Saturday, January 20, 2007

Cellphones and cycling

So in NJ, they decided that, although 25% of their bicycle accidents involve alcohol yet it's not illegal to ride while drunk, it should be illegal to ride while using a cell phone.

Hands free devices excepted of course.

They must have inhaled too much of those fumes floating around the Jersey shore.

I don't know about you but have you ever tried to talk on the phone while riding? I have. It inevitably ends up with me pulling over, putting a foot down, and saying, "What did you just say?"

Forget about whether or not you have enough aerobic capacity to even talk. Trying to listen in a 25-30 mph wind tunnel is not easy.

This is what I do when I go for a long ride:
1. Big phone that has a lot of battery power
2. Hands free ear thing
3. Set auto answer on
4. (Optional) turn on music at low volume
You're riding along, you get a call, and after a few rings it picks up. Presto!

One time I even got upgraded to First Class because I had my setup in place. They called and asked if I'd mind flying 15 minutes earlier but in First Class. I was waiting for the punchline but it never came. So I accepted.

The thing is, until you stop seeing everyone driving around talking on the phone (sans hands free kit), you're not going to make anyone thing it's better to use hands free kits.

Introducing legislation to increase the number of laws not enforced doesn't do anyone any good.

I suppose that if they don't enforce driving while jabbering on the phone without a hands free kit, they probably won't enforce the cycling bit either.

I wonder if they consider, say, running red lights to be dangerous. Based on the driving I see when I leave the office parking lot, I get the impression that this is not the case.

At least one legislator had something to say. "As my father used to tell me, 'You can't legislate common sense,' and that's exactly what this bill tries to do, as the Legislature has already tried to do on so many other occasions,'' said Assemblyman Richard Merkt, R-Morris.

Well put.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I always carry a cell phone with me when I ride in case I get lost and need to call my friend Aki to give me directions to get back home.

On serious note, I think cell phones are used way too often. The usage is abusive. We've become addicts to the "electronic leash" and slaves to the "god of ring tones". Addicts never exhibit common sense.

Imagine if your cell phone didn't ring for a week. I think some people might actually have a psychotic break.

On a personal note:

I understand if you are cycling and are on call for work, but otherwise I think if you are exercising, whether it be running, cycling or hitting the gym, it should be cherished as quality time for oneself. A downtime from the interruptions of our chaotic world.

For a long time, I would feel off balance if I didn't have my cell phone on me. It was actually weird for me to have to leave my cell phone in my locker at the gym while I did my workout. But I am glad I do now. It's my 2 hours of each day when it's Kelly time. It's made a big difference in my day.

It kinda makes you wonder how we ever got by without cell phones. Ah primitive man.