents in our state might somehow be connected to distracted driving. They can’t be certain that distraction was the cause, but it may have been. Of the probably, maybe, we don’t knows, they admit that they cannot tell you what the distraction, if it was a distraction, might have been. And this is why we need to prevent every driver, every day, 365 days a year, in the entire state, forever, from using their cell phone in their car unless it is hands free.
May 8th, 2014 (quoting the Union Leader)
At a public hearing last month, law enforcement, family members of victims of texting drivers, auto dealers and manufacturers, cellphone companies, businesses and advocacy groups, and state agencies turned out to support the bill.
With the exception of the “victims of texting drivers” (which have nothing to do with this bill as we already have a texting ban on the books), everyone pushing for this legislation could benefit financially, while the people being inconvenienced for no obvious greater good will pay more for vehicles and additional technology (or in fines).
With no meaningful data to support it, 192 control-freaks in the then majority Democrat House (one hundred and sixty Democrats and thirty-two Republicans) passed the bill, which then danced out of the Majority Republican State Senate and was immediately signed in to law by Governor Nanny Hassan.
And after July 1st, when you reach for your cell phone, you can put it back down because it is against the law.
Should you choose to ignore a law it could cost you $100, $250 (second offense) or $500.00 dollars for each offense after that, so that Marxist busy-bodies could satisfy their control-fetish and pretend to do go, car and cellular companies could charge/make more money, and bureaucrats could feed off the fines.
And they will.