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Old 01-14-2010, 02:52 PM   #1
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Texting While Driving

Galveston County Texas is set to ban texting while driving.



I for one believe this proposed law is almost as ludicrous as texting while driving. Isn’t there already laws governing safe driving? If someone is recklessly driving while texting, can’t the police officer already give them a citation for reckless driving? If they were honest they would tell the truth, this is merely a tax increase in the disguise of public safety.

And no, I do not text or read text messages while driving. I do not even talk on the cell phone unless driving down some back country deserted county road. I have been around to many auto fatalities in my life to risk contributing to that number. I just think there are already laws covering this type of behavior and this is merely opening another revenue stream.

If you disagree then please explain the last line of the article.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Police Chief Charles Wiley
Unlike the city’s smoking ban — which police said was difficult to enforce — a citywide ban on texting while driving shouldn’t be a problem since officers can easily detect when motorists are engaging in the practice, and city crews don’t have to post any signs warning motorists about the ban
Virginia Tech


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Old 01-14-2010, 03:37 PM   #2
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Seems to be about as stupid as the seatbelt laws. Arguably another form of indirect tax. They can't pull you over for not wearing one, but if you get cited for some other moving violation......they'll add that one if you're "guilty". Still, given the number of people I see on the road driving and texting or just using their cell phones and not paying that much attention to other traffic, I can't be overly-sympathetic to the losers that get busted for the activity.


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Old 01-14-2010, 03:53 PM   #3
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Here they can pull you over for no seatbelt. I know I've been pulled over for it more times than I can count for not wearing one. My cousin drowned when his car flipped over in a ditch. He was unable to remove the belt in time. However, years later I figured out it was the alcohol in his system that caused the accident and most likely the reason he could not get the seatbelt off.

Point is there are rules that penalize those that drive recklessly; there really wasn’t a law for no seatbelts. So I do disagree with you about which one is less intelligent.



Last edited by mimartin; 01-14-2010 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:56 PM   #4
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Whats' the penalty for getting caught for not wearing the seatbelt?


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Old 01-14-2010, 04:12 PM   #5
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Child Passenger Safety Seat System; Offense
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas
(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $25 for the first offense and not more than $250 for a sec¬ond or subsequent offense
Seat Belt
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas
(d) An offense under Subsection (a) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $50. An offense under Subsection (b) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $200.
Although since they are allowed to add court cost the fines are really at the digression of the judge.


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Old 01-14-2010, 04:44 PM   #6
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Honestly, I'm not sure I've got a problem with the law. I know many people who text while driving; one was pulled over for a suspected-DUI while driving with two other people in her car. It seems like common sense, but common sense isn't exactly common, and I'd rather someone pay money for texting than their life.
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:20 PM   #7
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Here in the fabulous state of CA, we have a TWD (texting while driving) law which penalizes you if you are caught and I do believe it is half as severe as DUI.

It is a legitimate problem here because drivers are not only blatantly rude in the areas of So. CA, but on top are oblivious and inconsiderate and when you call them on it they either play dumb, blame you, "flip the bird", or yell back at you for being too uptight--if not outright road rage confrontations. Add in texting and you have even more problems.

It is a law addressing a legitimate and serious problem. Now having said that, I think it ought to be state-to-state ONLY at the MOST.

Though it seems our next door neighbor NV is beginning to consider it and for good reason: Las Vegas gets morons from around L.A. who come up there to party and have a good time and thought it's ok to text while driving down there since there is no laws against it.
Similarly up north, Carson City and Reno are getting just as sick of it b/c they are the near-valley cities to the sierra mountain areas like Lake Tahoe, and have direct highway veins to Sacramento and central CA themselves (which are *NUTS* around the holidays). Since those areas are a bit more rural between 2 state capitals, there is less road space. Grid-locked traffic + claustrophobia is already bad enough, now it has texting juxtaposed into it.

All around it for hundreds of miles of road you have people coming from all over to be in the areas of Sacramento CA to Reno NV.

