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View Full Version : Re: Great Cycling Advocate Killed by repeat Drunk Driver


mrbubl
September 19th 03, 05:01 PM
http://kenkifer.com/bikepages/traffic/index.htm for those interested


"mrbubl" > wrote in message
ink.net...
> In a certain sad irony he has a great article on bicycle
safety.....perhaps
> they can introduce it in the defendant's murder trial...
>
>
>
> "Robert Haston" > wrote in message
> hlink.net...
> > I don't know how many of you who may have come across Ken Kifer's work
on
> > the Internet. We had written each other and I had hoped to get by with
my
> > recumbent so he could ride it. Just another lesson that life is short,
> live
> > it up.
> >
> > His web site is still up. http://kenkifer.com/ It is a wealth of
> > insightful writings about cycling. It will probably go away soon. Its
sad
> > reading the "contact me" link, knowing he is no longer there. I saved
the
> > site for myself with a shareware program called offline explorer pro.
> >
> > Below is the story from the Scottsboro, AL Sentinel.
> >
> > Rodgers charged with murder in cyclist death
> >
> > By Mazie Aldrich
> > The Daily Sentinel
> >
> > Published September 17, 2003
> >
> > Jimmy D. Rodgers, 29, of Scottsboro has been charged with murder in the
> > traffic-related death of cyclist Kenneth P. Kifer, 57, of Scottsboro.
> >
> > According to a report filed in the Circuit Clerk's office by Alabama
> Trooper
> > Terry Thomas, Kifer was riding a bicycle in the north bound lane of
County
> > Road 21, three miles north of Scottsboro in the Pikeville area.
> >
> > He was struck by the 1986 Chevrolet S-10 pick up driven by Rodgers who
was
> > traveling south on the same road. The report states that Rodgers was
> driving
> > at a high rate of speed, under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
> >
> > Kifer was taken to Huntsville Hospital where he died a short time later.
> >
> > Rodgers was arrested at the scene and charged with first-degree assault
> and
> > driving under the influence. Those charges were upgraded to murder
Tuesday
> > morning.
> >
> > According to the Scottsboro Police Department Rodgers was released from
> the
> > city jail just four hours before the Saturday night accident. He had
been
> > arrested Friday for DUI and violation of the open container law.
> >
> > Kifer was known in the area and throughout the country as a world class
> > athlete, cyclist and writer who chose to live the life of a naturalist.
A
> > clerical error in the original report resulted in Kifer being identified
> as
> > Ken Kiefer.
> >
> > PS One opinion I have which gets stronger every day is our efforts to
> make
> > our roads "safer" by making them wide and smooth, with large radius
turns
> > (unlike Europe) has come back to haunt us by allowing ever greater
levels
> of
> > incompetence, neglect, speeding, and incapacitation behind the wheel.
If
> I
> > were King, I'd have sharp turns installed everywhere, so idiots, blind
> > octogenarians and drunks would wind up in ditches, not killing innocent
> > people.
> >
> >
>
>

iLiad
September 22nd 03, 02:47 AM
A drunk driver is one of my worst fears in driving (much less cycling), as
there really isn't anything
you can do about it. My granparents were killed by a drunk driver. No matter
how alert, and safe you are, if someone
swerves across the road at you, there isn't much time to react.

I'm sure Ken's safe riding habits saved him many times in his life.

"mrbubl" > wrote in message
ink.net...
>
>
> http://kenkifer.com/bikepages/traffic/index.htm for those interested
>
>
> "mrbubl" > wrote in message
> ink.net...
> > In a certain sad irony he has a great article on bicycle
> safety.....perhaps
> > they can introduce it in the defendant's murder trial...
> >
> >
> >
> > "Robert Haston" > wrote in message
> > hlink.net...
> > > I don't know how many of you who may have come across Ken Kifer's work
> on
> > > the Internet. We had written each other and I had hoped to get by
with
> my
> > > recumbent so he could ride it. Just another lesson that life is
short,
> > live
> > > it up.
> > >
> > > His web site is still up. http://kenkifer.com/ It is a wealth of
> > > insightful writings about cycling. It will probably go away soon. Its
> sad
> > > reading the "contact me" link, knowing he is no longer there. I saved
> the
> > > site for myself with a shareware program called offline explorer pro.
> > >
> > > Below is the story from the Scottsboro, AL Sentinel.
> > >
> > > Rodgers charged with murder in cyclist death
> > >
> > > By Mazie Aldrich
> > > The Daily Sentinel
> > >
> > > Published September 17, 2003
> > >
> > > Jimmy D. Rodgers, 29, of Scottsboro has been charged with murder in
the
> > > traffic-related death of cyclist Kenneth P. Kifer, 57, of Scottsboro.
> > >
> > > According to a report filed in the Circuit Clerk's office by Alabama
> > Trooper
> > > Terry Thomas, Kifer was riding a bicycle in the north bound lane of
> County
> > > Road 21, three miles north of Scottsboro in the Pikeville area.
> > >
> > > He was struck by the 1986 Chevrolet S-10 pick up driven by Rodgers who
> was
> > > traveling south on the same road. The report states that Rodgers was
> > driving
> > > at a high rate of speed, under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
> > >
> > > Kifer was taken to Huntsville Hospital where he died a short time
later.
> > >
> > > Rodgers was arrested at the scene and charged with first-degree
assault
> > and
> > > driving under the influence. Those charges were upgraded to murder
> Tuesday
> > > morning.
> > >
> > > According to the Scottsboro Police Department Rodgers was released
from
> > the
> > > city jail just four hours before the Saturday night accident. He had
> been
> > > arrested Friday for DUI and violation of the open container law.
> > >
> > > Kifer was known in the area and throughout the country as a world
class
> > > athlete, cyclist and writer who chose to live the life of a
naturalist.
> A
> > > clerical error in the original report resulted in Kifer being
identified
> > as
> > > Ken Kiefer.
> > >
> > > PS One opinion I have which gets stronger every day is our efforts to
> > make
> > > our roads "safer" by making them wide and smooth, with large radius
> turns
> > > (unlike Europe) has come back to haunt us by allowing ever greater
> levels
> > of
> > > incompetence, neglect, speeding, and incapacitation behind the wheel.
> If
> > I
> > > were King, I'd have sharp turns installed everywhere, so idiots, blind
> > > octogenarians and drunks would wind up in ditches, not killing
innocent
> > > people.
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
>
>

Steven M. O'Neill
September 22nd 03, 02:51 AM
iLiad > wrote:

> A drunk driver is one of my worst fears in driving (much less
> cycling), as there really isn't anything you can do about it. My
> granparents were killed by a drunk driver. No matter how alert, and
> safe you are, if someone swerves across the road at you, there isn't
> much time to react.

