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Mandatory giant PA system for car cellphone/mobile users

Social pressure to reduce cellphone harm in cars
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Sorry, big trouble with a title for this one.

The use of mobiles in theatres and other auditoria is partly enforced by the management and partly by social pressure. In a car, this is more difficult because people are in their own personal space to a greater degree, although other road users might notice them doing so.

The current solution is to ban the use of handheld 'phones when driving, but this is potentially problematic. It's yet another law, it's hard to enforce and it doesn't always take handsfree problems into consideration. Therefore, i suggest that the use of mobile 'phones in cars be made more immediately irritating to other nearby road users. In order to use a mobile in a vehicle at all, it should be necessary to mount a very loud PA system on top of the car which broadcasts any ringtone and the driver's side of the conversation at a very high volume over the whole area, in order to embarrass the caller and make it obvious to non-deaf drivers what she's doing. I imagine this would work better in some cultures than others. A device to deactivate the 'phone should be on unless the handset is plugged into the device.

The downside, of course, is that actually using the mobile is likely to distract others to the point where an accident occurs.

nineteenthly, Dec 11 2009

Making phones louder Ghetto_20Phone
Slightly different and altogether sillier idea. [theleopard, Dec 11 2009]

cell phone zombies http://willthomason...l_Phone_Zombie.html
[normzone, Dec 11 2009]


       Here's a question about the precise thing that is illegal to do in a car with a phone:   

       1) Can I hold a phone in my hand without it being illegal?
2) Can I use handsfree technology without it being illegal?
3) Can I use the 'speakerphone' function without it being illegal?

       What exactly is it about talking to someone on a phone that makes it dangerous?   

       Is it the holding-a-phone-to-my-ear position?
Or is it that actual act of talking to someone who's not there?

       If I'm driving I sometimes switch my phone to loudspeaker and talk into it like a dictaphone - because I don't have to awkwardly hold the thing up to my ear, does that mean I'm not breaking the law?   

       I sort of accept that using one less hand while driving is problematic - but if that's the problem, then the law should be focused on the one-handedness thing and in doing so, also cover hot cups of coffee, hamburgers, hairdryers, books, rolling cigarettes and whatever else people might attempt to do when they should be concentrating on driving.
zen_tom, Dec 11 2009

       There's a tendency to make laws up about specific novelties when it seems older, more general laws would be enough. For instance, there's a specific law against stealing a mobile 'phone with a different set of penalties than simply stealing a handbag containing an address book, credit card and camera. I don't see why this law exists. Similarly, there's a law against using a mobile while driving. If it's about the handset, clearly the way to go is handsfree. If it isn't, shouldn't it also be illegal to have a conversation with one's passengers? It's not about having to concentrate harder because you should be concentrating on the road anyway, which involves looking at the road, so body language is gone in any case.   

       So what i'm saying, [zen_tom], is that i agree with you, i think.
nineteenthly, Dec 11 2009

       //If it's about the handset, clearly the way to go is handsfree. If it isn't, shouldn't it also be illegal to have a conversation with one's passengers?//   

       A conversation with someone in person doesn't really distract one from one's surroundings the way a phone conversation does.
bnip, Dec 11 2009

nineteenthly, Dec 11 2009

       Because the passenger is there with you.
bnip, Dec 11 2009

       actually the opposite: it's 'cuz the passenger is further away from you than the cellphone; not concentrating on an object you're pressing against your ear. Hands-free isn't as bad.
FlyingToaster, Dec 11 2009

       //hands-free isn't as bad.//   

       Still bad. I think it's been studied extensively, but here's something from one study by the American Psychological Assn. published in 2008.   

       "The present study investigated how conversing with a passenger differs from talking on a hands-free cell phone in terms of its impact on driving performance ..."   

       "In conclusion,the data indicate that cell phone and passenger conversation differ in their impact on a driver’s performance and that these differences are apparent at the operational, tactical, and strategic levels of performance. The difference be- tween these two modes of communication stems in large part from the changes in the difference in the structure of cell phone and passenger conversation and the degree to which the conversing dyad [pair] shares attention."
bnip, Dec 11 2009

       <Strokes non-existent beard>   

       It is an invasion of privacy, but not more so than someone listening in on a conversation going on between two people who are physically present. Should a 'phone call be more private? You don't have to listen. You'd just be hearing it. Not the same thing at all.   

       [Bnip], my question is really, why does the fact that the passenger is with you make a difference? You still shouldn't really look at them, strictly speaking, so you're still going to miss out on visual signals. Is it that a significant amount of attention is spent subconsciously on understanding the lower sound quality of the 'phone call? Or is it that a 'phone call is always subliminally a little bit uncanny compared to talking to someone who's right there? I think you're probably right, but it isn't clear why.
nineteenthly, Dec 11 2009

       I understand your question better now, [nineteenthly].   

       For what it's worth, this is from the abstract of that same report:   

       "The results indicate that passenger conversations differ from cell phone conversations because the surrounding traffic not only becomes a topic of the conversation, helping driver and passenger to share situation awareness, but the driving condition also has a direct influence on the complexity of the conversation, thereby mitigating the potential negative effects of a conversation on driving."   

       I would also agree with the other possible reasons you mentioned.
bnip, Dec 12 2009

       Thanks [bnip], that's interesting. It's also an argument for making only video 'phone calls of a particular kind instead of audio only. Then the traffic could become a topic of conversation then too.
nineteenthly, Dec 12 2009


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