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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 4:04 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
a woman was given and on the spot £100 fine for eating a banana while she was stuck in a traffic jam.
The newspaper reports still online don't mention a traffic jam, just that the car was stationary. A while back someone was fined for eating a chocolate bar whilst stationary at lights, one report suggested that she was late moving off when they changed. I think it is the being distracted - by anything one is doing (https://www.askthe.police.uk/content/Q681.htm) - rather than the eating.


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 5:15 pm 
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All this talk has reminded me that I don't really know my state's statutes against distracted driving; to me the principle is eminently clear, enough so that one needn't even know the law beyond knowing that it exists. Still, curiosity piqued, I checked anyway, and the upshot is that even when stopped at a traffic light, were I to be whistling I would legally be in violation. Of course, enforcement is not easy.

"Stuff the law!", you say. "Up with rugged individualism!" All I can say is that any time I've tried eating while driving, the results of both were messy enough to make me repent the practice. I'm still not convinced that confining whistling to traffic stops makes an exception; whistling takes more brainpower than eating, and paying attention to the ebb and flow is just as important at stops as it is on the move. Never mind whistling; I noticed at stops that simply in stuffing my face, even with what I thought was keeping my eyes peeled, I was not fully present to it, and missed cues. That's a hazard. By the same token, I was not fully present to my nosh, either. My compromised driving aside, for myself I prefer more well-rounded experiences.

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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 6:05 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
All this talk has reminded me that I don't really know my state's statutes against distracted driving; to me the principle is eminently clear, enough so that one needn't even know the law beyond knowing that it exists. Still, curiosity piqued, I checked anyway, and the upshot is that even when stopped at a traffic light, were I to be whistling I would legally be in violation. Of course, enforcement is not easy.

"Stuff the law!", you say. "Up with rugged individualism!" All I can say is that any time I've tried eating while driving, the results of both were messy enough to make me repent the practice. I'm still not convinced that confining whistling to traffic stops makes an exception; whistling takes more brainpower than eating, and paying attention to the ebb and flow is just as important at stops as it is on the move. Never mind whistling; I noticed at stops that simply in stuffing my face, even with what I thought was keeping my eyes peeled, I was not fully present to it, and missed cues. That's a hazard. By the same token, I was not fully present to my nosh, either. My compromised driving aside, for myself I prefer more well-rounded experiences.


Far as I can tell, the law only applies to electronic devices in Minnesota.
https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/distra ... fault.aspx (though eating and drinking in a car is discouraged, it doesn't appear to be illegal yet).
That said, they might try to make a 'careless driving' case stick

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.13
But I think a good lawyer could get you out of that one, considering the examples for 'careless driving' they give in the law itself.

Of course, I would never, ever advocate playing while you're actually in motion in the vehicle.

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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 6:17 pm 
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Every car in the US for the last thirty years has had multiple cup holders. One suspects from this that sipping coffee at a traffic light is not illegal. I have in fact done this! Multiple times. Some times in a “travel mug” sold for that specific purpose!

As far as I know, I’m not stuffing any laws.

Perhaps insistent lobbying will make it illegal, and all those cup holders can be converted to holding vases of flowers. Although that might be distracting—the colors, the smells.

What IS permissible at a traffic light? Can one sneeze? Speak to one’s spouse or passenger? Change the radio station? Adjust the mirrors? All these thing involve distraction. Perhaps we could ticket drivers for speaking to passengers.

I’m not a very good whistle player. I have trouble getting some passages under my fingers. I live in a very urbanized area where long traffic lights are common. I don’t see a huge difference between the things mentioned above and slowly working on a phrase while watching both the light and the rear view mirror although of course not at the same time. The other things actually help make the phrasing automatic, that is not requiring step by step thought.


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 7:08 pm 
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Polara Pat wrote:
PB+J wrote:
I’m not distracting myself. I’m looking to find a way to turn dead time into something productive.



Exactly my thoughts.


More like this, really: Oh, I am totally distracting myself! I’m looking to find a way to deliberately make myself a less than safe driver and I really don't care who gets in the way of my selfish bit of fun!

Sorry, but when you're behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, your entire job, whether the car is in motion or stopped at a light or caught in a jam, is to give the situation on the road an absolute 100% of your focus. People do actually die and are actually injured because idiots get behind the wheel and pretend like they're gods of multitasking.

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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 7:17 pm 
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whistlecollector wrote:
Polara Pat wrote:
PB+J wrote:
I’m not distracting myself. I’m looking to find a way to turn dead time into something productive.



Exactly my thoughts.


More like this, really: Oh, I am totally distracting myself! I’m looking to find a way to deliberately make myself a less than safe driver and I really don't care who gets in the way of my selfish bit of fun!

Sorry, but when you're behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, your entire job, whether the car is in motion or stopped at a light or caught in a jam, is to give the situation on the road an absolute 100% of your focus. People do actually die and are actually injured because idiots get behind the wheel and pretend like they're gods of multitasking.


I don't think you're sorry at all! :)

So as above: can you talk to a passenger? sip coffee? listen to music? These thing would seem to distract from the state of constant white knuckle vigilance you're demanding. I'm asking this seriously. Do you forbid conversation in the car, if you have a passenger? Is music allowed?


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 7:19 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
"Stuff the law!", you say. "Up with rugged individualism!"


I had a shufty for Maryland. They're very clear about the broad nature of "distracted driving", in that it includes activities such as "Texting, Using a cell phone or smartphone, Eating and drinking, Talking to passengers, Grooming, Reading (including maps), Using a navigation system, Watching a video, Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player".

