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Print 70 comment(s) - last by Zhukov.. on Jul 22 at 8:58 PM

As long as the phone doesn't have to be in your hand to text, it's legal

Last Friday, California passed a bill legalizing hands-free texting and e-mailing while driving. California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1536 into law and it will take effect on January 1. The bill adds an amendment to section 23123.5 of the Vehicle Code, adding an exception to the ban on text-based communications while driving in specific instances.
 
The amended code reads (amended sections bolded):
A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication, unless the electronic wireless communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation to dictate, send, or listen to a text-based communication, and it is used in that manner while driving.
 
(c) For purposes of this section, a person shall not be deemed to be writing, reading, or sending a text-based communication if the person reads, selects, or enters a telephone number or name in an electronic wireless communications device for the purpose of making or receiving a telephone call or if a person otherwise activates or deactivates a feature or function on an electronic wireless communications device.
By signing the bill into law, California became the second state after Idaho to modify laws banning texting and driving to make it legal for drivers with infotainment systems in the vehicle supporting voice to text technology to text while driving.

A representative of California assembly member Jeff Miller also points out that the new bill wasn't intended to apply to phones; rather the bill was intended to allow in-dash navigation and messaging systems to be operated within the law. The spokesperson also noted that voice powered smartphone apps like Siri would fit within the bill's language. Under the law, system such as Ford Sync and OnStar among others will be legal after January 1.
 
Spokeswoman Jamie Coffee for the California Highway Patrol told Mercury News, "The phone can't be in your hands. Hands-free is the key." That raises a question of legality specifically with smart phone services like Siri since the driver would need to pick up the phone and touch the screen to activate the hands-free service. Coffee did note, "The most important thing to do when you're driving is to drive. It does take your attention away, whether it's hands free or not."

Sources: MSNBC, Mercury News



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By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 10:29:11 AM , Rating: 5
Distracted driving is certainly a problem, but the bigger issue is that dangerous drivers are not punished worth a damn. Get caught texting while driving? Should rip your license up on the spot. Proven in court that texting caused a collision with injuries? Mandatory jail time.

It's no "accident" when you hit someone while texting. That's just negligence. We don't need more laws, we need tougher enforcement.




RE: ...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/18/12, Rating: 0
RE: ...
By GotThumbs on 7/18/2012 12:22:30 PM , Rating: 3
Wow...Your a total Twit.

Well I hope you feel the same with someone kills/injures you or a family member in an "Accident" while texting. The problem with our current laws IS that few take them or the possible consequences of violating them seriously. Insurance is NOT an excuse to feel less concerned with yours or others safety. You think any insurance payout will make up for the loss of a loved-one? Your level of ignorance/stupidity is part of the reason this country is heading toward failure. Idiots will never take responsibility for their own actions/choices.

Also, there is NO SUCH THING AS AN ACCIDENT. It's a collision that occurs due to one or more persons negligence/stupidity. People use the term "Accident" to avoid taking responsibility for their actions/negligence.

People of low character/intelligence make excuses or blame others for everything in their lives. Maybe YOUR the problem.

Best wishes on your pathetic life.


RE: ...
By Mitch101 on 7/18/2012 5:03:11 PM , Rating: 2
I agree texting and driving is deadly but the bill is for Hands-Free Texting .

In my car I never have to take my hands or eyes off the road to listen to texts or respond to them. I have Sync with a Windows Phone which has excellent voice to text and its fully integrated with the car. One button on the steering wheel and a voice command.

I just bought my wife a Motorola device that allows her to do the same with her Android device although I need to play around with the settings because I think the gain on the Mic input is way too high causing her not so much luck with it but it works fine on the phone with the software. Luckily she is smart enough to give up and not try to play with the settings while driving.

Texting while driving is possible with a good simple Hands-Free Texting unit that personally one should have integrated into their vehicle.

If its not built into the car or the hands free device then it should be banned. But that doesn't solve stupid people who have gotten away with it a few times from continuing until they hurt themselves or worse someone else.


RE: ...
By Zhukov on 7/22/2012 8:58:23 PM , Rating: 2
So taking your eyes off the road is bad, but taking your mind off the road is good?

Distracted driving is distracted driving. It doesn't matter if your holding something or not. If it did, stick shift drivers would be a menace. Stop talking and texting on your electronic devices while your driving, at least when your driving near me.


RE: ...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 5:39:35 PM , Rating: 5
Seeing the consquences of bad decisions does teach a lesson. You seem very immature, by the way.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 12:35:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And here you are wanting to add more people to our jails for getting into an accident.


Texting while driving is unbelieably moronic, and absolutely does NOT fall into the "accident" category. Same goes from drinking and driving. An example of a traffic accident is when you swerve to miss debris in the road and strike another car, ditch, etc.

quote:
Texting is no different than any other form of reckless driving or moving violation.

Exactly, it's reckless. My point is that we don't take it serious enough.

quote:
Your post is a well constructed rant, but it contradicts itself in many places.

No, it doesn't. However, your post does make assumptions about my stance on our current prison situation. Instead of assuming, how about ask my opinion?


RE: ...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: ...
By MrBlastman on 7/18/2012 12:39:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Better enforcement? We have the highest percentage of our population in prisons than anywhere else in the entire world. I would say that's pretty damn good enforcement. At some point we need to step back and examine what's going on here.


What we have here in America is an interesting dichotomy. On one hand we have certain technologically afforded situations that require greater scrutiny and in some instances, stronger consequences. On the other hand, we have record numbers of individuals incarcerated for crimes, many petty and a few grievous.