So if a sober person were to kill you, you'd die happy?

--
Steven O'Neill
www.bridgetolls.org

Mark Hickey
September 22nd 03, 02:03 PM
Kevan Smith /\/\> wrote:

>On Mon, 22 Sep 2003 01:51:22 +0000 (UTC), (Steven M. O'Neill)
>from The process of turning a pinto bean into a kidney wrote:
>
>>So if a sober person were to kill you, you'd die happy?
>
>If a sober supermodel were making love to me and I had a sudden stroke ....

.... she wouldn't get paid.

Mark Hickey
Habanero Cycles
http://www.habcycles.com
Home of the $695 ti frame

Randy N.
September 22nd 03, 09:25 PM
Yes, but only if I was riding drunk.

Steven M. O'Neill wrote:

>
> So if a sober person were to kill you, you'd die happy?
>

Rick Onanian
September 22nd 03, 11:42 PM
On Mon, 22 Sep 2003 13:03:54 GMT, Mark Hickey > wrote:
> Kevan Smith /\/\> wrote:
>> If a sober supermodel were making love to me and I had a sudden stroke
> ... she wouldn't get paid.

....and Kevan would spend eternity with blueballs.

> Mark Hickey
> Habanero Cycles
> http://www.habcycles.com
> Home of the $695 ti frame
--
Rick Onanian

iLiad
September 23rd 03, 02:11 AM
And you drew this conclusion how?


"Steven M. O'Neill" > wrote in message
...
> iLiad > wrote:
>
> > A drunk driver is one of my worst fears in driving (much less
> > cycling), as there really isn't anything you can do about it. My
> > granparents were killed by a drunk driver. No matter how alert, and
> > safe you are, if someone swerves across the road at you, there isn't
> > much time to react.
>
> So if a sober person were to kill you, you'd die happy?
>
> --
> Steven O'Neill
> www.bridgetolls.org

Steven M. O'Neill
September 23rd 03, 03:14 AM
iLiad > wrote:
>"Steven M. O'Neill" > wrote in message
...
>> iLiad > wrote:
>>
>> > A drunk driver is one of my worst fears in driving (much less
>> > cycling), as there really isn't anything you can do about it. My
>> > granparents were killed by a drunk driver. No matter how alert, and
>> > safe you are, if someone swerves across the road at you, there isn't
>> > much time to react.
>>
>> So if a sober person were to kill you, you'd die happy?

>And you drew this conclusion how?

I didn't, really. Just trying to point out that it's silly to
worry most about something that isn't the most common cause.

--
Steven O'Neill
www.bridgetolls.org

iLiad
September 23rd 03, 06:20 PM
Well, not to beat this to death Steven, but, I didn't say I worried. I said
I feared.
I said my worst fears in driving. And, more deaths are caused on the roads
in the US by drugs and alcohol use then any other:

The number of people killed in alcohol-related crashes has risen slightly
since 1999
ending years of steady decline. Last year, 17,448 were killed, accounting
for 41 percent of all U.S. traffic deaths.
http://www.ghsa.org/html/media/mediacoverage/121802.htm


So, if you are going to die in a traffic related incident, you have a 41
percent chance it will be by a drunk. This statistic
doesn't include drug related, which puts it over 50 percent by those
impaired by drugs or alcohol
So, if I were to worry, I guess it would have been by something that was the
most common cause of death.

Now, as far as bicycling goes, I don't worry at all. It's too damn fun to be
worrying.




"Steven M. O'Neill" > wrote in message
...
> iLiad > wrote:
> >"Steven M. O'Neill" > wrote in message
> ...
> >> iLiad > wrote:
> >>
> >> > A drunk driver is one of my worst fears in driving (much less
> >> > cycling), as there really isn't anything you can do about it. My
> >> > granparents were killed by a drunk driver. No matter how alert, and
> >> > safe you are, if someone swerves across the road at you, there isn't
> >> > much time to react.
> >>
> >> So if a sober person were to kill you, you'd die happy?
>
> >And you drew this conclusion how?
>
> I didn't, really. Just trying to point out that it's silly to
> worry most about something that isn't the most common cause.
>
> --
> Steven O'Neill
> www.bridgetolls.org

Gearóid Ó Laoi/Garry Lee
September 23rd 03, 09:32 PM
It is an international statistic that your safest bet in cycling is to cycle
on minor roads. I do.


You are 6 times less like to be killed on a minor road, as on a major one.

Buck
September 23rd 03, 09:41 PM
"Gearóid Ó Laoi/Garry Lee" > wrote in message
...
> It is an international statistic that your safest bet in cycling is to
cycle
> on minor roads. I do.
>
>
> You are 6 times less like to be killed on a minor road, as on a major one.


Please don't quote statistics without a link to the source of said
statistics. Otherwise it is just hearsay. If you can provide the source, it
would be appreciated and provide credibility to your position. I would be
more likely to believe this statistic if it were applied to automobiles. But
I have doubts about it being true for cyclists as many cyclists avoid major
roads anyway. It seems the data would be seriously skewed. But please,
provide a link if you have one.

