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It's the first step towards a possible nationwide ban of texting and driving for all drivers

As a result of an executive order signed by President Barack Obama, federal employees are now banned from texting when they are driving a government vehicle – federal employees are also banned from texting in their own vehicles when using a government-issued cell phone.

The new ban aims at limiting the amount of collisions -- and overall driving danger -- related to people who are texting while driving.  

"It shows that the federal government is taking the lead," said Ray LaHood, U.S. Transportation Secretary.  "This is a big deal."

Government officials hope the ban will also put pressure on government contractors to also put laws in place designed to keep the number of unnecessary auto-related incidents at a minimum.  Most notably, there have been several texting-related incidents with rail operators and bus drivers, with injuries and deaths related from the accidents, LaHood noted.

Until the Transportation Secretary is able to pass a nationwide ban on texting and cell phone use among train operators, bus drivers, and other employees who are in control of passenger safety, this is an important first step.

Washington, D.C. and 18 states have bans in place that lead to traffic tickets if a person is caught texting while driving -- and a meeting of more than 300 government and safety officials may lead to a nationwide ban.  

AAA recently pleaded drivers across the country to have a single week of distraction-free driving, meaning no texting or chatting on the cell phone.  It's unlikely many drivers will listen to the request, but it's highlighting a growing problem that officials are looking to tackle.



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No Texting
By AnimeRomeo on 10/2/2009 1:15:22 AM , Rating: 2
But my iPod Touch is OK right?




RE: No Texting
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/2/2009 1:17:44 AM , Rating: 2
Your iPod touch is worthless for texting/email in a car.


RE: No Texting
By inighthawki on 10/2/2009 1:21:55 AM , Rating: 3
I think he means messing around and being distracted, not texting specifically...


RE: No Texting
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/2/2009 1:26:26 AM , Rating: 2
Well in that case, ban everything ;)


RE: No Texting
By quiksilvr on 10/2/2009 1:05:33 PM , Rating: 2
Having trouble talking while driving? Don't want to cause an accident? Hi, Billy Mays here, and I want to introduce my new product, the JUPITERJACK! Just plug it into your cellphone and tune in to 99.3 FM, and your whole car becomes your phone! Keep both hands on the wheel and pay attention while driving. Talking on the cellphone while driving is unsafe and in some states, ILLEGAL! Offers start at $40, but call now and I'll cut the price in half! Just TWO easy payments for $10. But that's not all. Call within the next 10 minutes and I'll DOUBLE the offer. That's TWO Jupiter Jacks for just TWO easy payments of $10. Just pay separate shipping and handling. Call NOW!


RE: No Texting
By plonk420 on 10/2/2009 1:39:05 AM , Rating: 3
RE: No Texting
By Icehearted on 10/2/2009 3:17:57 PM , Rating: 2
I've already preorded one of those, I can't wait for it to arrive! It's funny that I couldn't find this at their online store though, but a guy on eBay apparently has these and only required my bank account info, pin number, and social security number for the purchase. Easy peasy!


RE: No Texting
By 67STANG on 10/2/2009 3:26:25 AM , Rating: 5
For now it is. I heard next month he's appoint and iPod Touch Czar. You're hosed.


RE: No Texting
By Regs on 10/2/09, Rating: -1
RE: No Texting
By callmeroy on 10/2/2009 8:10:52 AM , Rating: 5
Don't be moronic. Like anything we have to start SOME where - I think its a good think he started the ban, now only if it would spread nationwide for everyone, not just government workers.

Its a shame common sense isn't something everyone has - if it was there would be no laws required for banning stuff like cell phone use while driving. Don't get upset at the lawmakers on this stuff -- turn to the morons who are too stupid to figure out when is a good time and not so good time to use their technology in the car.

Secondly, I can see the occassional quick phone call being done safely....but texting or emailing in the car -- yeah you should not go to jail for that..instead it should be legal for any still able (meaning you didn't kill or cripple them first) person you caused an accident with to pummel you with a baseball bat.

That's stupid beyond stupid texting and emailing.

At least a phone call you can do hands free and if you are smart you keep it very short and only during while stopped in traffic, at a light, etc.


