Bikers Rights - Cell phone users are as dangerous as DUI drunk drivers.Motorcyclist Safety can only be acheived if we can outlaw driving under the influence of cell phones. Bikers Rights are Human Rights.Contact Motorcyclists Against (Cell Phone Impaired) Dumb Drivers
Motorcyclist Safety is a matter of Bikers Rights which cannot be achieved without a ban on cell phone use while driving.Cell phone use while driving is as dangerous to your health as DUI Drunk Driving.Cell Phone use while driving and DUI Drunk Driving.
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Driving under the influence of cell phones is as dangerous as DUI drunk driving and may be even more dangerous to motorcyclists.Bikers Rights to Motorcyclist Safety includes Riding Free of the Cell Phone Impaired.
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Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers Scientific Review Article Demonstrating That Driving Under the Influence of a Cell Phone is Epidemic and as Dangerous as DUI Drunk Driving; Handheld and Hands-Free Cell Phones Result in Identical Impairment. We Urge Comprehensive Ban On All Cell Phone Use While Driving.

Open Letter to the American Motorcyclists Association, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and the Mortorcycle Riders Foundation to Take Stands For Comprehensive Cell Phone Bans..

Our Motorcyclist Safety Position For Law Banning Cell Phone Use While Driving, "Through the Prism of Libertarianism."


Bikers Rights - Motorcycle Safety - Cell phone Use Must Be Outlawed While Driving.

Please Join in Writing Your Legislators to Demand Comprehensive Cell Phone Bans. DUI Driving Under the Influence of Cell Conversation Is Our Most Important Motorcyclist Safety Issue Because It is the Single Most Potent Highway Safety Factor Contributing Highway Accidents and it is Motorcyclists Who Are Disproportionately Most Likely to Be Seriously Injured or Killed in The Accidents the Cell Phone Impaired Cause.

There is no more important motorcyclist safety issue today than the epidemic of DUI driving under the influence of cell conversation. We must lobby our legislators for comprehensive cell phone bans, meaning bans on all cell conversation while driving, regardless of the device that may be employed. As an example of our efforts to obtain the first comprehensive cell phone ban, we copy below selected of the correspondence from distinguished biker advocates in support of our efforts in the State of Florida this Spring of 2007, where M-A-D-D friend and former Florida ABATE Chapter President Robert Conroy has taken the lead in pushing the legislation. We reprint below the position paper of Mr. Conroy in support of the Florida initiative. Reprinted also in support of Mr. Conroy's initiative are the position statements of Ray Henke, founder, Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers, and Shirley Vanever, prominent Delaware bikers rights advocate, co-founder of Delaware Freedom Riders, Member of ABATE Delaware, and Publisher of the Delaware Curmudgeon.

What our state legislators most need to know is simply that we are aware specifically that driving under the influence of cell conversation results in DUI level driving impairment and a four fold increased likelihood that the driver will cause an accident, equal or slightly higher than the accident rate of DUI level drunk drivers. And that we are aware that "holding" the cell phone is notthe problem. Our legislators need to be made aware that we are aware that all of the science is abundant and consistent that motorists who converse by hands-free cell phones are just as impaired as those who use handheld cell phones, and just as likely to cause an accident. If each we do just this, in correspondence to our state legislators and governors, it will dissuade them of the illusion that they can forever ignore this most serious transportation related public health crisis in their state, and inform them that they cannot enact useless handheld cell phone legislation counting on public ignorance of the facts and abundant science that all cell conversation while driving is extremely dangerous and so nothing short of a comprehensive cell phone ban will be seen as fulfilling the legislators public trust. See our "M-A-D-D Scientific Review Article on Cell Phone Driving Impairment" to satisfy yourself that this is indeed, our most important motorcyclists safety issue, and then please write to your legislators and governor to demand comprehensive cell legislation.

While the most important contribution that you can make is to let your legislators know that you are aware that driving under the influence of cell conversation is extremely dangerous regardless of the device used to make the call, you may also consider citing to the scientific literature in support of your position.

Some of us have taken the approach to educate our legislators on the science, and in fashioning your own letter to your legislators you may consider also citing to the following scientific literature (discussed more fully in the above referenced M-A-D-D Scientific Review Article.)

1. For the proposition that driving under the influence of cell conversation results in DUI driving impairment and a four fold increased likelihood that the motorist will cause an accident, you may cite to:

Redelmeier and Tibshirani (1997) “Association Between Cellular-Telephone Calls and Motor Vehicle Collisions.” New England Journal of Medicine, 336, 453; McEvoy, Stevenson, McCartt, Woodward, Haworth, Palamara and Cercarelli, "Role of Mobile Phones in Motorvehicle Crashes Resulting in Hospital Attendance; A Case-Crossover Study,” British Medical Journal (July 12, 2005); "The 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study, Phase II," DOT HS 810 593 April, 2006; Strayer, D. L., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). “Driven to distraction: Dual-task studies of simulated driving and conversing on a cellular phone. Psychological Science,” 12, 462-466. McCarley, J. S., Vais, M., Pringle, H., Kramer, A. F., Irwin, D. E., & Strayer, D. L. (2001). “Conversation disrupts visual scanning of traffic scenes.” Paper presented at Vision in Vehicles, Australia. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., Albert, R. W., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). “Cell phone induced perceptual impairments during simulated driving.” In D. V. McGehee, J. D. Lee, & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Driving Assessment 2001: International Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2002). “Why do cell phone conversations interfere with driving?” Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Cell phone induced failures of visual attention during simulated driving.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 9, 23-23. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Are we being driven to distraction? Public Policy Perspectives,” Vol. 16, 1-2. (Published by the Center for Public Policy and Administration, University of Utah) Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. (2003). “Effects of cell phone conversations on younger and older drivers.” In the Proceedings of the 47nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp.. 1860-1864). Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. & Crouch, D. J. (2003). “Fatal distraction? A comparison of the cell-phone driver and the drunk driver.” In D. V. McGehee, J. D. Lee, & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Driving Assessment 2003: International Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design. Published by the Public Policy Center, University of Iowa (pp. 25-30). Strayer, D. L., Cooper, J. M., & Drews, F. A. (2004). “What do drivers fail to see when conversing on a cell phone?” In the Proceedings of the 48nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp 2213-2217). McCarley, J.S., Vais, M.J., Pringle, H., Kamer, A.F., Irwin, D.E., & Strayer, D.L. (2004) “Conversation disrupts change detection in complex traffic scenes.” Human Factors, 46, 424-436. Strayer, D.L., & Drews, F. A. (2004). “Profiles in driver distraction: Effects of cell phone conversations on younger and older drivers.” Human Factors, 46, 640-649. Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. Crouch, D. J., & Johnston, W. A. (2005). “Why do Cell Phone Conversations Interfere with Driving?” In W. R. Walker and D. Herrmann (Eds.) Cognitive Technology: Essays on the Transformation of Thought and Society (pp. 51-68), McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, NC.)

