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Treacherous Texting on the Road

Posted June 12, 2010 7:52 AM

In many small towns, cities, and states in the U.S., it's now against the law to text while you drive — the reason being that it distracts a driver's attention from the road. Yep, as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, as the stats say. But it still happens day in and day out — not to mention dialing non-hands-free phones while turning a corner — despite hefty hundreds-of-dollars fines for first time offenders. One of the ultimate infractions, reported in a recent blog, tells of one guy driving a scooter texting with both hands with earphones in for music. Have you ever been almost hit head on by one of these airheads? What should be done other than having such drivers sign organ donor cards? One jurisdiction in Gwent, UK has even produced a graphic video that is shown at high schools.

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#1

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/13/2010 8:04 AM

They just passed a law against texting while driving around here. Unfortunately, the die hards now do it with the phone in their laps so that the police don't spot them, completely ignoring the road.

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#2

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/13/2010 8:46 AM

I've had way too many close calls with these texting arseholes while driving in the past few years. And it's getting worse instead of better. Recently I asked one of our local Toll Bridge collectors how many people she observes on an average day either twittering or on their cell phones while passing through the tool plaza. Her answer floored me as she stated no less than 85 to 90 percent of drivers were doing so and she had no legal recourse to contact the police or stop them in any way. A truly sad state of affairs if you ask me!

It's equally scary that you have to double or triple your defensive driving tactics whenever you venture out onto the streets, roads and highways. It is in fact much more scarier than some combat situations in that you don't have too many defensive actions you can take against the "Tweetie-Birds". I thank my lucky stars that I survived 2 armed conflicts while serving my country, but I fear that one of these twittering or cell phone yakking idiots will eventually nail me and my family on the highway someday!

Many of the offenders are youngsters, but I'm increasingly seeing drivers of all ages and both sexes either texting or on their cell phones driving happily along and totally oblivious of the environment around them! Too scary thinking that these nabobs are piloting a 2-ton or 3-ton (SUV's) weapon down the road and that they really are not in control of their vehicle.......

If caught breaking the KNOWN laws the offenders ought to be fined very heavily and have their driver's licenses revoked for no less than 5 years. Enough is enough! The resulting carnage on the roads is only getting worse regardless of laws passed by the states. Some technical equipment needs to be develop to help police identify offenders abusing the laws, especially when they hide their activated gizmos on their laps or the center console.

Just chirping-in with my 2 cents and totally pissed off at the offending twitters.

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Anonymous Poster
#3

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/13/2010 5:01 PM

I think texting while driving should have a federal law against it. As should cell phone talking. I carry a cell phone, and when it rings, I find a place to pull over and call back. It is a rare case when I cannot pull over within 2 minutes. What is the big deal?

PEbob

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/13/2010 6:06 PM

I'm with you PEbob. I pull over as well when the cell phone rings. Whoever it is calling can better well wait for a return call as it just isn't worth me killing or maiming someone with my vehicle just because someone is in a hurry on the other end.....expediency isn't worth the price to be paid! Even though I've been driving for 36 years I DO know my limits and I damn well know that distractions such as cell phone use will definitely limit my driving abilities.

At least I can admit to the above....sorry to say that lots of people can't...

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Anonymous Poster
#9
In reply to #4

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/14/2010 12:44 PM

Just make sure you pull over in a safe place. The shoulder of the road is not safe. Find a parking lot or driveway.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/14/2010 1:36 PM

You're damn straight about un-safe road shoulders!

Just this pass week a New Jersey State Trooper who had stopped motorist was stuck and killed by a jerk not paying attention! Damn thing is that the trooper's car was sticking out into the right lane a little for "extra protection" with the strobe light flashing!!!! Having driven through NJ a zillion times I can attest that one cannot miss those trooper car strobes when they're flashing. There's no excuse for had happen.

I betcha dollars-to-donuts that the jerkyboy who struck and killed the poor trooper was either texting or on the cell phone (or maybe his GF or wife went down on 'em???) when the accident happen.....in typical "Joisey" fashion......NJ drivers are the nation's worse; even worse than Boston drivers, and that IS BAD!!!!

Crying shame as the trooper left a wife and some little tykes that will grow up not knowing their daddy. He was laid to rest yesterday with troopers and police in attendance from all over the country and Canada.