RE: No Texting
By Steve1981 on 10/2/2009 9:01:58 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Like anything we have to start SOME where


Yes, but some starting points are more worthwhile than others.

Banning texting alone while driving is like banning people from eating cheeseburgers while driving. It's narrow and doesn't actually address the core issue that a lot of people drive like negligent SOBs.

At the same time, an outright ban on texting while driving is rigid. There are lights in my neck of the woods where I know I will be waiting a solid two minutes before it turns green. If I take ten or twenty seconds to shoot off a quick text while still glancing at the light every couple of seconds, is that overly negligent? Not IMO.

So what kind of a law would I support? How about if a police officer reasonably deems someone to be driving negligently: regardless of whether they're trying to put on makeup while driving, texting while driving, bent over inspecting their glovebox while flying down the freeway, etc, they have the power to pull the person over. And in this case, instead of some little fine, we have actual punishment.


RE: No Texting
By TomZ on 10/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: No Texting
By ctodd on 10/2/2009 9:53:01 AM , Rating: 2
I think they just want to withhold funding if it isn't enforced.


RE: No Texting
By kfonda on 10/2/2009 10:05:31 AM , Rating: 2
I thought that was called careless driving in most places.

As for doing it at the federal level, they will probably just refuse to give federal DOT money to states that don't pass the law.


RE: No Texting
By MrBlastman on 10/2/2009 10:39:30 AM , Rating: 2
Well, they didn't pass a law to regulate this, they simply enacted a ban on Federal employees, it has nothing at all to do with your State or my State's rights. I can't believe I'm saying this but for the first time in his administration, I actually agree with something he's done.

Look, I agree, it is up to the states to decide what to and what not to allow within their borders. That is truly where the regulation and laws should lie and not on a Federal level. It is, after all, the States who have to enforce the laws, it is them who have to budget for the enforcement and it is also them who bear the burden within the courts to process and penalize the offenders.

This is why Obama is leading by example in this case (do I need to go to the doctor?) rather than forcing it down our throats. Perhaps, if anything, it will get the country talking a little more about this issue and ultimately state lawmakers.

However, I don't think that a ban on texting is enforceable by any easy means. You could argue that a patrolman can pull someone over and check their logs, or subpoena the phone companies to hand over information--the problem here is this is both cost and time prohibitive. I think this will create a legal nightmare -or- will lead to patrolmen simply ignoring the problem. People can be very creative in concealing their actions.

No, what I think really needs to be done if the States or Government want to create a solution to this problem (it _is_ a problem), they will have to create some sort of chip within phones that detects if it is in motion (say 15-20 mph or greater) and if so, shuts the phone off, or at least its texting ability. That is about the only way they are going to make this stick.


RE: No Texting
By ClownPuncher on 10/2/2009 11:38:46 AM , Rating: 2
What if someone is a passenger, or on a boat/plane/etc.?

I agree with you though, nothing wrong with the federal government banning federal employees from texting while driving. My company has banned us from texting while driving. I don't think they want to pay a higher insurance premium when accidents happen.


RE: No Texting
By MrBlastman on 10/2/2009 11:49:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What if someone is a passenger, or on a boat/plane/etc.?


That's what makes this dilemma so complicated. If I'm in the car with my wife and the phone rings or we need to call someone, I'm usually the one driving so I have her make or take the call so I can pay attention to the road. By having a general purpose chip you could essentially restrict all passengers and not just the driver.

For it to be useful while not a gross infringement, it would only have to affect the driver of the vehicle. The only way I know how to do that is to put some sort of short-range emitter in the drivers seat with a very limited radius that the phone detects. The downside, as I've mentioned elsewhere, is that older cars will not have that legislated functionality.

If a technology such as this were to be considered, as you point out, it would have to be well thought out and would not be able to be implemented overnight. A side effect I can see occuring is a black market in older cell phones.

I can see it now, somewhere in a dark city alley:

"Psst, hey you, you got the goods?"