NV is otherwise pretty bare and unpopulated--yet their population majority of a mostly conservative state are beginning to consider it.
Over here on the western side of America it seems people are content to try to buck the system at every turn and nearly every time eating their words in one form or another because of it. If not ending up hurt or killed in a crash.

My opinion, I think addressing somehow it is worth the time where the problems persist, this is a problem afterall. The hows and whys of application are what I am willing to hear reason with.
Totenkopf, mimartin, you both know I am rightward leaning. However this is a growing problem that gets harder and harder to deny. So then try to convince me that CA's new law to address and combat this problem is overkill. It's still too early yet to look at any statistical data on how effective this law actually is/has been.

I am willing to hear you out, though: Redundant laws and dings for $$$ through fines and stuff like that are something I won't abide from a simple freedom point of view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin View Post
Galveston County Texas is set to ban texting while driving.



I for one believe this proposed law is almost as ludicrous as texting while driving. Isn’t there already laws governing safe driving? If someone is recklessly driving while texting, can’t the police officer already give them a citation for reckless driving? If they were honest they would tell the truth, this is merely a tax increase in the disguise of public safety.
I agree. But what about when people continue to ignore it and the problems it causes?
Quote:
And no, I do not text or read text messages while driving. I do not even talk on the cell phone unless driving down some back country deserted county road.
I don't even have a cell phone.
Quote:
I have been around to many auto fatalities in my life to risk contributing to that number. I just think there are already laws covering this type of behavior and this is merely opening another revenue stream.
I don't condone it b/c of similarly being around injuries and fatalities, and moreso bailing vehicles out of ditches and snow berms.

So then, what would you do differently with existing laws to get the message through to particularly dense people who seem to refuse to "get it"?

Quote:
If you disagree then please explain the last line of the article.

Virginia Tech
No, I agree it's a total money grab--and lying utter BS through their teeth. That's why I want you to convince me of another way to do it that would be effective because statistics don't lie, nor do the victims' families, or graves for that matter.

For Extra: What would you tell Nevadans, whom are seriously looking into adopting these laws, to consider as an alternative?


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Old 01-14-2010, 05:57 PM   #8
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@GTA--don't misunderstand. I think they should be punished for reckless (not wreckless ...haha) behavior. I had to call someone once b/c their father had just had a heart attack. First thing I asked was what they were doing before revealing the mssg. If they were driving, I wasn't gonna tell 'em right away b/c they were living out-of-state anyhow and couldn't have done anything. The # I had to call was for a cell phone, and they told me later they appreciated that I'd asked first. I think, like mimartin on this, that there are probably enough laws on the books to already cover dangerous behavior. However, people often being stubborn and even stupid at times, might just need these kinds of things from time to time to set them straight. I think a lot of people still have that "it'll never happen to me" feeling and will continue to use poor judgement till it's too late. Perhaps another law specifically targeting these morons is unnecessary, but there should be a somewhat draconian fine system in place to keep it from growing into an even greater problem over time.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

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Old 01-14-2010, 06:32 PM   #9
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I’d also feel a lot different if this was a state law and not merely a city ordinance. Considering Galveston Texas major income is from tourism, I’d say the attitude of city officials thinking that it is a good thing that they do not have to publically post the ordinance makes me especially leery of the ordinance true intention.

As to a better alternative, to me this is the alternative, what we have now ticket people driving reckless, with reckless driving is the better option. It is a law on the books and it is a charge very difficult to defend against do to it being the ticketing officer’s opinion.


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Old 01-14-2010, 07:53 PM   #10
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Good to set the record straight and make sure there's a law that covers texting while driving. If for nothing else other than to discourage drivers from doing one more thing...



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Old 01-14-2010, 08:41 PM   #11
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If you are attempting to discourage behavior, wouldn’t it make sense to actually promote the ordnance to the public by displaying signs stating texting while driving is against the law?

Again, they are proposing a ordnance, but do not find the ordnance requires a public warning of the ordnance. Would not mean anything if it was just a small town off the beaten path, but Galveston promotes itself as a tourist town and not warning those tourists of hidden ordnances smacks of greed not public safety.