It is almost as if the mentality of our penal system changed dramatically in the last half of our last century. We went from a strict, consequence-bound system centered upon harsh penalty and results through dire action to a more... "throw people under a rug--any and every person" mentality.

Take for instance mental health. In the early to mid parts of the twentieth century, people with genuine mental disorders ranging from the psychotic to the obscure schizophrenic to even the less understood autistic were locked away and lobotomized, both electrically and chemically. This wasn't as widespread as the horror stories would point out but... it served a purpose. It separated those that were out-of-mind from others who still clung to a narrow thread of sanity. The people who needed it received treatment and occasionally they would be set free.

Nowadays, we just throw everyone in jail, be darned who they might be. Mental health facilities have seen a drastic decline and those who really need it can't even be thrown in one at the demands of their family members. Instead, our system waits for a law to be broken and then they are tossed in with the general population to abide their time while relaxing in the throes of color television and other luxuries that would never have been seen in the past without a hefty some of money fed into the system on a monthly basis--i.e. buying your comfort while inside (you can still do this by the way). Years ago for the majority of them, we used to reserve rock quarries and chain gangs for the true criminals. Not anymore, it seems.

So we have the criminally insane, the murderers, the violent theives, pedophiles, liars, brutalizers and imbibers along with other miscellaneous labeled hooligans tangled together like a barrel of miscreants. The net result? The innocent and naive are hardened into true criminals, eventually. It is almost as if our system is set up to breed criminality. Yes, there is maximum security, but from how I see it, we've gone from a system to rehabilitate and let out to a system of hold, fester and anger.

It is no wonder our prison populations keep increasing. We've lost sight of the end goal.

So, as the lawmakers see it, if they're thrown into the system, the don't have to see them, thus deal with them. It is never solving the problem, though.

Why take someone who has partaken in a substance under their own will--or possibly sped through the streets or even stolen a small candy bar... and fit them in with true "thugs?" If you want to teach them to be a better criminal, then, well, they should continue doing just that.

So, when it gets down to the article--the texters, would we really be serving America by throwing them in with the animals? I see it as a problem and witness it every day. People who can't maintain their lane and swerve all about. It irritates me to no end. I wouldn't, however, want them to go from an innocent fool to a hardened fool.

I think we should penalize them, but as Reclaimer points out, we shouldn't go overboard here.

Community service in a morgue might do them some good, or perhaps being a janitor in a trauma unit on a Saturday night for a lengthy period of time might set them straight. Putting them in with convicts, well, it will just feed the more and more privatized system revenues.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 1:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People who can't maintain their lane and swerve all about. It irritates me to no end. I wouldn't, however, want them to go from an innocent fool to a hardened fool.


It's more than just irritating though, it's criminally negligent and leads to many deaths and serious injury. In my mind, if you are careless enough about human lives, then you don't need to be on the road; that's why I said their license should be immediately ripped up on the spot, no exceptions. They should be able to apply for a license again in ~5 year (my opinion, of course).

However, if you are found guilty of killing someone due to negligence, that's one step below murder in my book. You know the saying: "if you want to murder someone, just kill them with your motor vehicle and claim it was an "accident".

As for the overcrowding prisons problem... What in the hell ever happened to banishment?! And why don't we put people to death for very serious crimes (murder, rape, molestation, etc)?! It's about time this country got off the pussified "feel good" mentality and take care of business. I'm tired of having to wonder daily if I will make it back from my commute because someone absolutely cannot wait to send "lol" to their bff.

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of the community service, but that isn't quite serious enough for me. Texting while driving has been proven to be very fatal, and you simply cannot devote 100% attention to driving if you are screwing around with a stupid cell phone. Your community service idea would better fit as a requirement in the drivers-ED classes, IMO. It would give them real world example of what happens if you do something so foolish.


RE: ...
By MrBlastman on 7/18/2012 1:50:55 PM , Rating: 2
Oh texting and driving is deadly and as I see it, is as bad as drinking while driving. If someone kills someone while texting (which in itself is hard to prove, unlike drinking), they certainly should serve hard time or worse.

Revoking their license on the spot though, I'm not sure. For a first offense, not at all. A repeat offender, well, yeah, they've proven they aren't responsible enough to drive.

This is why I call it a dichotomy. We need to do something but we don't need to go overboard doing it. The punishment should fit the crime--as was the philosophy at the time of our national inception. Some people will be pursuaded by community service, seeing dying people in a hospital or worse--perhaps by cleaning up crash sites. Others will be more stubborn.

On second offense, revoke their texting ability for a fixed time (you don't need to text to make a living but you might need to drive), on third--well, take away their license for a while.

These don't really address the problem though and fall into the category: "Call the cops and they'll rescue you... after the crime has occured." This is the problem with most laws. They come into place after the fact and aren't preventative beyond--look out, you might have to pay bigtime if you get caught. People will always find a way to not get caught. In the case of texting, trying to hide it might be worse than doing it in the open.

So, to address this--provide incentives to phone companies via tax breaks if they come up with ways to block people from texting while in the car. Provide incentives to car companies for collaborating with the phone companies to make this happen. Oh, and while we're at it, have this all done at the State level, not via Federal mandate.

IF the Federal Government wants to have a say in this, let them do it on their highways. If they want to jam something on their roads that they own, they are free to do so--but only on interstate highways.

This is a problem we're going to have to get creative on without bestowing more power to the Federal system.

quote:
What in the hell ever happened to banishment?! And why don't we put people to death for very serious crimes (murder, rape, molestation, etc)?! It's about time this country got off the pussified "feel good" mentality and take care of business.