I sure hope that the Judge in this case actually throws the freaking book at the jerkyboy and gives him life without parole, 'cause he damn well deserves it and nothing less!!!!

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/14/2010 2:01 PM

In Florida a number of years ago I noticed many troopers either talking to the driver of the pulled over car from through the passenger's window (i.e. so the trooper has the pulled over car between him and traffic) or they would pull the car over to the shoulder to the left of traffic (again placing the pulled over car between him and traffic). I don't know if it was an official change in protocol or left up to the individual troopers, but seems to make some sense considering how many people driving are so self-absorbed.

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#13
In reply to #10

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/15/2010 4:12 AM

There is a federal law stating that when a law enforcement officer is conducting a traffic stop other traffic will either change lanes, slow or both when passing the traffic stop.

Minimum fine $400

The related incident carries a manslaughter penalty, expect minimum one year prison.

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#5

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/13/2010 6:09 PM

I just can't conceive anyone being so stupid as to text message while driving. I'm not concerned with the life of the person doing the texting, but of the lives of the innocent victims who may get killed by this idiot. I have seen it happen many times. Someone is driving along a road and reaches over to change a tape and hits and kills two bicyclists. I have seen people reading letters and drinking coffee at the same time; others applying nail polish. You can pass laws, but the difficult thing is enforcing the law.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/13/2010 6:27 PM

Agreed, the problem is lack of enforcement of the laws, and passing new ones will still be problematic and unenforceable so long as the texters and cell phone users blatantly dodge the law.

What really is needed is changing peoples attitudes. Maybe the courts have to force convicted persons to attend someone's autopsy who was a victim of a texter or cell phone abuser....or be forced to view an autopsy film. Nothing like real-time blood and guts gore in Technicolor to change peeps attitudes....of course the darling little teenagers and twenty-somethings still will think they infallible and will live forever, or just don't give a damn about others....it's the crummy "me me me me first" attitude so persuasive in our society today thats really troublesome...

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#12
In reply to #6

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/14/2010 6:11 PM

"Quote" Maybe the courts have to force convicted persons to attend someone's autopsy who was a victim of a texter or cell phone abuser....or be forced to view an autopsy film. Nothing like real-time blood and guts gore in Technicolor to change peeps attitudes....

You would probably get the ACLU and other "rights" organizations on your case.

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/14/2010 9:39 AM

" I just can't conceive anyone being so stupid as to text message while driving. I'm not concerned with the life of the person doing the texting, but of the lives of the innocent victims who may get killed by this idiot. "

If they aren't concerned with their own life, we can't really expect them to be too concerned about the lives of others now can we? So let's not be so hard on them. (Please interpret with extreme sarcasm).

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#8

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/14/2010 12:11 PM

The second time my Sister was hit (and hurt) by someone on a cellphone, an officer approached the driver who was still on the phone. The officer heard her say "I have to go, there's been an accident".

I wonder if there are proctological case histories for colorectal reconstruction after extraction of cell phones?

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#14

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/16/2010 2:40 PM

I live in Portugal and it would seem that is illegal not to use your phone while driving.

There is lots of car accidents in Portugal.

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#15

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/17/2010 4:10 PM

What scares me more than the typical teen idiot texting while cruising down the road in a compact car is when I pass a weaving tractor trailer truck and look up to see the so-called professional driver staring enthusiastically into a cell phone screen. In the past two years I have noticed that at least 60% of the big trucks that I pass on the interstate are being operated by drivers using cell phones regardless of traffic volume.

Another incident came at an airport. On the short drive from the long term parking lot to the terminal (which involved merging and maneuvering through busy airport traffic) the shuttle driver was receiving and sending texts so quickly that it surely would have been more efficient to simply talk to whoever was on the other end.

I called the airport after I got home to complain, though I didn't know the driver's name and therefor could not expect any real action. The representative assured me that it was against airport policy for shuttle drivers to talk while driving. I suggested that they should enact a policy forbidding their drivers to carry a phone onto shuttles at all, and she agreed that that would be a good idea (if they could actually enforce it).

Personally I feel that a CDL (commercial driver's licence) should be revoked immediately for such carelessness.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/17/2010 5:08 PM

"the shuttle driver was receiving and sending texts so quickly that it surely would have been more efficient to simply talk to whoever was on the other end."

