20 Replies Latest reply on Jul 28, 2014 1:48 PM by Hugo Bois

    Should texting and driving be severly enforced?

    laurence Ullmann

      A recent survey by the National Safety Council revealed that 73% of the polled Americans want stricter enforcement of texting-while-driving laws and stiffer penalties for violators.


      Talking on a cell phone while driving, handheld or hands-free is believed to be a factor in 21% of crashes in the US, and another 5% would be imputable to texting.

      Among the penalties cited for texting while driving were:

      - point system leading to a loss of driver's license

      - higher insurance costs


      Is cell phone use while driving allowed in your country? Is texting?


      Do you engage in this sort of behavior?

      Do you have any tips you can share to prevent this situation?


      Do you agree with the types of penalties listed above or do you have other ideas to change drivers' behavior?


      What do you think Jean-François Bruneau, Michelle Vuillerot Thibault Lebreton Anthony Le BleisAlexandre Echalier?

        • Re: Should texting and driving be severly enforced?
          Alexandre Echalier

          Thank you laurence Ullmann for opening the debate!


          I don't know if someone can share statistic about the number of car accident or death because of cell phone while driving ?    Hugo BoisGuy TondeurDidier Rougeyron

          To my mind, the settings up are too drastic, on the roads there are some behaviors much more dangerous than using cell phone while driving.

          Connected car is a way of change drivers' behaviors. It is still dangerous because drivers have to share is carefulness between road and the connected car.

          For me a good connected car is a car in which you can do whatever you want (calling, messages, traveling (GPS), using applications...) but reducing minimal the carefulness on the road.


            • Re: Should texting and driving be severly enforced?
              Didier Rougeyron

              Thanks to all to enrich the debate on this worrisome situation. It is obvious, these new uses (to drive and text or phone at the same time) request even more the capacities of attention of the driver. Phone by driving multiply by five the risk of having an accident and 1 accident on 10 is associated from now on for the telephone during the driving.

              In France, the use of a telephone held during the driving constitute a breach, punished by a 135-€ fine and by a retreat of 3 points to the licence (no retreat of points for the cyclists or the moped riders…). I agree with laurence Ullmann

              both activities are incompatible and I believe that we should strengthen the penalties about this extremely dangerous situation. The problem is that the permanent connection becomes as says it Michelle Vuillerot an obsession and even worse, an addiction.

            • Re: Should texting and driving be severly enforced?

              Thank you laurence Ullmann for this important and interesting quiz. Alhtough prohibited for the last 3-4 years and a massive campaign of sensibilisation, hand-held devices are still used by a lot of drivers in Quebec, where:


              • Drivers are facing 80 to 100 dollars fine and loose three points on their record (out of 12 before loosing permit)
              • It is prohibited to "hold a cellular phone in your hands". So it's legal to have a conversation with bluetooth or other hands-free system (which I seldomly use!)
              • At the limit, someone could be texting and not be fined ... but someone would just take the cell to give it to someone and he or she could be fined! The law needs to be clarified

              Do you have any tips you can share to prevent this situation?

              If you type "cellular-phone-law" on Google welcome page, the first titles to appear are related to "how to avoid or to contest fines" ... This is clearly symptomatic of a society that did not realize yet the "real" danger that comes with a phone while driving. Twenty years ago, people had the same easy-going attitude with drunk-driving. It was socially acceptable, even tolerated to have an accessible drink on hands while driving. By that time, a police pulling you on the side would simply say to you to drop it on the ground or to drink it fast and then leave ... alcohol was tolerated, and there was a huge lack of knowledge on the effects even at small doses. It unfortunately took hundreds and thousands of deaths throughout the years, but mainly law enforcement and sensibilisation, to make it socially inacceptable to let someone you know drive while impaired by alcohol. Now the protection comes from the "inside", from friends and relatives. This is much more powerful. If you are rejected by society because of a behavior, then this behavior will become less and less tolerated and it becomes easier to enforce and get better results.


              I think the same analogy applies to cellular phones. We will have great results when people will realize it is no longer acceptable socially. So I think yes stronger incentives, fines and enforcement, but twice as much strategic sensibilisation about the great damages it causes for the society, so it naturally evolves.