They further specify that distractions come in a variety of forms: "Visual - looking at something other than the road (like a penny whistle); Auditory - hearing something not related to driving (like a penny whistle); Manual - manipulating something other than the wheel (such as a tin whistle); Cognitive - thinking about something other than driving (e.g., getting through a reel before the light changes)".

It's just common sense: Don't Toot and Drive!.

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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 7:24 pm 
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whistlecollector wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
"Stuff the law!", you say. "Up with rugged individualism!"


I had a shufty for Maryland. They're very clear about the broad nature of "distracted driving", in that it includes activities such as "Texting, Using a cell phone or smartphone, Eating and drinking, Talking to passengers, Grooming, Reading (including maps), Using a navigation system, Watching a video, Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player".

They further specify that distractions come in a variety of forms: "Visual - looking at something other than the road (like a penny whistle); Auditory - hearing something not related to driving (like a penny whistle); Manual - manipulating something other than the wheel (such as a tin whistle); Cognitive - thinking about something other than driving (e.g., getting through a reel before the light changes)".

It's just common sense: Don't Toot and Drive!.


What is a "shufty?" It seems the shufty forbids radios, speaking to passengers, sipping coffee and looking at anything other than the things that can be described as absolutely essential. My car itself is illegal in Maryland, apparently.

I"m putting down this thread and backing away slowly


Last edited by PB+J on Mon May 27, 2019 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 7:51 pm 
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whistlecollector wrote:
Polara Pat wrote:
PB+J wrote:
I’m not distracting myself. I’m looking to find a way to turn dead time into something productive.



Exactly my thoughts.


More like this, really: Oh, I am totally distracting myself! I’m looking to find a way to deliberately make myself a less than safe driver and I really don't care who gets in the way of my selfish bit of fun!

Sorry, but when you're behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, your entire job, whether the car is in motion or stopped at a light or caught in a jam, is to give the situation on the road an absolute 100% of your focus. People do actually die and are actually injured because idiots get behind the wheel and pretend like they're gods of multitasking.



To quote myself
Polara Pat wrote:

Never at lights but stopping at the grocery store and hammering out a few reels isn't such a bad thing. I take it where I can get it.


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 2:05 am 
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Having a shufty is taking a look at something.

If any of you play your whistles in a vehicle that isn't parked up, you are increasing your chances of causing an accident considerably - it's not clever, it's being stupid.

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Last edited by fatmac on Tue May 28, 2019 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 7:46 am 
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I ought to know better than to get back into this fray, but, I love Chiffing so here's my question, while driving particularly on the highway, any highway, is reading advertisements on billboards a violation? Here in these parts there are large highway billboards and relatively more recent electronic, lighted, billboards that flick an Ad and then changes to another Ad. The signs are not put up on the highway state property, however, the signs are placed on private property very close to highway and entirely visible while travelling. There is a particular stretch of highway just out of Hartford, CT southbound I-91 where there is a dozen or more such billboards placed very close together and meant for the driver travelling at 55 mph.

On another thought the billboards must get some type of government approval so is the government endorsing distracted driving?


Last edited by ytliek on Tue May 28, 2019 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 8:14 am 
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 10:20 am 
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 12:25 pm 
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Wanderer wrote:
Far as I can tell, the law only applies to electronic devices in Minnesota.

In specific, yes. That is the primary focus. The statute as it applies to other distractive behaviors in general is otherwise very vague, which affords a hopefully common-sense interpretive leeway for both the motorist and enforcement, and judicial leeway in assessing the weight of culpability in the case of accidents as well. For example, I think that taking a drink from one's cup would generally be thought of as less important than putting on makeup. That said, it is my experience that even the slightest diversion compromises one's awareness as a driver. That is why when it comes to even such simple acts as taking a drink, I wait until the chances of a dust-up are slim.

PB+J wrote:
So as above: can you talk to a passenger? sip coffee? listen to music? These thing would seem to distract from the state of constant white knuckle vigilance you're demanding. I'm asking this seriously. Do you forbid conversation in the car, if you have a passenger? Is music allowed?

Before I proceed, let me assure you that "white knuckle vigilance" far overstates the matter, at least in my case. I do, however, advocate awareness. A white-knuckled approach is in itself a distraction because it is based on fear, and fear blinds. I've ridden with white-knuckled drivers, and they're not good drivers. I always want to get out, or take over. Now onward and upward:

These are good questions. First I will say that anything other than just driving is a distraction; it cannot be otherwise. However, I also think it's unreasonable to forbid the driver that sip, that music, that conversation, that glance at the billboard. These are things we weigh, or at least ought to; some obviously weigh them less than others. Sometimes we have no choice: children, for example. School bus drivers are marvels, in my book. Or you have to bring your pet to the vet; the periodic quick look and a word of reassurance is a right and good thing along the way. I do these things. But they are still distractions, and as a driver I acknowledge this and take it into account. I think owning it is the important thing. Accordingly, I very much pick my battles, and for me, whistling at a stop is up there with texting or putting on makeup: the level of involvement for those is orders of magnitude beyond a sip of coffee. Personally, I would be more lenient about the banana.

So while my vigilance is involved, it's not white-knuckled, but levelheaded. I'm a very relaxed driver, actually, and I'm able to be relaxed because I'm paying attention. The mind can be sharp without being fearful.

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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 12:34 pm 
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anything other than just driving is a distraction; it cannot be otherwise.... But they are still distractions




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