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Old 23rd May 2005, 08:40   #16
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Originally Posted by ajmat
Are bluetooth headsets allowed?
Will I still receive a summons and if so, can I dispute this ?
Was the cop trying for a fast buck ?- he was too junior to write a summons
In Bangalore it did happen before and one techie using bluetooth was fined and he went to court. Turned out talking on any kind of cellphone is illegal, handsfree or not.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 08:51   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
In Bangalore it did happen before and one techie using bluetooth was fined and he went to court. Turned out talking on any kind of cellphone is illegal, handsfree or not.
ok - if that is the law - fine - as long as they clearly state this - I will comply. Main pronblem are that rules are so wishy washy
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Old 23rd May 2005, 10:43   #18
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sure talking on your headset distacts you. then so does talking to your fellow passenger, listening to your stereo, etc. what happened to the days when you could drive and drum your dashboard at the same time and the most a cop would do is ask you what music you are listening to.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 11:27   #19
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Originally Posted by navin
sure talking on your headset distacts you. then so does talking to your fellow passenger, listening to your stereo, etc. .
There has been a detailed study on this, in the UK I think. They found that talking on the phone requires much more mental focus than listening to music or a co-passenger. You can observe this live. Watch people on mobile or cordless phone calls. They are hardly aware of what they/others around them are doing. Will try and locate this URL.

In most other countries traffic is mostly predictable so talking on the phone is much less harmful. In our country you need a 6th sense even to drive normally, why handicap yourself by diverting most mental energy to a phone call when driving? There is nothing in the world that cant wait till you reach your destination.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 11:36   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinbhag
There has been a detailed study on this, in the UK I think. They found that talking on the phone requires much more mental focus than listening to music or a co-passenger.
That's very true, similar studies have been done in USA and with the same result. I myself have felt that cellphone needs more concentration than talking to co-passengers or listening to radio. Cellphone does really distract while driving.

What I find the scariest is the two-wheelers driving and talking on mobile handsets, not even handsfree.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 11:48   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinbhag
There has been a detailed study on this, in the UK I think. They found that talking on the phone requires much more mental focus than listening to music or a co-passenger. You can observe this live. Watch people on mobile or cordless phone calls. They are hardly aware of what they/others around them are doing. Will try and locate this URL.

In most other countries traffic is mostly predictable so talking on the phone is much less harmful. In our country you need a 6th sense even to drive normally, why handicap yourself by diverting most mental energy to a phone call when driving? There is nothing in the world that cant wait till you reach your destination.

Correct - this study showed that the driving style of a 25-30 year old healthy adult changes to that of a 70+ year old when the driver was speaking on the phone (slower response times, drifting, less predictability, irregular signals). No offence meant to any 70+ here (or 70+ relatives of anyone here) who are still good drivers.

I've stopped answering calls (except casual "hello how are you" types) when I'm driving after I drifted from one lane to another while taking a business call. Prefer to stop and talk.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 11:56   #22
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what about if it was speakerphone???? would that be illegal too???
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Old 23rd May 2005, 12:52   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
That's very true, similar studies have been done in USA and with the same result. I myself have felt that cellphone needs more concentration than talking to co-passengers or listening to radio. Cellphone does really distract while driving.

What I find the scariest is the two-wheelers driving and talking on mobile handsets, not even handsfree.
But was this study conducted with a handsfree set, or without? Obviously without a handsfree, a lot more concentration is needed since you have to take the phone, hold it to your ear, and you also have one hand occupied. But with a handsfree I don't think it is any different to talking to your co-passengers.

There was an article in the NYTimes on this issue a few months back. The article mentioned that all but one state in the USA permitted using a handsfree set while driving, and there were no studies that demonstrated that driving using a hansdfree caused a demonstrable loss of concentration. I'll need to dig up that article.

So here's my position in a nutshell - driving and talking WITHOUT a handsfree should be illegal. Driving with a handsfree should be allowed.

Heck, the new BMW 1-series has a bluetooth handsfree set built in as a feature on some trim levels.

Edit: OK, here is the article summary. Since it is an older article, only the summary is available and I think you need to purchase the article to read the full story.

New Jersey: Trenton: Governor To Sign Cellphone Ban (Published: January 20, 2004, Tuesday).

Gov. James E. McGreevey is scheduled to sign a bill today that sets fines of $100 to $250 for drivers caught using cellphones in traffic. New York is the only other state to have such a prohibition. Cellphones with hands-free devices are exempt from the ban, and the measure has other limits. It does not make it illegal for drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel to dial cellphones, and drivers can be issued summonses for their phones only when they are stopped for other infractions

Last edited by johnjacob : 23rd May 2005 at 13:12.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 14:52   #24
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well, like everybody said, i too believe that talking on the cell while driving can be very distracting. from my personal experience, i can say this; talking on the cell takes up much more energy, or concentration, as there's no direct interaction between you and the caller, and you have to exert more, mentally, to react and respond.

but for inevitable situations, try this; instead of using a hands-free, or bluetooth headset, try using a bluetooth kit that can be hooked up to your car stereo, and leave your cell on the auto-answer mode. i tried this in a friend's city- and found that it's a lot less distracting. the only flipside is that you can use this only when you're driving alone, or you don't mind your friends listening in. but, this mode is more useful than a bluetooth headset, or a handsfree. and if you try it, you'll find that it doesn't distract you as much as a headset, or other modes.