"Yeah maaaan, this stuff is primo dude." *Guy opens his trenchcoat with some old, worn cell phones hanging off the side of it.*


RE: No Texting
By PhoenixKnight on 10/2/2009 1:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only way I know how to do that is to put some sort of short-range emitter in the drivers seat with a very limited radius that the phone detects. The downside, as I've mentioned elsewhere, is that older cars will not have that legislated functionality.


There is another downside. If car manufacturers start doing that, then drivers will simply lean toward the other side of the car, out of range of the emitter, to text. Now, not only are they paying even less attention than before, but they're not even near the steering wheel anymore. And you know full well there would be a lot of idiots doing just that.


RE: No Texting
By MrBlastman on 10/2/2009 1:43:00 PM , Rating: 2
That is when natural selection kicks in. The problem with that is, it will affect others. The alternative is draconian, which is to block all texts while the car is in motion, period.

Like it or not, we need to find some way to stop people from texting while driving. It just has to be done. Apparently common sense has been washed from the human genome in the past thirty years.

Perhaps we can blame it on Agent Orange? ;)


RE: No Texting
By eyebeeemmpawn on 10/2/2009 10:43:55 AM , Rating: 2
RTFA...its a ban for FEDERAL employees in FEDERAL vehicles, or using FEDERAL phones in there own vehicles. Sorry for yelling.


RE: No Texting
By TomZ on 10/2/2009 11:09:55 AM , Rating: 1
Stop YELLING and start THINKING. Of course the federal government has every right to set policy for its employees. My comment was adding the to the previous comment discussing the federal government which is PUSHING FOR A NATIONAL BAN ON TEXTING WHILE DRIVING. Where in the constitution does it say that regulations like that are the responsibility of the federal government?

Futhermore, what compelling reason would there be for the federal government to get involved at that level?


RE: No Texting
By ClownPuncher on 10/2/2009 11:40:47 AM , Rating: 3
Where in the constitution does it say the government (state or federal) has the right to set speed limits or put in stop lights? Seriously, there is nothing wrong with a ban on texting while driving.


RE: No Texting
By TomZ on 10/2/2009 11:52:33 AM , Rating: 2
The Constitution enumerates certain responsibilities to the federal government, and leaves the rest to the states.

There is nothing wrong with following the Constitution.


RE: No Texting
By ClownPuncher on 10/2/2009 1:57:22 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. What we need though, is more consistency. Repeal all federal laws that violate state rights. Each state has it's own Constitution.


RE: No Texting
By TomZ on 10/2/2009 2:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
No, what we need is for the federal government to focus on the activities that are essential for it to manage, and leave all else to the states. That's how the Framers envisioned it, and that also is how we can try to keep the federal government from continuing to grow and grow.


RE: No Texting
By ClownPuncher on 10/2/2009 4:00:32 PM , Rating: 2
There was a pretty good interview with Ron Paul on The Daily Show the other day. Not sure if you like either one, but it was refreshing for Ron to get some on air credit for being a pretty smart guy.


RE: No Texting
By TomZ on 10/2/2009 5:18:46 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, I like Ron Paul, at least when he's not talking crazy. During the election, he lost me at his proposal to eliminate income tax. Proposals like that are not sensible change.


RE: No Texting
By weskurtz0081 on 10/2/2009 11:56:04 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe you need a little more understanding of the constitution.

What the constitution does is, gives the Federal government certain powers, and the stuff that isn't mentioned is supposed to be handled by the states.

So, in your example, speed limits and stop signs, well they are up to the states, and are not mentioned in the constitution.

Now, there are standards that the states adhere to, such as the shape of a stop sign, or other such things, but these are meant to keep things uniform between states and are federally controlled.

But, as you notice, there isn't a national speed limit, there isn't a federally mandated drinking age (though, the Feds have been known to "influence" state laws by with holding funding).

So, it's not constitutional for the Federal government to make up a law like that and expect the states to adhere to it. Federal employees, sure. But, it doesn't mean they can be ticketed for it anywhere other than on Federally controlled property such as a military base. Can a federal employee get in trouble if they are caught because they got in a wreck? Sure, but they won't get a ticket for it unless they are on a military base or something of that nature.


