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"Nobody is going to listen," says teen

Cell phones are such a part of everyday life for many Americans that most no longer think about pulling a mobile phone out to send a text or message; it's just natural. Unfortunately, the tendency to just send text or reply to them is dangerous when driving.

Many states and cities are working on bans that would prohibit texting while driving and some are calling for a nationwide ban on the practice. A study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 1-in-4 teen drivers admit to texting while driving. Analysts believe the number is much higher than what is being reported.

Reuters reports that even if a nationwide ban on texting while driving were introduce, most teen drivers would not stop texting. Texting is so ingrained into the life of teens that they simply will do it any way according to one teen interviewed by Reuters named Karen Cordova. She said, "Nobody is going to listen."

One of the problems is that for police to write citations for texting while driving they have to catch the driver in the act. Catching people talking on the cell phone and driving is easy to do, but if the driver is texting with the device in their lap things are much more difficult.

The California Highway Patrol has issued 163,000 citations to drivers for talking while driving on the phone, but issued only 1,400 citations for texting and driving.

Fran Clader, CHP spokesman said, "The handheld cell phone is relatively easy for us to spot, we can see when somebody has their phone up to their ear. But with the texting it's a little bit more of a challenge to catch them in the act, because we have to see it and if they are holding it down in their lap it's going to be harder for us to see."

One teen interviewed by Reuters said he only stopped texting while driving after his cousin was in a serious accident while texting.

Steven Bloch from the Automobile Club said, "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."

Texting and driving is very much like other risky behavior that many engage in when young. Young people tend to feel like nothing can happen to them, that it will always be there other people who have accidents or get caught. Cordova said, "By the time they pull you over, the chances are you are going to be done with your text anyway so they can't exactly prove that you were texting."

A graphic commercial aired in the UK to help stop texting and driving showed teens in an accident caused by texting and driving.

President Obama recently signed an executive order banning federal employees from texting while driving.



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How about a scare tactic instead
By Simozene on 12/11/2009 10:44:38 AM , Rating: 3
Teens don't realize how dangerous it can be to be texting while driving and because it is so difficult to catch, a ban probably wouldn't do anything.

A possible alternative would be to get some interviews from people that have been in accidents due to texting while driving and make commercials out of them. Throw in some images of the crash and show them in the hospital looking like hell. Basically a scare tactic to make teens think twice about texting while driving.




RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By DigitalFreak on 12/11/2009 10:48:04 AM , Rating: 5
I don't think that worked for drunk driving...


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Bender 123 on 12/11/2009 10:52:05 AM , Rating: 5
My drivers ed class had a video called "Last Night of Summer"...I am now 30 and my high school friends and I still laugh about it every time we hit the bars. Those videos are always so lame that they encourage people to not act like the "good" people on the video.

Please see the "Butt Out" episode of South Park for further instructions.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Gzus666 on 12/11/2009 9:25:47 PM , Rating: 4
My drivers ed class had a video of a real drunk driver wreck aftermath that involved people who were trapped and burned alive in their car. They showed the charred corpses and everything. That seemed to have some interesting affects on everyone.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By BruceLeet on 12/12/09, Rating: 0
RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Bender 123 on 12/12/2009 6:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yes...It is possible to go back to my home town and go out for drinks with people from my high school days...Drivers Ed was always a little odd for us, because the owner of the school was a little nuts (His Drivers Ed cars were a camaro and and one of those old school hummers)...South Park has been on for 13 year (It started when I was IN high school!)

Dont forget...Bart Simpson is my age.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Fracture on 12/14/2009 9:48:05 AM , Rating: 2
Make driving tests harder . Age is irrelevent to this story.

People that focus on the road tend to be the better drivers.


By Bharakrama on 12/14/2009 10:37:29 AM , Rating: 2
I totally agree with you. We should change the way we learn to drive by taking some cues from the Swedes.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By SublimeSimplicity on 12/11/2009 11:44:48 AM , Rating: 5
I've got a witty reply, but I'm driving in the rain down an interstate at 85mph. I'll post it when I hit a construction zone and have to slow down a little.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Alphafox78 on 12/11/2009 12:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
ok so where is it


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By ggordonliddy on 12/12/2009 2:01:28 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
ok so where is it
He's dead, Jim.