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Old 01-14-2010, 08:47 PM   #12
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I think that most people fail to realize just how dangerous a daily activity driving is. Texting while driving should be illegal, and bluetooth should be mandatory for any driver using a cellphone.

Like GTA, I can't think of a better solution.


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Old 01-14-2010, 08:54 PM   #13
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At first I thought it was a good idea, as just having people know the law exists would discourage at least some texting while driving.

Problem is that they don't want to post it. Which means they are just looking for a stupid motorist tax. Sure you shouldn't text while driving, and if you get pulled over for it, you deserve the ticket... However, you should at least know that it's illegal so you can keep from doing it.

As for already being able to use reckless driving, many people would be able to get out of that ticket. Its just another offense to add on to make it stick


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Old 01-14-2010, 09:49 PM   #14
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We have a law here in CO banning texting while driving, but our local sheriff is a bit of a realist- he says, quite rightfully, that it is an impossible law to enforce fairly, so they won't. It's impossible to distinguish between someone checking a call, looking at the time, or what-have-you from actual texting, so it's only a secondary offense here (i.e. you won't be pulled for it but can be ticketed if you're pulled for something else).

That's not to say it's ok to text and drive, just that it's impossible to prevent. People are stupid, and do stupid things, like text and drive. I personally used to text and call and drive all the time, but after a year of not driving (was overseas sans autos) I won't do either now (plus the whole maturing and qwerty phone keyboards being impossible to text on while driving). I'll honestly just pull over as I don't get important enough calls to talk and drive and endanger my own life. If you're stupid enough to text while the car is in motion you deserve to drive into a tree and die so that you don't drive into me and I die.

Texting I'll do at a stoplight, nowhere else. It sometimes takes 3 stoplights to get a message sent.

Also, on any ticket, get a lawyer. That signals the judge that you are taking your offense seriously and nearly always drops the offense down to something else. You end up paying more for the lawyer, but your record is better and your insurance company is none the wiser. I've seen reckless driving tickets reduced down to improper lane change or taillight out "fix-it" tickets. Note: I've never gotten a speeding or reckless ticket, this is just what I've seen friends and car buddies do. Always lawyer up.


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Old 01-16-2010, 11:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
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You end up paying more for the lawyer, but your record is better and your insurance company is none the wiser.
In Texas, you also pay court cost even for a ticket that is dismissed, so the city still ends up getting their cut. Even if you take defensive driving to dismiss a citation the city gets it court cost (even if you do not actually go to court).


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Old 01-16-2010, 07:22 PM   #16
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In Texas, you also pay court cost even for a ticket that is dismissed, so the city still ends up getting their cut. Even if you take defensive driving to dismiss a citation the city gets it court cost (even if you do not actually go to court).
Texas is the last place I'd figure some blatant tax and revenue generation scheme like that would exist. California, sure, Texas, not so much.


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Old 01-16-2010, 08:20 PM   #17
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jeff texted me while i was driving to class once and i texted him back what chy'all gonna do about it



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Old 01-16-2010, 08:26 PM   #18
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:02 PM   #19
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Nothing like a car full of scrambled teenagers.
Yep, Darwinism in action.


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Old 01-22-2010, 08:37 PM   #20
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Well, I do think this whole issue is basically a money grab. Were it for reals, they'd actually put up a sign. I guess I'm convinced there doesn't *need* to be a law on it specifically. Still, where people insist on treading the system, there ought to be some kind of discretion allowed for the cop/deputy/trooper that smacks these idiots upside the head for it, especially when they try to deny it...kind of like Jules Winnfield up in your face saying:

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Yes you did! YES_YOU_*DID*, [insert suspect's name]!
That way people will think thrice since twice isn't enough with the threat of becoming human can'o'spam all over the highway isn't enough.

This ought to also be included in those driver ed videos, especially the gory ones. IMO.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:15 AM   #21
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The irony of course, of putting up more signs is that it is contradictory to what you are trying to accomplish. The idea behind this law is to keep people focused on the road, pay attention to their driving, ect... In short: reduce distractions. Since texting for all but the best means your hands and eyes are occupied with pushing buttons on the phone and looking at what you're typing, this means you've got nothing to watch the road or steer with, and if you try to combine the two you'll only accomplish doing both poorly.