RE: No Texting
By tastyratz on 10/2/2009 10:23:17 AM , Rating: 2
Good plan! but why not give it another title instead of negligent driving? Why dont we call it Reckless driving!?! Surely the concept will catch on like wildfire and enforcement will be strong.

The reality is unless we talk about some form of invasive digital micromanagement a law like this (while good in practice) will be practically unenforceable.

For example, we could require bluetooth connections in cars that identify the driver and not allow text messages from a phone registered to the driver when traveling above 10 mph, etc. But if their phone was used by a passenger that nullifies the whole thing.

I support laws that ban real distracted driving, ESPECIALLY text messages because they are more distracting than many other activities that can be considered distracting, but you are right... without ways to address core principles it will likely net very little gain.


RE: No Texting
By Steve1981 on 10/2/2009 10:40:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Surely the concept will catch on like wildfire and enforcement will be strong.


I suspect if local governments stopped viewing their police forces as a source of revenue and let them do their job of stopping people that present an actual hazard, enforcement would be improved considerably; eg instead of wasting officer's time by having them ticket people going 5mph over the limit but presenting no real hazard, have them actually...you know...go after people who present a hazard.


RE: No Texting
By PhoenixKnight on 10/2/2009 1:17:53 PM , Rating: 2
And how is ticketing drivers who text or talk on cell phones any less of a revenue source than ticketing speeders?


RE: No Texting
By Steve1981 on 10/2/2009 1:40:02 PM , Rating: 2
What makes you think I advocate a simple fine as punishment for reckless driving?

I'm pretty sure I said something along the lines of

quote:
And in this case, instead of some little fine, we have actual punishment.


Doesn't matter if you're bent over inspecting your glove box, putting on your makeup, or sending a text message; if its affecting your driving to the point where a police officer takes notice and reasonably judges you to be hazard to those around you, you deserve a lot more than a ticket IMO.


RE: No Texting
By Ammohunt on 10/2/2009 3:14:30 PM , Rating: 2
We have state governments that can enact legislation if the people want it. The Federal Government needs to stay out of states business.


RE: No Texting
By smegz on 10/5/2009 2:21:36 PM , Rating: 2
I'm actually completely against this no texting while driving. We need a place where we CAN text and drive. We also NEED to ban those that don't text and drive in those areas. Long live texting while driving!

Yep...a little chlorine in the gene pool can be a good thing.


We need a SANITY law nationwide!
By Beenthere on 10/2/2009 12:42:58 AM , Rating: 4
How many people must die or be injured by the crackheads behind the wheel who have an addiction to texting, talking on their cellphone or driving DUI, before we have a nationwide ban on this irresponsible and deadly behavior.




RE: We need a SANITY law nationwide!
By GaryJohnson on 10/2/2009 1:20:05 AM , Rating: 2
It should be municipality-wide or state-wide before it should ever be nation-wide.

Enforcement can be a misuse of the possibly limited resources of regional authorities. This can depend on the rate of driver distraction accidents per unit of population for those regions and the other possibly more pressing needs of the region. Only regional authorities are capable of making that assessment accurately.


RE: We need a SANITY law nationwide!
By callmeroy on 10/2/2009 8:14:23 AM , Rating: 2
STFU.

It should go nationwide ASAP.

It has nothing to do with resources....besides who's being fooled...there's laws already on the books that cops barely enforce anyway....but at least if its a law its a beginning.


By arsmitty86 on 10/2/2009 9:42:20 AM , Rating: 2
Well that would be a good point except that its not the Feds job and is unconstitutional... Rights not explicitly granted in the Constitution are the states job... I love how everyone just lets rights slip away a little at a time.. When will people wake up?


RE: We need a SANITY law nationwide!
By GaryJohnson on 10/2/2009 7:25:25 PM , Rating: 2
A law doesn't mean anything or change anything if it's not enforced.


By Beenthere on 10/3/2009 3:26:30 AM , Rating: 1
Prison and bullets will adjust the attitude of those who can not comply with law, i.e. the criminally insane.