Blame the hippies for this. They're the same reason we don't throw criminals into rock quarries anymore.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 2:48:17 PM , Rating: 2
I respectfully disagree of a few points:

quote:
If someone kills someone while texting (which in itself is hard to prove, unlike drinking)

If there is injury or death involved, they should automatically subpoena cellphone records and match it with the time of the crash. No, it's no foolproof, but if you were lucky enough to have traffic cam footage of the crash (or any other time of crash measurement) plus phone records, you would have a pretty solid case of negligence. I see what you are saying though, sometimes it would be impossible to convict.

quote:
Revoking their license on the spot though, I'm not sure. For a first offense, not at all.)

Why not? They have already proven that they have zero regard for human lives the second they pick up the phone to text. There is no wiggle room for that. The same thing applies for drinking and driving; no-one forced them to drink or drive. You have to make a conscious decision to do that. I'd say that being careless with human life is grounds for very harsh punishment. I'll go further and say that being ever lenient on these types of issues is the reason the crime rates (et al) are skyrocketing. There is very little real world punishment for the serious crimes.

quote:
So, to address this--provide incentives to phone companies via tax breaks if they come up with ways to block people from texting while in the car.


It would be nice, but this would never ever happen; and more many reasons. I can think of one just off the top of my head [You are kidnapped by a group of thugs, and they throw you in the backseat. They forgot to check you for a cell phone, so you take it out when they aren't paying attention. You can't make a phone call because they will hear it, so you decide to text. Oops, you can't because you are in a moving vehicle.] That's just one (unlikely) scenario, but you know where I am going with this. I think it's impossible to block such things without a massive invasion of privacy and freedom.

Thanks for the discussion!


RE: ...
By MrBlastman on 7/18/2012 3:27:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is no wiggle room for that.


Be careful here. History has shown us the dangers of having pure "zero tolerance" policy. It does more harm than good. A judge has to be afforded some resonable leeway in sentencing.

We do need stiffer penalties--more than a fifty dollar fine.

quote:
You are kidnapped by a group of thugs, and they throw you in the backseat.


This situation should be avoided by packing heat or other devices to protect yourself. Or, by practicing the old fashioned two legged fast waltz.


RE: ...
By MrBlastman on 7/18/2012 3:28:40 PM , Rating: 2
(spam filter prevented me from having 3rd point)
quote:
I think it's impossible to block such things without a massive invasion of privacy and freedom.


This is true, it would sacrifice part of our freedoms. However, driving on State/Federal roads are not a guaranteed right but instead, a priviledge. I think some sort of compromise will ultimately need to be reached here as you can't count on people just not doing it. Either that or we'll accept the consequences of relying only on punitive action after the fact.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 3:39:53 PM , Rating: 2
I think harsh deterrence is more effective than anything else. How much texting and driving would cut back if high-school students see half of their classmates hitching rides from parents because they got their licenses revoked until their early/mid 20's? I would be willing to bet everything I own than the vast majority of them wouldn't even think about texting, because driving is way more important (even in social status) than a cellphone.


RE: ...
By MrBlastman on 7/18/2012 3:53:31 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of states though have laws already banning cell phone and texting use for those under the age of majority. Yet, you still see them doing it because they aren't getting caught.

You forget that kids can still be major fools as their decision making ability is far from fully developed. Most people don't even develop empathy until their twenties. I did my share of illegal stuff while driving when I was a kid--some of it hazardous to my health but that didn't stop me.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 4:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You forget that kids can still be major fools as their decision making ability is far from fully developed. Most people don't even develop empathy until their twenties.


I'm sorry, but that is plain bullshlt. I don't care what a psychologist says, 16 years old is plently old enough to know the difference in right and wrong. Are they young and more foolish/naive? Absolutely! But they certainly know the consequences of certain actions, and if they make it to driving age without understanding the dangers of motor vehicles, then they never (ever) need to get behind the wheel.

What we can say, however, is the preconditions that we have been exposing our young ones for generations in this nation (since maybe the 60's) have lead to a sharp rise in the "not my fault" mentality. I'm sure kids today are FAR less responsible then they were just a few decades ago. And surely we have done a lot of damage with desensitizing out culture to pretty much every vice. Just think about it; not long ago people would audibly gasp at reading this headline in the newspaper "Bank robbed today at gunpoint!". Now we just heave a sigh and say: "Really? Not again... that's the 2nd time this month".


RE: ...
By MrBlastman on 7/18/2012 5:30:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What we can say, however, is the preconditions that we have been exposing our young ones for generations in this nation (since maybe the 60's) have lead to a sharp rise in the "not my fault" mentality.


Not all of them are guilty of this. Go listen to the song, "Only a Lad" by Oingo Boingo. It's classic, awesome and well, to the point. :)

quote:
Absolutely! But they certainly know the consequences of certain actions, and if they make it to driving age without understanding the dangers of motor vehicles, then they never (ever) need to get behind the wheel.


Most kids in their teenage years think they're invincible and unable to die. I know this as I was there. I sorta knew I wasn't but I still took some crazy risks while driving.

Kids are naive. It doesn't though, as you point out, give them an excuse to deny responsibility for their actions.


RE: ...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 4:11:47 PM , Rating: 2
Which perfectly explains the fact that we don't have serious punishments for impaired/negligent driving. Even killing someone in a wreck while drunk can "possibly" land a jail sentence. I've seen worse too. A local man killed someone after more than 4 previous DUI's; his sentence was 3 years probation and community service. And no, I'm not joking.


