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The End of the Road For Texting Truckers 171

Posted by samzenpus
from the six-days-on-the-road-and-I'm-gonna-text-home-tonight dept.
crimeandpunishment writes "The US Transportation Department is calling for a permanent ban on texting while driving, for interstate truck and bus drivers. An interim ban has been in place since January. The government says it is doing everything it can to make roads safer by reducing the threat of distracted drivers. The Transportation Department says nearly 6,000 people were killed and half a million injured in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2008."
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The End of the Road For Texting Truckers

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  • His daddy died in a wreck about a month ago, and now he guesses that cell phone belongs to him and his mom.

    • Oh, fucking WONDERFUL - thank you so very very much! 35ish years to get that out of my head, and now it's back.

  • Odd... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@gmail. c o m> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @11:09PM (#31696856) Homepage

    I remember when truck drivers aimed for 1 million miles with no accidents, usually because it ended with a nice pretty statue, name in most of the large trucking magazines and a nice wad of cash. Well that was before the semi-licenced idiots got on the road. Carry on...carry on.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by PPalmgren (1009823)

      Good companies still do, as LTIs (lost time incidents) are expensive. In my industry, our locations have parties and rewards when they reach milestones like 100 days without an LTI. LTI scores are also something like 20+% of most manager's yearly goal, and is taken into account on their bonuses.

      It pays to be safe for the employees and the company.

  • by ThunderDan (788062) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @11:11PM (#31696874)
    ...we need to address the more troubling issue; sexting while driving.
  • Why only truckers? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Trip6 (1184883) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @11:17PM (#31696920)

    All the studies show it isn't safe - it has been banned in several states. Why not everybody?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ThunderDan (788062)
      Since the Transportation Department (who proposed the ban) has to rely on Congressional constitutional powers, the proposed ban will only be applicable to interstate drivers, pursuant to Congress' interstate commerce regulatory power. Although for as laxly as the Supreme Court is willing to interpret commerce to be, it's not an inconceivable stretch to include texting.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by tophermeyer (1573841)

        I think its cute that you think Congress would allow itself to be limited to only the powers granted to it by the Constitution.

        In all seriousness, it seems likely that the Federal Government would encourage enforcement at the state and local level in the same ways they enforce speed limits and drinking ages. By offering Federal funds on the condition that states enforce the "suggested" requirement.

    • by einhverfr (238914)

      Why not everybody?

      Well, there's this little pesky document called the Constitution. Banning texting on the road would be about as Constitutional as a federal ban on violence against women..... I am pretty sure that would fall outside the bounds of the Commerce Clause.....

      • by timmarhy (659436)
        so i can just beat up on women since you can't ban it?! where's my pimp cane.
        • by einhverfr (238914)

          so i can just beat up on women since you can't ban it?! where's my pimp cane.

          Check your state assault laws first. ;-)

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      First, truckers are commercial drivers, so they're being paid to drive and supposedly be good at it. Second, the are controlling 20+ tons of hurt.
  • So how many deaths were attributed to CB radios at the height of their popularity? Is there a ban on using push-to-talk mics?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Surely you see the difference between texting and talking on a CB radio? If not, try it sometime. In a simulator.

      • by einhverfr (238914)

        Surely you see the difference between texting and talking on a CB radio? If not, try it sometime. In a simulator.

        I think texting is inherently dangerous in a way that cell phone use is not. As for CB radio? If non-hands-free cell phone use is banned, why not ban all such radio traffic as well?

        In fact, why not ban all cell phone and two-way radio entirely, and make cops pull over before they talk into them?

        • by einhverfr (238914)

          Sorry for the snark at the end.

          But I do wonder how many state texting bans are written to be inappliable to, say, police officers' habits of typing (on their laptops) while driving.....

  • Timothy already posted this, it's still on the front page. http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/03/31/2154207/Supertaskers-Can-Safely-Use-Mobile-Phones-While-Driving [slashdot.org]
  • by Zouden (232738) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @11:32PM (#31697028)

    This is not only a dupe of an article published 5 hours ago [slashdot.org] (still near the top of the front page), it's from the exact same submission. Perhaps samzenpus has been editing slashdot while driving and this is the result?

  • Some taxi companies have custom texting rigs in the cars used for receiving dispatching info and sending status updates (usually sent by pressing one of the pre-programmed buttons). "On my way." "Picked up fare." "Dropped off fare." "Off duty." "Available." "Being hijacked/robbed!" (I'm just assuming that last one's in there.) Is that kind of thing also going to be banned?

  • tech solution (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mondotom (703921)
    phones traveling greater than so many feet per second are disable for texting or phone needs to be in one place for longer than so many seconds before texting is enabled
    • phones traveling greater than so many feet per second are disable for texting or phone needs to be in one place for longer than so many seconds before texting is enabled.

      So, you think passengers in a car or bus (or cab, or other commercial vehicle) must be prevented from texting too? Why?

  • Almost all of those crashes caused by texting involved only 4-wheelers.


  • Half million injured and six thousand dead? Were are the troops? How come there's no Secretary of State at the U.N. waving vials of a broken IPod next to some charts? Where are the mushroom clouds behind the speakers at podiums? /sarcasm.

    -[d]-

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