Nazi/Facist/Marzist crap
By FITCarnaro on 10/2/2009 7:26:39 AM , Rating: 2
What's next, Obama taking away my right to hunt opossum from my Ponticrap GT0. I gotsta feed mah famly, and the toothless members of my clan are particularly fond of my Mom's specialty, roadkill surprise.




RE: Nazi/Facist/Marzist crap
By retrospooty on 10/2/2009 9:24:45 AM , Rating: 2
best parody screenname evar!


RE: Nazi/Facist/Marzist crap
By pequin06 on 10/2/2009 12:50:38 PM , Rating: 2
You're trying way too hard at mocking.


The comments here sicken me
By Tripmasta on 10/2/2009 12:55:19 PM , Rating: 3
You libertarians make me sick. You are so afraid of "the big bad government" passing new rules/regulations that you fail to realize that this law is being added to protect our citizens.

We are not trying to save our citizens from ourselves; we are trying to save innocent citizens from stupid citizens. Fact of the matter is that texting while driving is stupid, reckless and dagnerous to the people around you. My family could be killed in an accident caused by some idiot who isn't paying attention. Yes, we need rules like this - and the states need to step in and start passing texting-while-driving bans.

Thank god we have a sane leader this time around. Obama's decisions thus far have been rational, which is more than I've come to expect from most politicians. While I don't agree with spending boatloads of taxpayer money, at least the man's actions appear to be logical/reasonable.

For all of you who fear "big brother" taking away all your rights, go back to stockpiling ammo like squirrels. For those of you arguiing for your "right" to text while driving, or at least against measures like this, pray that your negligence while operating a motor vehicle never cuases my family harm - I will not hesitate to pull a trigger and even the score.




RE: The comments here sicken me
By pequin06 on 10/2/2009 3:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't call it a law, it's more of a policy for federal employees.
Laws are already on the books for reckless driving, enforce laws we have on the books already.

quote:
Obama's decisions thus far have been rational


You're kidding right?

quote:
pray that your negligence while operating a motor vehicle never cuases my family harm - I will not hesitate to pull a trigger and even the score.


No wonder you think about Obama is rational, you want to shoot people.

What would be a legitimate "accident"?

Food for thought:

Small laws are pieced together into huge tyrannies.


By CurseTheSky on 10/2/2009 12:21:27 AM , Rating: 2
...I think the ban is necessary.

I realize there are a number of people who have no problem sending a text without looking away from the road or being distracted by what they're trying to say, but there are far too many people that cause one too many close calls just because they're more focused on their cell phone than the thousands of pounds of metal and combustibles speeding all around them.

I've seen dozens of people swerving worse, braking later, and acting more oblivious than the "average" drunk driver. The common link between them seems to be the cell phone in their hand.




By Veerappan on 10/2/2009 11:56:41 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. The hands-free laws that have been passed in several states are definitely useful. I couldn't care less if you're wearing a seatbelt, because you're only endangering yourself. But the moment you run a red light at 40mph because you were too distracted by your cell phone and almost plow into me while I'm biking to work (I've got a green here), then we've got a problem.

Summary:
Laws that try to protect you from yourself: pointless. Let darwin work.
Laws that try to protect you from the stupidity of others: good.


Should be a no-brainer
By Kosh401 on 10/2/2009 1:13:37 AM , Rating: 2
Typing out a text message while driving is just ridiculous. We already have the ban here in Canada in a couple Provinces, are there any States that already have it? I thought I heard California was implementing the texting ban as well?

Ontario (and I think British Columbia) are going a step further and banning talking on cell phones as well, unless you are using a hands-free/bluetooth set. I think "new" drivers aren't allowed to talk at all even with hands-free, at least that's what was in the B.C. ban proposal last I heard.

Sometimes the public needs to be protected from itself so I don't have a problem with any of this. Get a hands-free set or simply pull over, it's not that hard and hopefully this will prevent a lot of accidents and save lives.




By Spacecomber on 10/2/2009 9:20:48 AM , Rating: 2
This is consistent with employers recognizing that use of distracting productivity devices, while driving and on the job, is not only a risk to other drivers on the road but also a liability risk to the employer, if something horrible happens.