besides, the other advantage is that no cop can catch you, as there's no earphone or as such attached to your ear....!!

and as far as talking on the cell while driving goes- yes, it's illegal in india. the offence is punishable upto a fine of 500rs, last time i checked. but they can charge you only if a ranked officer has caught you in the act, and he has sufficient authority to book you on the spot. also, the officer has to give you a slip if you pay the fine on the spot.

but, those are the rules. we all know that for offences like these, paying 100 bucks to the pandu will get you off the hook. for the record, don't talk on the cell while driving- it's detrimental to your concentration.

try the bluetooth car (stereo) kit, if possible, and you should be fine.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 14:53   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliAtenza
what about if it was speakerphone???? would that be illegal too???
thats what I do
just keep mobile phone on dash & roll up windows

now there is no rule preventing you from talking to yourself while driving
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Old 23rd May 2005, 15:00   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinbhag
There has been a detailed study on this, in the UK I think. They found that talking on the phone requires much more mental focus than listening to music or a co-passenger. You can observe this live. Watch people on mobile or cordless phone calls. They are hardly aware of what they/others around them are doing. Will try and locate this URL.

In most other countries traffic is mostly predictable so talking on the phone is much less harmful. In our country you need a 6th sense even to drive normally, why handicap yourself by diverting most mental energy to a phone call when driving? There is nothing in the world that cant wait till you reach your destination.
totally agree with you nithinbhag accidents dont happen when you are listening to the stereo or talking to your co passenger. you can talk to your co passenger by looking forward alo other than looking sideways .the cop also dosent catch you for listening to stereo or talking to copassengers. while you are talking in the phone you are totally engrossed on the phone but when listening to music or talking to copassenger dosent divert your mind totally off driving
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Old 23rd May 2005, 15:44   #27
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Besides being labeled an offense, talking on cell phones while driving can be really dangerous. Trust me on this guys, I had a close brush with something that could have landed me behind bars.

It was a Monday and I was entering Pune through Baner road. The specialty of this road is that the width keeps varying across sections. Sometimes, it is a three lane road and sometimes it narrows down in to a single lane divided into two. The traffic on this road has no sense, and very often motorists get on the wrong side to overtake. This road has seen several accidents over the past few months. Some of them had victims severely injured and many of them were fatal.

I was at a fairly wide section of the road driving at 60, when my phone rang. I looked down at the phone and lost concentration off the road for a second. When I got my eyes back on the road, there was an Indica entering the road from the left. I had to swerve right to avoid collision with the car. After crossing the car, I swerved back left only to find a cyclist heading straight for my car. This time, I again swerved right to avoid collision and managed to just scrape the cyclist. The cyclist lost balance and fell on the road. All this happened in a matter of 5 seconds or less. The cycle's pedals cut through the sides of my front bumper and almost tore a portion of my front wheel caps. Luckily, he just escaped with a few bruises and was very much conscious.

The incident left me unnerved and gasping for breath. I was so close to injuring someone critically or possibly killing him. After that incident, decided never to even look at the phone while driving and never to exceed 40 kmph on Baner road. All I can say is, I was lucky enough to learn the lesson without paying a big price. I thank my lucky stars for letting me escape out of the incident with no guilt. As for my car, I had to replace the front bumper (it was cut on the side) and the wheel cap.

So guys, make sure that cell phones don't take away your attention off the road. Besides injuring yourself and destroying your car, you run the risk of injuring someone critically and possibly even killing someone. Cell phones and driving don't go together! So guys, drive safely and enjoy your drive

Last edited by DueLLeR : 23rd May 2005 at 16:01.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 16:04   #28
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Dueller, glad you got away without a major accident.

Most people dont realise that a car travels 10 m (33 feet) in a second at 36 KMPH, 15m at 54 Kmph and so on. It takes more than a second to look at a phone, see who is calling and answer the call. On our roads, distances between vehicles are measurable in inches, forget metres/feet.

Veyron1: about car stereo kit, what if your girlfriend calls when you are driving your wife around or vice-versa. You will have to face Kali, not just a pandu who will be happy with 100 bucks.

John: the study was done with both hands-free and without. The result was almost the same. It is more mental distraction than physical. I would be slightly sceptical about US studies since they pioneered car-phones and also drive automatics mostly.

Adya, Cali, others: This is more about your and other road-users' safety than about getting caught by the cops.

Last edited by nitinbhag : 23rd May 2005 at 16:06.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 16:06   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjacob
But was this study conducted with a handsfree set, or without?....
...There was an article in the NYTimes on this issue a few months back. The article mentioned........ there were no studies that demonstrated that driving using a hansdfree caused a demonstrable loss of concentration. I'll need to dig up that article.
Actually I don't need any article to convince me either way. I have personally experienced loss of concentration and some driving lapse while using both handset and handsfree phones both in USA and in Indian roads. These days when I get a call, I keep it short and tell them I'll call them back. Also when I call somebody I ask them whether they are driving and if so I tell them I'll call back later.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 16:19   #30
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hmmn..aite, then when i drive in india..guess i cant talk on the cell, or i'll just have the passenger use it or something. Usually here in the US when i drive, i only talk if the traffic isnt too much or out on the open road.
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