RE: ...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 4:55:22 PM , Rating: 2
You are an idiot and a straw-man king. I am SPECIFICALLY talking about morons texting a driving. I fully agree that we should always be afforded the right to defend ourselves in court, but that doesn't mean we need to "ease up" on any sentence of PROVEN negligence that results in death or serious injury. Wtf are you smoking?

Is there any other way you would like to defend people's "right" to endanger others? Because that's exactly what you are doing. What happened to my right live after driving on the road? I guess considering the lives of others is just too damn inconvenient these days. After-all, that's why we have insurance right? Nothing heals the unnecessary loss of a loved one like a big, fat settlement check!


RE: ...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/18/2012 7:19:44 PM , Rating: 1
Okay so after you throw all the texting drivers in jail, who's next? What are we going to criminalize next?

You're so stupidly liberal I can't even talk to you about this. You make texting drivers seem like murderous psychopaths. Loss of a loved one? Good one, milk the sympathy card as much as you can.

Forgetting the fact that these laws cannot be realistically enforced anyway. I notice you just sorta avoid that.

quote:
but that doesn't mean we need to "ease up" on any sentence of PROVEN negligence that results in death or serious injury. Wtf are you smoking?


Why is that in quotes? Where did I say "ease up"? Your opening rant just said throw everyone in jail who text's while driving. Then you said we need better enforcement, not more laws. Hey genius, that would require NEW LAWS, making accidents where texting is involved criminal negligence or murder 2.

You want 45% of the country in jails? Whatever, but don't come after me and put words in my mouth because I think that's insane.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 7:34:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Okay so after you throw all the texting drivers in jail, who's next? What are we going to criminalize next?

That's twice I've had to correct you on what I actually said... I swear it's like talking to a brick wall.

quote:
You're so stupidly liberal I can't even talk to you about this.

Actually I don't like titles, but I pretty much a hardcore conservative. I'm just not stupid like you; I think people who have no regard for human life should be thrown out of civilized society. Your blind emotion over this issue somehow makes you believe I am a liberal? LoL! I am the furthest thing from liberal, buddy.

quote:
You make texting drivers seem like murderous psychopaths.

Actually, go back and read what I am said about the subject rather than generalize my statements and setup straw-men.

quote:
Loss of a loved one? Good one, milk the sympathy card as much as you can.

Yeah, who the hell cares about your friends and family? If they die because someone couldn't wait a few minutes to send that text message, oh well. No big deal.

quote:
Your opening rant just said throw everyone in jail who text's while driving.

That's not what I said. Stop being a jackass.

quote:
Then you said we need better enforcement, not more laws. Hey genius, that would require NEW LAWS,

Um, are you stupid or do you just play the part?

quote:
making accidents where texting is involved criminal negligence or murder 2

If you have a wreck becuase you were texting, then it's not an ACCIDENT , IDIOT. How hard is that to get through your thick skull?! And hell yes it should be a step below murder! Negligent homicide. Manslaughter is just a "nice" way of saying "I killed someone due to carelessness and stupidity".

quote:
You want 45% of the country in jails?

You know what, let's just end the conversation right now before your retardation rubs off.


RE: ...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/18/2012 7:58:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually I don't like titles, but I pretty much a hardcore conservative.


Yet the end result of your argument is a further increasing of the police state, larger Government budgets, and more Americans behind bars.

quote:
I think people who have no regard for human life should be thrown out of civilized society.


This is what I have a problem with, your characterization of regular people as psychopaths. No regard for life? Really? How can you say that with a straight face.

Texting while driving is just the newest "crisis" being exploited by those who want more power over us, broader "law enforcement" mandates, etc etc. And you're buying it hook, line, sinker. Yeah, you're a real conservative buddy.


RE: ...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/18/2012 8:09:14 PM , Rating: 2
And let me further quantify my position, in your mind there is either accidents, or murderous intent. Intent is the key word, and it's a legitimate legal viewpoint. My problem is that you're assigning literal murderous intent to those who text and drive.

If you want to claim that you're being mature and sensible, you need to cut down on the rhetoric, over dramatic talking points, and classic buzzwords that invoke these kinds of images.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2012 10:25:32 AM , Rating: 1
The more you open your mouth, the more you prove to everyone that you have no idea what in the hell you are talking about. If one were to go back and ACTUALLY READ what I typed, you would find that I said:
quote:
However, if you are found guilty of killing someone due to negligence, that's one step below murder in my book.


That is hardly "My problem is that you're assigning literal murderous intent to those who text and drive."

What you fail to understand is that negligence, murder, and accident are all different concepts. You keep mashing them together in your own concoction of stupidity.

It's no wonder everyone around here detests you; for lack of better wording, you are a complete asshole.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 9:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No regard for life? Really? How can you say that with a straight face.


I say it with relative ease, actually. People who text and drive are dangerous idiots that don't give two sh*ts about the lives and well being of other motorists. Simple as that.

quote:
Texting while driving is just the newest "crisis" being exploited by those who want more power over us, broader "law enforcement" mandates, etc etc. And you're buying it hook, line, sinker. Yeah, you're a real conservative buddy.


You really REALLY give conservatives a bad name. In fact, I wish you wouldn't label yourself as such. A true conservative would be just fine with enforcing common sense laws that punish and deter outright FOOLISH and dangerous behavior. What do you want, a free for all?


