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Penalty for texting while driving

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by jerseyguy, Dec 21, 2013.

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  1. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    After yesterdays near miss on the GSP,I think offenders should have their thumbs broken. Public thumb breakings could be a weekly event in front of the courthouse each week. Merry Christmas to the jerk who damm near ran me off the road at 70 mph.
     
  2. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    Seems to me that with all this technology, it should be possible without police actually witnessing the act to prove somebody was texting while driving so that appropriate penalties could be assessed. Maybe a dash cam connected to a recording device- something with a time stamp. You record the perp, tell the cops, and the cops can seize the offending phone and check its usage history.

    Not something police can do regularly, but could be done if the a-hole causes an accident. Maybe police forces might institute periodic texting while driving sting stations similar to alcohol checkpoints. To enforce that, an onboard record of the vehicle's activity would also be needed.

    Offenders might be required to install signal blocking devices that would operate whenever the vehicle's motor was running.

    Let's face it. There's nothing we can really do about it. Give 'em the finger and some good Americans will fire back.
     
  3. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    I teach Driver Ed and the statistics with regard to cell phones and especially texting are frightening. They say that distracted driving now causes more accidents than drunk drivers. The difference is that they still have cognative ability when they realize they may lose control (if they do) where the DWI driver has little or none. This is becoming a HUGE problem with younger drivers who absolutely adore their cell phones. I had one student who told me that she had made over 80,000 text messages in the preceeding month!

    Part of the problem is that they see adults using cell phones like their parents and even cops all the time. At least, they are experienced drivers but a new driver and a cell phone is an accident waiting to happen. Texting is even worse. Most realize that it is true but most admit doing it, anyway. And it is not only teens and young adults, and it is not just in cars. There have been train wrecks cause by engineers on cell phones, and recently a mecial helicopter crashed killing the pilot, attendents and victim. The pilot failed to notice that he was almost out of fuel because he was busy texting.

    I have found that teens can't seem to make the connection that cell phone use and texting are not only dangerous but criminal. Two local youths were killed a few years ago. The driver and passenger (a former student of mine) were both killed when hit head on by an oil truck. Apparently the driver received a text from a girl he had met earlier in the day and was either reading or answering it while driving in a 55mph zone. He drifted across the yellow line into the path of an oil truck who rolled the truck trying to avoid the collision. Both boys were nice kids, popular with bright futures ahead of them but died instantly. As in all such cases it was tragic to their partents , family and friends.

    Seemingly common though was the reaction of their peers who instead of realizing that they made a horrible mistake and paid with their lives, they react by elevating their memories to that of martyrs, marking the spot with crosses, placing flowers, handing out bumper stickers, marking the anniversary of the accident. I couldn't even talk about the accident constructively in class. Had the driver lived, he would have faced charges for vehicular homicide for the death of his friend.

    There are many drivers, both old and new, who responsibly do not answer their phone when driving or pull to the side of the road to take the call but most do not. Research shows that we are not good as humans at multi-tasking though we like that word and like to think that we do it all the time. There are laws in many towns, cities, and states against the use of cell phones or texting while driving but they are hard to enforce. Even hands free operation of a cell phone is not the same as talking with someone in the car with you. This problem is not going to improve anytime soon and I heard one speaker say that the most likely solution would probably come about if the insurance companies could figure a way of increasing premiums for people using cell phones while driving. Insurance cost is, of course, based on RISK to the company, and I'm sure that the answer may be some kind of electronic device that may be installed in a car. It is not an easy thing to detect.

    Scary, as with drunk drivers, distracted drivers are out there in huge numbers, and we are only as safe as the cars we are interacting with. I was hit on Christmas Day 1970 by a drunk driver doing abut 108 mph. He pushed the tailgate to the back of the front seat, rupturing the gas take which exploded into flames. I was unhurt and my partner had minor injuries ( We were Aux. State Troopers). I guess god wasn't ready for us yet.

    Today besides our weaknesses as humans, we have widespread drug use, DWI and distracted driving as well as road rage. The news isn't all bad though. I took DE in 1967 and the death on the highways figures that were available were about 66,000 (70% alcohol related). Today, with many more drivers and more cars and trucks and roughly the same number of roads, the death rate has dropped about a third with about 33% alcohol related. The reasons are many including better educated and trained police, better laws, driver education, and better built cars. There has also been a big change in people's attitudes with regard to drinking and driving. Hopefully that will be the answer to the distracted driving problem as well. In the meantime we need to remain vigilent, and drive defensively.

    Jimbo338
     
  4. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    With all the apps and features of today's phones you can do almost anything hands free.
     
  5. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    Hands free is a little better but you're still distracted.
     