By Bharakrama on 12/14/2009 10:34:31 AM , Rating: 2
HAHAHAHAHA ... oh that made my morning.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By MrBlastman on 12/11/2009 12:51:48 PM , Rating: 5
Remember, the workers are worth 10 points apeice and the foreman is worth 20 points + a mph bonus multiplier! If you're able to chain them properly you get the uber score doubler too. :)


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By MrFord on 12/11/2009 3:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
+1 for Carmageddon reference


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Hiawa23 on 12/11/2009 3:19:09 PM , Rating: 1
Forget the teens, I see adults texting while driving & at stop lights. You can't police people in their own automobiles.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Gzus666 on 12/11/2009 9:23:43 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Forget the teens, I see adults texting while driving & at stop lights. You can't police people in their own automobiles.


It's true, you would need some sort of force to police them, like a "police force" if you will. Some day...


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Zoomer on 12/14/2009 3:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see a problem if they are using it at stop lights, assuming the light wasn't in their favor.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By rudy on 12/12/2009 4:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
Or drugs or using condoms or anything else.

The point is Teens are at a rebellious time of their life the parents are the best deterrent and threats of loss of their driving rights as well.


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RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By HotFoot on 12/11/2009 10:47:23 AM , Rating: 5
I think you have a good point. Drinking and driving has been so vilified that, I think, more people are paying attention.

At this point I have to stop and boggle at human behaviour. I don't know anyone who hasn't had a friend or family member injured or even killed in a vehicle accident. This doesn't mean I'm paranoid when I go out and drive, but defensive and responsible driving is such an obvious choice.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By KingstonU on 12/11/2009 10:53:50 AM , Rating: 2
Make everyone watch 7 Pounds? *SPOILER ALERT* That entire movie was about a car accident that happened due to Will Smith's character checking a message on his cell phone while driving.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By HVAC on 12/11/09, Rating: -1
RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Iaiken on 12/11/2009 11:25:26 AM , Rating: 5
You forget that teens think they are indestructible... Hell, I know I did when I was in high school.

It seems like a ridiculous mentality to me now, but I used to always think "yeah, but that will never happen to me". Now that I've made it well into adulthood, it still hasn't happen to me, but I am well aware of what CAN happen to me because of even a momentary lapse of responsibility on the road.

Just this summer I was almost witness to a young lady getting hit by a car making a right at a complex intersection. The light was red and she was crossing right in front of me and a BMW came up in the right turn lane at speed. As the pedestrian came out from in front of my car I realized this jackass probably wasn't going to stop in time. Despite being under full braking, he only missed her because she had the presence of mind to dart back the way she had came. I got a good look at Chaz LeDouche reading a text on a cell phone, he didn't even bother to put it down and just drove off oblivious to the lesson he should have learned.

What lesson?

If you're going to hop in a 2000+ lb pile of metal and glass and proceed to hurtle down the road in it, focus on that to the exclusion of all else.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By MrBlastman on 12/11/2009 12:43:33 PM , Rating: 5
You forget to mention that these snots that are driving them think that it is their right to be a douche to society and not pay attention because the Constitution guarantees them their freedom of speech. Like I mentioned in another post, it all starts with proper parenting to fix the problem before they sprout.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By plimogs on 12/11/2009 2:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
proper parenting to fix the problem before they sprout


You are talking about abortion, correct?


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Hieyeck on 12/14/2009 2:34:01 AM , Rating: 2
Just like the Plain Janes that think it's their god-given right to drive at 30 on the passing lanes of a highway.

Just like old people that think it's their god-given right to drive at all when they can't see 10 feet in front of them and have the reaction time of a sloth.

Every group of people will have their problems. I know plenty of under 25 drivers I'd trust more than someone with 25 years of "driving experience".


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Yawgm0th on 12/11/2009 11:38:09 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
A possible alternative would be to get some interviews from people that have been in accidents due to texting while driving and make commercials out of them. Throw in some images of the crash and show them in the hospital looking like hell. Basically a scare tactic to make teens think twice about texting while driving.
That works great for pot and cigarettes.


By sprockkets on 12/13/2009 4:44:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, if you want to prevent children from smoking, just remove the age requirements on it.

That way, it won't be "cool" anymore to do stupid stuff that only adults get to do.

Just about every person I knew in high school regretted smoking when they made it into college, because they had no friends to show off to and by that time smoking is legal for them.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Boze on 12/11/2009 12:39:42 PM , Rating: 3
You want a scare tactic? Make it a federal offense to text while driving with five years in prison and a $100,000 fine, no possibility of early parole, and no possible reduction of sentence in any court, anywhere. Ever.