The New York Times recently posted an article going into this, "At 60 mph, Office Work is High Risk", http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/01/technology/01dis...




If I was President
By pequin06 on 10/2/2009 11:08:34 AM , Rating: 2
I would sign an executive order for all federal employees not to break the law.
Yeah, that would do it.

...




By StraightCashHomey on 10/2/2009 5:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
I worked in a very large federal building during college. That place was such a joke and a gigantic waste of tax revenue.

There were a lot of people that would do stuff on a routine basis that in any legitimate, competitive business environment, these people would have these people fired on the spot for a first-time offense.

There was a black lady that listened to the radio SO loud that it would distract nearby cubicles, and you could hear the guy on the radio from a 10-meter radius. The guy would preach about how the black community has been oppressed, and how whitey holds everyone down, etc. Whether or not any of that is true is irrelevent, but the fact that she had that playing in a work environment is inexcusable... well, to everyone except the federal government.

There was also another guy that was notorious for falling asleep at his cube. He was excused as long as he got his work done and he didn't make a lot of noise. Thing is - he didn't do a damn thing, really.

There were about 2,000 employees in this building, and since they NEVER lay anyone off due to lack of work, they still have people in there that were hired on to program mainframes and other outdated skill sets. They just "create" imaginary positions and shuffle these workers around to wherever the workers want so they can keep their salary.

Kind of derailed, but the point of all of this is that they don't do a damn thing to enforce any kind of rules. They'll give you all the chances you want.




A Big Deal
By clovell on 10/2/2009 7:43:11 PM , Rating: 2
> "It shows that the federal government is taking the lead," said Ray LaHood, U.S. Transportation Secretary. "This is a big deal."

It is a big deal; it shows that the federal government is poised to once again strong arm states into passing legislation. I'm sure a lively discussion about ends and means will ensue.




agreed
By Phoenix7 on 10/2/2009 10:39:49 PM , Rating: 2
I support this; I didn't know government workers were immune to texting while driving laws




Texting without fingers
By Belard on 10/13/2009 8:03:45 AM , Rating: 2
Use eye positing for typing in text... so you're hands free while driving. Just look at the letters on the display.




By LoweredExpectations on 10/2/2009 4:15:59 AM , Rating: 1
Where are all the freedom-loving, church-going, patriotic Americans warning about the liberals coming to confiscate their automatic weapons?




Freedom-loving Americans
By Daeros on 10/2/09, Rating: -1
RE: Freedom-loving Americans
By Daeros on 10/2/2009 9:54:38 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry about the length of my previous post.


RE: Freedom-loving Americans
By weskurtz0081 on 10/2/2009 10:03:07 AM , Rating: 2
The length wasn't really an issue, the structure was.

I find that longer posts are MUCH easier to read when they are broken up into paragraphs. Even if the split isn't logical, it still makes it easier to read.


RE: Freedom-loving Americans
By Veerappan on 10/2/2009 11:50:52 AM , Rating: 2
One thing that I've noticed in this thread under multiple posts is people assuming that this is a new law that has been passed. This isn't a law, and so the constitutionality isn't really in question.

This is an order from the president of a company (the executive branch of the US Govt) to the rest of his employees (anyone paid by the federal government) to not engage in certain behavior. It'd be similar to any of the rules at any other employer governing behavior while using company resources.


RE: Freedom-loving Americans
By TomZ on 10/2/2009 12:19:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
One thing that I've noticed in this thread under multiple posts is people assuming that this is a new law that has been passed. This isn't a law, and so the constitutionality isn't really in question.

From the article (emphasis added):
Washington, D.C. and 18 states have bans in place that lead to traffic tickets if a person is caught texting while driving -- and a meeting of more than 300 government and safety officials may lead to a nationwide ban .

And if you read about this topic on other web sites, it is clear that the federal government is pushing for such a nationwide ban. That is the problem that folks are complaining about.


RE: Freedom-loving Americans
By Beenthere on 10/2/2009 2:35:57 PM , Rating: 1
Driving is a privilege not a God given or Constitutional Right! Texting, talking on your cellphone, driving DUI are ALL obvious dangerous and irresponsible acts.