              Do you agree with the types of penalties listed above or do you have other ideas to change drivers' behavior?

              I would explore the possibility of making texting "criminal". This worked with alcohol, and there are great similarities with the phone, since youa attention on the road completely disappear. Drunk and texting drivers look just the same from behind, hazardous, swaying and accelerating or decelarating for no reason.

              • Re: Should texting and driving be severly enforced?
                Michelle Vuillerot

                @Thank you Laurence for sharing this with us. It seems to me that being connected has become an obsession. I really don't see how we can reconcile this cell phone use problem with the need to be more and more connected. Possibly we can achieve the necessary connection without having to do anything. But this I suppose would preclude any personal messaging. You surely know more than me about this?

                  • Re: Should texting and driving be severly enforced?
                    laurence Ullmann

                    More and more frequently, when I call someone who is driving, or when someone calls me while I am driving, the answer is "wait, let me pull over somewhere". This is good , but it still means that we answer the phone nonetheless. And talking on the phone is much less dangerous than texting! At least you can keep your eyes on the road...

                    So I agree with Jean-François Bruneau, a lot comes from education and common sense. So Michelle Vuillerot, yes, I think we must refrain from texting and driving, or pull over! And encourage our correspondents  to do the same.

                    By the way, and to open the debate a little further and rebound on an article Didier Rougeyron shared with us a few days ago, the more connected we feel we must be at all times (like controlling the house lights or the oven from our car), the more dangerous and erratic our driving threatens to become. The automated car, ultimately, might be the solution to a lot of our (urban) driving problems.
                    But quid of long distance trips?

                      • Re: Should texting and driving be severly enforced?

                        I would see automated car as a huge benefit for me on long distances. Especially because motorways have no intersections and a standardized and easy to read renvironment for computers. It would be quicker to travel with all vehicles going at a steady and identical speed, that would create less lane movements, that in the end causes many congestion problems.

                        • Re: Should texting and driving be severly enforced?

                          I agree with you but some remarks:

                          - Most of the new cars today are equipped with a system that automatically connect to your smartphone allowing you to answer while keeping the eyes on the road.

                          - I think on the one hand the present regulation about using a smartphone is clear and understandable by anyone and on the other hand it is impossible to watch every driver. Thus what to think of a regulation you can't apply more than 1 %?

                          So for me two lines of actions should be developed:

                          - Develop communication in order to educate and convince people with examples of crashes due to a leak of vigilance.

                          - Improve and develop projected information on the windshield bottom so that drivers keep permanently eyes on the road; this is true not only for the smartphone but also for changing the radio broadcast frequency, the track of the CD, the GPS map...

                      • Re: Should texting and driving be severly enforced?
                        laurence Ullmann

                        Ah, yes  Guy Tondeur! Talking is one thing! But people also text and this is much more problematic! Voici recognition options on the embarked smartphone?

                        • Re: Should texting and driving be severly enforced?
                          Jacques Naves

                          Texting and driving are incompatibles. More generally, manipulating something (a phone, a paper map, a bag…), as soon as it leads the driver to not look at the road, is dangerous. I agree with many people that education should be a priority. When you realize physically the impact of your behaviour (see videos proposed by Laurence Ullman and Jean-François Bruneau), you adapt it to increase your security and safety.

                          As it is difficult to not answer to a call or to read a SMS, we can also use the driving modes implemented in the last mobile operating system. They automatically send back a message saying we are driving.

                          We can also imagine to have specific voice mail with message like “I am currently driving; If you message is not urgent, please leave it on my voice mail and I will call you back as soon as possible. If you message is urgent, please press the # key”. I had a conversation with someone from Parrot. They have tested such mechanism: 70% of callers have left a message! It does not seem very difficult to implement and will decrease the number of calls reaching the driver.

                          Of course, this should be used by all drivers including bike ones.

                          • Re: Should texting and driving be severly enforced?
                            laurence Ullmann

                            Thanks Jacques Naves for not letting us forget the bikes!