OMG…Texting While Driving Soon To Be Legal in CA (In A Way)

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In 2009, texting while driving became illegal in California. Makes perfect sense when you think about it, considering that making or receiving phone calls while driving became illegal just one year earlier but failed to address the significant distraction of texting.

Hardly a day goes by, however, that we don’t read about at least one serious vehicle crash that resulted from a driver’s use of – and distraction by – a cell phone. Just like speeding or pausing for a stop sign rather than making a complete stop, drivers treat traffic laws like a buffet from which you can pick the laws you like and bypass the rest.

Unfortunately, distracted driving has become such a serious problem that most states now have laws prohibiting drivers from talking and texting while operating a motor vehicle. In an interesting turn of events, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill making texting while driving legal as of January 1, 2013. Legal, that is, providing you do it in a very specific way, and that is what’s bound to create confusion among motorists.

Under the new law, you may text while driving providing the entire operation is done hands-free using voice activated devices. In other words, most cell phones that have a voice texting feature, including the iPhone 4S with ‘Siri,’ would not qualify because drivers must push one or more buttons on the phone to activate that function on the phone. In order to comply with the law, the entire texting operation must be voice-activated and hands-free.

While some newer devices may utilize the technology required to comply with the law, most current smart phones do not. This leads to a couple of potential problems. First, many people may not fully understand the new law and will celebrate the new year by returning to texting while driving, whether it be through using their keyboard or holding the phone to voice text. For drivers that do comply with the new law, voice-activated devices may also contribute to distraction because voice recognition isn’t always spot-on and you may have to repeat words or phrases repeatedly to be understood.

Even if done in a way that complies with the law, talking and texting while driving creates a potentially dangerous distraction. The act of sending or receiving a message, or engaging in conversation, takes one’s attention away from driving. Clearly, by signing this bill, Governor Brown has, to some degree, sacrificed public safety in an attempt to win some much needed popularity with voters.

Marketing, What works!

“Marketing, What Works,” is designed to allow school owners and their staff to share ideas on what they have done to market their school and what ways they have found to be successful. In this first article, NTSI shares some insights into ways on how to expand their school course offerings and grow their business.

The following are some ideas for ways to market NTSI programs. However, keep in mind that very little gets sold over the telephone or by sitting behind a desk. You have to actively market your program by going out and engaging in public speaking and interaction.

One good way to collect potential audiences is by always being on the lookout. When driving around, even in your own personal vehicle, keep a pen and paper handy.
Be aware of companies which may have a fleet of drivers. Record the telephone number
listed on the vehicle and follow-up the next day with a visit (not a phone call) to that company.

Types of companies to watch for:

  • Any kind of Delivery Company, like uniforms, cleaning, produce, etc.
  • Electric Companies
  • Cable Companies
  • Telephone Companies
  • Taxi Companies
  • Bus Companies
  • Home Repairs
  • Construction Companies
  • Concrete
  • Basically any type of vehicle being operated on the roadways for business

Another effective contact potential is getting your hands on mailing lists. For example, obtaining mailing lists from:

  • the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA)
  • the American Association of Safety Engineers (ASSE)
  • the International Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Getting on the contact list of the U.S. Governments GSAQ Federal Supply Schedule 69

Make personal contacts with the following:

  • Courts and provide a demonstration of the Values + Attitude = Behavior Concept. (Make sure to use the Values + Attitudes = Behavior concept paper)
  • Probation Departments
  • Parks and Recreation Departments
  • EMS
  • Fire/Rescue
  • Police Departments/Sheriffs Departments, Highway Patrol or State Police
  • City and County offices, maintenance departments

Try and get seated on local boards such as the following:

  • Red Ribbon Campaign
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse
  • MADD and SADD
  • City and County Safety Departments
  • School Boards
  • State Safety Commissions
  • Local Community Safety Teams
  • LifeSavers
  • Railroad Commission
  • Police Advisory Boards
  • Fire Department Advisory Boards
  • Safe Kids
  • NETS
  • NHTSA
  • Any governmental boards