For the proposition that driving under the influence of both handheld and hands-free devices results in the identical DUI impairment and the identical 4 fold increased likelihood that the driver will cause an accident you may cite to all of the Strayer studies identified above. And specifically you may also quote the principal author, D.L Strayer, and Johns Hopkins Professor Yantis for their conclusions that handheld bans are NOT the solution. It is only comprehensive cell phone laws which will be effective in curtailing the inherent dangers of driving under the influence any and all cell phone conversation.

“These data call into question driving regulations that prohibit handheld cell phones and permit hands-free cell phones because no significant differences were found in the impairments to driving caused by these two modes of cellular communication." Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Are We Being Driven to Distraction?” Public Policy Perspectives, Vol. 16, 1-2. (Published by the Center for Public Policy and Administration, University of Utah). Strayer has indeed made this clear at least since 2001:

“Our data imply that legislative initiatives that restrict handheld devices but permit hands-free devices are not likely to reduce interference from the phone conversation, because the interference is, in this case, due to central attentional processes.” Strayer, D. L., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). “Driven to Distraction: Dual-task Studies of Simulated Driving and Conversing on a Cellular Phone.” Psychological Science, 12, 462-466. See also, Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2002). “Why Do Cell Phone Conversations Interfere With Driving?” Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC.

This sentiment was echoed by Johns Hopkins Professor Yantis, based on his neurological studies demonstrating the shift in brain function from the visual to auditory centers of the brain during cell conversation, “Our research helps explain why talking on a cell phone can impair driving performance, even when the driver is using a hands-free device.” Shomstein, S., Yantis, S. “Control of Attention Shifts Between Vision and Audition in Human Cortex.” The Journal of Neuroscience, November 24, 2004, 24(47):10702-10706.

In terms of the magnitude of this "epidemic" of driving under the influence of cell phones, you may cite the legislators to NOPUS, the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (a probability based observed data study on cell phone use performed by NHTSA) which has established that the incidence of observed cell phone use while driving has increased from 2 percent of all American drivers on the road at any given daylight moment in time as of 2002 to 10 percent of all drivers on the road at any given moment in time as of December 2005. You may advise them that you consider this a serious motorcyclist safety issue because it is motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians who are most at risk of being seriously injured or killed by motorists who drive under the influence of cell conversation.

Correspondence Authored by National and Florida Bikers Rights Advocates Urging Comprehensive Cell Phone Legislation For the State of Florida.

Robert Conroy, former Florida ABATE Chapter President Took the Lead in Urging the Florida State Senate Chairman of the Transportation Committee to Move to Enact a Comprehensive Cell Phone Ban.

Dear Senator Carey Baker (r)

I'm writing you regarding Senate Bills S620, S2372, and S1944 relating to the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. I spoke with a representative from your office and the transportation committee today and learned that these bills have not yet been placed on the agenda to be heard. I can not express to you enough the importance of making this issue a priority. The the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle has fast become one of the leading causes of preventable deaths on Florida Highways.

If I may take a moment of your time to point out some relevant facts taken from Driving Under the Influence of a Cell Phone is as Dangerous as DUI Drunk Driving. The Attentional Mechanism Suggests That The Cell Phone Impaired May be Even More Dangerous to Motorcyclists. All Cell Phone Use While Driving Must Be Outlawed. This is a Declaration of War. By Ray Henke, Motorcyclists-Against-Dumb-Drivers.

Studies have demonstrated that motorists are 4 times as likely to cause accidents when engaged in cell phone conversation than when not engaged in cell phone conversation. The landmark epidemiological study is Redelmeier and Tibshirani (1997) “Association Between Cellular-Telephone Calls and Motor Vehicle Collisions.” New England Journal of Medicine, 336, 453.

These results were replicated in subsequent epidemiological studies, including another large case-crossover study using similar methodology, again finding a four fold increased incidence of auto accidents among drivers who were using cell phones at the time of the accident. McEvoy, Stevenson, McCartt, Woodward, Haworth, Palamara and Cercarelli, "Role of Mobile Phones in Motorvehicle Crashes Resulting in Hospital Attendance; A Case-Crossover Study,” British Medical Journal (July 12, 2005).

This four fold increase can be compared to the statistical likelihood of being involved in a crash while driving under the influence of Alcohol. As you can see, what many consider to be a harmless convenience is in fact a deadly combination.

The 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study, Phase II," DOT HS 810 593 April, 2006. In that NHTSA study it was found that "The use of handheld wireless devices (primarily cell phones) was associated with the highest frequency of secondary task distraction-related events. This was true for both events of lower severity (i.e., incident) and for events of higher severity (i.e., near crashes). Wireless devices were also among the categories associated with the highest frequencies of crashes and minor collisions."

Indeed the incidence of accidents caused by cell phone users during the controlled simulations was found to be significantly greater than the incidence of accidents caused by those whose driving was impaired by DUI level alcohol intoxication. The most recent of the publications is Strayer, Drews and Crouch, “A Comparison of the Cell Phone Driver and the Drunk Driver,” Human Factors, Summer 2006. Strayer first announced his findings demonstrating DUI level impairment associated with cell phone use in 2003. Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. & Crouch, D. J. (2003). “Fatal Distraction? A Comparison of the Cell-Phone Driver and the Drunk Driver.” In D. V. McGehee, J. D. Lee, & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Driving Assessment 2003: International Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design. Published by the Public Policy Center, University of Iowa (pp. 25-30).