RE: ...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/18/2012 9:55:37 PM , Rating: 2
You said someone should have their license revoked "cut up", for a first offense texting ticket. That's sensible to you? Then you proclaimed anyone involved in an accident while texting should be "thrown in jail". And this is "common sense" laws to you?

Quad are you a cheerleader or are you running for politics? The rhetoric and "rah rah" nature of your posting is just comedic. You started with rants, now you're just trolling.

I guess we'll just agree to disagree. I don't feel the need to label everyone a violent criminal to make my points. And I don't think being "Conservative" means we have a goal of throwing everyone in jail.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 11:07:21 PM , Rating: 2
You keep using the word "accident" and "texting while driving" the same sentence. Please clarify your stance on the word "accident"; because I damn sure don't see how being an idiot classifies as an honest error.

quote:
I don't feel the need to label everyone a violent criminal to make my points. And I don't think being "Conservative" means we have a goal of throwing everyone in jail


Keep those straw men coming, they are starting to amuse me. You need to change your name to: Douche77


RE: ...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/19/2012 7:55:06 AM , Rating: 2
I use the word "accident" because, well, everyone uses it. That's what it's called, a "car accident". I'm not using the term as some silly way to assuage responsibility. If you would rather me say "traffic collision", fine.

quote:
Keep those straw men coming, they are starting to amuse me. You need to change your name to: Douche77


HAHAHA, oh come on, is that the best you can do? :)


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2012 10:30:34 AM , Rating: 2
So is this you admitting that texting and driving requires a conscious effort to disregard the lives and safety of others on the roadway?


RE: ...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/19/2012 11:06:21 AM , Rating: 2
It's nothing that sinister. People do things without thinking it through. And we all do things on the road we shouldn't because we don't think it will happen to us. And because most of the time it doesn't happen to us, we'll keep on doing them.

You're trying to equate texting and driving with some sort of premeditated assault. That's why you're not going to get your wish of locking everyone up, because you keep ignoring that INTENT is a major factor in any criminal or legal proceeding.

In the eyes of the law these ARE "accidents", like it or not. Plus it's not really that big of a deal. Statistics prove the roads today are safer than they've ever been. There can't be THAT many people who text and wreck.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2012 11:29:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's nothing that sinister. People do things without thinking it through. And we all do things on the road we shouldn't because we don't think it will happen to us. And because most of the time it doesn't happen to us, we'll keep on doing them.


Killing people or putting them at risk for unnecessary death is no big deal. Great policy there, Reclaimer.

quote:
because you keep ignoring that INTENT is a major factor in any criminal or legal proceeding.


If you knew anything about the legal system, you would realize that there is something called: "criminal negligence"

quote:
Plus it's not really that big of a deal

Again, here we go. My entire family died because 17 year old Becca couldn't wait 5 minutes to send that text. No big deal, I can go to the store and buy a new family.

quote:
In the eyes of the law these ARE "accidents", like it or not.

No the hell they are not! You know what, this ends now. I am tired of trying to convince a moron that he has no idea what the hell he is talking about. You can keep responding, but I will not. Go talk to a group of lawyers, judges, etc about this if you want to learn about the justice system and how it works. Hell, use the internet and learn. But don't keep coming here and spouting crap from your mouth. You are wrong, and I guess no-one will ever make you see that.


RE: ...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/19/2012 11:39:36 AM , Rating: 2
Yup everyone wants to kill everyone. You're right. That's the whole goal of getting behind the wheel.

quote:
Again, here we go. My entire family died because 17 year old Becca couldn't wait 5 minutes to send that text.


Did they really? You keep claiming all these people are dead because of texts, that makes sense then. My condolences.

Seriously why don't you invoke more images of death to get your point across, it's really working. No I'm serious, keep doing it. That's a really honest and totally non-manipulative way to get your point across. If you don't want more laws on the books, more intrusion into our daily lives and a bigger police state, you MUST want people to DIE!

Actually we shouldn't even be driving at all. Period. None. Because at any moment, someone can be killed. Whole families wiped out!


RE: ...
By Schrag4 on 7/18/2012 1:52:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
However, if you are found guilty of killing someone due to negligence, that's one step below murder in my book. You know the saying: "if you want to murder someone, just kill them with your motor vehicle and claim it was an "accident".


Uh, no, that wouldn't work. It might take them a few days or weeks, but more than likely, those investigating the accident will realize you had a motive for murder. Yeah, sure, you "accidently" ran your car into some random person that happened to be the guy that was blackmailing you...riiight.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 2:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
It happens all the time, and people do get away with it (that's not conjecture). Some don't, of course, but most do if they have even half a brain. All they have to say in most cases is: "I confused the gas pedal and the brake".


RE: ...
By praktik on 7/18/2012 3:51:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As for the overcrowding prisons problem... What in the hell ever happened to banishment?! And why don't we put people to death for very serious crimes (murder, rape, molestation, etc)?! It's about time this country got off the pussified "feel good" mentality and take care of business. I'm tired of having to wonder daily if I will make it back from my commute because someone absolutely cannot wait to send "lol" to their bff.


Actually death penalty is very costly to administer, cause unless you are Stalin, democracies require that this power be limited by a series of checks and balances. This is what separates us from autocratic dictatorships.

The side effect of this protection of our democracy from a state empowered to kill at a whim is a death penalty so costly to administer, California is gonna put it on the ballot to vote away primarily predicated on the budgetary advantages.