It is beneficiary to get invited to speak on radio and TV talk shows and presenting the NTSI unique concept of Values + Attitudes = Behavior. Contacts can be made and arrangements made to speak about traffic safety and NTSI programs for saving lives. Organizations to consider are PTA’s, public schools, Elks, Rotary, hospitals, car clubs, American Legion, VFW, Shriners, Moose, etc. This is just an example of the organizations that are always looking for speakers. Contact a school and offer to make a presentation. Topic areas can include values + attitudes = behavior, how emotions affect our driving behavior, safety restraint systems, child seats, air bags, and just about any subject area taught in the NTSI classes. You can also purchase magnetic refrigerator marketing items that advertise your school or put a book marker in every student workbook that is handed out listing all the programs offered by your school.

Try and speak at different local clubs like bowling, garden, athletic, etc. Attend Safety Fairs and set up an NTSI booth. Purchase magnetic signs for all your instructor’s vehicles.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!

 

PITFALLS OF STARTING A NEW SCHOOL

In Pitfalls of Starting a New School you will find articles on subjects related to operating a successful traffic school. In the first article “Pitfalls of Starting a New School” you will be introduced to 25 common traits of Fortune Top 500 companies.

The most common pitfall of starting a successful driving school is poor planning. Many times new schools attempt to get started before having a good operational business plan. A business plan should include start-up costs and how the school will afford advertising. A second major pitfall is attempting to rush into starting a school. Planning takes time and effort. Finally, poor performing schools tend to have poor customer service and poorly trained instructors. Remember, instructors are your usually your first contact with a student so it is important they conduct the class in a way that will leave a lasting impression, and leave them with a valuable learning experience.

KEYS TO AFFILIATE SUCCESS:
The ideas shared below are 25 traits that are common to the top Fortune 500 companies as revealed in a survey conducted by Dr. Harold T. Smith of Brigham Young University.
Show care and concern for customers
Listen to the customer
Search beyond the common ideas for marketing
Be organized
Set written priorities
Set written goals
Give earned rewards and recognition
Communicate business decisions
Be prepared
Manage by objectives
Shift priorities accordingly
Work with purpose and enthusiasm
Set written schedules
Ask questions of and listen to customers
Investigate all customer complaints
Make all paperwork plain, clear and readable
Decide in advance who is responsible and for what
Have written job descriptions
Have a written organization structure
Use team building techniques

Have a written budget and operate within its limits
Share benefits
Be a role model in the community
Get involved in local organizations
Become a life-long learner

Introduction

DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS, WHAT DO YOU DO?

“Disruptive Students, What Do You Do” relays stories of the types of disruptive students instructors have encountered in class over the years, as well as how they handled these students.

THE MANY FACES OF THE PARTICIPANT

THE KNOW IT ALL— this student will challenge a lot of what you say and seem to know everything you are talking about.

WHINERS — It seems nothing is their fault and they’re always being picked on.

SILENT TYPES— This type of student rarely speaks up, participates and is reluctant to answer any question.

ATTACKERS— Will attempt to discredit what the instructor says and may even go as far as attacking the instructor’s credibility.

SIDE TALKERS— These individuals always have something say to other students sitting by them.

DERAILERS— These students like to ask questions and get the instructor off target.

CLOWN— This student likes to make jokes about everything and will also attempt to make noises during class.
HOW TO HANDLE THE DIFFICULT PARTICIPANT

THE KNOW IT ALL— Make sure to site your sources and confidently focus on the program material.

WHINERS— Do not spend the time to convince them one way or another. Acknowledge their statement respectfully and move on.

SILENT TYPES— Ask their opinions and keep them involved.

ATTACKERS— Always acknowledge their frustration and empathize with them, then move on. Express your willingness to talk to them during a break.

SIDE TALKERS— Stand close to them and if they persist, stop talking and look directly at them. You can also call on them to answer questions.
DERAILERS— Redirect their comments to focus on the topic at hand manage their discussion.

CLOWNS— Call on them directly, then redirect the conversation away from them. If they continue to be disruptive, talk to them during a break.