In another set of experiments, Strayer et al. examined the effect of hands-free cell phone conversation to assess whether impairment of drivers reactions to traffic signals and vehicles braking in front of them might properly be attributed to withdrawal of attention from the scene “yielding a form of inattention blindness" similar but distinct from the intattentional blindness identified by Mack & Rock, given that cell phone induced inattentional blindness results from auditory-cognitive interference with visual-spacial perception rather than the selective processing of competing visual stimuli evident in Mack and Rock's research. See, e.g., Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Cell Phone Induced Failures of Visual Attention During Simulated Driving.” Journal of Experimental Psychology, Vol 9, pp. 23-23. The authors concluded: “These data extend our earlier observations of impaired detection and reaction to traffic signals [citations omitted] and sluggish reaction to brake lights when participants are engaged in cell phone conversations. We suggest that even when participants are directing their gaze at objects in the driving environment that they may fail to 'see' them because attention is directed elsewhere. The indication of cell phone-induced inattention blindness extends laboratory-based demonstrations of apparent failures of visual attention to the driving domain. (Mack & Rock, ['Inattentional Blindness'], 1998).”

Senator Baker you may read this article in it's entirety at: https://motorcyclists-against-dumb-drivers.com/cell-phones-and-dui-drunk-driving.html

I refer you to this article Sen. Baker as it is one of the most comprehensive compilations of cell phone studies and information you will find. I can pretty much guarantee you that you will not receive this information from cell phone companies. You should note that the body of the evidence in existence demonstrates that cell phone use of any kind (hands free or not) by anybody (young or old) while driving is the equivalent of "DUI". "National Highway Safety Transportation" methodology for statistics gathering is so outdated that they have yet to determine a way to factor in cell phone/crash data. In fact the "Insurance Institute on Highway Safety" recently sent "NHSTA" an 11 page letter describing how the Institute could no longer rely on their data.

On a personal level Senator Baker, I travel the streets of Tallahassee often on a Motorcycle and can not begin to estimate the numbers of close calls I and some of my associates have had by motorists with a cell phone glued to their ear. In my estimation, for a motorcyclist, the cell phone impaired driver has become the number one road hazard. To do nothing or to engage in halfway, feel good measures (such as banning only hand held devices when the evidence indicates they are as bad if not worse or restricting only minors from use) could be considered negligence of performance of sworn and elected duties to protect the citizens of the state of Florida.

I am sure many of your constituents would not support such a ban on cell phone use. However this is an issue where the "right thing" must be done. Driving in the state of Florida is a privilege granted by the state upon your sworn oath to do so responsibly. It does not convey with it any rights or freedoms to endanger others who use "public" roadways. I can not think of any mother who would hurt less were her children killed as a result of a cell phone impaired driver as opposed to an alcohol/drug impaired driver.

I implore you Senator Bake, do the right thing and do not ignore this issue. Should you need further information feel free to contact me at 850-925-9912 or at this e-mail address. I will make myself available to help you in any way possible regarding this issue.

Respectfully
Robert Conroy
=============

M-A-D-D Representative Ray Henke Then Urged Bikers Nationally to "Please Join in Robert Conroy's Lead in Urging the Florida Transportation Committee Chairman to Move Forward the Comprehensive Cell Phone Ban and Resist All Efforts to Substitute a Handheld Ban."

I want to congratulate Rober Conroy for his having taken this initiative, and urge all those who value our lives and the lives of our brothers and sisters, who want to significantly reduce the dangers we face on the rode, and who see the sense of taking back the motorcyclist safety offensive from those who would define "motorcycle safety" as synonomous with helmet laws, to join Mr. Conroy's lead, including by making your voice heard in the e-mail box of Transportation Committee Chairman Baker.

There is nothing more important, in my opinion, both for our causes of motorcyclist safety and bikers rights, than the project RC has taken on to convince the Florida legislator to be the first to grab this bull by the horns. Yes, there are other states which have enacted cell phone legislation, these are handheld cell phone bans, and handheld bans, as RC noted, are worse than no law at all. That is because handheld bans will merely encourage motorists to purchase hands-free devices for use while driving, and unfortunately, the handheld laws will serve only to reinforce the myth that it is "holding" the cell phone which results in the driver's DUI level impairment, and that driving DUI under the influence of hands-free cell conversation is somehow "safe."

I intend to fashion a "Joinder" in RC's position paper that I hope will be worthy of RC's lead, and I would hope that all of us on the Forum would offer our support to RC as he takes on this monumental challenge. Specifically, I hope that all of us who care about reducing the dangers we face on the road and who care about establishing the foundation for our bikers rights motorcyclist safety offensive, that you also file "Joinders" in RC's position paper, e-mailing yours also to the Chairman of the Transportation Committee. It is indeed important that we all weigh in on this important legislative debate.

What the Chairman of the Transportation Committee most needs to know is simply that we are aware specifically that driving under the influence of cell conversation results in DUI level driving impairment and a four fold increased likelihood that the driver will cause an accident, equal or slightly higher than the accident rate of DUI level drunk drivers. And that we are aware that "holding" the cell phone is not the problem. The Chairman of the Transportation Committee needs to be made aware that we are aware that all of the science is abundant and consistent that folks who converse by hands-free cell phones are just as impaired as those who use handheld cell phones, and just as likely to cause an accident.

I think that just letting the Chairman know that you are aware of these facts should be sufficient, but you may also cite to the science.