As for signs, well yes, we could make a law that says "no texting while driving". And then we could put up signs everywhere so that while people are driving instead of paying attention to the road, they can look at all the pretty signs we've put up along them.



At what point do we realize that this really isn't helpful anymore?


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Old 01-26-2010, 11:40 PM   #22
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Seems to be about as stupid as the seatbelt laws.
I see a huge difference between texting and seatbelt laws: if you're not wearing a seatbelt you don't suddenly become more dangerous to other people on the road, it's your own life (still in countries where health care is public and were there's a no fault system for accidents implicating a motor vehicle, there can be an argument there too).

I rarely use a cell phone while driving (I limit it to "huh....looks like there's a huge traffic jam and I'll be late" or "I'm on the road, I'll call you back later" despite the fact that I use a Bluetooth system that connects to my car radio and speakers). Laws here prohibit using a cell phone (whether to text or talk) unless it is a hands free device (still, the attention span isn't always optimal even if using a hands free device).

Quote:
If someone is recklessly driving while texting, can’t the police officer already give them a citation for reckless driving?
The problem is that proving someone was reckless might (at least it "does" where I live) require a much more complicated and uncertain (and expensive) evidence (which requires a case by case appreciation) rather than just proving someone was texting (a mere matter of fact). You might have an example right here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerman
Texting I'll do at a stoplight, nowhere else. It sometimes takes 3 stoplights to get a message sent.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:42 AM   #23
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Quote:
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I see a huge difference between texting and seatbelt laws: if you're not wearing a seatbelt you don't suddenly become more dangerous to other people on the road, it's your own life (still in countries where health care is public and were there's a no fault system for accidents implicating a motor vehicle, there can be an argument there too).
I agree that people who distract themselves unnecessarily while driving are a bigger hazard in general. Don't know what the laws are like where you live, but the way they work here is that they don't/can't pull you over for not wearing a seatbelt.....unless you've commited a moving violation. In essence, the seatbelt law is reduced to being nothing more than a revenue enhancement gimmick. But, as I indicated elsewhere, perhaps it may be a behavior that initially has to be targeted in order to suppress its growing frequency. Frankly, though, police pull people over for DUIs based on erractic driving and could probably justify doing something similiar w/cell phone users. Chances are that the judge will believe the officer over the citizen if it goes to the courtroom. Even if you do manage to win in court, the experience may be enough of a hassle (lost time, etc..) to discourage future phone use while driving (or at least the purchase of a hands free system).


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Old 01-27-2010, 10:36 PM   #24
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Seatbelts are an important safety device for maintaining control of your vehicle. A simple bump in the road can cause you to lose control by literally being bounced out of your seat. Granted it's only a slim possibility, but I've seen it happen to a friend of mine. It was funny to us at the time, but then we were out in a field.

So are they going to disable the police officer's computer while they are in motion?


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Old 01-27-2010, 11:27 PM   #25
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jeff texted me while i was driving to class once and i texted him back what chy'all gonna do about it
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:40 AM   #26
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Quote:
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I The problem is that proving someone was reckless might (at least it "does" where I live) require a much more complicated and uncertain (and expensive) evidence (which requires a case by case appreciation) rather than just proving someone was texting (a mere matter of fact). You might have an example right here:
In my experience in the insurance industry it is not that difficult to prove reckless driving in Texas. Pretty much if the Police Officers shows up in court and testifies the trial ends in a conviction.

Again, I’m against texting while driving, but I’m also against super secret laws that milk tourist out of their money.


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Old 02-01-2010, 11:06 PM   #27
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^^^<sigh> CA will just have to deal with it since we do have an anti texting and anti-phone chat while driving laws.

As if speed traps weren't already enough in 'tourist resort' areas where their penalties are considerably higher than adjacent and surrounding areas.


