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Alderman Marge Laurino 39th proposal to ban bicyclist from talking on phone while riding

She wants to make bikers follow the same laws as cars.

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Re: enforcement of texting while driving-- 

here's at least a shred of evidence that it's enforced in at least one suburb . . .

I have an idea!  In addition to banning Texting, let's bad those ear plug walkman devices and any sort of headset or bluetooth device, and those phones that play videos too, and phones in general.  They all distract us from where we are at the moment.  And lets ban Boom Boxs too!  LOL!
I don't know how well the financial crisis can be handled on the alderman-level, but I see your point.

Jason said:
What useless bullshit! The percentage of cyclists I see driving and talking is just a mere fraction of drivers I see talking and driving. These aldermen need to find better ways to spend their time. It's not like there is a financial crisis etc that they could be addressing...
Its hard to argue with a law banning calling and texting while on a bike.  No question there is more risk of mayhem with a car. However, there is also no question that its a lot easier to safely manpulate a car with one hand than a bicycle.  In either case, I don't have a problem with the use of a headset with either means of transportation.  Hands free means your hands are on the wheel/handlebar.  I have done this on the bike with limited success. Wind and background noise make the use of a headset less desireable on a bike.   I agree that there are more and more drivers who are on the phone.  It drives me crazy to see somebody pull in to traffic or execute a maneuver while yakking on the phone.  Frankly, I find it even more rediculous when I see a rider on the phone.  To respond to Jason- my attitude is that cyclists with phones are less prevelant but equally, if not more, foolhardy.

At least in the case of driving, it has nothing to do with holding the cell phone.  The hands-free devices are just as bad.  It isn't something open to opinion either.  Here are a few of many relevant studies:


McEvoy, Suzanne; Stevenson, MR; McCartt, AT; Woodward, M; Haworth, C; Palamara, P; Cercarelli, R (2005). "Role of mobile phonesin motor vehicle crashes resulting in hospital attendance: a case-crossover study". BMJ 331(7514): 428.

Redelmeier, Donald; Tibshirani, Robers (February 1300, 1997). "Association Between Cellular-Telephone Calls and Motor Vehicle Collisions". The New England Journal of Medicine 336 (7): 453–458.

Laberge-Nadeau, Claire (September 2003). "Wireless telephones and the risk of road crashes". Accident Analysis & Prevention 35 (5): 649–660.

Horrey, William; Christopher Wickens (Spring 2006). "Examining the Impact of Cell Phone Conversations on Driving Using Meta-Analytic Techniques". Human Factors (Human Factors and Ergonomics Society) 38 (1): 196–205.

Recarte M. A. & Nunes L. M. (2003). "Mental Workload While Driving: Effects on Visual Search, Discrimination, and Decision Making.". Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 2 (9): 119–137.

Strayer D. L., Drews F. A. & Johnston W. A. (2003). "Cell Phone-Induced Failures of Visual Attention During Simulated Driving.". Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 1 (9): 23–32.

Strayer D. L. & William J. A. (2001). "Driven to distraction: Dual-Task Studies of Simulated Driving and Conversing on a Cellular Telephone.". Psychological Science 6 (12): 462–466.


Dialing a phone is more dangerous than talking on one, handheld or otherwise.

David Barish said:

 However, there is also no question that its a lot easier to safely manpulate a car with one hand than a bicycle.  In either case, I don't have a problem with the use of a headset with either means of transportation.  Hands free means your hands are on the wheel/handlebar. 

Politicians need to pass laws to justify their existence?


I don't have a problem with this proposal, although it should be common sense and unneeded. Blows me away when I see folks cruising no hands, texting away running stop signs... are you invincible? If it is distracting while driving it is distracting while riding.

I am aware that there is quite a bit of research on distraction.  I will admit I have not read the individual studies but am aware that there is a volume of material out there.  The reality is that there is some distraction that is part of our lives and we have to figure out what is reasonable and what is not.  Very few people ride or drive in a perfect vaccuum of attention.  We engage in conversations with fellow riders or passengers. We listen to the radio.  Some of us drink from our water bottles and coffee cups. This happens with both bikes and cars.  So far, so good. I think few will quarrel with these examples.  OK.  lets move on the continuum... We put a cd in the player.  We fish for the right cd.  We eat a sandwich.  There is a point where it becomes just as bad as drving while texting or holding a phone.  For some of us the line exists at different places.  Some may feel the radio and conversation are too much. Others may say, "WTF, I can handle it all."  My line is with the hands free device.  I feel its reasonable.  I understand that there is research to the contrary.  However, I question whether many things that we commonly do would be equally distracting.      
I'm not sure about drinking, but it has been clearly shown that talking to passengers and listening to the radio is not distracting in the same way as talking on a phone.


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