1. For the proposition that driving under the influence of cell conversation results in DUI driving impairment and a four fold increased likelihood that the motorist will cause an accident, you may cite to:

Strayer, D. L., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). “Driven to distraction: Dual-task studies of simulated driving and conversing on a cellular phone. Psychological Science,” 12, 462-466. McCarley, J. S., Vais, M., Pringle, H., Kramer, A. F., Irwin, D. E., & Strayer, D. L. (2001). “Conversation disrupts visual scanning of traffic scenes.” Paper presented at Vision in Vehicles, Australia. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., Albert, R. W., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). “Cell phone induced perceptual impairments during simulated driving.” In D. V. McGehee, J. D. Lee, & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Driving Assessment 2001: International Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2002). “Why do cell phone conversations interfere with driving?” Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Cell phone induced failures of visual attention during simulated driving.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 9, 23-23. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Are we being driven to distraction? Public Policy Perspectives,” Vol. 16, 1-2. (Published by the Center for Public Policy and Administration, University of Utah) Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. (2003). “Effects of cell phone conversations on younger and older drivers.” In the Proceedings of the 47nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp.. 1860-1864). Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. & Crouch, D. J. (2003). “Fatal distraction? A comparison of the cell-phone driver and the drunk driver.” In D. V. McGehee, J. D. Lee, & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Driving Assessment 2003: International Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design. Published by the Public Policy Center, University of Iowa (pp. 25-30). Strayer, D. L., Cooper, J. M., & Drews, F. A. (2004). “What do drivers fail to see when conversing on a cell phone?” In the Proceedings of the 48nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp 2213-2217). McCarley, J.S., Vais, M.J., Pringle, H., Kamer, A.F., Irwin, D.E., & Strayer, D.L. (2004) “Conversation disrupts change detection in complex traffic scenes.” Human Factors, 46, 424-436. Strayer, D.L., & Drews, F. A. (2004). “Profiles in driver distraction: Effects of cell phone conversations on younger and older drivers.” Human Factors, 46, 640-649. Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. Crouch, D. J., & Johnston, W. A. (2005). “Why do Cell Phone Conversations Interfere with Driving?” In W. R. Walker and D. Herrmann (Eds.) Cognitive Technology: Essays on the Transformation of Thought and Society (pp. 51-68), McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, NC.)

For the proposition that driving under the influence of both handheld and hands-free devices results in the identical DUI impairment and the identical 4 fold increased likelihood that the driver will cause an accident you may cite to all of the Strayer studies identified above. And specifically you may also quote the principal author, D.L Strayer, and Johns Hopkins Professor Yantis for their conclusions that handheld bans are NOT the solution. It is only comprehensive cell phone laws which will be effective in curtailing the inherent dangers of driving under the influence any and all cell phone conversation.

“These data call into question driving regulations that prohibit handheld cell phones and permit hands-free cell phones because no significant differences were found in the impairments to driving caused by these two modes of cellular communication." Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Are We Being Driven to Distraction?” Public Policy Perspectives, Vol. 16, 1-2. (Published by the Center for Public Policy and Administration, University of Utah). Strayer has indeed made this clear at least since 2001:

“Our data imply that legislative initiatives that restrict handheld devices but permit hands-free devices are not likely to reduce interference from the phone conversation, because the interference is, in this case, due to central attentional processes.” Strayer, D. L., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). “Driven to Distraction: Dual-task Studies of Simulated Driving and Conversing on a Cellular Phone.” Psychological Science, 12, 462-466. See also, Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2002). “Why Do Cell Phone Conversations Interfere With Driving?” Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC.

This sentiment was echoed by Johns Hopkins Professor Yantis, based on his neurological studies demonstrating the shift in brain function from the visual to auditory centers of the brain during cell conversation, “Our research helps explain why talking on a cell phone can impair driving performance, even when the driver is using a hands-free device.” Shomstein, S., Yantis, S. “Control of Attention Shifts Between Vision and Audition in Human Cortex.” The Journal of Neuroscience, November 24, 2004, 24(47):10702-10706.

To lay the foundation for our use of this issue as a part of our motorcyclist safety offensive in opposition to any future government, physician organization or insurance industry efforts to obtain helmet legislation in the state of Florida, I would urge you also to mention that you are a motorcyclist and that you are concerned about what you consider to be the epidemic magnitude of auto driver cell phone use, and the fact that the accidents which these drivers cause preferentially puts our lives at risk.

In terms of the magnitude of this "epidemic" of driving under the influence of cell phones, you may cite the legislators to NOPUS, the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (a probability based observed data study on cell phone use performed by NHTSA) which has established that the incidence of observed cell phone use while driving has increased from 2 percent of all American drivers on the road at any given daylight moment in time as of 2002 to 10 percent of all drivers on the road at any given moment in time as of December 2005. You may advise them that you consider this a serious motorcyclist safety issue because it is motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians who are most at risk of being seriously injured or killed by motorists who drive under the influence of cell conversation.

This is a huge challenge that we would present to the Florida legislature, but by the same token, it is an extraordinary opportunity for the Florida legislature to take the national lead in enacting the type of legislation which soon enough will be recognized by the American public as essential to curb the huge numbers of their citizenry who are currently being killed and catastrophically injured in this epidemic. Indeed, soon enough the numbers of our occupied convalescent home beds and grave sites will be counted, and it will become widely known which of our legislatures has taken up the challenge to protect their citizenry and which have failed their citizenry.

I would strongly urge that all those who value bikers rights, including the right to ride free of helmet legislation, also join in taking back the road safety and motorcyclist safety offensive. In my opinion we must take the motorcyclist safety offensive to present an alternative safety policy to the traditional paternalistic policy myopically focused on dictating this biker dress code. By demonstrating the seriousness of the dangers posed by distracted motorists generally, and those who drive under the influence of cell conversation in particular, we also can demonstrate that indeed helmet legislation is but a Band-Aid, capable at best of limiting some percentage of head injuries, while our motorcyclist safety agenda will result in much larger benefits to reduce all motorcyclist injuries, including quadriplegia, paraplegia, other spinal cord injuries, debilitating internal injuries, catastrophic orthopedic injuries and limb amputations, none of which are susceptible to being reduced by helmet legislation.

Practically speaking, our legislatures will either respond to calls such as RC's for comprehensive cell phone legislation or they will not; or they will enact handheld cell phone legislation to the detriment of all who use our highways. If we succeed in obtaining comprehensive bans on all use of cell phone while driving we will see an enormous change on our highways. Please consider that, as the science demonstrates, 1 in 10 of the cars we currently encounter on the road is being driven by a DUI level impaired driver 4 times more likely to cause an accident. These facts demonstrate that over 20 percent of our accidents, over 20 percent of our serious injuries and over 20 percent of our deaths are directly related to this epidemic of driving under the influence of cell conversation. We can cut our risks of being seriously injured or killed on the road by over 20 percent if we achieve comprehensive cell phone legislation. We can take the high road with our motorcyclist safety offensive, and if our legislatures fail us, please understand that they lose all credibility in arguing that that we should wear helmets to protect us from the cell phone impaired drivers who they are unwilling to restrain. Either way, we must be credited with the only credible motorcyclist safety platform, if we are willing to seize it for ourselves.

