Print 101 comment(s) - last by Reclaimer77.. on Sep 29 at 6:30 PM

Texting on the road -- it won't "be back"

Everyone knows that text messaging while driving can be dangerously distracting.  A recent study revealed that texting is more dangerous to driving than drugs or alcohol.  Still many are fighting proposed legislation to ban texting while driving, complaining that it violates freedom and would limit options in an emergency.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken a hard stance on texting while driving.  He championed and passed a ban on cell phone texting, which will go into effect January 1.  Offending motorists will pay $20 on their first violation, and $50 for each subsequent violation.  Gov. Schwarzenegger was pleased to push through the bill by California's Tuesday legislative deadline.

He hopes that the new bill will help dissuade drivers from using their cell phones when driving.  He states, "Banning electronic text messaging while driving will keep drivers' hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, making our roadways a safer place for all Californians."

Following the September 12 collision between a Metrolink passenger train and a freight train, which killed 25 people and injured 135, and was possibly caused by railroad engineer texting, the California Public Utilities Commission has banned some railroad workers from texting on the job.

California also passed a ban on holding cell phones while driving, which took effect July 1.  The law only allows drivers to use hands-free headsets while driving.  Insurers, bicyclists and, interestingly, cell phone companies supported both bills.

Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), who wrote the new law, SB 28, and worked closely with Schwarzenegger states, "When somebody's distracted it puts not just the driver at risk but everybody else in the car and everybody else on the highway."

For those who think Gov. Schwarzenegger and California's traffic agency are joking about the ban, they might want to consider the figures on the recent ban on holding cell phones.  According to Tom Marshall, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol, California state officers issued 19,753 citations to motorists.  This is in addition to the thousands more issued by local police departments.  While less drivers are stopped for the offense then speeding, the numbers add up Marshall said.  He states, "Why everybody isn't hands-free now, I have no idea."

Many states are considering similar laws, or already have such laws in place.  However, with the bipartisan leadership of the nation's most populous state taking a high-profile stand against text-and-drive, the new legislation may spread throughout the nation.

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By NullSubroutine on 9/27/2008 1:54:29 AM , Rating: 2
Great, so you agree that I should be allowed to fire randomly into a crowd as hitting someone is not a certainty?

No, there is a substantial difference in probable death or injury firing in a crowd vs texting while driving. Firing into a crowd is always going to be a grave risk, while texting while driving may vary depending on the driving circumstances, it will still just about not be ask risky as shooting at a crowd of people.
The commentators point was a silly one though, which is what I was pointing out. Why increase the chances of someone getting hurt when what you are doing is really rather dangerous anyway and say that it is fine until someone gets hurt/killed?

The reason why it isn't just a silly point is because there is always going to be things that people do that can cause them to have a higher chance of dieing or causing another's death. We are mortal beings. As a matter of law though, we can't simply outlaw every little thing and expect everyone will be saved. It isn't practical and it isn't realistic.
People take driving for granted and think that they are safe but if the cars of today were to suddenly be invented over night now, having had only horses and carts yesterday, there is no way that anyone would think that it was safe that you can drive within a couple of feet of another car with a closing speed of over 100MPH as is common on single carriageways

You are right, it is not safe. How do you expect to enforce a law to save lives with the intent of the law to get people to stop doing behaviors that risks other persons lives, when they do not take the same care of their own life?

The law does not prevent anything, the risk is still there.
Saying that laws are useless as they will be broken is silly.

Actually it is far from silly, as is the idea you don't pass laws that are impossible to enforce, as this law most certainly is. Innocent until proven guilty is a matter of law in all cases, and how do you propose one is going to prove the person is texting? Such evidence would require a witness able to actually see the person pressing buttons that is texting and not dialing a phone number (which is leagal to do)?

The state of Califorina already has a bogged down criminal justice system and doesn't have the resources to address these issues when they go to court (any sane person would fight this ticket on matter of lack of evidence).

What you have is a beaurcratic answer to a social problem, irresponsibility.
People are still being murdered even with death penalties in many countries around the world, so lets not bother making it illegal at all?

Except in the case of predmeditated murder, laws against it don't really 'stop' people from being murdered as you have already pointed out. I don't really see how you can equate enforcement and existence of traffic laws with criminal homicide. One has the remote possiblity someone may die, the other is the act of actually killing someone else.

If someone gets killed because someone is texting, that is still going to be a type of homicide or manslauther, but what this law here is doing is the equivlent of making it illegal to carry a knife, or holding a lamp as that may be used to kill someone. That sort of policy is down right rediculous. You make the act (the result) illegal, not every step taken up to that point, especially when all those steps can be done in a legal way that does not cause death.
Are laws against murder just to make the lawyers money?

The guy eating cereal whilst driving should be arrested and have his licence taken away from him as well as some other penalty to deter others from doing what they do.

He should have his license taken away for any harm he causes for doing such behavior, not doing the behavior itself.
The poster doesn't seem to realise that it is possible for him to run over a child/children as well as bump into a solid object and cause a bit of damage and cost him a bit of money.

Or, he could be charged the result of his crime, not the actions that led up to the crime. His actions are already dealt with the law, your opinion is completely the opposite of how law works.
Saying that nothing should be done to take irresponsible people licenses away is just stupid.... no?

You take away such things when people actually DO something that causes harm, not that they do something that has the remote potentiality to do harm.
In case you missed the /joking part from my post, I don't really intend to fire a weapon into a crowd, just to make it crystal clear.

Yes I understood that.

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