Thanks,
Buck

Mitch Haley
September 23rd 03, 09:48 PM
iLiad wrote:
> The number of people killed in alcohol-related crashes has risen slightly
> since 1999 ending years of steady decline. Last year, 17,448 were killed,
> accounting for 41 percent of all U.S. traffic deaths.
> http://www.ghsa.org/html/media/mediacoverage/121802.htm

It's nice to see that alcohol-involved (maybe a passenger had
alcohol in his system) has been replaced by alcohol-related
(a vehicle operator or pedestrian had alcohol in his system)
but it would be nice to know how many were drunk, how many
were impaired, and how many just had a dose of cough syrup last
night. It would also be nice to know if the alcohol-related
person had anything to do with causing the death.
Mitch.

David Kerber
September 24th 03, 01:33 AM
In article >, says...
> iLiad wrote:
> > The number of people killed in alcohol-related crashes has risen slightly
> > since 1999 ending years of steady decline. Last year, 17,448 were killed,
> > accounting for 41 percent of all U.S. traffic deaths.
> > http://www.ghsa.org/html/media/mediacoverage/121802.htm
>
> It's nice to see that alcohol-involved (maybe a passenger had
> alcohol in his system) has been replaced by alcohol-related
> (a vehicle operator or pedestrian had alcohol in his system)
> but it would be nice to know how many were drunk, how many
> were impaired, and how many just had a dose of cough syrup last
> night. It would also be nice to know if the alcohol-related
> person had anything to do with causing the death.
> Mitch.

From what I've read, in accident statistics, "Alcohol-related" means
that the alcohol contributed in some significant way to causing the
accident. A drunk pedestrian on the sidewalk who is killed by a
reckless driver who loses control on the road and runs up on the
sidewalk and kills said drunk pedestrian is not considered an "alcohol-
related" accident. Neither is one where a passenger is drunk but the
driver has no alcohol in his system, but falls asleep and hits a tree.

As far as what level of alcohol in the blood stream is considered to be
"impaired", I'm not sure if there's a standard, but I've seen at least
one study which used a level of half of the legally intoxicated level.
I don't think I could come up with a reference for that, but that's the
way I remember it.

--
Dave Kerber
Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

REAL programmers write self-modifying code.

J. Bruce Fields
September 24th 03, 01:58 AM
In article >,
Buck <s c h w i n n _ f o r _ s a l e @ h o t m a i l . c o m> wrote:
>"Gearóid Ó Laoi/Garry Lee" > wrote in message
...
>> It is an international statistic that your safest bet in cycling is to
>cycle
>> on minor roads. I do.
>>
>>
>> You are 6 times less like to be killed on a minor road, as on a major one.
>
>
>Please don't quote statistics without a link to the source of said
>statistics.

Hear, hear.

For what it's worth, the one study I remember off the top of my head
having a comparison between "major" and "minor" roads is this summary of a
survey of LAW members--

http://www.bicyclinglife.com/Library/Moritz2.htm

which finds the major roads slightly safer. (See "major w/o bike
facilities", "minor w/o bike facilities", in table 5.)

--Bruce Fields

Mitch Haley
September 24th 03, 02:54 AM
David Kerber wrote:
>
> In article >, says...
> > iLiad wrote:
> > > http://www.ghsa.org/html/media/mediacoverage/121802.htm
> >
>
> From what I've read, in accident statistics, "Alcohol-related" means
> that the alcohol contributed in some significant way to causing the
> accident. A drunk pedestrian on the sidewalk who is killed by a
> reckless driver who loses control on the road and runs up on the
> sidewalk and kills said drunk pedestrian is not considered an "alcohol-
> related" accident.

In the link above, this definition was given:
NHTSA defines an alcohol-related fatality as any that occurred
in an accident where a driver, pedestrian or cyclist had alcohol
detected in their blood. In most states, it is legal to drive with
less than 0.08 percent blood alcohol content.

After seeing that definition of the alcohol relationship with the 17,000
deaths, we see this quote on the same page:
"We have very little evidence that a significant number of people
are dying from cell phones, yet we know that more than 17,000
people died from drunken driving,"

Mitch.

Chuck Anderson
September 24th 03, 04:20 AM
Mitch Haley wrote:

>David Kerber wrote:
>
>
>>In article >, says...
>>
>>
>>>iLiad wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>http://www.ghsa.org/html/media/mediacoverage/121802.htm
>>>>
>>>>
>>From what I've read, in accident statistics, "Alcohol-related" means
>>that the alcohol contributed in some significant way to causing the
>>accident. A drunk pedestrian on the sidewalk who is killed by a
>>reckless driver who loses control on the road and runs up on the
>>sidewalk and kills said drunk pedestrian is not considered an "alcohol-
>>related" accident.
>>
>>
>
>In the link above, this definition was given:
> NHTSA defines an alcohol-related fatality as any that occurred
> in an accident where a driver, pedestrian or cyclist had alcohol
> detected in their blood. In most states, it is legal to drive with
> less than 0.08 percent blood alcohol content.
>
>After seeing that definition of the alcohol relationship with the 17,000
>deaths, we see this quote on the same page:
> "We have very little evidence that a significant number of people
> are dying from cell phones, yet we know that more than 17,000
> people died from drunken driving,"
>
>
It's not illegal so no one ever follows up with an investigation (cell
phone records could be used to prove it - but there's no reason to).
Annnnd ...... as it is now; who would admit to it?

Nearly every close call I've had in the last few years has involved a
driver with their cell phone clamped firmly to their head and NOT paying
attention. My daughter, when driving an Access Ride bus said that bus
drivers talk about seeing that inattention due to cell phone usage all
the time. Seen many cars changing lanes without a blinker? In my
experience, odds are very high that the person is on their hand held
cell phone - too busy - too mentally occupied - to reach the blinker
lever. I have a friend who was hit by a cell phone toting driver and and
suffered a serious back injury. This may all sound anecdotal, but I've
seen enough to know that cell phones are a unique hazard and their use
while driving should be banned.