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Old 02-02-2010, 12:31 AM   #28
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Seatbelts are an important safety device for maintaining control of your vehicle. A simple bump in the road can cause you to lose control by literally being bounced out of your seat. Granted it's only a slim possibility, but I've seen it happen to a friend of mine. It was funny to us at the time, but then we were out in a field.
Apparently not so slim a possibility. Here's what seat belt use has done for me.
1. Kept me in my seat when I was driving way too fast over a set of train tracks that then had a steep drop-off on the other side. I hit the tracks, and then thought, "Oh, sh*t, the road's gone!" My car went airborne in the best movie fashion. Even with my seatbelt on, I was momentarily airborne, too. My head hit the roof of the car, but the seatbelt kept me in the seat otherwise. If I hadn't had it on, I would have been bounced out of the seat entirely, and out of control of the car.
2. Kept me from faceplanting (or going through) the windshield when a very large tank of a car plowed into our bitty Hyundai Excel. I got mild whiplash and a sprained back, but the seatbelt kept me from major head, face, and neck injuries.
3. Kept me, when I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter, from hitting the steering column with my belly when a guy (talking on his cell phone) turned left right in front of me even though I'd had the green light for a good minute.
4. Kept me from hitting my head any harder than I did on the side window when a guy decided to run a stop sign without looking to see who was coming down the road (me, with right-of-way)
5. Kept my then-3 year old son (in his car seat) from getting hurt in accident 3.
6. Kept both my kids from any injury whatsoever in accident 4 above.

Do I play the music way too loud in my car at times? Yes. Do I sing at the top of my lungs with that way-too-loud music? Yes. Do I eat in my car? Yes. Drink iced tea or coffee? Yes. Talk on my phone? Yes, when I need to. Text while driving? No.


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Old 02-02-2010, 05:56 AM   #29
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^^^Dennis Leary is right...forget about the clean car. Dr. Leary would be proud that you at least have safety as your eh...top priority if a tad wobbly. And your kids.

At any rate: You can't watch out for the other idiots if you're preoccupied--even with a hands free device. There is watching out, then there is watching out for those who aren't watching out.

It's a wonder how law enforcement catches anyone being so preoccupied...oh wait, they have modded vehicles and sheer numbers on their side. Even if they've had one too many doughnuts. (Hey, gotta live up to my GTA namesake once in a while! )
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:41 AM   #30
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It's a wonder how law enforcement catches anyone being so preoccupied...oh wait, they have modded vehicles and sheer numbers on their side. Even if they've had one too many doughnuts. (Hey, gotta live up to my GTA namesake once in a while! )
I saw a police officer reading a book and driving at the same time. Not texting, an actual book.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:47 PM   #31
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It's illegal to text while driving in Austin. I think such a law is unnecessary, as that type of behavior is already covered by other laws. That being said, I have been in the car with people who text while driving and it is somewhat frightening to watch them drift all over. People shouldn't do it, it's simply irresponsible when you're guiding a ton of metal at 60mph.


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Old 02-03-2010, 01:03 PM   #32
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It's illegal to text while driving in Austin. I think such a law is unnecessary, as that type of behavior is already covered by other laws.
It may not be strictly necessary, but it makes it easier to prosecute than 'reckless driving' as Darth333 noted, since it's so specific. It also allows fines to be adjusted to a different rate (I would assume higher, because of cynicism, heh) than the generic 'reckless driving'. I think it also sends a message to people who think that texting while driving =/= reckless driving that it really is NOT OK to text and drive.


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Old 02-03-2010, 03:39 PM   #33
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It's illegal to text while driving in Austin. I think such a law is unnecessary, as that type of behavior is already covered by other laws. That being said, I have been in the car with people who text while driving and it is somewhat frightening to watch them drift all over. People shouldn't do it, it's simply irresponsible when you're guiding a ton of metal at 60mph.
what kind of douchebag does the speed limit or less



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Old 02-03-2010, 06:17 PM   #34
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what kind of douchebag does the speed limit or less
I dunno, Stan, what kind of inbred, moronic ****wit speeds and looks at a phone to text at the same time? Gee, I bet they're SMRT.




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Old 02-03-2010, 09:14 PM   #35
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^ When they catch him, if they ever do, they ought to throw several books at him. Still, despite that, I have no more love for people who drive under the speed limit than jmac either.


