Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com January 10, 2013 at 9:45 am 38 Comments

Red bench in Arlington by Wolfkann

Bill Would Ban Cell Phone Use While Driving in School Zones — Sen. Janet Howell (D) has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to use a cell phone while driving in a school zone or school crossing zone. Violations will be considered a traffic infraction and will be punishable by a fine of up to $250. [Richmond Sunlight]

CaBi Trip Data Online — Where do trips from your local CaBi station usually end? A new visualization tool allows you to see where CaBi users are traveling to. [MV Jantzen, Mobility Lab]

Brink Supports Two-Term Va. Governor — Del. Bob Brink (D) of Arlington is one of several General Assembly lawmakers to introduce or patron a constitutional amendment that would allow the governor of Virginia to serve a second term. If passed, the amendment will take effect for the governor elected in 2017. [Richmond Sunlight]

USS Arlington Crew Members Get Decal Vote — Crew members of the USS Arlington, set to be commissioned soon, will get a vote on the new Arlington County parking decal. This year, the contest challenged entrants to design a decal incorporating the USS Arlington. Voting is open through Jan. 21. [Sun Gazette]

Civic Federation Supports LEAP — The Arlington County Civic Federation has approved a resolution to promote the non-profit Local Energy Alliance Program, or LEAP, which offers free home energy efficiency assessments to homeowners, along with cash rebates for energy efficiency measures. [Arlington Mercury]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

  • JamesE

    Just ban cell phone use all together, good luck enforcing it in school zones.

    • DCBuff

      Could we make the entire Commonwealth a school zone?

      • YTK

        Aaaaaamen!!!! Almost been run over by mindless idiots talking on their cell phones and ignoring lights, pedestrians, etc.
        Then maybe my friend will have the time to TALK to me instead of yak yak yakking on her cell phone (once she was on it for ONE WHOLE HOUR!! I woulda jumped out of the car but we were doing 70 on 95)

        • Clarendon Cruiser

          + 70 on 95

  • Agreed!

    You don’t need reports or statistics to see that people who talk/text while driving are more dangerous than those who do not.
    Ban their use in 1+ ton death machines.

  • novasteve

    But it’s okay to fidget with your satellite radio, built in navigation, and air conditioner in a school zone?

    • Captain_Obvious

      yes, cause I don’t have to look down to turn my AC on.

      • novasteve

        It is still distracting you. And I noticed you didn’t address the other things I listed.

        • Captain_Obvious

          that’s cause I dont have satellite radio or built in navigation.

          I guess turning on a turn signal or your wipers is also distracting. So I guess you shouldn’t use turn signals anymore and don’t use your wipers when its raining. Would you rather be able to see out your windshield or be distracted turning on your wipers when it is raining. Hmmm, tough choices here. See how your logic is seriously flawed ?

          • novasteve

            I don’t take my eyes off the road when I turn my signal or use my wipers. using your radio and the AC requires you to move your eyes.

        • jop

          Are you 10yrs old?

      • BBMS

        Yeah, but I don’t have to look down to talk on my cellphone either.

        “while using any handheld personal communications device in any manner for any purpose” is awkward legal language. The root of this is to get at distractions, not necessarily the physical act of how you manipulate your hands at any given moment while driving.

      • Buckingham Beauty

        And with voice dial, I don’t have to look down at my phone, either.

        • phoney phone

          But the person on the line might actually say something that requires some of your attention. Attention that should be focused 100% on driving.

          • Buckingham Beauty

            And how is that any different than having someone else in the car with you and talking to you, especially, say, fighting kids in the backseat or somesuch? If you’re changing lanes or doing anything requiring the kind of attention where an adult sitting next to you would shut up for a minute, you put the darned phone down for a minute, change lanes, and get back to the conversation. It’s not rocket science.

    • NovaDriver

      Of course it’s all right – I drive an automatic!

  • Stitch_Jones

    The one term limit on the governor in our Commonwealth is an essential plank that ensures that our state legislature matters most. I hope it never changes. This effort to allow reelection of the governor should be defeated. Our Commonwealth has done well turning over the executive every few years. No single politician or administration is so essential that we need to prolong their stay in power. This isn’t broken…Delegate Brink might be concerned with better issues I should hope.