Please join in RC's lead in Florida. This is an extraordinary opportunity for us. This is it. This is our opportunity now to make our first strong stand for a scientifically based motorcyclist safety offensive and to put the historic, myopic, paternalistic, helmet law approach of the dress code lobbyists into the pathetic perspective their failed approach properly deserves.

Thank you RC for taking the lead in Florida. You will soon have my "Joinder" in support of your efforts, and I hope and trust that you will also find that you will also receive substantial support from all of us who care about retaking the motorcyclist safety offensive.

"M-a-d-d Ray" Henke
Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers []
===============

M-A-D-D Position Paper by Ray Henke to Senator Baker Joining in Robter Contoy's Florida Initiative for a Comprehensive Cell Ban

Subj: Cell Phone Legislation Pending in Transportation Committee - Position of M-A-D-D
Date: 3/23/2007 2:41:34 AM Pacific Daylight Time
From: RARELY L84AD8
To: baker.carey.web@flsenate.gov

Honrorable Senator Baker:

I want to congratulate you and the Florida state legislature for entertaining Senate Bills S620, S2372, and S1944 which I understand are currently pending in the Transportation Committee. I am informed that the distinguished Robert Conroy has presented a position paper urging the adoption of comprehensive cell phone legislation. I respectfully offer our Joinder in the positions expressed by Mr. Conroy.

We consider that the most significant threat to the safety of all who use our highways is the current epidemic of driving under the influence of cell conversation. The abundant and consistent lesson of both the pertinent epidemiological studies and experimental studies is that driving under the influence of cell conversation results in a DUI level driving impairment and a four fold increased likelihood that the impaired motorist will cause an accident. Redelmeier and Tibshirani (1997) “Association Between Cellular-Telephone Calls and Motor Vehicle Collisions.” New England Journal of Medicine, 336, 453; McEvoy, Stevenson, McCartt, Woodward, Haworth, Palamara and Cercarelli, "Role of Mobile Phones in Motorvehicle Crashes Resulting in Hospital Attendance; A Case-Crossover Study,” British Medical Journal (July 12, 2005); The 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study, Phase II," DOT HS 810 593 April, 2006; Strayer, D. L., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). “Driven to distraction: Dual-task studies of simulated driving and conversing on a cellular phone. Psychological Science,” 12, 462-466. McCarley, J. S., Vais, M., Pringle, H., Kramer, A. F., Irwin, D. E., & Strayer, D. L. (2001). “Conversation disrupts visual scanning of traffic scenes.” Paper presented at Vision in Vehicles, Australia. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., Albert, R. W., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). “Cell phone induced perceptual impairments during simulated driving.” In D. V. McGehee, J. D. Lee, & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Driving Assessment 2001: International Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2002). “Why do cell phone conversations interfere with driving?” Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Cell phone induced failures of visual attention during simulated driving.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 9, 23-23. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Are we being driven to distraction? Public Policy Perspectives,” Vol. 16, 1-2. (Published by the Center for Public Policy and Administration, University of Utah) Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. (2003). “Effects of cell phone conversations on younger and older drivers.” In the Proceedings of the 47nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp.. 1860-1864). Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. & Crouch, D. J. (2003). “Fatal distraction? A comparison of the cell-phone driver and the drunk driver.” In D. V. McGehee, J. D. Lee, & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Driving Assessment 2003: International Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design. Published by the Public Policy Center, University of Iowa (pp. 25-30). Strayer, D. L., Cooper, J. M., & Drews, F. A. (2004). “What do drivers fail to see when conversing on a cell phone?” In the Proceedings of the 48nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp 2213-2217). McCarley, J.S., Vais, M.J., Pringle, H., Kamer, A.F., Irwin, D.E., & Strayer, D.L. (2004) “Conversation disrupts change detection in complex traffic scenes.” Human Factors, 46, 424-436. Strayer, D.L., & Drews, F. A. (2004). “Profiles in driver distraction: Effects of cell phone conversations on younger and older drivers.” Human Factors, 46, 640-649. Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. Crouch, D. J., & Johnston, W. A. (2005). “Why do Cell Phone Conversations Interfere with Driving?” In W. R. Walker and D. Herrmann (Eds.) Cognitive Technology: Essays on the Transformation of Thought and Society (pp. 51-68), McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, NC.)

The magnitude of this highway safety issue is a function first of the magnitude of the impairment, and second, the magnitude of this epidemic of cell phone use while driving. More than any other driver distraction, driving under the influence of cell conversation grown has exponentially over the past several years. In the year 2000 two percent of all American motorists on our roads and highways at any given daylight moment in time were observed actively involved in cell conversation. As of December 2005, ten percent of all American motorists were observed to be actively involved in cell conversation at any given moment in time. NOPUS, National Occupant Protection Use Survey (a probability based observed data study on cell phone use performed by NHTSA)

Taken together these statistics demonstrate that one out of every ten of the cars we encounter on our highways at any given moment in time is being operated by a motorist who is DUI level impaired, and 4 times more likely to cause an accident. More than 20 percent of all highway related accidents and more than 20 percent of all highway related injuries and deaths result from this single source of driver distraction.

My particular concern is for the State of Florida's motorcyclists because motorcyclists are preferentially more likely to be seriously injured or killed in an accident caused by a motorist driving under the influence of cell conversation. Bicyclists and pedestrians are also preferentially more likely to be seriously injured and killed. But this is a safety issue which cuts across every segment of the Florida citizenry.

The State of Florida has the opportunity to be the first state in the country to adopt effective comprehensive cell phone legislation. If the State of Florida will accept this challenge it will be recognized across the nation as the state with the greatest foresight for recognizing accurately the nature and magnitude of the public health issue and for doing what is required to curtail what history will recognize as our most serious transportation related public safety crisis.