--
*****************************
Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO
http://www.CycleTourist.com
Integrity is obvious.
The lack of it is common.
*****************************

Bill Anton
September 24th 03, 04:56 AM
Mark Hickey > wrote in message >...
> Mark Hickey
> Habanero Cycles
> http://www.habcycles.com
> Home of the $695 ti frame

That's a good price. I'll take one! Make mine 3"x2.5" ovalized main
tube, set up for a 47" wheelbase, 44" X-seam and dual 650C wheels,
with mounts for an M5 carbon seat. Gee what a coincidence, those are
the same measurements as a Bacchetta Aero frame. What are the odds?
<g>

Bill Anton
September 24th 03, 05:16 AM
"Gearóid Ó Laoi/Garry Lee" > wrote in message >...
> It is an international statistic that your safest bet in cycling is to cycle
> on minor roads. I do.
>
>
> You are 6 times less like to be killed on a minor road, as on a major one.

Even without the footnote, I can see where this statistic may be
accurate. When I go out do do my favorite 37 mile exercise loop, it's
90% country roads, but I still have to do a few miles on major
suburban roads to get to those country roads. Heavy traffic certainly
complicates matters since drivers often can't see any further than the
Texas-sized SUV that they're tailgating. Sometimes I worry not so
much about the vehicle right behind me, as the 3 or 4 behind him/her.
When cars number 1, 2 and 3 get in the left lane to pass me, will car
number 4 see his golden opportunity to pass the whole pack on the
right? This is usually not an issue on the farm-to-market roads,
where my only harrassment comes from (generally harmless) dogs. One
problem with country roads, however, involves those country roads that
lead to a liquor store, since Lubbock has no package stores within the
city limits. IMO it's a stupid law, since it tends to put people into
the position where they have to drive longer distaces when they run
out of alcohol half-way through the party and they're already half
schnockered. But Lubbock was founded (and is still run) by Baptist
and Church of Christ types, who (at least officially) disapprove of
SINFUL things like alcohol. Nevermind the fact that Jesus drank wine
like people drink Pepsi nowadays.

Bill Anton
2001 Vision R-40 SWb 26x26 OSS
Lubbock, TX, USA

Trudi Marrapodi
September 24th 03, 12:52 PM
In article <[email protected]>, Chuck Anderson
> wrote:

> Mitch Haley wrote:
>
> >David Kerber wrote:
> >
> >
> >>In article >, says...
> >>
> >>
> >>>iLiad wrote:
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>>http://www.ghsa.org/html/media/mediacoverage/121802.htm
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>From what I've read, in accident statistics, "Alcohol-related" means
> >>that the alcohol contributed in some significant way to causing the
> >>accident. A drunk pedestrian on the sidewalk who is killed by a
> >>reckless driver who loses control on the road and runs up on the
> >>sidewalk and kills said drunk pedestrian is not considered an "alcohol-
> >>related" accident.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >In the link above, this definition was given:
> > NHTSA defines an alcohol-related fatality as any that occurred
> > in an accident where a driver, pedestrian or cyclist had alcohol
> > detected in their blood. In most states, it is legal to drive with
> > less than 0.08 percent blood alcohol content.
> >
> >After seeing that definition of the alcohol relationship with the 17,000
> >deaths, we see this quote on the same page:
> > "We have very little evidence that a significant number of people
> > are dying from cell phones, yet we know that more than 17,000
> > people died from drunken driving,"
> >
> >
> It's not illegal so no one ever follows up with an investigation (cell
> phone records could be used to prove it - but there's no reason to).
> Annnnd ...... as it is now; who would admit to it?

In some states, it is illegal, but only to talk on a hand-held cell phone.
Hands-free units are fine. But personally, I don't think hands are the
issue. I think cell phones are way too distracting, and I'd just ban them
from use by a driver, period, while the vehicle is in traffic.

> Nearly every close call I've had in the last few years has involved a
> driver with their cell phone clamped firmly to their head and NOT paying
> attention. My daughter, when driving an Access Ride bus said that bus
> drivers talk about seeing that inattention due to cell phone usage all
> the time. Seen many cars changing lanes without a blinker? In my
> experience, odds are very high that the person is on their hand held
> cell phone - too busy - too mentally occupied - to reach the blinker
> lever. I have a friend who was hit by a cell phone toting driver and and
> suffered a serious back injury. This may all sound anecdotal, but I've
> seen enough to know that cell phones are a unique hazard and their use
> while driving should be banned.

Well, I don't know if I'd call them unique. I think other distractions
while driving are just as bad, and people have to realize just how
dangerous they are. You can get in a terrible accident because of
refereeing a fight with the kids in the back, arguing with the passenger,
switching radio stations to find something you like, eating, or reaching
down to get your wallet from your purse. Until people take all these
behaviors, as well as cell phone use, seriously as driving hazards, there
will continue to be more accidents by distracted drivers.

Some people even stop by the mailbox on the way out of the house, open up
their mail, and read it while driving.

There has to be an attitude developed that even in a world so busy that
one is constantly tempted to multitask, driving is one action that should
be done completely by itself, without trying to accomplish anything else
at the same time.
--
Trudi

Brian Huntley
September 24th 03, 08:00 PM
(Bill Anton) wrote in message >...

> Nevermind the fact that Jesus drank wine
> like people drink Pepsi nowadays.

Good thing He didn't live in Atlanta!

Tanya Quinn
September 24th 03, 08:39 PM
> suffered a serious back injury. This may all sound anecdotal, but I've
> seen enough to know that cell phones are a unique hazard and their use
> while driving should be banned.

For drivers of motor AND non-motor vehicles. I've seen many
inattentive cyclists on cell phones as well.

