Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Bandung Street Documentary # 8: Responsible Street Behavior
Can cell phones kill?
Yes they can, do, and have killed many. According to the results of a recent study published in the Journal of Human Factors and The Ergonomic Society, cell phone distraction on the road, i.e. talking on cell phones while driving, causes approximately 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries in the United States every year. The reasons, as found by the study, are actually quite obvious: Talking on cell phones while driving slows the driver's reactions and retards their alertness. It was found, for example, that cell phone use while driving makes the driver's reaction to brake light 18 percent slower.
One might argue that with the hands-free device, such a thing does not necessarily to be the case. However, two studies at least have found that hands-free cell phone use still do distract drivers. The reason is that the cell phone conversation makes the driver absent minded (they look but don't see).
There have not been any similar studies in Bandung - or in Indonesia for that matter - about how dangerous it is to use the cell phones while driving, let alone riding a motorbike. Referring to the above studies, however, it makes a lot of sense that such a street act is indeed very risky. Unfortunately, I have seen more and more drivers and even motor bike riders doing it here. In that regard, this guy on the photo, I think, deserves a thumb up.
I took this photo a couple of days ago on a Bandung street. I was walking from a bank to a service station when I saw this guy stopped his motor bike to pick up his cell phone and received a call just a few meters in front of me. I was very lucky that I had my pocket digital camera with me when this happened - and so, voila, another street photography photo op caputured.