And try all the teens as adults.

I promise you, little Mary Sue being forced to lick Big Mama Bertha from age 16 to 21 or Bob being pounded in the rear by Bubba from 17 to 22 will ensure they never even look at a cell phone while driving.

If you want to stop any behavior, make the consequences so harsh that no one considers it. And no, I don't interested in hearing anyone's moronic comparisons with murder or manslaughter. Texting is not the same as finding your girlfriend in a double penetration scene after coming home from 10 hours of work in the rock quarry, and putting your pickaxe through their heads.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By WW102 on 12/11/2009 3:13:20 PM , Rating: 4
What makes you think that will work? Where has something like proven to work? Murder has some stiff sentences and yet it still happens.

In any case this should be handled at the state & local level not the federal level.

Also,

quote:
Texting is not the same as finding your girlfriend in a double penetration scene after coming home from 10 hours of work in the rock quarry, and putting your pickaxe through their heads.


Makes you sound like a nut job.


By Spookster on 12/11/2009 4:29:14 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
by WW102 on December 11, 2009 at 3:13 PM

What makes you think that will work? Where has something like proven to work? Murder has some stiff sentences and yet it still happens.


Singapore. They'll beat you with a 4 foot long rattan cane for many offenses. I guarantee it would only take one punishment to get it through the thick skulls some of these people. Just ask Michael Fay. I bet he won't ever vandalise anything in that country again.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Boze on 12/12/2009 1:53:24 AM , Rating: 1
I thought I already told you I don't want to hear from your crowd. Go back to your hole.

I already said crimes of passion cannot be lumped into the same category as answering, or composing, a text message. They are two entirely different things. The scenario you quoted would have been an example of someone committing murder as a crime of passion, instead of carefully selecting a target and gathering information on the best way to dispatch them and dispose of the body, more formally known as pre-meditated murder.

I thought you'd be smart enough to recognize the difference, but apparently I overestimated humanity once again.

Now to the guy that posted about Singapore further down, I spent about two weeks there when I was in the Navy, and we had a laundry list a mile long of things that would ensure we got the hell beat out of us by a frustrated little guy with a wet rattan cane (wet canes don't break, that's why they soak 'em in water) until he got tired of hitting us.

I promise you, when you start making severe punishments for infractions that can have potentially severe results, you will get results.

Want results even faster? Require that the canings be televised on every single station allowed to broadcast in America, on every single American-owned media web site (Hulu.com, YouTube) during a certain time, and I will put up any amount of dollars you want on a bet that texting will drop off dramatically.


By Spookster on 12/12/2009 10:13:07 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah I made a couple of port calls there myself while in the Marines. They had like crazy large fines for little things like not flushing a public toilet or littering.


By AEvangel on 12/12/2009 10:19:37 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
You want a scare tactic? Make it a federal offense to text while driving with five years in prison and a $100,000 fine, no possibility of early parole, and no possible reduction of sentence in any court, anywhere. Ever.


You sir are a moron....let me see a victimless crime demands a punishment harsher then one that has a victim i.e. robbery or assault?

I personally think that this like drunk driving should not be a crime unless there is a victim or an accident.

Cause by the standards your setting with texting and drunk driving the same could be said if someone is seen driving and playing with their radio or driving while eating. All are distractions and can lead to an accident.

Really when you think about it texting, eating or playing with your radio is worse then drunk driving since your completely un-impaired while doing so and you make the decision to do it. The whole concept of drunk driving being worse is silly since the basis is that you lack the mental capability to drive and make the correct judgments while driving, yet you expect that drunk person to make the right decision to drive or not.

Distracted Driving is the same no matter what the reason for it and all should be punished the same, by the amount harm they cause the victim.


By Triple Omega on 12/12/2009 10:24:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I thought I already told you I don't want to hear from your crowd. Go back to your hole.

Strange how the Internet doesn't bend to your will. I really thought you could cancel out someones right to freedom of speech by telling them you didn't want to hear from them. Weird stuff.

quote:
I promise you, when you start making severe punishments for infractions that can have potentially severe results, you will get results.

Strange then that the USA has such a high rate of crime while the punishments there are on average much higher then in European countries. It's also pretty weird that crime-experts call american jails the "colleges of crime" and that the number of re-offenders in jail is so high. All that while you say putting people in jail for texting while driving will stop them breaking the law. The experts and numbers are clearly wrong here.