Chuck Anderson
September 24th 03, 10:05 PM
Trudi Marrapodi wrote:

>In article <[email protected]>, Chuck Anderson
> wrote:
>
>
>
>>Mitch Haley wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>>David Kerber wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>In article >, says...
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>iLiad wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>http://www.ghsa.org/html/media/mediacoverage/121802.htm
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>From what I've read, in accident statistics, "Alcohol-related" means
>>>
>>>
>>>>that the alcohol contributed in some significant way to causing the
>>>>accident. A drunk pedestrian on the sidewalk who is killed by a
>>>>reckless driver who loses control on the road and runs up on the
>>>>sidewalk and kills said drunk pedestrian is not considered an "alcohol-
>>>>related" accident.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>In the link above, this definition was given:
>>> NHTSA defines an alcohol-related fatality as any that occurred
>>> in an accident where a driver, pedestrian or cyclist had alcohol
>>> detected in their blood. In most states, it is legal to drive with
>>> less than 0.08 percent blood alcohol content.
>>>
>>>After seeing that definition of the alcohol relationship with the 17,000
>>>deaths, we see this quote on the same page:
>>> "We have very little evidence that a significant number of people
>>> are dying from cell phones, yet we know that more than 17,000
>>> people died from drunken driving,"
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>It's not illegal so no one ever follows up with an investigation (cell
>>phone records could be used to prove it - but there's no reason to).
>>Annnnd ...... as it is now; who would admit to it?
>>
>>
>
>In some states, it is illegal,
>
I think you mean in some cities. I am unaware of any state that has
banned hand held phone usage while driving.

>but only to talk on a hand-held cell phone.
>Hands-free units are fine. But personally, I don't think hands are the
>issue. I think cell phones are way too distracting, and I'd just ban them
>from use by a driver, period, while the vehicle is in traffic.
>
How do you tell if someone is on a hands free phone?

(The same way you can tell when a politician is lying?)

>>Nearly every close call I've had in the last few years has involved a
>>driver with their cell phone clamped firmly to their head and NOT paying
>>attention. My daughter, when driving an Access Ride bus said that bus
>>drivers talk about seeing that inattention due to cell phone usage all
>>the time. Seen many cars changing lanes without a blinker? In my
>>experience, odds are very high that the person is on their hand held
>>cell phone - too busy - too mentally occupied - to reach the blinker
>>lever. I have a friend who was hit by a cell phone toting driver and and
>>suffered a serious back injury. This may all sound anecdotal, but I've
>>seen enough to know that cell phones are a unique hazard and their use
>>while driving should be banned.
>>
>>
>
>Well, I don't know if I'd call them unique. I think other distractions
>while driving are just as bad, and people have to realize just how
>dangerous they are. You can get in a terrible accident because of
>refereeing a fight with the kids in the back, arguing with the passenger,
>switching radio stations to find something you like, eating, or reaching
>down to get your wallet from your purse. Until people take all these
>behaviors, as well as cell phone use, seriously as driving hazards, there
>will continue to be more accidents by distracted drivers.
>
Some examples you cite are infrequent occurrences - fighting with the
kids in back. Or are the equivalent of blinking (changing the radio
station). I agree there are other dangerous distractions (you didn't
mention applying makeup in the AM commute).

However, many people seem addicted to their cell phones - they are
unable to leave home without talking to someone the whole time they are
"out." I have to repeat and emphasize, my experience is that there is a
new, common, and dangerous distraction out there that has significantly
increased the number of near encounters I have with autos. I could make
money by betting that every encounter involves a cell phone. Yes - I
mean that in most of my encounters* I spy with my little eye - a cell phone.

(*Encounter - often the motorist never even becomes aware of the
encounter, like when I stop to let them out of the driveway they are
exiting, one hand on their ear and too busy to look both ways. Rolling a
stop sign, violating my right of way. They often never even notice my
presence. This happens to me more frequently - and is most often a cell
phone user. Statistics and distracting arguments aside - cell phone
usage while driving needs to be banned.

>Some people even stop by the mailbox on the way out of the house, open up
>their mail, and read it while driving.
>
>There has to be an attitude developed that even in a world so busy that
>one is constantly tempted to multitask, driving is one action that should
>be done completely by itself, without trying to accomplish anything else
>at the same time.
>
>
I couldn't agree more.

--
*****************************
Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO
http://www.CycleTourist.com
Integrity is obvious.
The lack of it is common.
*****************************

Rick Onanian
September 24th 03, 10:14 PM
On Wed, 24 Sep 2003 21:05:13 GMT, Chuck Anderson >
wrote:
>> Hands-free units are fine. But personally, I don't think hands are the
>> issue. I think cell phones are way too distracting, and I'd just ban
>> them from use by a driver, period, while the vehicle is in traffic.

What I want to know is how talking on a hands-free phone
is any different than conversing with passengers who are
actually in the vehicle.

> How do you tell if someone is on a hands free phone?
> (The same way you can tell when a politician is lying?)

Sounds like a valid formula. ;)

--
Rick Onanian

Chuck Anderson
September 24th 03, 10:18 PM
Tanya Quinn wrote:

>>suffered a serious back injury. This may all sound anecdotal, but I've
>>seen enough to know that cell phones are a unique hazard and their use
>>while driving should be banned.
>>
>>
>
>For drivers of motor AND non-motor vehicles. I've seen many
>inattentive cyclists on cell phones as well.
>
>
I see more and more all the time - still not near as many as cars - but
I agree that it is also a real problem.

Pedestrians often present the worst hazard. Everyone has paced back and
forth like some CEO when talking on a cordless phone. Nothing like
playing hit the monkey with someone pacing back and forth across the
bike path (sometimes a major thoroughfare in Boulder), head down,
talking to someone somewhere else. When I get close to these oblivious
people, I hold my head to my ear and firmly say, "Hello?!, can you hear
me now?"

Flagstaff Mountain, here in Boulder, is a common excellent workout - 3.5
miles and 1500 feet of climbing - grades from 4% - 12%. One day in the
middle of the switch backing ascent, I heard someone ahead talking "to
me," so I looked up and saw a cyclist descending, talking on his cell
phone (this is a *serious* descent). What made me laugh out loud,
though, was that as he slowed to a stop he said, "are you trying to kill
me? I'm on my way down Flagstaff." He'd answered his phone on the descent.

Bo-Zo.

--
*****************************
Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO
http://www.CycleTourist.com
Integrity is obvious.
The lack of it is common.
*****************************

Rick Onanian
September 24th 03, 10:36 PM
On Wed, 24 Sep 2003 21:18:43 GMT, Chuck Anderson >
wrote:
> people, I hold my head to my ear and firmly say, "Hello?!, can you hear

Neat trick; then you can hear the noises your head makes.