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Old 02-05-2010, 09:03 PM   #36
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This seems very relevant.
Study finds no significant link between cell use and accidents


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Old 02-05-2010, 09:45 PM   #37
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It appears that way, but I'd venture to say that the information fueling the "head scratching" was fairly worthless:

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The new study, which was completed in December, looked at crashes (and not just at those involving cellphones) in those four places and found no decrease in accidents, despite the bans’ having reduced the use of hand-held cellphones 41 to 76 percent. The researchers obtained those numbers by going out to street corners and exit ramps to observe how many people had cellphones up to their ears before the bans compared with after the bans.
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The researchers obtained those numbers by going out to street corners and exit ramps to observe how many people had cellphones up to their ears before the bans compared with after the bans.
To me, that seems a terribly foolish way to compile data. Wouldn't the local police departments have records of tickets given out for driving while texting, thus providing a place wherein one might compile more accurate data? Basing scientific results off of watching people from street corners seems to me to be terribly inefficient and ineffective (mainly because we don't know the reasons people were on the phones; for example, we are not aware if it is the new law that keeps the phones off, or some other, unrelated reason).
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:18 AM   #38
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Actually I think the way they got the data was fine, so long as they account for enough variables (like seasonal differences), and have enough data points. The police department information would be skewed because they are not interested in counting every car, just ones breaking the law.

Although something more interesting would be to grab the number of active cells with GPS transmitters indicating speeds of over 20 mph or so. Would give much more targeted data, although probably isn't the best precedent.

@Jae: I hadn't thought of those points. I agree with you then.


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Old 02-06-2010, 10:15 AM   #39
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Actually I think the way they got the data was fine, so long as they account for enough variables (like seasonal differences), and have enough data points. The police department information would be skewed because they are not interested in counting every car, just ones breaking the law.
I just think that there happen to be a large number of variables that could easily misconstrue the data from one experiment to another. Even if they did account for a multitude of variables, it still seems that the data might be skewed in one way or another.

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Although something more interesting would be to grab the number of active cells with GPS transmitters indicating speeds of over 20 mph or so. Would give much more targeted data, although probably isn't the best precedent.
Sir, I do contend that they might be terrorists. To the satellites!
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Old 02-10-2010, 05:33 AM   #40
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So far as texting while driving, the blueprint is already there: these companies report to the FCC and law enforcement anyways, so run an activity track on your phone through your carrier's network in case of suspected TWD.

I think it could just be categorized under reckless driving. Since catching in the act is difficult and unreliable.

Law enforcement techs have talked about this.

Quote:
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Actually I think the way they got the data was fine, so long as they account for enough variables (like seasonal differences), and have enough data points. The police department information would be skewed because they are not interested in counting every car, just ones breaking the law.

Although something more interesting would be to grab the number of active cells with GPS transmitters indicating speeds of over 20 mph or so. Would give much more targeted data, although probably isn't the best precedent.
Well, law enforcement has been looking at ways of eliminating high speed chases. A cell phone as a tracking device isn't too far out of the realm. Still, Onstar equipped vehicles apparently can assist law enforcement.

There have been studies done into utilizing directed EMP to disable (translation FRY) the electronics in a car to stop high speed chases. In fact one company offers equipment for serious researchers. It's not too terribly complex science either. Problems here: Underpowered and it won't work. Overpowered and it'll cause collateral damage to other vehicles. The point of research would be to innovate a practical but effective means of utilizing this.

Still, I can already see a more practical idea of what's going to happen: Switchboxes incorporated into future car designs where law enforcement has a god code RF signal that throws the switches and shuts the car down. How to implement it? Make it mandatory all cars have it and older cars must incorporate it in order to be legal to drive. Law enforcement has talked about this for the past several years now--so it's not as though I'm giving any ideas to the gov't, cat's out of the bag now.

Positive: Safer roads (not guaranteed)
Negative: Just one more way the government definitely has power over you apparently b/c they know best and you don't. Why? The minority who have to screw it up for everyone else. (And how noob law enforcement could play a nasty joke on you )
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