Also, I think expanding the # of offences that could qualify for the death penalty would put the justice system in the precarious position of meting out punishments far worse than the crime. Not too many people would support the death penalty for any offence other than murder... And even THAT support is being whittled away (and rightly so)


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 4:17:10 PM , Rating: 2
Rightly so? Are you kidding me? That reasoning is EXACTLY why we are now a nation of pansies. At the very least, the punishment should match the crime. If you murder, you should be put to death. How fair is it that we pay millions of dollars to keep animals in prison? It's not. Nor is it fair to allow more than one appeal to a death sentence. Nor is it fair to society that we allow them to sit on death row for decades.

All of this is really commons sense stuff. Are you really suggesting that molesting a child deserves anything less than an immediate death sentence after the verdict? Where have our morals gone? Under your rules, criminals have more freedom to live than honest citizens. And that, my friend, is no democracy or republic. What you are suggesting is for the citizens to completely give in to serious crime.


RE: ...
By praktik on 7/19/2012 3:27:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
All of this is really commons sense stuff. Are you really suggesting that molesting a child deserves anything less than an immediate death sentence after the verdict? Where have our morals gone?


I'm suggesting that murder be the only offence that should ever be considered grounds for capital punishment.

This is predicated on my understanding of a moral value: namely that the punishment should fit the crime (or more crudely, you could even cast this in biblical "eye for an eye" terms). I am not about to compete for who hates child molestation more by getting on a soapbox and demanding they be killed - so I guess you win the outrage contest and are therefore more moral than me cause you're willing to empower the state to kill for an offence I am not... is that it?

<cue gnashing of teeth and more sermonizing>


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2012 3:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
It's not about soapboxes. I'm just quite frankly appalled that people believes a man or woman who willingly (in sane mind) would rape/molest a child deserves anything less than death. To me, they have already proven to the rest of the world that they are completely incapable of existing peacefully in a civilized society without raping, murder, or God knows what else.

Other than a death sentence, exactly what punishment would fit this type of crime? Should he be sentenced to prison rape or something? And yes, that is a serious question.

By the way, it's not about empowering the state to perform executions either. If the people of the state want safe societies, then they can choose to kill people who perform horrible atrociousness against innocent people. The other alternatives is banishment, and imprisonment. I'm not willing to pay for a rapist or murderer to sit in the air condition with luxuries for the rest of their lives, so that leaves banishment and death.


RE: ...
By praktik on 7/19/2012 4:01:50 PM , Rating: 2
This is exactly where the argument falls apart: it is actually MORE costly to administer the death penalty than to lock up and throw away the key, cause the extra governance you need over the power to kill means much more judicial processing cost and you end up with people on death row costing more than those in prison for life.

The alternative to NOT having such a robust judicial oversight on capital offences is to open the door to a regression towards autocracy and dictatorship - so you have two choices: pay MORE for a death penalty that makes us all feel good about how tough we are, or not have one at all. There is no "cheap" death penalty in a democratic society!

Anyway, if we are discussing the death penalty purely in moral terms, you shouldn't end your thoughts on a point predicated on dollars and cents, especially since that ends up counting as a point against capital punishment.

So yes, banishment/imprisonment for sure - for moral AND monetary reasons!

Further, I also think there should be psychological treatment not so much to help the criminal but so as to assist us in understanding more about how they tick which can then be leveraged to find these individuals before serious offences are committed and hopefully prevent these crimes from happening in the first place. Even if prevention doesn't materialize better understanding of their behaviour could be leveraged to find sex offenders that have yet to be captured and remain on the loose.

Finally, I categorically reject the race to the most severe punishment as a metric of who is most moral, so do refrain from wondering where my morals went - and consider that such questions have many different factors feeding into them. What might appear to be a lack of morals to you is rather more likely to be the product of a different perception that could be equally or even more "moral" to your own position - just resting on different principles and considerations than you have.

To be honest the morality that guides your posts on this question seems - to me - to be most concerned about demonstrating to others how much you hate the criminal and the crime, and when an offence is as universally despised as child molestation I think we should pretty much assume that everyone discussing the issue hates it when the innocence of child is robbed by a horrible human being.


RE: ...
By praktik on 7/19/2012 4:12:05 PM , Rating: 2
Just an interesting sociological/political observation that's on topic too:

I find it kind of bizarre that the demographic most supportive of the death penalty (typically the right-wing) is ALSO the demographic most besotted with the idea that the government ruins everything it touches and can't manage anything without screwing it up big time! So why do they trust the government to administer the death penalty?

One innocent dead is too much in my books, so do these people see the dead innocents the government is guaranteed to kill by mistake (i think its a low # - but shouldn't they expect the # to be really high??) as the "broken eggs" to make the omelette of justice??

And not saying you are particularly right-wing or think the government messes up everything it touches Quadrillity - this is a general comment on American politics! ;)


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2012 4:30:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is exactly where the argument falls apart: it is actually MORE costly to administer the death penalty than to lock up and throw away the key,

Aren't you judging it by today's ridiculousness standards? It's didn't cost a dime to hang someone just a few decades ago.

quote:
There is no "cheap" death penalty in a democratic society!

See text above. There absolutely is. You should get one appeal no less than a year after a trail. After that, it's to the gallows. Bullets cost pennies on the dollar, and a noose is 10's of dollars. It's brutal yeah, but so is the crime. And it's even more brutal to KEEP them in society so they can continue to terrorize.

I just can't be convinced that a heinous crime should receive anything other than a swift trail and death sentence.


RE: ...
By praktik on 7/19/2012 6:26:11 PM , Rating: 2
Let's take your premise then and play with it a bit. Leaving aside the appeal to a return to medieval justice (it was easier to hang people when Kings ruled the world), would a speedier capital punishment process not result in more innocents being killed by mistake?