<G>

--
Rick Onanian

Mitch Haley
September 24th 03, 11:57 PM
Chuck Anderson wrote:
> They often never even notice my
> presence. This happens to me more frequently - and is most often a cell
> phone user. Statistics and distracting arguments aside - cell phone
> usage while driving needs to be banned.

So we have established, anecdotally, a correlation between cell phone
use and inattentive, idiotic driving. The remaining question is whether
the cell phone makes the idiot, or if the phone users were idiots before
they picked up the phone.
Mitch.

Mitch Haley
September 25th 03, 12:10 AM
Rick Onanian wrote:
> What I want to know is how talking on a hands-free phone
> is any different than conversing with passengers who are
> actually in the vehicle.

It rarely takes much effort to hear those sitting beside you.
Cell phone deciphering can be intense work.

The passengers in the car can see what's going on and know
when they have to shut up and let you drive.
Mitch

Rick
September 25th 03, 12:16 AM
....stuff deleted
>
> Well, I don't know if I'd call them unique. I think other distractions
> while driving are just as bad, and people have to realize just how
> dangerous they are. You can get in a terrible accident because of
> refereeing a fight with the kids in the back, arguing with the passenger,
> switching radio stations to find something you like, eating, or reaching
> down to get your wallet from your purse. Until people take all these
> behaviors, as well as cell phone use, seriously as driving hazards, there
> will continue to be more accidents by distracted drivers.
>

Insurance actuaries have known for years that smokers have more accidents
than non-smokers. The cause is the same as for cell phone users, divided
attention or inattention during driving. Nobody has banned smoking while
driving, though it is nearly as likely as cell phones to cause accidents.

> Some people even stop by the mailbox on the way out of the house, open up
> their mail, and read it while driving.
>

I routinely observe some pretty bizzare activities done while driving
including such things as blow-drying hair (using both hands, of course,
since you must pat your head or use a comb when doing same), reading (again,
with both hands, sometimes with the newspaper blocking the view ahead, but
don't fear, the driver does usually drop the paper every few moments to see
if things have changed - real confidence builder, that one), and even
playing games on electronic devices. Driving is not considered a serious
activity by most people, especially when traffic is heavy and slow moving.

Frankly, these folks are downright frightening.

Rick

David Kerber
September 25th 03, 12:20 AM
In article >,
says...
> On Wed, 24 Sep 2003 21:05:13 GMT, Chuck Anderson >
> wrote:
> >> Hands-free units are fine. But personally, I don't think hands are the
> >> issue. I think cell phones are way too distracting, and I'd just ban
> >> them from use by a driver, period, while the vehicle is in traffic.
>
> What I want to know is how talking on a hands-free phone
> is any different than conversing with passengers who are
> actually in the vehicle.

Because the passengers will quiet down when they can seen you are going
to be busy with traffic jams, complex intersections, etc. The ones on
the phone do not. Plus if it rings while you are in the middle of
merging on to the interstate by squeezing between two semi's, that can
be a major distraction at a very bad time even if you don't answer it.
This is personal experience speaking, BTW.

--
Dave Kerber
Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

REAL programmers write self-modifying code.

Trudi Marrapodi
September 25th 03, 01:00 AM
In article >,
(Tanya Quinn) wrote:

> > suffered a serious back injury. This may all sound anecdotal, but I've
> > seen enough to know that cell phones are a unique hazard and their use
> > while driving should be banned.
>
> For drivers of motor AND non-motor vehicles. I've seen many
> inattentive cyclists on cell phones as well.

Doesn't that just frost you? I've seen a few too. And I think it's fair to
say that while one-handed driving is not the greatest practice in the
world, one-handed cycling is even stupider.

I'd also like to note that I know someone who had a terrible accident and
a back injury that required months of recovery because of the old
reaching-in-the-purse distraction mistake...so in that sense, cell phones
are not unique as a hazard.
--
Trudi

Pete
September 25th 03, 01:02 AM
"Rick Onanian" > wrote in message
...
> On Wed, 24 Sep 2003 21:05:13 GMT, Chuck Anderson
>
> wrote:
> >> Hands-free units are fine. But personally, I don't think hands are the
> >> issue. I think cell phones are way too distracting, and I'd just ban
> >> them from use by a driver, period, while the vehicle is in traffic.
>
> What I want to know is how talking on a hands-free phone
> is any different than conversing with passengers who are
> actually in the vehicle.

The focus of your conversation is outside the vehicle.
http://www.nsc.org/library/shelf/inincell.htm
Our data suggest that legislative initiatives that restrict hand-held
devices but permit hands-free devices are not likely to reduce interference
from the phone conversation, because the interference is, in this case, due
to central attentional processes.

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,59371,00.html
STOCKHOLM -- Talking on a mobile phone while driving your car is just as
dangerous when using hands-free equipment as when holding the phone in your
hand, according to a Swedish study published on Monday.



Try this experiment.
Crank up your favorite task intensive PC game. Driving, flying, FPS. Make a
phone call during the game. See how fast you get killed out.

Now try the same game without the phone call.

On the road, there is no reboot.

Pete

Trudi Marrapodi
September 25th 03, 01:19 AM
In article <[email protected]>, Chuck Anderson
> wrote:

> Trudi Marrapodi wrote:
>
> >In article <[email protected]>, Chuck Anderson
> > wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >>Mitch Haley wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>>David Kerber wrote:
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>>In article >, says...
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>>iLiad wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>>http://www.ghsa.org/html/media/mediacoverage/121802.htm
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>From what I've read, in accident statistics, "Alcohol-related" means
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>>that the alcohol contributed in some significant way to causing the
> >>>>accident. A drunk pedestrian on the sidewalk who is killed by a
> >>>>reckless driver who loses control on the road and runs up on the
> >>>>sidewalk and kills said drunk pedestrian is not considered an "alcohol-
> >>>>related" accident.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>In the link above, this definition was given:
> >>> NHTSA defines an alcohol-related fatality as any that occurred
> >>> in an accident where a driver, pedestrian or cyclist had alcohol
> >>> detected in their blood. In most states, it is legal to drive with
> >>> less than 0.08 percent blood alcohol content.
> >>>
> >>>After seeing that definition of the alcohol relationship with the 17,000
> >>>deaths, we see this quote on the same page:
> >>> "We have very little evidence that a significant number of people
> >>> are dying from cell phones, yet we know that more than 17,000
> >>> people died from drunken driving,"
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>It's not illegal so no one ever follows up with an investigation (cell
> >>phone records could be used to prove it - but there's no reason to).
> >>Annnnd ...... as it is now; who would admit to it?
> >>
> >>
> >
> >In some states, it is illegal,
> >
> I think you mean in some cities. I am unaware of any state that has
> banned hand held phone usage while driving.