    • DCBuff

      Excellent points. And, a former governor can run again after waiting four years. We had a governor do that in the 60s/70s.

  • B22201

    Ban cell-phones use from anyone under the age of 21.

    • Captain_Obvious

      what would that do ? You think people under 21 are worse drivers than SUV-driving soccer moms ??

    • Alex

      Sounds good but it’s usually business men that are swerving into my lanes while they try to email from their Blackberry. Even while taking the metrorail or buses, it’s the older generation who strike me as most inconsiderate with their cell phone use.

      Ban cell phone use while driving altogether and actually enforce it. It’s outlawed in DC and every other driver is on their cell phone because there isn’t any enforcement.

  • novasteve

    Shouldn’t talking while driving and eating while driving also get banned if we’re concerned about distractions?

    • Buckingham Beauty

      As well as driving with a baby in the back seat. THAT is distracting.

    • Dezlboy

      novasteve: why don’t you answer some of your questions yourself?

      • Captain_Obvious

        he can’t, when he chooses not to answer questions, its cause he knows he is wrong.

    • Buckingham Bandit

      I agree that eating and drinking should be banned. With that much tonnage at high speeds in the control of drivers, I want them fully in control.

      But hey, we’re Americans, so we have to adhere to the self-fulfilling prophesy that we love our cars and our food on the go, right?

  • novasteve

    Don’t rules like this give the police excuses to profile? You can use the cell phone as an excuse to pull over, search, etc,, that might have disparate impact on certain groups. “For the children” vs. profiling?

    • Dezlboy

      novasteve: and rules like this decrease the use of cell phones, thus decrease AT&T and Verizon revenue, which causes the companies to lay off employees, which drives the nation into recessiion, and causes world-wide depression, and leads to the death of millions. (STRAW MAN!)

  • Honestly, I think we’d all be better off with a ban on cell phone use on roads with higher speed limits than 25 mph, if allow cell phone use at all while driving. Maybe just allow the use of bluetooth headsets or car-phone integration while driving?

  • E2DAV

    Interesting proposal for the Governor. I always thought the one and done rule was odd. What about a compromise like the Mexican presidency…one term, but five or six years instead of four.

    I am all in favor of voting for whomever – I would like to vote for Bill Clinton again or the Governator for president, but cannot do so. That is odd. But, it kind of seems to work that there is no emphasis on reelection…McDonnell has come from solidly right to more moderate when he has led. I am not sure that happens if he constantly had The Cooch threatening a primary run if McDonnell could run again.

    I think in-theory I am against an arbitrary rule like the one term, but it does kind of work. Part of it is growth in Virginia, but I also think the fact that none of these guys has run for reelection has made them more popular. I think only Wilder has left office unpopular if you take all governors in the last 20+ years.

  • Jeff

    Thanks for sharing your photo, Wolfkann. Great shot, great color.

  • Clarendon Cruiser

    I am amazed at the number of people putting cell phones to their ears when driving, when I KNOW their high end luxury vehicles are prewired for Bluetooth.

    Leads me to believe that they are too stupid or lazy to match their smartphones to their autos.

    I’ve been using bluetooth technology in my auto since it’s introduction, but I still hate and absolutely limit my phonecalls.

    when somebody calls me, the first thing I tell them is that I am driving, can we keep this short or call me later.

  • Swag

    I don’t answer my phone while I’m driving.

    It really is that simple.

    • JamesE

      Same (because I drive a manual)

      • drax

        I can drive stick while eating a burger and talking on a phone.

        I don’t, but I can if I want to.

        • novasteve

          I’d think most manual drivers probalby could handle eating a burger and talking on the phone since driving a manual is a skill and requires you to be attentive, unlike automatics.

  • bobbytiger

    It’s also illegal to drive in the rain without your lights on. Anybody ever gotten a ticket for that?

  • tttt

    Another pointless, feel-good law that is as unenforceable as VA’s current seat belt law. *All* these distracting behaviors are essentially already illegal as “failure to devote full time and attention”…. but that doesn’t make for good press conference fodder.


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