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New Answer To Idiots Who Use Mobile Phones Whilst Driving


If Big Brother is a euphemism for enforcement of the traffic regulations it has been with us for many decades? And I tend to agree it is only a percentage of drivers that put the rest of us in the situation you suggest.

It is easy for most of us to personalise some of the consequences increased monitoring and control of motor vehicle use could bring!

It remains an option. The alternative view may be -

“How many more road deaths and multitudes of injuries, of shattered lives and families are we going to accept?”

Which is more rational and important - human life or some loosely defined expectation of freedom while in control of a motor vehicle?

As a culture or society we often fall short of reasonable community standards of behaviour. If there is no “Big Brother” in traffic enforcement how would you ensure compliance across 100% of the community?


A good point, and reason enough for all of us to find a better way forward with our driving performance.

It might be useful to note that one suggestion is the 737Max analogy is more complex in it’s nature than just a control software issue. It may stem from a corporate culture and known aerodynamic design characteristic. The aircraft is inherently unstable in some flight conditions compared to its predecessor 737 non-max designs.

Is it a “Compromised Design”?

A consumer topic all on it’s own?


Taking that to what would be required in the real world it would be 100% of the community 100% of the time. Is that ever a realistic expectation, Big Brother, or otherwise?


I’d suggest the alternatives present a “dilemma”.

There is no single solution that is likely to satisfy all of us at any time. The less acceptable alternatives, should encourage us to find better ways.


To have multiple cameras and to be spied into your mobile connection so that it can be blocked is a bit too much ‘Traffic enforcement ‘ in my opinion.
Unfortunately, there will be lamentable road deaths, etc,. while there are vehicles on the roads (even horse drawn vehicles caused death in times past).
Maybe more and better info about the consequences of using your mobile while driving , a bit like the info on the dangers of smoking and the AIDS ads, would be of help.
I keep my phone in my handbag in the back of the car so I’m not even able to use it if tempted. But I value my privacy as far as a camera looking at me all the time I’m
in my car!


I understand that you are merely laying out the spectrum of views but by that logic it would be illegal for a passenger to speak, and illegal to listen to the radio or other music source.

I get the concerns with self-driving cars but self-driving cars would resolve a lot of the dilemma i.e. avoid any possibility of driver distraction and do so without further intrusive and restrictive regulations.

Or perhaps the government should invest more in public transport …

Hopefully no malfunction of said blocking mechanism that prevents a critical 000 call in a life-threatening situation. (If the block is voluntarily implemented within the phone, this is less of a risk because it could intentionally make 000 calls exempt from blocking even while driving, as compared with blocking that is external to the phone.)


Idiots using a mobile for texting or making a phone call are not restricted to drivers:
more than once I’ve had to step out of the way of someone walking at me, totally absorbed in their communication. Also, a much more dangerous practice, I’ve seen people crossing the road while on the phone.
Where would ‘Big Brother is watching ‘
come in in such situations I wonder🤔


Perhaps there is something here that could be adapted to preventing the use of mobile phones whilst driving.



I commented on this aspect earlier. As for calling 000, I think that if you are doing that, you’re not driving.


Yes and up to a point a passenger will be more sensitive to the road situation than the person on the other end of the phone. That may apply better to adult passengers than child passengers - and it doesn’t address the talkback radio announcer / talkback caller who will continue to drone on regardless.

Just putting it out there - single car rollover in an isolated location and the badly injured driver (or passenger) musters all his or her energy in a futile attempt to call 000. And dies.

I’m not saying that blocking calls while driving is the worst idea anyone has ever come up with but there are a lot of scenarios to think about.

However we have strayed from the actual “new answer” which was surveillance cameras looking into people’s cars in order to detect people who are using phones.


Surely any blocking will be tied to engine on or off and one presumes that a rollover resulting in injury that bad… the engine isnt going to be running anymore, is it? If the person is dying tho… they are not going to be making calls, they are going to be gasping their last.

And yes, you’re right, we are way off topic here.

I think cameras peeking into cars is bloody sneaky and should not be an option, but phones should simply not be used. Everyone knows they shouldnt and many people think the rules dont apply to them. They are the same ones who drive too fast, who take the parking spot you were about to claim… you know the ones I mean. And they will never stop using their phones in the car.


While OT, you are being followed by a road rager trying to run you off the road and repeatedly crashing into you. You are alone. Ooops, no mobile service and be sure not to touch it!


Police might start using devices like the Textalyzer to interrogate a phone to see if it was being used while the vehicle was being driven.


Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe electrics on or off - rather than engine running. Maybe key in engine running position regardless of whether engine actually running.

On that we agree.


Plug in via what interface? Supported with what types of phone / phone operating systems?

What if the phone requires something to be done on the phone before accepting the connection from the device? What if the user or the phone or both refuse to cooperate? What if the phone has a “distress” code that the user uses? (The distress code discreetly wipes out private information.)

It may well be illegal for the police to use such a device in the US. No such problems there though. :frowning:


There are always exceptions. So should we cater for the unusual out there might happen exceptions, or try to deal with what we know, which is that irresponsible idiots use their phones when they know they shouldnt?


Depending on one’s personal experience in situations of extreme duress, the answer could be different to your own.

Mobiles should not be used while driving, but making them unusable could easily result in a reduction to personal safety in numerous scenarios. The 737Max issue comes to mind whereby a technology intended to make the airplane safer resulted in two crashes.

If they could be restricted to only dial 000 for example my concerns would be mitigated. I expect there could be other approaches short of arbitrarily disabling the mobile. nb. Coverage is spotty enough in many places so I am not pretending mobile service is an end-all when one needs help and needs it straight away, but still better than being by ones self, all alone, and nobody can hear your scream.


So far we all agree that using a phone while driving is a very dangerous thing to do. It is illegal, carries heavy fines and big demerits points. It is even illegal to phone in a parked car if the motor is still running.
The difficult question is how to stop it happening.
I believe it to be a gross invasion of privacy to have cameras on 100% of drivers to catch ?% of those who break the law.
The blocking of phone connections is fraught with complications as it has been competently debated in recent posts.
The police being able to see if the phone has been used in the car is pointless when they haven’t see who was using it ( a family member who just got out of the car?).
By the way, I don’t know why they ban mobile usage in NY, from what I’ve seen traffic is at a stand still most of the time. Maybe banning tooting continually day and night, which drives people crazy, would be a better idea.:wink:


I believe it is OK to be parked with the engine running whilst talking on a mobile phone, at least in Qld, as long as you have engaged the parking brake.