From GPS units to cell phones to SYNC
in-car infotainment systems, U.S. drivers have found new ways to
distract themselves while driving thanks to technology (not to
mention other favorites such as applying makeup, eating, reading the
newspaper, etc.). Texting while driving is the latest craze to infect
drivers and states around the country are swiftly implementing laws
to make such activities illegal. Texting is already banned in 19
states, and 23 states are currently prepping their own laws to tackle
"Legislators are looking to see if
it (texting) is enough of a safety issue that they need to
intervene," said Anne Teigen told
the USA Today. Teigen is a transportation specialist for
the National Conference of State Legislatures. "They often get
involved because there's a high-profile accident that had to do with
texting. Also, because everybody has a cellphone now."
While states are currently going it
alone in drafting "no texting while driving" laws, there
are a few nationwide texting bans that drivers should heed. President
an executive order at the close of 2009 banning all federal
workers -- rather, those on the job -- from texting while driving.
The ban affects roughly four million federal workers.
Now a new, federal ban is coming down
from the U.S. government. The latest nationwide texting ban applies
to drivers of big rigs and buses. "We want the drivers of
big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be
safe," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This is
an important safety step and we will be taking more to eliminate the
threat of distracted driving."
Drivers that choose not to abide by the
new law face a fine of $2,750.
The bans from both the states and the
U.S. government come on the heels of numerous studies which point out
the dangerous consequences of texting and driving. A study by the
University of Utah showed that drivers that text behind the wheels
are six times more likely to be involved in a collision. The National
Security Council notes that roughly 200,000 accidents are caused each
drivers who text behind the wheel.
However, it's wishful thinking to
believe that nationwide texting bans are going to stop people from
partaking in America's favorite electronic pastime. Reuters
has previously reported that teens aren't
persuaded to stop their texting addictions just because there are
laws on the books to prohibit the act.
"What I would say is that texting
and cell phone devices have become such a component of life for teens
and for young people that it's hard for them to differentiate between
doing something normal and doing something wrong," remarked
Steven Bloch, a senior research associate for the Automobile Club.
Considering that texting while driving
isn't a habit that only affect teenagers, it's more than likely that
drivers in a more "advanced state of age" are reluctant to
stop the practice as well.
While the current nationwide texting
bans affect a relatively small portion of the entire U.S. driver
pool, Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat, NY) is looking to change that.
Senator Schumer has introduced legislation that would call for a
federal ban on texting while driving. States that don't comply with
the legislation would be see a 25 percent cut in the federal highway
funds they receive.
quote: This is at least a good start
quote: So to anyone thinking that government jobs are good... I truly pity you.
quote: Government jobs creates nothing. There is no value add at all. Government jobs are all regulation, no production. Government jobs, while some are necessary, i.e. police, fire, military, etc. are bad in excess.So to anyone thinking that government jobs are good... I truly pity you.
quote: while some are necessary, i.e. police, fire, military, etc. [they] are bad in excess.
quote: Yet, they add considerable value, as do many governemnt services (USPS, etc).
quote: Second, you magically ignore things like roads & bridges, which are "produced" and DO add value.
quote: Finally, most of those services provided would be required anyway; the only difference is that those services on the free market would command considerably more money than what the government "charges".
quote: So, I pity you, because you're just another one of those "Teh evil gubberment ruinz our econome!!!" types that can't see the forest from the trees.
quote: Horrible example. Before UPS and FedEx (i.e. competition) USPS was quite horrible.
quote: Maybe the DMV would suite better? Oh... wait... maybe they need some competition?? (sorry, low blow, I know haha)
quote: Oh, you mean the tax dollars which are terribly hard to track, and are perverted by the 16,000+ pages of tax code? Yeah, thats a great argument to take...
quote: and "big business", which has lately only shown to allow the businesses with lobbyists to write laws vicariously through politicians in a way that harms competition, and ultimately allows the big businesses to continue monopolizing.
quote: Then there is the "service" of warrantless wire-tapping which STILL has yet to be repealed, and was in fact passed by two separate congresses, one Dem, one Repub, and is an absolute violation of our civil liberties.Want me to go on?
quote: You see, I have reasons for why I am against the expansion of government. I am glad that government exists, I just see the reasons why it should be limited. In that regard, I am quite like the Founding Fathers who, by the way, created a nation with only necessary and proper regulation of the private sector which skyrocketed this nation from creation to world power in a span of 150 years, a feat which has never been done before, and has yet to be approached again (although, not much time has been allowed for that yet.)Freedom is a much better way in every regard than more government control, so long as there are governmental restrictions on people so that the people do not violate the rights of others.
