Note: this was supposed to run this morning, but clearly did not.
- WABA is once again asking cyclist to Resolve to Ride Responsibly.
- Dana Milbank thinks a ban on driving while talking on the phone is "an absurd overreaction to an unrelated problem." And he cherry picks a part of a sentence from the Brain Research study to say that they don't know if talking on the cellphone while driving is more distracting than "listening to a radio, eating and drinking, monitoring children or pets, or even conversing with a passenger." The full quote is more revealing (emphasis mine). "it is incorrect to conclude that using a cell phone while driving is no worse than engaging in one of these other activities. First, it is not known exactly how much each of these distractions affects driving, and it may indeed be interesting and important to compare the various effects, and try to find ways to decrease their negative impacts. Second, talking on a cell phone has a special social demand, such that not attending to the cell conversation can be interpreted as rude, insulting behavior. By contrast, a passenger who is a conversation partner is more likely to be aware of the competing demands for a driver's attention and thus sympathetic to inattention to the conversation, and indeed there is recent experimental evidence suggesting that passengers and drivers suppress conversation in response to driving demands (Crundall et al., 2005). Third, the processing of spoken language has a special status by virtue of its automaticity, such that one cannot willfully stop one's processing of a spoken utterance (Newman et al., 2007), whereas one can willfully stop tuning a radio. These various considerations suggest that engaging in conversation while concurrently driving can be a risky choice, not just for commonsense reasons, but because of the compromised performance imposed by cognitive and neural constraints.
- Use a U-Lock signage. Needed at many local universities and Metro stations.