Every other state legislature which has considered adopting restrictions on the use of cell phones has sorely failed its citizenry. So far, the legislative response in the various states which have considered this public safety issue has been either to table cell phone initiatives, or to enact cell phone bans only for minors or school bus drivers, or worse, stooped to enacting handheld cell phone bans.

All motorists who engage in cell conversation while driving suffer the same driving impairment, minors and adults alike, and taking away cell phones from school bus drivers ignores that the school children are also at risk that their bus may be run off the road by any other motorist driving DUI impaired under the influence of cell conversation.

What we feel is most important to impress upon you, however, is that legislation which bans only the use of handheld cell phones is not merely useless, it is detrimental. First, as we will demonstrate immediately below, the abundantly documented DUI level driving impairment and four fold increased incidence of accidents associated with driving under the influence of cell conversation has nothing to do with "holding" the cell phone, it is an inattentional blindness resulting from the diversion of the motorist's limitied capacity for conscious attention to the cell "conversation" away visual tasks essential for safe driving. Second, handheld cell phone bans will not reduce the magnitude of the epidemic of cell phone use while driving. Motorists will simply purchase a hands-free cell device for use while driving. Indeed, following the most recent enactment of a handheld cell phone ban in the State of California, Governor Schwarzenegger turned to the television news cameras as he was signing the bill and told the California public "Don't worry, the law will not come into effect until 2008, plenty of time to purchase a hands-free device for use while driving." This comment will certainly, soon enough come back to haunt the California Governor, but the Florida legislature need not make the same mistake. Handheld cell phone bans clearly will not reduce either the numbers of motorists on the road driving under the influence of cell conversation, nor can such bans reduce the magnitude of the motorists' driving impairment.

The reason we urge that handheld cell phone bans are worse than no ban at all is that in addition to providing no positive safety benefit, handheld bans also contribute to still popular misconception that motorists can somehow engage in hands-free cell conversation and drive safely.

Nothing could be further from the truth. As noted, the abundant and consistent body of scientific studies has demonstrated those who drive under the influence of hands-free cell conversation suffer the identical DUI level impairment as do motorists who drive under the influence of handheld cell conversation. Each group is also 4 times more likely to cause an accident. The nature of the impairment while driving under the influence of all cell conversation is an "inattentional blindness" which results from the shifting of limited conscious attention to the internal-cognitive tasks associated with the give and take of the conversation away from the external-visual tasks essential for safe driving. By "innattentional blindness" the authors of the extensive experimental studies refer to the facts that while engaged in cell conversation motorists fail to consciously "see" changes in traffic signals, fail to consciously "see" cars stopping a head of them, fail to consciously "see" sudden onset changes in their driving environment which would ordinarily result in automatic conscious recognition, and indeed, the motorists fail to consciously "see" even what their eyes are fixed upon. It is the cell conversation, not holding the phone which results in the DUI level driving impairment. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., Albert, R. W., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). “Cell phone induced perceptual impairments during simulated driving.” In D. V. McGehee, J. D. Lee, & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Driving Assessment 2001: International Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2002). “Why do cell phone conversations interfere with driving?” Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Cell phone induced failures of visual attention during simulated driving.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 9, 23-23. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Are we being driven to distraction? Public Policy Perspectives,” Vol. 16, 1-2. (Published by the Center for Public Policy and Administration, University of Utah) Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. (2003). “Effects of cell phone conversations on younger and older drivers.” In the Proceedings of the 47nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp.. 1860-1864). Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. & Crouch, D. J. (2003). “Fatal distraction? A comparison of the cell-phone driver and the drunk driver.” In D. V. McGehee, J. D. Lee, & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Driving Assessment 2003: International Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design. Published by the Public Policy Center, University of Iowa (pp. 25-30). Strayer, D. L., Cooper, J. M., & Drews, F. A. (2004). “What do drivers fail to see when conversing on a cell phone?” In the Proceedings of the 48nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp 2213-2217). McCarley, J.S., Vais, M.J., Pringle, H., Kamer, A.F., Irwin, D.E., & Strayer, D.L. (2004) “Conversation disrupts change detection in complex traffic scenes.” Human Factors, 46, 424-436. Strayer, D.L., & Drews, F. A. (2004). “Profiles in driver distraction: Effects of cell phone conversations on younger and older drivers.” Human Factors, 46, 640-649. Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. Crouch, D. J., & Johnston, W. A. (2005). “Why do Cell Phone Conversations Interfere with Driving?” In W. R. Walker and D. Herrmann (Eds.) Cognitive Technology: Essays on the Transformation of Thought and Society (pp. 51-68), McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, NC.)

Professor Strayer, the most respected scientist in the field, and the one who has published the greatest number of the experimental studies, has made plain not only that driving under the influence of hands-free cell conversation is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of handheld cell conversation, he has stated time and time again, for all of the above stated reasons, that handheld cell phone legislation will not reduce the dangers posed to the public by the use of cell phones while driving.

“These data call into question driving regulations that prohibit handheld cell phones and permit hands-free cell phones because no significant differences were found in the impairments to driving caused by these two modes of cellular communication." Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Are We Being Driven to Distraction?” Public Policy Perspectives, Vol. 16, 1-2. (Published by the Center for Public Policy and Administration, University of Utah). Strayer has indeed made this clear at least since 2001:

“Our data imply that legislative initiatives that restrict handheld devices but permit hands-free devices are not likely to reduce interference from the phone conversation, because the interference is, in this case, due to central attentional processes.” Strayer, D. L., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). “Driven to Distraction: Dual-task Studies of Simulated Driving and Conversing on a Cellular Phone.” Psychological Science, 12, 462-466. See also, Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2002). “Why Do Cell Phone Conversations Interfere With Driving?” Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC.

There is converging neurological evidence from investigators at Johns Hopkins providing additional support for Stayer’s conclusion that the driving impairment derives from the "attentional" interference of auditory cell phone conversation on the motorists capacity to detect visual stimuli in the driving environment. Shomstein, S., Yantis, S. “Control of Attention Shifts Between Vision and Audition in Human Cortex.” The Journal of Neuroscience, November 24, 2004, 24(47):10702-10706. And Professor Yantis also questions the utility of handheld cell phone legislation to reduce the driving impairment resulting from the diversion of motorist attention to the tasks associated with the cell conversation away from the visual tasks essential for safe driving.

Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Stromstein and Yantis recorded their experimental subjects’ brain activity while involved in shifts back and forth between visual and auditory activity. Significantly, they noted that when attention was shifted to one, either visual or auditory stimuli, the parts of the brain associated with the other demonstrated singificantly reduced activity. They concluded that this finding implied a zero sum trade off between auditory and visual attention. Stromstein and Yantis found that there was indeed an additional attentional cost associated with "switching" between the auditory and visual. Specifically, Shomstein and Yantis observed a separate, "transitional" brain function evident in bursts of activity in certain aspects of the brain as attention was redirected. The Shomstien and Yantis research provides neurological support to the experimental evidence of Strayer et al. that the mechanism of cell phone driving impairment is a form of “inattentional blindness."

In an interview, Professor Yantis made plain the significance of his findings on the specific issue of cell phone driving impairment, and called into question the potential utility of handheld legislation: “Our research helps explain why talking on a cell phone can impair driving performance, even when the driver is using a hands-free device ... Directing attention to listening effectively 'turns down the volume' on input to the visual parts of the brain. The evidence we have right now strongly suggests that attention is strictly limited -- a zero-sum game. When attention is deployed to one modality -- say, in this case, talking on a cell phone -- it necessarily extracts a cost on another modality -- in this case, the visual task of driving." Consumer Affairs, June 22, 2005.

The challenge for the Florida legislature will be to achieve legislation which is consistent with the science and consistent with its public trust to provide for the safety of its citizenry. Handheld cell phone legislation is consistent with neither. The duty of the Florida legislature is clear. It must enact legislation which will effectively curtail all cell phone use while driving, without exception, or with the sole exception being emergency 911 calls. The laws must be capable of enforcement by the police and capable of just adjudication by the Courts. We would urge that no exception be permitted. But certainly no other exception than a 911 emergency call exception should be recognized. Law enforcement will require clear legislation permitting the officers to ticket all those who engage in cell phone conversation while driving. The only exception that is amenable to clear cut judicial determination is the 911 call which can be demonstrated as a defense by anyone claiming the exception simply by presenting the cell phone bill.

Finally, in order to be effective, the legislature must take into consideration that simple fines have proven ineffective even in curtailing handheld cell phone use where the drivers had the opportunity to switch to hands-free devices. We consider that curtailing DUI driving under the influence of cell conversation should be viewed as just important as curtailing driving DUI under the influence of alcohol. The impairment is identical in its magnitude, the risk both groups pose to others is identical, and appropriate penalty legislation to effectively curtail driving under the influence of cell conversations is just as essential to public safety as is penalty legislation to discourage DUI driving under the influence of alcohol.

We suspect that nothing short of drivers license suspensions for first time offenders and more serious penalties for repeat offenders will be effective at curtailing the use of cell phones on our highways. This is hardly draconian given that the dangers posed by motorists DUI level impaired by cell conversation and DUI impaired by alcohol are the same. But more important, it would neither serve the public safety purpose of the legislation nor would it be egalitarian to enact legislation providing mere monetary fines for violations of the comprehensive cell phone ban.

For repeat offenders we would suggest more lengthy drivers license suspensions and 16 hour court ordered driver education courses. Indeed we would urge that the curricula for all driver education courses be modified to include education specifically about the dangers associated with driving under the influence of cell phones.

We realize that this it will be difficult for many legislators to rise up to this challenge to fulfill their public trust, particularly given the intense lobbying against comprehensive cell legislation which we can expect from the cell phone industry. The cell phone industry favors handheld cell phone laws because the laws require motorists to purchase additional hands-free cell phones. We sympathize that many legislators may fear voter reprisal for enacting a comprehensive cell phone ban which will effectively deprive the public of the use of their cell phones while driving. But you must appreciate that to cave in to short term public objection is shortsighted politically. Every day that motorists are permitted to drive under the influence of cell conversation the convalescent center beds continue to fill with the catastrophically injured, and every day those who are killed are buried. Soon enough the public will come to be educated on the nature and magnitude of the driving impairment associated with driving under the influence of cell conversation, the broken bodies and graves will then be counted, and the public will demand to know what was in their legislators minds when they resisted enacting effective cell legislation in the face of the overwhelming science. Indeed, those legislators who urge handheld cell phone legislation as a "compromise" must be doubly concerned that their position will be seen soon enough as political deceit given that all the extant science demonstrates that the impairment and dangers associated with handheld and hands-free cell phone conversation are identical.

Every week another article is published the lay media making plain the significance of the scientific evidence, and it is inevitable that the public will, soon enough, become aware of the facts demonstrated above. Many thousands will have had loved ones seriously injured or killed by the cell phone impaired. This fact is inescapable from the above cited statistics. The Florida legislature has the opportunity now to get out ahead of the curve of public opinion, rise to its public trust, and enact landmark comprehensive cell legislation. If the the legislature fails, those legislators who resist fulfilling their public trust will find themselves in the untenable position of having to explain why they failed to fulfill their public trust.

Please consider that this letter puts you on notice of the science cited above and on notice of the conclusions of the preeminent scientists. If prior to this date you might have claimed ignorance of the science or ignorance of your duties to the citizenry of the state of Florida, that time has passed. We will support you with all our strength if you choose to seize for Florida this historic opportunity to enact the first comprehensive cell phone ban in the United States. But please understand that if you fail to meet your public trust we will be there when the public will, soon enough, demand an accounting for their crippled and killed.

Respectfully submitted,
Raymond L. Henke, Esq
Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers

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Additional M-A-D-D Call to Action for All Bikers to Support the Florida Cell Phone Initiative In the Interest Both of Motorcyclist Safety and in the Interests of Bikers Rights.

Dear Friends,

Please note that in my correspondence I limited my list of "recipients" to Senator Baker, Chairman of the Transportation Committee. Above Bruce Arnold has reprinted his call for comprehensive cell phone legislation which he has sent to all Florida legislators. I believe that Bruce's decision to use this opportunity to educate the entire legislature about the issue is a good one, particularly as there may be discussion not only in the Senate transportation committee, but among legislators in both houses as competing or bicameral "compromise" legislation may be proffered or considered.

