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by Matthew Roth
@CoCo Times Cell Phone – Mostly? Ha, completely. Everyday I pass car after car with hand to head or worse yet, looking down texting. They swerve this way and that, in and out of the bike lane, stop in the crosswalk at reds or sit at greens. It is a serious problem that enforcement won’t solve. The car is an extension of the living room now and the phone is here to stay.
@mikesonn, back in the day, it was thought that enforcement could not end the practice of driving under the influence of alcohol. The reason why there are beds in pickup trucks, after all, was to hold the empties. Yet the culture was shifted and now there is a zero tolerance for DUI. This belies the fact that so many of us drove so drunk so many times and had no incidents.
It was only once quaaludes showed up on the scene that collisions increased.
There are studies that indicate that driving while texting or having one’s mind occupied by a mobile phone conversation leads to driving as unsafe as under the influence. Yet “this is a serious problem that enforcement won’t solve.” I don’t think so.
If we’re going to dispense with the notion of professional law enforcement and go for an anarchic free for all, then let’s eliminate all of the rules, and allow summary retaliation in-kind, on the spot by cyclists and pedestrians (a U lock on the windshield works wonders for this) against motorists who brandish a vehicle in a menacing, threatening or dangerous manner?
@marcos, I’m not getting into this with you cause you are obviously baiting, but “It was only once quaaludes showed up on the scene that collisions increased” may be the stupidest thing I have ever read.
I hail from Wisconsin, the land of drinking and driving. It is a sport there. Sad but true. I have two DUIs myself. I’m not proud of this fact and it is a major reason why I am such a strong car-free advocate and an even bigger advocate for restructuring our physical environment so that an American doesn’t have to own a car to be a productive member of society. In Wisconsin you have to drive to your local bar, so you can’t tell me that increased enforcement is going to get people to stop driving to the bar – they all have parking lots. And to give this a local flavor, I live in North Beach and routinely see people stumble out of the bars and into their cars, buzzed driving is drunk driving.
Cell phones are a fact of life now. Nearly everyone has one. Also, people in the country drive a ton. Put the two together and there will be overlap. We can not depend on enforcement only to stop the rampant use of cell phones behind the wheel. Our police forces can’t spend all day pulling over texters.
And I was in no way advocating for “an anarchic free for all” though I will try to talk to someone at a stop light if they are texting (I’ve been accused of being a bigger threat to the driver for doing this though). Also, I am in no way advocating a Ulock to the windshield.
I’m done trying to talk to you marc. You bait and switch and offer no real substantive responses. Texting while driving is a serious issue on the road, and I see it increasing on a daily basis.
@mikesonn, the historical facts are that quaaludes arose at the same time that MADD was successfully expanding enforcement against driving while drunk and arguably caused more wrecks as a percentage of users than alcohol.
The cops don’t have to spend all day pulling over texters any more than they spend all day pulling over drunk drivers now. Driving under the influence of alcohol is culturally unacceptable because of a massive enforcement push. All that is required is for society to set the standard and for there to be consequences for evading that standard. Very simple.
For livable streets advocates to forfeit enforcement as one tool of many is not acceptable, especially when the SFPD brings suburban values to its enforcement priorities. Yet our advocates are scared shitless of the cops.
I’m all for anarchy. If those who would endanger me by pointing their moving auto at me with reckless disregard for safety, then the legal argument can be constructed that it is okay to fight back against deadly force, just as one is allowed to do when a gun or knife is brandished.
Mission Mission just put up some pictures of the completed striping on the repaved blocks of Valencia:
“I have a sinking feeling we're all going to learn once again that hindsight is 20/20, and that all this caving to merchants' unfounded fears will result in an entire generation of lost opportunity to make our streets safer and more lively.”
– Upright Biker
In response to "SFMTA Cuts Block of Polk Bike Lane Fought by Visionless Mayor's Optometrist"