quote: We don't need anymore laws, just enforce the ones we already have. If someone is guilty of causing a wreck because they were distracted it doesn't matter what distracted them.
quote: I want people fined for texting and driving before they cause an accident, not just after they cause an accident.
quote: Driving is a privilege that most Americans take for granted.
quote: Um then start a movement to amend the Constitution.
quote: What is a right? A right is a gift from God that extends from our humanity. Thinkers from St. Thomas Aquinas, to Thomas Jefferson, to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to Pope John Paul II have all argued that our rights are a natural part of our humanity. We own our bodies, thus we own the gifts that emanate from our bodies. So, our right to life, our right to develop our personalities, our right to think as we wish, to say what we think, to publish what we say, our right to worship or not worship, our right to travel, to defend ourselves, to use our own property as we see fit, our right to due process – fairness – from the government, and our right to be left alone, are all rights that stem from our humanity. These are natural rights that we are born with. The government doesn’t give them to us and the government doesn’t pay for them and the government can’t take them away, unless a jury finds that we have violated someone else’s rights.What is a good? A good is something we want or need. In a sense, it is the opposite of a right. We have our rights from birth, but we need our parents when we are children and we need ourselves as adults to purchase the goods we require for existence. So, food is a good, shelter is a good, clothing is a good, education is a good, a car is a good, legal representation is a good, working out at a gym is a good, and access to health care is a good. Does the government give us goods? Well, sometimes it takes money from some of us and gives that money to others. You can call that taxation or you can call it theft; but you cannot call it a right.A right stems from our humanity. A good is something you buy or someone else buys for you.
quote: Driving is not some hoity-toity privilege, people. For some of us, it's our only economic life support.
quote: Nowhere in the constitution does it say that the federal government can control what I eat, therefore I actually do have a constitutional right to eat a cheeseburger. Now, you may be able to argue about 'providing for public welfare' or one of the other clauses, but it would be a damn hard sell.
quote: The Federal government has a right only to regulate commerce between states. The individual states themselves are responsible for what happens within their own borders.
quote: Drivers that choose not to abide by the new law face a fine of $2,750.
quote: 10 DUI's? Three strikes sounds good to me, jailtime should be the answer at that point, in addition to fines.
quote: Our drunk driving laws are pretty pathetic.?
quote: I'm about as Libertarian as it gets.
quote: When I see someone texting while driving a vehicle towards me, I realize they're threatening me, just like they would be if they stated they planned to kill me.
quote: Texting while driving is incredibly dangerous. Its a threat to anyone else on the road. You can't get around that simple fact...and even if it wasn't, the state (though NOT the federal) government would still have a right to control how you operate a vehicle on a public road.
quote: Actually, that logic has already been played out in court. Seen how many times a cop has shot and killed someone driving towards them, under the premise they believed the person intended to run them over? Same principle.
quote: The mere fact that the state chooses not to single out other forms of negligence (beyond dui, that is) in no way, shape, or form implies they lose the right to enforce a very real public safety risk from texting.
quote: So by your reasoning you would justified in shooting them as they were driving down the road texting??? WoW....I would liked to see that logic played out in court.
quote: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
quote: 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
quote: 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.3. The article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
quote: I'm about as Libertarian as it gets, but the idea the state can't fine people for unsafely operating a motor vehicle on a state road is rather a stretch.
quote: That being said, I find texting while driving nearing the same level of stupidity. Taking your eyes off the road to type on your phone? How idiotic can you be?
quote: Heh I guess you've developed quite a aura about you Reclaimer. People down rate you even if they agree with you.
quote: I don't look at it as a money grab by gov't; it's a steep (or 'excessive') fine to get people's attention and to try and get them to stop texting while driving.
quote: If you CAUSE an accident, I'm all for you being fined out the ass. But it should not costs you thousands of dollars for simply being fined for texting while driving. That is excessive in any rational sense of the word.
quote: The same should be and can be said for DUI, the simple fact that you are arguing against this law but defending the DUI laws makes your argument even less sound.
quote: You expect the Drunk driver making the decision to drive while under the influence to pay a higher price, then the person who is clear headed and flagrantly disregards the safety of everyone else to text??
quote: As I have said before, we already have laws in place to deal with this we do not need anymore of these type of laws to legislate stupidity.
quote: "Legislators are looking to see if it (texting) is enough of a safety issue that they need to intervene," said Anne Teigen told the USA Today.
quote: Also, it's a stupid argument that people try to make about the government interfering too much in my private life and what I can and can't do in/with my own property.
quote: We're talking about safety, people.