Fact is that happens NOW - with all the checks and balances and extra appeals. Reducing this would - logically - increase the number of innocents killed by mistake by the state.

So in this sense, even if not stated as such, the logical consequence of your position is that a dollar value can be assessed for the death of innocent people wrongly accused. At which point do we sacrifice these innocent people for speed and savings to the taxpayers? Is there a $$ amount of savings we can reach that makes you comfortable with a more innaccurate (and expanded set of offences that qualify for) capital punishment?

If we kill 20 more innocents a year, but kill a lot of people that "deserve" it faster AND save the taxpayers 100 million dollars, is that worth it?

Would you say that if your cousin was killed wrongly by this process, yet saved the taxpayers $5 million, would that be worth ti?


RE: ...
By tayb on 7/18/2012 12:38:07 PM , Rating: 1
Why stop at texting?

I was distracted tuning the radio. Jail time.
I was distracted eating. Jail time.
I was distracted because my kid unbuckled his seat belt. Jail time.
I was distracted by a clever billboard. Jail time.
I was distracted by a Ferrari. Jail time.
I was distracted by reading a novel. Jail time.
I was distracted by practicing my trumpet. Jail time.
I was distracted trying to change my rear view mirror. Jail time.
I was distracted getting GPS directions from my car. Jail time.
I was distracted by the attractive woman walking on the sidewalk. Jail time.
I was distracted by a blimp. Jail time.

And I could literally go on and on and on and on. There are sad stories where loved ones were killed in an accident where someone was texting while driving but this really isn't any different from any other unnecessary distraction. You can't legislate away stupidity. We have civil lawsuits for that. I agree with taking away their license but our jails are already grossly overpopulated due to all of our other idiotic laws.


RE: ...
By retrospooty on 7/18/2012 12:52:14 PM , Rating: 2
Yup... We can take the license and fine the hell out of them, but you cant legislate stupidity. The world will just build a better moron, as they say.


RE: ...
By lennylim on 7/18/2012 1:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
If you were reading a novel while driving, I'd recommend a public flogging, followed by jail time.

But the point is not jail time for being distracted, but for causing bodily harm to others due to negligence.


RE: ...
By tayb on 7/18/2012 2:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
And my point is that there is no reasonable place to draw the line between what is just an accident and what is negligent driving. Taking your eyes off for a split second to pop a CD into the tray could be considered negligent. Is it? No, not really.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 2:52:34 PM , Rating: 2
That's absurd! You can most definitely draw lines between negligence and accidents.

Ask yourself this question: "Does [insert activity] pertain specifically to driving a motor vehicle safely?". If the answer is no, then there is a case of negligence somewhere. To what degree, is a matter of debate.


RE: ...
By tayb on 7/18/2012 3:13:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can most definitely draw lines between negligence and accidents.


I suppose YOU can because YOU consider anything but both hands on the wheel eyes glued to the road negligence. I don't. I consider certain things to be natural distractions that may lead to accidents that are neither criminal offenses nor do they warrant suspension of a drivers license. They are called accidents for a reason.

Drunk driving is negligent. Tuning your radio is not.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 3:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
So let me get this right... if someone gets into a collision because they are fumbling to get a CD into the tray, they not at fault because it is a "natural distraction"? That's more than laughable.

By the same token, I hope you never go to the gun range and accidentally shoot someone in the back because your hand slipped while you were changing songs on your mp3 player. See how stupid that sounds?


RE: ...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/18/2012 8:00:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So let me get this right... if someone gets into a collision because they are fumbling to get a CD into the tray, they not at fault because it is a "natural distraction"? That's more than laughable.


Yup just another psychopath who wanted to kill someone and used the CD player excuse....

Quad it must be awesome waking up in the morning and knowing you're a perfect person.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 9:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
This has nothing to do with being a perfect person. It does have to do with being totally nonchalant with the lives of others though. I guess you fall in that category as well.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 1:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
I was distracted tuning the radio. Jail time. Negligence

I was distracted eating. Jail time. Negligence

I was distracted because my kid unbuckled his seat belt. Jail time. Come to a safe stop as soon as possible and correct the problem

I was distracted by a clever billboard. Jail time. Negligence

I was distracted by a Ferrari. Jail time. Negligence

I was distracted by reading a novel. Jail time. Negligence (are you kidding me?)

I was distracted by practicing my trumpet. Jail time. Negligence

I was distracted trying to change my rear view mirror. Jail time. Negligence, should have adjusted it before taking off

I was distracted getting GPS directions from my car. Jail time. Negligence, should have learned your route before hand, or pulled over to re-route

I was distracted by the attractive woman walking on the sidewalk. Jail time. Negligence

I was distracted by a blimp. Jail time. Negligence

No, you can't legislate stupidity, but you can enforce punishments for stupidity. I didn't see anything in your list that was legitimate.


RE: ...
By Rott3nHIppi3 on 7/18/2012 2:11:03 PM , Rating: 2
Did everyone miss this article?

http://www.dailytech.com/MIT+Creates+Car+That+Avoi...

Smoke and text all you want!!


RE: ...
By semiconshawn on 7/18/2012 3:33:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah more people in Jail. 25% of the world prison population is in the U.S.A. and you want to put people in Jail for texting on the road? Lets fill the jails with Pot smokers and J walkers too. Then hell fatties eating on the road are as distracted as Ive ever seen lock them up too. Chicks putting on makeup lock em up. Moms dealing with kids in the back seat. Mandatory sentences are STUPID all cases are different. Ask the abused woman in Florida who got a mandatory prison sentence for shooting her proven abusive husband. No chance for probation just prison. At least we are all safe now.