> >but only to talk on a hand-held cell phone.
> >Hands-free units are fine. But personally, I don't think hands are the
> >issue. I think cell phones are way too distracting, and I'd just ban them
> >from use by a driver, period, while the vehicle is in traffic.
> >
> How do you tell if someone is on a hands free phone?
>
> (The same way you can tell when a politician is lying?)

It's not a matter of telling whether they're on a hands-free phone. It's a
matter of telling whether they're on a regular phone...and that's pretty
easy to do.
[i]
> >>Nearly every close call I've had in the last few years has involved a
> >>driver with their cell phone clamped firmly to their head and NOT paying
> >>attention. My daughter, when driving an Access Ride bus said that bus
> >>drivers talk about seeing that inattention due to cell phone usage all
> >>the time. Seen many cars changing lanes without a blinker? In my
> >>experience, odds are very high that the person is on their hand held
> >>cell phone - too busy - too mentally occupied - to reach the blinker
> >>lever. I have a friend who was hit by a cell phone toting driver and and
> >>suffered a serious back injury. This may all sound anecdotal, but I've
> >>seen enough to know that cell phones are a unique hazard and their use
> >>while driving should be banned.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >Well, I don't know if I'd call them unique. I think other distractions
> >while driving are just as bad, and people have to realize just how
> >dangerous they are. You can get in a terrible accident because of
> >refereeing a fight with the kids in the back, arguing with the passenger,
> >switching radio stations to find something you like, eating, or reaching
> >down to get your wallet from your purse. Until people take all these
> >behaviors, as well as cell phone use, seriously as driving hazards, there
> >will continue to be more accidents by distracted drivers.
> >
> Some examples you cite are infrequent occurrences - fighting with the
> kids in back. Or are the equivalent of blinking (changing the radio
> station). I agree there are other dangerous distractions (you didn't
> mention applying makeup in the AM commute).

That's one of them. And what people don't realize is that all it takes is
a moment's inattention. And sometimes people think they're only going to
be inattentive for a nanosecond--they'll just punch a button or grab a pen
or whatever--and then, they don't like the music on that station or it's
not coming in well or where IS that damn pen, it was right here...and
that's all it takes.

> However, many people seem addicted to their cell phones - they are
> unable to leave home without talking to someone the whole time they are
> "out."

I agree with you there. Nothing is more annoying than people who seem to
have to walk around 24-7 telling someone else where they are and what
they're doing. As if most people they call really care.

As long as we're going off on a tangent, I'd love to see people stop:

--yelling on phones in public
--going into a public restroom to talk on the phone (especially when
hogging a toilet that could otherwise go to good use)--hey, not all of us
want the sounds of our private bodily functions broadcast to your friends!
--not looking where they're going when they walk and talk on the phone
--forgetting to turn them off or set them to vibrate at events like concerts
--ignoring the people they're with to answer their ringing phone
--talking on the phone while waiting in line, and forgetting to move when
the line moves (I have heard that some people have the absurdity get to
the front of the line and then keep the service person waiting while they
talk on the phone! Which is not only rude to the person giving them
service, but to everyone else in line behind them.)

> I have to repeat and emphasize, my experience is that there is a
> new, common, and dangerous distraction out there that has significantly
> increased the number of near encounters I have with autos. I could make
> money by betting that every encounter involves a cell phone. Yes - I
> mean that in most of my encounters* I spy with my little eye - a cell phone.

And I would agree it's a big new problem. I would just say let's not
discount the little old ones, either.

> (*Encounter - often the motorist never even becomes aware of the
> encounter, like when I stop to let them out of the driveway they are
> exiting, one hand on their ear and too busy to look both ways. Rolling a
> stop sign, violating my right of way. They often never even notice my
> presence. This happens to me more frequently - and is most often a cell
> phone user. Statistics and distracting arguments aside - cell phone
> usage while driving needs to be banned.

I agree absolutely. I would ban even hands-free phone use. I think that
phone conversation in and of itself is too distracting for a person to try
to conduct while driving. To me, it has nothing to do with whether or not
the hands are employed.

> >Some people even stop by the mailbox on the way out of the house, open up
> >their mail, and read it while driving.
> >
> >There has to be an attitude developed that even in a world so busy that
> >one is constantly tempted to multitask, driving is one action that should
> >be done completely by itself, without trying to accomplish anything else
> >at the same time.
> >
> >
> I couldn't agree more.

Now I have to end with a funny anecdote. One of the things I've said to
myself recently is that back in the '80s when I walked down a city street
and I saw someone yelling and muttering to himself, I knew I was in the
presence of a recently deinstitutionalized person with a mental problem.
Now, when I walk down a city street and hear someone yelling and muttering
with no one else around, I look up and, inevitably, that person has a
phone pressed to the ear.