This brings up a question I forgot to ask in the beginning of this thread: What IS the advantage of texting?

The phones are so tiny now I have trouble just dialing the thing!

P.S. spell check can't handle the word "Texting".

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/17/2010 9:37 PM

The advantage of texting is that you can have multiple conversations at the same time....or you can have a conversation while you are doing something else (driving for instance). Actually the 'doing something else' could also be something that is not so dangerous to do while texting....such as reading the newspaper....having lunch...and therefore you don't have to interact with the other person continuously. You can read and/or respond at your leisure. My wife and baby sitter often correspond that way when the ever adorable Mrs. is trying to arrange for the sitter to pick the kids up from school or something.

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#18
In reply to #15

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/19/2010 2:37 AM

Alright the shuttle driver could train the truck drivers to navigate without weaving

Weaving is not illegal and it's not unsafe but those driving little vehicles get very touchy when near really big trucks and should just steer clear. The safest trucks have dodge written on front and rear.

Anyway in few years we'll have heads-up display

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/21/2010 10:54 AM

The weaving of a big truck is not necessarily dangerous in itself, but when it crosses the center line and takes half of the lane you are in forcing you onto the shoulder, then it's time to text the police "Plz pull diz guy over!"

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#24
In reply to #20

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/21/2010 10:47 PM

Yes there is a time and a place for everything but texting while driving is reckless indeed.

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#19

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/21/2010 10:31 AM

Is it any safer to have your texting device "read" the text to you in a synthesized voice, and then convert your verbal reply to text and send that? Texting is so expensive, I am at a loss why people won't simply converse by telephone while driving. It may be more dangerous than driving without talking, but it has to be safer than texting. Dialing and texting could be accomplished by a specialized keyboard set into the steering wheel--I've seen a man on a recombent bicycle writing on keypads on each handlebar while reading on a computer monitor on a sort of heads-up display that allowed him to see the message and the road at the same time. With adequate training (another week or two in driver training?) anyone could be trained to type on a steering wheel keypad and read a display reflected on the windshield at the same level as oncoming traffic. Again, the question is not 100% safety, but what is safer. We would achieve 100% safety by lowering speed limits to 5 miles per hour, building redundant radar systems into cars that stop them whenever there is an obstacle or other vehicle within 1000 yards. But we've made enough compromises to drive at 75 miles per hour in traffic with obstacles and other cars all around us.

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#21

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/21/2010 11:03 AM

Unfortunately, but quite predictably this is just another indication of the Narcissism being perpetuated by the PC world. I'm not in favor of still more Federal regulations.

We simply need to make people personally liable for their actions.

More laws and regulations only mean less freedom. How about we start actually enforcing the laws we have. And it starts with the little things, like being considerate enough to use your turn signal. Driving is not a right, it is a privalage, treat it as such and enforce it as such.

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Anonymous Poster
#22

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/21/2010 12:40 PM

The really sad thing is that hands-free voice phoning is no safer than texting. It's not your hands that are occupied - it's your mind that is on the content of the conversation, not on the road, and that is far more dangerous. Some people don't like to ride with me at the wheel because I won't allow talk radio (music is okay, at low volume) and I discourage conversation, but a recent demonstration proves me right.

At a university campus, a clown on a unicycle rode through the quad. Immediately afterward, several people who had been on the quad at the time were interviewed about what they saw. Those who were on their cells at the time missed noticing the clown - every one! When you're engaged in a phone conversation, your visual centers apparently get partially taken over by the intellectual effort of visualizing the conversation. Something unusual may simply fail to register. No problem if you're walking on a quadrangle, big trouble if you're on the public highway. My take is that, if you're serious about safety, use of any communication device by the driver should be prohibited at any time.

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Anonymous Poster
#23

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/21/2010 3:21 PM

Not only is there an obvious safety concern, yet another is what the phone (transmitter) is doing to your car's computer? How much shielding is necesaary to prevent EMI?

dgraham721

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Anonymous Poster
#25

Re: Treacherous Texting on the Road

06/23/2010 6:48 PM

I considerate it hypernatural selection. Technology is now fighting back to get rid of the idiots of the world and this is how... Got to love technology

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