Again, from my perspective, what is most important is that our legislators be informed (1) that we are aware that driving under the influence of cell conversation is extremely dangerous, and (2) that we are aware that the danger posed by motorists who engage in cell phone use while driving does NOT derive from holding the cell phone, but from the cell conversation itself, regardless of the device used.

It is vitally important that the legislators be advised of the abundant and consistent science demonstrating these facts. But it is equally important that the legislators be informed that the American public has become aware of these facts. In the past, compromise legislation has been enacted in several states, most recently California, restricting only the use of handheld cell phones while driving, despite the clear scientific evidence that all cell conversation while driving results in the same DUI impairment and the same 4 fold increased likelihood that the cell phone impaired driver will cause an accident. The legislators in these states have adopted this useless and detrimental compromise legislation on the assumption that they could rely upon their assessment that the public is ignorant about the true nature of the impairment resulting from cell conversation. The legislators in these other states have seized the short sighted political approach at the expense of their states' citizenry and in violation of their public trust. What we need to do, therefore, is dissuade the Florida legislature of any illusion that they can similarly pull the wool over the eyes of their electorate. The message: our eyes have been opened, we cannot be blinded my misinformation in the service of what might otherwise be considered politically convenient compromise at the expense of our lives and limbs. We demand legislative action to curtail this horrifying epidemic of inattentive driving resulting from DUI driving under the influence of all cell conversation, and we demand that comprehensive cell legislation be adopted NOW.

I also think that it will serve us both in this initiative and in response to any future attempts by helmet law lobbyists to raise again their motorcyclist dress code in the state if we advise the state legislators that we are motorcyclists, and that we are particularly concerned about the epidemic of driving under the influence of cell conversation specifically because we consider that we are at greatest risk in the accidents which these DUI impaired motorists cause.

I say that this is important not only from the motorcyclist safety perspective but from the bikers rights perspective because it demonstrates that we have an alternative motorcyclist safety agenda, more accurately science-based than that of our helmet law proponent opposition, that indeed we can demonstrate that ours will save many more lives than a biker dress code could ever be argued to achieve, and that our motorcyclist safety offensive also seeks to reduce the full landscape of motorcyclist injuries resulting from accidents. The Florida state legislature will either enact a comprehensive cell phone ban or it will not. If it enacts the comprehensive ban, we will save the lives and limbs of over 20 percent of us who would have died or who would have been seriously injured in the future as the direct result of driving under the influence of cell conversation. At the same time we will have demonstrated that our alternative motorcyclist safety offensive is effective, and that the legislature should take seriously the others of our motorcyclist safety initiatives, such as our "motorcycle awareness" recommendations, our initiatives for motorcyclist injury/death specific ROW violation penalty legislation, and auto driver education on driving strategies essential for the protection of motorcyclists. If the Florida legislature fails us, either by tabling consideration of comprehensive cell legislation or by enacting handheld legislation, then again, the failure of the Florida state legislature can be used by us in resisting future efforts to impose a dress code on Florida bikers because the legislature will have lost all credibility on motorcyclist safety. Indeed, any future attempt by the Florida legislature thereafter to invoke the typical "public health" or "state fiscal" rational bases for helmet legislation will have been effectively undermined given that the single greatest factor responsible for the death rates and overall injury rates for motorcyclists is this epidemic of DUI driving under the influence of cell phones. If the Florida legislature will not consider adopting our science based motorcyclist safety agenda for comprehensive cell phone legislation, despite our urging this legislation as a motorcyclist safety issue, they henceforth lack all credibility in urging paternalistic dress code Band-Aid legislation.

The list of e-mail addresses for all the Florida legislators is set forth is Bruce's posting above. For those who responded to my request that you forward your position to the Chairman of the Transportation Committee, I would urge that you please follow Bruce's lead and now send your statement of position to the full membership of both the Florida Senate and House of Representatives.

Please also note Gary's advice that some e-mail programs require that a comma or semicolon be inserted between e-mail addresses.

Thanks you all for your cooperation,
"M-a-d-d Ray" Henke

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Correspondence Supporting the Cell Phone Initiative Authored by Shirley Vandever, Prominent Delaware and National Bikers Rights Advocate, Co-founder, Delaware Freedom Riders, Member ABATE Delaware..

Honorable Members of the Florida State Legislature:

I have been following with interest proposed legislation that would go far to reduce the instances of injuries and death on the highways. Specifically, I am referring to Senate Bills 620, 1944, and 2372, all of which prohibit the use of cellular telephones while operating a motor vehicle.

The studies surrounding the effect of using a cellular telephone while driving are irrefutable in concluding that operating a motor vehicle while talking on a cell phone greatly increases the risk of an accident. I will not cite these studies here, as you have been made aware of them by others, most notably Robert Conroy [] and Ray Henke, Esquire.

I am concerned that these pieces of legislation, which could go so far to protect lives of the citizens of Florida, have yet to be placed on the agenda of the Senate Transportation Committee. As an activist in local politics, I am often baffled by how certain bills are quickly promoted, while others are not.

For example, House Bill 567, a measure supported by the telecommunications industry, seemed to move through the Florida House with lightening speed, and was passed unanimously last Thursday. While I have nothing against this legislation, it appears as though measures supported by powerful lobbying groups to save money have a better chance of success than those that would actually save lives.

Whether or not you serve on the Senate Transportation Committee, I believe that all elected representatives have a responsibility to their constituents, especially in matters involving life and death. Whatever lobbying pressures may come to bear on you, the most important pressure should be those that come from citizen-activists like Robert Conroy. I have great respect for his knowledge on this issue, and think it would be to your advantage to give him your time and attention.

I would have to say that not a day goes by where I do not witness irresponsible drivers talking on a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. I have been in “close call” situations which would never have occurred if the driver had simply been paying attention. It may be impossible to legislate common sense, but this simple measure would go a long way in at least reducing the number of traffic accidents in your State, and make driving on your roadways a more pleasurable experience.

I am asking that you make an effort to move this legislation through the process so that full and fair consideration can be given.

Sincerely,
Shirley Vandever
 
Contact Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers if You Were In An Accident With a Cell Phone Impaired Driver.