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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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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 (, 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
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
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.

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.

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