However, the other day while I was at the laundromat, I had one of my old
'80s experiences again. I was putting my laundry in the dryer and another
woman was at the washers, occasionally muttering something like
"Yeah...right...uh-huh..." I stole a glance at her and was a little
unnerved to see that she did NOT have a phone at her ear; she was using
both hands to move laundry while she muttered. Was it a return to the good
old days when only "people with a problem" talked to themselves in public?
Nope. Later on, I got a better look at the woman and saw that she had a
wire snaking out of one ear. Yep--she was using a hands-free phone
(probably from her car) so she could have both hands free to handle
laundry and yak at the same time.
--
Trudi

Trudi Marrapodi
September 25th 03, 01:28 AM
In article >, Rick Onanian
> wrote:

> On Wed, 24 Sep 2003 21:05:13 GMT, Chuck Anderson >
> wrote:
> >> Hands-free units are fine. But personally, I don't think hands are the
> >> issue. I think cell phones are way too distracting, and I'd just ban
> >> them from use by a driver, period, while the vehicle is in traffic.
>
> What I want to know is how talking on a hands-free phone
> is any different than conversing with passengers who are
> actually in the vehicle.

[snip]

In some cases, it may not be--both may be equally distracting, depending
on the conversation. But I think that talking on the phone tends to
provide more cognitive dissonance and be a more involving task than
talking to someone sitting right next to or behind you. You have to
concentrate harder to get the gist of the conversation with absolutely no
visual cues at all (even if you don't directly look at your passengers and
keep your eyes on the road, you have a better sense of their body
language, facial expression, etc., than you do of someone who isn't at all
present). I think it requires more of a person mentally in most cases to
pick up the entire meaning of another person's conversation on sound
alone--and what the driver's applying mentally to the conversation is
cognition and alertness that can and should be applied to the road
instead.

I also think passengers have a better sense of when a driver is likely to
be distracted--and thus instinctively will cut short or pause their
conversation with the driver if it looks as if a difficult traffic
situation is presenting itself--than a person on the other end of a phone
who can't even see where the driver is or what the traffic situation is
like and how much of the driver's attention it may require. The passengers
may not even consciously think about it, but they will fall silent or talk
less with a driver who seems tested by the traffic conditions at a given
time. A person at the other end of a phone can't do that, because that
person is blind to the traffic conditions.
--
Trudi

Raoul Duke
September 25th 03, 08:33 AM
"Mitch Haley" > wrote in message
...

> The passengers in the car can see what's going on and know
> when they have to shut up and let you drive.
> Mitch

You don't have kids, do you?

Dave

Zippy the Pinhead
September 30th 03, 12:33 AM
On Tue, 23 Sep 2003 20:41:31 GMT, "Buck" <s c h w i n n _ f o r _ s a
l e @ h o t m a i l . c o m> wrote:

>
>Please don't quote statistics without a link to the source of said
>statistics. Otherwise it is just hearsay. I

I heard that, despite years of effort and millions poured into our
public school system, fully 50% of our students still have a
less-than-average mastery of the science of statistics.

Bob Bayn, Network & Computing Services
September 30th 03, 03:28 AM
In article >, Zippy the Pinhead > writes:
> On Tue, 23 Sep 2003 20:41:31 GMT, "Buck" <s c h w i n n _ f o r _ s a
> l e @ h o t m a i l . c o m> wrote:
>
>>
>>Please don't quote statistics without a link to the source of said
>>statistics. Otherwise it is just hearsay. I
>
> I heard that, despite years of effort and millions poured into our
> public school system, fully 50% of our students still have a
> less-than-average mastery of the science of statistics.



And, more to the point, half of all
motorists you see on the street are
below average, too.

Steve Juniper
September 30th 03, 04:07 AM
Statistically-speaking, 50% of ALL students must ALWAYS be below average
(and 50% above) - that's what 'average' means!
--
Steve Juniper
Berkeley, CA

"You can't clean up the water 'til you get the hogs outta the creek."
-- Jim
Hightower --

"Zippy the Pinhead" > wrote in message
s.com...
On Tue, 23 Sep 2003 20:41:31 GMT, "Buck" <s c h w i n n _ f o r _ s a
l e @ h o t m a i l . c o m> wrote:

>
>Please don't quote statistics without a link to the source of said
>statistics. Otherwise it is just hearsay. I

I heard that, despite years of effort and millions poured into our
public school system, fully 50% of our students still have a
less-than-average mastery of the science of statistics.

David Reuteler
September 30th 03, 04:37 AM
In rec.bicycles.misc Steve Juniper > wrote:
: Statistically-speaking, 50% of ALL students must ALWAYS be below average
: (and 50% above) - that's what 'average' means!

actually that's the definition of median. average can loosely (but not
properly) refer to mean, mode and median but properly average is just the
summation of all points divided by their number which may or may not have 50%
above and below. distributions are not always bell curves nor symmetric
about their average.

much more importantly, though, are you really that humour impaired? or is
this some clever bait? i hate that.
--
david reuteler

David Kerber
September 30th 03, 01:05 PM
In article <[email protected]>,
says...
> Statistically-speaking, 50% of ALL students must ALWAYS be below average
> (and 50% above) - that's what 'average' means!
>

More accurately that's what "median" means. The "mean" is somewhat
different, and does not necessarily have equal numbers of samples
above and below it, even that's what most people think of when they
hear "average".

The "mean" can be skewed by outliers, such as when you try to find the
"average" income of people in the U.S.: the very rich people skew it
to a number which is higher than a true representation should be.
That's why they use "median" income and "median" house price data.

--
Dave Kerber
Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

REAL programmers write self-modifying code.

Rick Onanian
September 30th 03, 08:10 PM
On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 03:07:18 GMT, "Steve Juniper"
> wrote:
>Statistically-speaking, 50% of ALL students must ALWAYS be below average
>(and 50% above) - that's what 'average' means!

I don't think so. Approximately 50% must be below MEDIAN,
but not average. I say "approximately" because there may be
an odd number of students.

I could have some or all of that wrong.

--
Rick "No math genius" Onanian

Dr Engelbert Buxbaum
October 4th 03, 07:48 AM
Trudi Marrapodi wrote:

> As long as we're going off on a tangent, I'd love to see people stop:

> --forgetting to turn them off or set them to vibrate at events like concerts

The crassest thing I experienced was a woman who called somebody on her
mobile during a piano recital. That's right, she was not called, she did
the calling (and finally left when everybody else tried to kill her with
looks).

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