Seriously, increasing punishments to levels that no longer represent the offense is never a good thing. That is precisely the reason why the USA houses 25% of the worlds inmates while only representing about 5% of the worlds population.

It is more important to make people understand why you are punishing them. Increased punishments aren't going to change the way people look at offenses. Morals aren't affected by levels of punishment, they are by the views of other people.

Actually far more important is trying to prevent the offenses from happening in the first place. So trying to change the moral standpoints of people rather then to try and instill them with fear of punishment, as that will never work.


By MadMan007 on 12/13/2009 5:14:41 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like you'd support a Shariah law system.


By Reclaimer77 on 12/11/2009 1:53:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Teens don't realize how dangerous it can be to be texting while driving and because it is so difficult to catch, a ban probably wouldn't do anything.


Teens don't realize the danger of doing ANYTHING. Why should texting be any different ??

I did a TON of crap when I was a teenager that was reckless, dangerous, careless and unsafe. So did you, and so did all these idiots passing laws like this.

You can't govern teenage behavior. Many have tried, all have failed. Only PARENTS can do that, and even then it's a crap shoot.

quote:
A possible alternative would be to get some interviews from people that have been in accidents due to texting while driving and make commercials out of them.


Lmao like the "this is your brain on drugs" commercials, or all the scare tactics used to stop teen drink driving ? They don't work !


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By kd9280 on 12/11/2009 2:35:59 PM , Rating: 2
My sister (23) just got into an accident over Thanksgiving. Car was totalled, she was hurt (not severely) and she was given a citation because the witnesses all said that she went through a red light after an illegal pass.

I wouldn't doubt that the reason was because she looked down at her phone to answer a text. She always has it there, and she's always getting texts. It scares the hell out of me to drive with her, and that's primarily the reason I get a rental car when I visit my parents rather than just take the train which tends to be cheaper.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By lecanard on 12/11/2009 4:32:05 PM , Rating: 3
I think they should just order the networks to shut down SMS services for a year to get these idiots to stop being so addicted to texting that they insist on risking the lives of my family to do it every freaking minute.


By lecanard on 12/11/2009 4:40:33 PM , Rating: 4
OK, a more realistic solution should be to make the fine really high. Since the probability of getting caught is low, they need to compensate with a harsh penalty. Maybe take away the license for a year too. In California the money being taken from idiots who text while driving can be used to fund the education system so people can afford to go to Universities of California again (which had to raise tuition because of the budget problems). Take from the dumb and give to the smart is a good policy. If you disagree, it's obvious which group you're in.

Sorry, this post got less serious as I went along.


By beerhound on 12/12/2009 3:59:21 PM , Rating: 2
How about this: We have the V chip that allows parents to block certain TV channels. How about a "T chip" to be installed in vehicles that would send out a signal to tell the cell phone to block all texting features while the engine of the car is running. Require it on all cars made after 2010. Then pass a law that allows the insurance company to require it to be retro fitted to older vehicles if they are going to cover a teenage driver in that vehicle. Also require all new cell phones to be programed to honor the T chip signal. How about it, would it work?


By jonmcc33 on 12/11/2009 5:27:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Teens don't realize how dangerous it can be to be texting while driving and because it is so difficult to catch, a ban probably wouldn't do anything.


Teens don't realize because they are young, naive and foolish.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By kfonda on 12/11/2009 7:26:21 PM , Rating: 5
How about suspending their license for a year. And just to deal with the people that drive with a suspended license, change the penalty for that to include forfeiture of their car like they do in some places with the drug laws.

We may not be able to stop them from texting, but I think we can stop most of them from driving.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Perkins1986 on 12/11/09, Rating: -1
By chagrinnin on 12/11/2009 10:19:06 PM , Rating: 2
Hi! I'm Perkins1986. I'm one of those internet guys...


By scrapsma54 on 12/12/2009 3:34:54 AM , Rating: 2
I don't get it, Teens should be smart to realize its not rude to talk on the phone in the car, honestly. Texting should be for public and calling should be for at home and in public.
Seriously, There should be a manual how to use your phone wisely and intelligently.
Wisdom seems to be an lacking area however seeing as many of us at some point rather kill pedestrians in an oblivious state or ignore people.


RE: How about a scare tactic instead
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RE: How about a scare tactic instead
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