The best solution for these braindead people who do these things is a bullet to the head. It would be a mercy killing... for those unable to deal with reality.


RE: Freedom-loving Americans
By TomZ on 10/2/2009 2:40:42 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, here we go with that "Driving is a priviledge not a right" crap...like that ever settled any argument.


RE: Freedom-loving Americans
By The0ne on 10/2/2009 3:36:24 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree with him. Let people do what they do. The more these people get kill and die the better "it" is for us. Protecting them is a joke, a waste of time, resources, money and patience.

We should instead persuade the federal/state to enforce their employees (officers, medics, firefighter, etc.) to just laugh at the situation when they conclude it's because of make-up or cell phone use and leave the scene. Then they should post the whole incident on youtube, blogs, facebook or what have you.

And yes you have to be careful and mindful of your surroundings for these morons. Avoid them and leave plenty of room. They're like drunks and drug addicts most of the driving while driving. Hard to miss.

That's my take on it...I vote for more death to these drivers and there's plenty of them for many many years to come.


RE: Freedom-loving Americans
By Beenthere on 10/2/2009 4:39:29 PM , Rating: 1
At least we could create some new jobs in America for companies producing guns and bullets. Undertakers would see more Biz too. It's all good if we can use a little lead to cleanse the gene pool!


Checking and sending email is A-Okay though
By tayb on 10/2/09, Rating: -1
RE: Checking and sending email is A-Okay though
By axias41 on 10/2/2009 3:26:22 AM , Rating: 2
Hope that a stupid driver texting will not cross your road...


By tayb on 10/2/2009 10:41:58 AM , Rating: 2
At least they won't be texting, because that is outlawed. The stupid driver will be checking their email.

I feel so much safer now...


RE: Checking and sending email is A-Okay though
By retrospooty on 10/2/2009 9:28:41 AM , Rating: 2
"You are banned from texting while driving!!! Obey!!

Do check your email.
...
...
HOW DO YOU TELL ONE FROM THE OTHER???? THEY ALL LOOK THE EXACT SAME."


uuuh... Although the laws are ofter "referred" to as anti texting or whatever, because that is what so many people are doing now, they are written to cover all of the above. In general they are written to outlaw "distracted" driving and cover all disctractions. Enforcement isnt really happening, but the laws arent written in a vacuum where only texting is bad and emailing, websurfing is OK - its all the same.


RE: Checking and sending email is A-Okay though
By tayb on 10/2/2009 11:00:30 AM , Rating: 2
No, they don't. A select few states have gone far enough to ban multiple things at once but they still leave the door wide open for any number of other distracting things. California and North Carolina, for example, both have a ban on "write, send, or read text-based communication." That basically bans sending emails, sending text messages, and facebook chat. It is 100% impossible to enforce the reading portion so I'm not even going to bother with that.

I can still post to twitter. I can still read twitter. I can still surf the web. I can still read a novel. I can still write a novel. I can still read my email. I can still read my text messages. I can still go on facebook (just can't use facebook chat). I can still check the weather. I can still put on makeup. I can still look at stocks. I can still check game scores. I can still write a personal note. I can still read fail blog. I can still read the news.

I can still go on and on and on with phone functions that don't involve "sending, receiving, or "reading" text-based communication" that are equally or more distracting than texting.

On top of the fact that it doesn't stop distracted drivers is the fact that it's nearly impossible to enforce and officers are going to be so tired of going to court and hearing "not guilty" because the plaintiff showed up with his phone records showing he wasn't sending text messages that they are just going to flat out stop pulling people over for it. It's a waste of police force.


By retrospooty on 10/2/2009 1:00:09 PM , Rating: 2
You are right, SOME states dont have thorough laws... thus the need for a federal one. I dont know what the point of mandating it for govt employees is though - it should just be a standard law like drunk driving.

If you are in a machine that has the capability of killing a family of 8 packed into a minivan, or worse cause a multicar accident, you need to keep your head in the game.