  6. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    That's true. I think conversations should be quick and not all that involved. I try to text or whatever before starting the car or after I've gotten somewhere. It's mostly my husband asking me to pick up some kind of junk food anyhow. I did have a friend with a crisis earlier this week when I was out of town and I had to turn on the bluetooth in the car and use the handsfree to talk to her. But, that's rare for me. I don't even leave the bluetooth on.
     
  7. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    It takes a concerted brainwashing campaign, because the laws are effectively unenforceable until after the fact of an accident.

    It's very annoying to be behind somebody who's constantly looking at their phone, but for the most part, those drivers drift to the right side of the road. I don't really give a shit if you or your kid drives into a tree while dicking around with your phone.

    All this shit with distractions just gets worse every day. I have whole days at work where every email reply I get has nothing to do with the point. It feels like everybody is just tapping out shit while watching some kitteh video.
     
  8. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    I'm old enough to remember when drunk driving was still socially accepted. It's kind of sad to see big progress in that area only to have it go out the window with technology.

    The other concern is the increase in prescription drug abuse and drug abuse in general. There's no breathalyzer for that stuff. You can be stoned to the gills with not a drop of booze in you and no funky smell to give you away.
     
  9. sweetcanadian

    sweetcanadian High-Roller

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    Here we have cell phone laws, tickets & demerits but in alberta they have distracted driving as a whole and i have heard it is strictly enforced. I wasn't even the one driving and i was told not to eat in the car, that was in edmonton not sure about anywhere else.
     
  10. DeMoN2318

    DeMoN2318 The DERS

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    80,000 texts a month is almost 2 texts per minute...non-stop all day everyday...The math doesnt really check out...


    How bout they just get rid of texting...problem solved. Acutally have people talk and interact?? OMG what a thought
     
  11. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    I'm pretty sure when someone says how many texts they "do" a month, its' because the bill shows incoming and outgoing, not just the ones you sent... I know this from having teenage daughters during the period before "unlimited" texting came about. Texts aren't going away, they're increasing and , in fact, even becoming an acceptable form of business communication as well.

    Talking with some of the AT&T executives I know... they dumped a ton of dough into expanding their bandwidth to accommodate Apple's FaceTime, which for those of you unfamiliar allows IPhone and IPad users to have a video-communication (face to face) experience. The result is actually very little use compared to the projections. Few people are excited to look up into the nose hairs of their Aunt Edna and will avoid an actual conversation as well in favor of sending a text (which uses hardy any space). It's a powerful and effective communication tool, which I use a ton. The extra bandwidth of their network has come in handy though, as more and more of us use the hell out our devices to access the internet.

    Back to the OP, I absolutely agree it's dangerous as hell in a vehicle. I used to attempt to do it (before it became illegal) and learned quickly it has no place in a moving vehicle. I since have seen some segments on 60 Minutes or Dateline that show just how dangerous it is... how many feet you travel while taking your eyes off the road for just a couple seconds and so on... very sobering!
     
  12. Its Only Money

    Its Only Money Low-Roller

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    I am going to be the lone dissenter here I see. These laws are really a waste. How about we enforce the laws that are on the books already. It is already illegal to cross the center line, it is already illegal to swerve into another occupied lane, rear-ending someone is illegal. Do these laws make all of these things more illegal? What is the point? There are already way too many laws that don't get enforced, why add more?
     
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  13. redzone

    redzone Low-Roller

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    My wife and I are often in the car together for work purposes and have a camera with us to take pictures of homes for mortgage purposes. It is illegal to be on the phone while driving in our province. $155.00 and three demerit points.

    Whenever we see someone on the phone we pull alongside and take a picture of them. Sometimes we will take a picture of their licence plate as well depending on the situation.

    We don't do anything with these but most times they get off the phone rather quickly. Maybe the driver is uncomfortable for the next few days wondering if the police will be calling or stopping by with some evidence of them talking on the phone while driving.
     
  14. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    Redzone, for your safety, I don't think you should do that. God Forbid you happen to grab pictures of somebody who doesn't understand what you're doing and is not the kind of person you want to run into in a dark alley. There are all kinds of people out there and some of them are very unstable. Please stop doing this.
     
  15. redzone

    redzone Low-Roller

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    Good point. Thank you for your concern Lola. :peace:
     
  16. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    You could probably get away with it back home, but don't try it here in the US where every third driver packs heat. We're Americans, and we've got rights! (translation: Anything I want to do is okay, but to hell with the rest of the world.)

    The fact that some laws are poorly written or laxly enforced does not mean no more laws should be passed. Wait a minute! Maybe that's why Congress has been picking its collective nose for five years.
     
  17. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    I don't know about how to fix the problem with adults, but with kids it's an easy fix: If you are a parent just get your teenager a phone that does not have a text capability. I imagine high school kids are a big part of this problem. :peace: :beer:
     
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  18. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Giving a kid a phone w/o texting capability in this day and age would be just "cruel and inhumane."
     
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