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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Downside to Pulling Over For a Cellphone Call

Pennsylvania's most recent attempt to impose a ban on hand-held cell phones went down in a very close vote in April, mostly along party lines. But it's coming. So I've been pulling over lately if I get or receive a call while driving.

I should just turn the damn phone off. Yesterday, on my way home from the courthouse, my cell phone started ringing, so I pulled off along the side of Tatamy Road to take the call along some freshly cut grass. I was just off the road. Honest.

Unbeknown to me, I drive right into a groundhog's living room. He must be a rich groundhog, too, because that was one deep hole and there was no way I would get out.

I inconvenienced police officers from both Tatamy and Palmer Township, who were mystified that a sober person could drive off the road and right into a hole. I'm unsure they bought my cell phone story. A tow truck eventually pulled me out.

Worst of all, this happened in my brother's truck. My Jeep recently died after 210,000 miles, and he has let me use his old truck until I find something. Don't tell him.

Fortunately, there's no law against being an idiot.


Anonymous said...

Why would this type of issue have anything to do with party lines?

Was it stuffed inside of a another bill?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, and the R argument was that it be considered separately.

Anonymous said...

Your old clunker needs to be buried in a junk yard, not left out on the street to rot like a corpse.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I move it up and down the street, but you'e right. It's time to let go. It's actually sad for me.

Anonymous said...

what was the cell phone vote? can you tell us? everytime someone writes about this topic, we think of the young couple in bucks county who lost their only child at two as a young man reached for his cell and smashed into her side of their car killing her instantly. he did not serve a day in jail.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, We know you love your old clunker but you don't want it to be an eyesore in the neighborhood. It has to go.

Anonymous said...

Bernie -

Let me take the opposite side of the cell phone argument.

Studies have shown that there is NO difference in the amount someone is distracted while using a hand-held cell phone vs. using a hands-free phone (texting is a different story, but not the subject of this post). That would lead one to conclude that to be effective, cell phone use (by drivers) would have to be banned completely.

Also, that same level of distraction can come from other places such as conversations with a passenger, listening to a radio, or being distracted by a crying child in the back seat.

I know it is easy for politicians to score votes by trying to ban hand-held cell phones, but I would venture to guess that many more accidents would be avoided by mandating driver tests every 5 years after someone reaches age 65. That's not going to happen, however, since seniors vote in high percentages.

You see, the name of the game is not actually safety, it's getting re-elected.

P.S. - I'm sure that someone in the government will classify your incident as cell-phone related and add it to the reasons that cell phones should be banned. You should have kept driving.

Blah Society said...

I've always been against the cell phone ban. One argument that I often use is that if it becomes illegal to use a cell phone while driving, shouldn't it be illegal to do other things, such as eat, do make-up, drive with your feet out the window, change the radio station, etc.

Also, how will this cell phone ban be enforced? Cell phones are also banned in New York (and I believe NJ, too, but am not sure) but that has not stopped people from using them while driving.

The ban will not make our roads safer, it will just give police another reason to ticket instead of protect.

LVCI said...

Shouldn't we ban police radios while driving too?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:23, I linked to the actual vote, and here it is in long hand. http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/RC/Public/rc_view_action2.cfm?sess_yr=2009&sess_ind=0&rc_body=H&rc_nbr=244

The main reason for the opposition was that the ban was offered as an amendment to something else, and made it a primary offense.

Most LV legislators support the ban.

It is only a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced by a generic "studies have shown" argument. I drive almost 60,000 miles per year and believe that hand held cell phone use is far more distracting than radios, crying kids and the like. We've all witnessed sudden slowing, lane drifting, and failure to use turn signals, only to confirm what we already suspected: the driver is holding a phone. So long as driving is legally considered a privilege, it's just a matter of time before the liberty to drive poorly while holding your phone is restricted. From what I've seen, hand held mobile phone users have worked very hard to earn restrictions.

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

If there were laws agianst being a idiot, Glenn Beck and his fans would all be doing hard time!

Anonymous said...

To expand on LVCI's thought --- what about those computers in cop cars?

How safe are they?


(The crooks, I am certain, feel them to be a complete safety hazard)

Bernie O'Hare said...

I think the ban is inevitable. But what kills me is that when I tried to do the right thing, I drove into a groundhog hole.

ironpigpen said...

The road to hell is paved with good intentions!

Anonymous said...

I wonder who are bigger idiots?

Glenn Beck listeners


Democrats who can't seem to pass their grand health care bill despite the coveted Super Majority

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:05 -

I drive slightly less than you, and I see far more problems from older drivers than I do from cell phone users.

Blah Society said...

"We've all witnessed sudden slowing, lane drifting, and failure to use turn signals, only to confirm what we already suspected: the driver is holding a phone."

Then what do you do with drivers that do this without being on a cell phone?

Anonymous said...

50,000 mile driver here. There's a huge difference in safety between operating a vehicle while using a hand-held vs. hands free. There's also a huge difference between changing radio stations via a nifty button on your steering wheel vs. reaching for the radio. I don't like the nanny state and I vigorously defend Americans' right to be stupid. But when the stupidity endangers me, I start to waver.

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

Glenn Beck & his illiterate listeners.

The Democrats while too concerned about Billionares in the Healthcare Racket, they never killed a frog on Live TV! (The rubber frog claim was BullShit. Just a lawyer covering NewsCorps ass!0

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...



Anonymous said...

5:08 and 5:19,

And this frog you reference (which has what to do with what?) --- exactly how does that relate to the Democrats and their Super Majority's UNBELIEVEABLE INABILITY to pass the precious health care legislation demanded by Obama?


BEFORE you lean TOO HEAVILY on Media Matters for your talking points - find out who FUNDS them.

FROM www.sourcewatch.org:

"Media Matters For America (MMFA), a new web-based, not-for-profit progressive research and information center...was founded by David Brock in 2004.

Along with former MoveOn consultant Tom Matzzie and John Podesta's Center For American Process, it is behind Progressive Media, A LIBERAL MESSAGING CAMPAIGN launched in 2008 and expanded in 2009 to BECOME A 'WAR ROOM' FOR PROMOTING THE FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC POLICIES OF BARRACK OBAMA."

"Funded with 'more than $ 2 million in donations from wealthy liberals. Among Mr. Brock's donors is Leo Hindery, Jr., the former cable magnate; Susie Tompkins Buell, who is co-founder of the fashion company Esprit and is close to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton."


Media Matters???


Good luck with the Objectivity Skills Training classes, Champ.

Search: "Rahm Emmanuel's Think Tankers Enforce 'Message Discpline' Among Liberals"

This would be assuming YOU are not illiterate.

When you get done with that, perhaps you can explain to everyone exactly WHY Health Care legistlation HAS NOT BEEN PASSED despite Obama's order in late July to do so immediately...

"Will Obama Health Care Bill Pass Before Congressional Recess?" --- Carol Bengle Gilbert - 7/22/09


Republicans don't matter, their votes ARE NOT required. It is sometimes known as a "Super Majority".

So what's the REAL problem, what's with the hold-up?

(People are dying in the streets without this, don't ya know)