I say that as if I am not guilty of having worked 2 double shifts in a row driving home at 2:00am eating a taco salad from Wendy's with my hands because they forgot the fork and I was starving. LOL - but, I should have been given a ticket, and If i was, I would have paid it, because I deserved it. For the record, I wouldnt do that now =) that was a long time ago.


By MadMan007 on 10/2/2009 1:47:02 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how you can do all those things in your second paragraph without text? o_0 Heck you even call some of them READING rofl.


Just ban cars....
By weskurtz0081 on 10/2/09, Rating: -1
RE: Just ban cars....
By rmlarsen on 10/2/2009 1:42:48 AM , Rating: 5
The problem with the social Darwinism argument here is that a distracted driver could very well take your perfectly fit genes in the grave with him.

You can argue that a government should generally not "protect" you against your own behavior (consuming alcohol, smoking etc.), but when it comes to protecting you from OTHER PEOPLE'S idiotic and dangerous behavior, I think that is precisely one of the purposes of government/law enforcement.

Your argument applies better to seat belts, but I think the vast majority of people (save a few die-hard DT readers) have come to realize that they are worth the small inconvenience/discomfort to protect your and your family members in a collision.


RE: Just ban cars....
By Hakuryu on 10/2/2009 4:05:29 AM , Rating: 2
Well said.

Your post deserves a 6 in my opinion.


RE: Just ban cars....
By Omega215D on 10/2/2009 5:25:42 AM , Rating: 2
Best post regarding this issue. So many people here don't take other people's well being into consideration.


RE: Just ban cars....
By kusala on 10/2/2009 6:52:30 AM , Rating: 4
This is the Job of the states to take care of the people not the federal Government. Federal is for national security from outside forces. It is evolving into something else which is not what it is suppose to represent.


RE: Just ban cars....
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/2/2009 7:43:26 AM , Rating: 2
Indeed. This should be at the state level. Thats why it applies only to federal employees. If they tried to pass such a law it would be unconstitutional as this sort of power rests with the state governments.


RE: Just ban cars....
By arsmitty86 on 10/2/2009 9:40:01 AM , Rating: 2
We're degrading slowly into Tyranny... No one notices some what like the frog in a pot of boiling water. Plato hit the nail on the head back in the day when he said that all governments even started as a democracy would eventually degrade into this.. Greed and lust for power makes government that is for the people impossible... :-(


RE: Just ban cars....
By aj28 on 10/5/2009 2:41:45 AM , Rating: 1
Way to overreact. This is a federal policy for federal employees. Even if it were a law, what would you prefer? Leave your house for a day and you'd be afraid of people too. Consider the fact that most of those people can and do vote, and you'd stop being so confident in your ideas on what constitutes a "good" government, 'cause it sure as hell isn't a perfect democracy.

As an aside, the Plato reference was unnecessary and doesn't speak well of your ability to, ya know, speak for yourself. For all his wisdom, he was still human and still fallible.


RE: Just ban cars....
By FITCarnaro on 10/2/2009 7:32:45 AM , Rating: 1
Git yer laws off my car!


RE: Just ban cars....
By weskurtz0081 on 10/2/2009 9:36:34 AM , Rating: 2
The problem here is, smoking is putting other people in danger, not just yourself. There are all sorts of things that put other people in danger that are perfectly legal.

Like another person said above, ban the use of iPod's in cars, ban TV screens in the front seat, the list can go on and on, all of these things can distract the driver.

So, if we are going to ban someone texting because it's not safe for others on the road, why stop there? There are all sorts of things that make it less safe for others, ban all of it!


RE: Just ban cars....
By Beenthere on 10/2/2009 4:51:23 PM , Rating: 1
Quote:

"So, if we are going to ban someone texting because it's not safe for others on the road, why stop there? There are all sorts of things that make it less safe for others, ban all of it!"

We should NOT stop there! We should ban ALL driver distractions. With a drivers license comes a personal responsibility to drive safely and not endanger other people. If some drivers are unwilling to comply with these responsibilities their license should be permanently revoked. If they drive without a license they should spend the next ten years in prison.


Thanks Obama
By elmikethemike on 10/2/09, Rating: -1
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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