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 4:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yeah more people in Jail. 25% of the world prison population is in the U.S.A. and you want to put people in Jail for texting on the road?

Without going into immense detail about the broken prisons, lets break this down. I never said we should throw people in jail for simply texting; they should lose their license for a set number of years. What should be mandatory prison is if you kill or seriously injure someone because of it. How in the hell is that unreasonable? If gambling with someone's life is just nonchalant, then I should only have to pay a fine for shooting at people in public. If I don't hit anyone, then hey, it was just "negligent" right?

Everything else in your rant is just ridiculous. I'm so sick and tired of people making excuses and explaining away the personal responsibility in this country. It makes me sick to see how many hoops we jump through to pass the buck.

As for the Fl. case, I'm not sure which one your a specifically talking about. If it's the one I'm thinking, then it wasn't so clear cut as you make it seem. If the woman subjected herself to long term abuse, then it would call up some serious questions about the shooting. Was it justified? Yeah, probably. Was she given an unfair sentence, yeah probably. But that doesn't automatically remove her responsibility to look after her own well being.

I'm not saying beating women is any way, shape, or form ever justified; but you have to look at it from another point of view too. After one single case of violent abuse, she should called police, and pressed charges. More than likely, she had lived with him and the abuse for a long period of time. And that would give reasonable doubt that her shooting him was retaliatory more than it was defensive.


RE: ...
By NellyFromMA on 7/19/2012 4:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
It's about as much an accident as any other 'accident' in which someone is found at fault. It's not different here.

With that said, some level of punishment should exist depending on the severity of the crime. Unfortunately, I live in a state where they decided it's illegal for TEENS to text and drive. That's the political will power of Mass for you.

They pass feel good legislation. Honestly, What percentage of drivers do you think are teens.... problem NOT solved.

Still, I also despise the 'tougher enforcement' approach as, frankly, there are a LOT more things that need tougher enforcement than texting and driving. I bet if you simply made getting a driver's license actually somewhat dependant on being a GOOD driver, you could cut off a lot of unrealistic driving related laws from being as big an issue as they are today.

Bottom line: WAY too many people have licenses that simply should NOT. That's the real issue.


I'm a child
By Dorkyman on 7/18/12, Rating: 0
RE: I'm a child
By kattanna on 7/18/2012 10:30:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
they feel the need to justify their existence by constantly passing NEW laws.


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lawmaker?s=...

law·mak·er
noun
a person who makes or enacts law; legislator.

;>)

all kidding aside though, what this does show us is that we dont need as many of them.


RE: I'm a child
By praktik on 7/18/2012 11:08:42 AM , Rating: 2
I dunno, traffic safety seems to me to be a reasonable area for legislation to control people's behaviour....

If you're worried about being treated like a child look to liquor laws that don't allow 20 year olds to drink, and laws that treat everyone like children when it comes to smoking pot.


RE: I'm a child
By MrBlastman on 7/18/2012 12:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately I've never seen any good come out of drinking. Too many alcoholics in my life has lead me to observe a darker, more truthful reality. Prohibition isn't the answer, but neither is saying to heck with restricting our kids, either.

The one exception would be members of the armed services. If they can witness hell firsthand then they should at least be allowed some personal solace and reflection that the bottom of a bottle might provide some temporary comfort with. It still doesn't solve their problems, though. Drinking only covers them up.


RE: I'm a child
By Quadrillity on 7/18/2012 1:41:01 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, drinking in moderation is very healthy for you. Keyword there is "moderation" of course. Red wine is especially good for your body. You're right about the military though. Most underage can drink in the barracks without any worry though, as the vast majority of the military officers and NCO's thinks the same way.


RE: I'm a child
By MrBlastman on 7/18/2012 3:10:59 PM , Rating: 2
Right. The drinking I was referring to is social drinking (where people take it too far frequently) rather than a glass of red wine a day to enjoy the health benefits. Those same befits can be someone supplemented through other means and they're working on a way to get resveratrol into a pill form, thus negating the damage caused to your neurons from the alcohol.


RE: I'm a child
By FaaR on 7/18/2012 11:48:39 AM , Rating: 2
I dunno, but you sound just like one of those people who mistakenly believe that merely because they happen to sit behind the steering wheel of a car means that they're qualified to, and should be allowed to behave whichever way they personally feel like, or else their "freedom" is somehow inpinged upon.

That's a patently ridiculous notion.


RE: I'm a child
By Dorkyman on 7/18/2012 4:21:30 PM , Rating: 2
"...there are already laws on the books that prohibit dangerous driving..."

Gently suggest you re-read my original post.


Insanity
By villageidiotintern on 7/18/2012 11:00:11 AM , Rating: 2
I feel better about my predicament upon learning my state legislature is not the most insane in the nation.




Distracted driving
By Zhukov on 7/22/2012 8:46:50 PM , Rating: 2
These "hands free" laws are the most rediculous legislation ever passed. It not only makes distracted driving legal, but in effect encourages it by reinforcing the myth that hands-free is safer than hand-held.

Holding something in one hand while steering with the other is not at all dangerous, thanks partly to power steering. If it was dangerous, then stick shift drivers would be a menace, but nobody ever complains about them. This kind of example is unnecessary anyway because plenty of independent testing and studies have shown hands-free phone use is just as distracting as hand-held while driving.




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