Biking Without Borders
Mac, Field Editor
Monday, March 29, 2010
I know I’m not alone when saying one of my pet peeves is seeing people talking on their cell phones, or fiddling with their handhelds, while multi-tasking at something really important -- like, say, operating a motor vehicle. Nothing terrifies me more when I’m bicycling down the road than the thought of someone barreling up behind me at the wheel of a ton of steel who’s arguing with his girlfriend over the phone, or tweeting her friends about the amazing herd of deer she just saw.

That's why it made me happy last week to learn that Click and Clack, the hilarious Tappet Brothers -- aka the Car Talk boys, Tom and Ray Magliozzi -- have teamed up with researchers at the University of Utah to launch the Driver Distraction Center at the Car Talk website.

“Though Tom and Ray have been speaking out about distracted driving for years, National Safety Council research indicates that cell phone use and texting while driving cause at least 28 percent of all traffic accidents -- around 1.6 million accidents each year,” says this Newswise story. “This startling statistic moved the brothers to redouble their efforts and partner with the University of Utah Applied Cognition Laboratory to produce the online Driver Distraction Center.”

Similarly, I don’t think cyclists should talk on cell phones while they’re riding, either. So imagine the roller coaster ride it sent me on when, shortly after reading about Click and Clack, I ran across information about a product called the ActiveBLU Wireless Bluetooth Helmet Headset. According to this website, the gadget “provides high quality Bluetooth wireless audio transmissions from the user’s Bluetooth enabled cell phone to their helmet. It easily attaches to any helmet and allows the user to quickly and safely answer or place calls without having to slow down or stop riding. The unique engineering of the microphone and ear piece delivers remarkable sound even at riding speeds of up to 40 MPH while allowing both hands to remain on the bike for maximum safety.” The italics are mine.


I have to say I agree completely.  Yesterday a passenger in a VW Golf stuck his rather porcine face out of the window as they roared past and screamed at me.  These prats are everywhere!

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