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Economics & Politics Discussion of the economic and political market driving factors of automated enforcement technology.

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Old 2009-06-22
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Exclamation New Jersey to Consider Banning Drivers from Operating GPS

Article: New Jersey to Consider Banning Drivers from Operating GPS

L Harvey SmithA New Jersey state lawmaker wants to make it a crime for drivers to touch the screen of a satellite navigation device in a moving vehicle. Earlier this month, state Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith (D-Hudson) introduced legislation to expand the state's existing prohibition on using a cell phone behind the wheel.

"This bill would amend current law to also prohibit the manual operation of a global positioning system (GPS) device or similar navigation device by the operator of a moving motor vehicle," the official summary for A4064 explains. "The bill would allow the operator to use a voice-activated GPS device."

Motorists pulled over for the newly created offense would face a $100 fine without license points. A more broadly worded proposal to ban GPS operation while driving has been adopted in Spain's legislative body with penalties of 100 euros (US $140) with points.

While no vote has been taken on Smith's idea, such bill introductions can sometimes reflect a national trend. In 2005, a bill introduced in the New Jersey legislature to ban smoking in cars carrying children went nowhere. Now the idea is law in Arkansas, California, Louisiana and Maine with three dozen states considering adopting similar bans.

A copy of the legislation is available in a 25k PDF file at the source link below. Source
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  #2 (permalink)   IP: 192.168.2.1
Old 2009-06-22
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Spain's motivation for banning these devices have been tied by some to the growing use of such devices to track the position of photo enforcement systems.

If true, it would seem that our friends in Spanish traffic enforcement are more openly interested in protecting the revenue generated from such systems, more than the appearance of enhancing safety...

Given New Jersey's long-standing propensity to create laws restricting rights of its citizens, this is no surprise.

STH


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Old 2009-06-23
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For me, this is harder to dissect.

I understand the underlying political (translation: revenue/money) aspects of the equation - I can easily read between the lines. And, of-course, I heartily disagree with such.

The problem I have, though, when examining this particular case, comes about when I examine the true safety concerns that GPS-usage pose.

Given that the vast majority of the population does *NOT* seem to understand that, when driving, interacting with a GPS device is just as dangerous as "Texting" on one's cell-phone, or other such devoted activity (i.e. not only does it take your attention from the roadway, as even the use of a hands-free cellular phone will, the further dangerous of interactive input as well as the accommodation that your eyes must exert in order to shift from roadway scanning to detail-reading of a device very close-in), as well as the inclination of some to somehow put the device in an area where they think it would be "neat/nifty" (i.e. overhead display, or integration into a lower part of the instrument console) makes for a huge driving hazard.

Anyone who drives at-speed certainly can remember the last time that they took their eyes from the main roadway for just a split second - even for a scan of one's instrumentation or rearview mirrors - only to look ahead again and see a developing situation.

Given the allowance of the bill for allowing the driver to interact with the device on a VOCAL/audible level, I think that it is perhaps the right way to approach this particular true-safety concern.

And certainly, it does not restrict a passenger from navigating.


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Old 2009-06-23
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Allen,

To be quite frank, yes, I agree with your take on things (what's going on in Spain may be a sufficiently different dynamic, altogether).

While NJ certainly has a propensity to enact restrictive laws on behavior, I do believe that all multi-media related devices (especially ones which require hands-on operation) do present a safety concern for all drivers.

If reports that suggest that drivers using such equipment (whatever they are) drive as though they were intoxicated (from decreased reaction times and/or over-multi-tasked) then, indeed, it would appear that we do, in fact, have a safety dynamic that is developing that is of great concern.

Some of the posts penned by the Veil Guy, concerning technology & driver attentiveness and their impact on overall highway safety, have addressed this very issue.

I am pleased that legislatures are beginning to look at other things that have far greater impact on highway safety than simply "speed." In this respect, I believe this is actually a healthy deliberation that is taking place.

STH


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Old 2009-06-23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Trap Hunter View Post
....what's going on in Spain may be a sufficiently different dynamic, altogether.
+1. That's my feeling of that situation, too. There's something not quite Kosher, there.


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