Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Cell Phones While Driving Decreasing?

I don't think so.

The San Jose Mercury News has a story this morning on how hard it is to spot drivers texting while driving (Duh!). They go on to quote a study done that showed, after the cell phone law passed, the rate of drivers using cell phones went down considerably but then rose a bit:
The auto club checked 13,500 vehicles along seven roads in Orange County and found that 9.3 percent of those drivers were using handheld phones before the law went into effect last summer. That figure declined to 3.3 percent last July before rising to 3.9 percent this spring.
I guess it's time for me to do my own survey that I said I was going to do some time ago. It seemed to me cell phone use went down a little right after the law was passed but my non- scientific personal observations of late tell me that drivers are using cell phones as much or more than they were before the law passed.

I watched cars driving out in front of my house for a few minutes last week. I actually didn't count the exact number of cars because I wasn't planning on it, but I guessed later that maybe ten cars passed by. Of those ten or so cars, 3 drivers were definitely talking on their cell phones. That's 30%- much higher than the Orange County study showed.

Sure, that was just a quick observation for a short period of time and in no way scientific, but I'd say I see close to the same numbers as I'm driving around town. I need to actually do this right and count the cars and drivers using phones for an hour, or so. I'll try to do it this week. If you see me sitting in my front yard, clipboard in hand, that's what I'll be doing.



At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Sprint said...

Well I can honestly say that I wouldn't expect cell phone use to decrease but I would hope that people would be smart enough to save texting for when they are stopped.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Carol said...

Monkey See, Monkey Do.

I give a wag of my finger anytime I see someone talking on their cellphone while driving. The fine is too low.

At 7:54 AM, Blogger Fred said...

You need to remember that there are a number of administrative fees tagged on to the original fine. I've heard it varies by jurisdiction, but people are supposedly paying much more than the $20, or so, of the original fine.

As an aside, the day I made the original post, the only people I noticed driving while talking on their cell phones were two Eureka PD officers and a gal in the parking lot at Winco.

For a second I thought the gal was gonna hit me and another guy walking to our cars. I gave her my best glare I could but I don't think she even noticed. Her attention was on her cell phone.

At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like no one knows about the cell phone fine (or cares) as about the same amount of people are on their cell phones as always. When driving through Eureka at times about half the drivers are on their phone.

Went to San Francisco recently and there are lots less drivers on their cell phones there than here. Maybe they are giving out tickets there.

At 2:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only place I see the new cell phone law enforced is on Tru TV on the Speeders program!

What's the point of having laws if the people we pay to enforce the laws won't do their job?

At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting into one's car now neccessitates picking up the cell phone as the first order of business. If those creepy aggressive Highway Patrol types want to help the state, park on Redwood Drive in G'ville and get the gabbers who think that lip-flapping is more important than aware driving. This state could raise millions a day by enforcing the law.


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