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Text or chat while driving? You go to jail. - Page 2

post #41 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

So anyone who eats and drives lacks common sense? I'm not sure what planet you live on, but here on Earth we sometimes need to do it. I eat breakfast in the car almost every morning (just fruit) and I drive perfectly fine. I do use my hands free though...A drunk driver is not someone with a .08 blood alcohol. Sorry, it isn't. Talk to me at twice that..

SDW: speeding along in his SUV in the morning eating breakfast and talking on his cell phone (hands-free, of course) with a .15 blood alcohol level. A man who truly needs no traffic laws. Do you ghost ride half the way, too, or is that too tame?
post #42 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldo View Post

Anybody that drives and texts at the same time is a moron and deserves to go to jail.
Anyone that drives that doesn't devote there full attention to driving needs to go back and read the Rules of the Road. There are probably more accidents caused by people not paying attention while driving than any other cause. I don't think I even need provide a link to prove that. Just common sense.
Oh and one other thing driving is not a right it is a privilege that you have to earn

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldo View Post

You should not drive when you are tired either. I have heard that people that drive while tired or sleepy cause as many, or more fatal accidents than drunk drivers.
Sometimes though, we have all driven while tired.

So let's jail people for being a little tired too. Let's jail anyone that talks to the passenger instead of looking at the road. Let's jail 'em all. That's what you're saying.
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post #43 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

You know, I think you sound awfully judgmental for liberal!

Why do people drink? Lots of reasons. It's not just to get drunk, but having several drinks does take the edge off. It lowers inhibitions, which people feel they need sometimes as well. I personally like the taste of beer, wine, etc.


So do I, a glass or 2 of wine with a meal, or a real beer (not the massmarketed chemical crap masquerading as beer) is most enjoyable... and as I said in my post that you decried as "judgmental", I have nothing against drinking in moderation. There is even medical evidence that a small regular intake of alcohol can be beneficial and even extend life expectancy. But there is a fine line between what is good for you, and what can screw one up royally.. and it seems that many folk are unable to distinguish that.... just like there is a fine line re. the amount of alcohol people consume that makes them either behave socially, or like complete jerks. Alcohol is a real Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde substance.. and kids (who regard themselves as immortal anyway) think its safe it because its legal, advertised, and manufactured by big household name companies which sponsor sports and whatever.

OK, we agree there.

Quote:

OK, here's my judgemental 2 cents: Cigars (and cigarettes etc.) smoking is a disgusting habit

In your opinion

Quote:
, antisocial,

That doesn't make sense.

Quote:
pollutes the air that other around them have to breathe with a noxious potpourri of poisonous gases and suspended particles

That's why I only do it outside or in a place where it's socially acceptable (i.e. others are smoking, a cigar bar, etc)

Quote:
, the odor gets everywhere

Not necessarily

Quote:
, it is a fire hazard (how many instances has smoking been the cause of people being killed by house or forest fires caused by some short-sighted idiot flicking ash of out his car window, or smoking in bed?

Not necessarily

Quote:

Having said that, I don't think for a minute that it should be banned, because we all know that making something illegal will only encourage its use amongst kids who think its "cool" to break the law, while simultaneously creating a whole new area of trade for organized criminal gangs.....

Agreed there.

Quote:

I don't smoke anything... (something to do with having a sense of self -preservation)... but what is it about a cigar that is better than weed? If that is really the case, why aren't cigars illegal?

Good questions. I love cigars. They relax me, make me feel good. I love to go outside on my patio with a drink and a cigar, and just get away from it all. It's not an addiction...I have maybe a few per week at max, and I feel no "need" for them...I just like them. Why aren't they illegal? Same reason cigs aren't illegal: Money.

Quote:

Give me a boring teetotaler any day that some lush-head who can't string a sentence together, and then resorts to fists to get his point across, before puking up his last meal.

Sounds like sammi has a story! No really, those people are disgusting and I'm not suggesting that a sober person is worse than someone like that. I think you know that, however.

Quote:

Nobody needs any chemical prop to have a "good time".

Well, I agree that no one "needs" it. But some people do have a better time with a few drinks. Some don't, and that's fine. It's the ones that claim they don't have a better time after a few drinks that are annoying. Some people are sort of snotty about it too. "I don't drink" can be said a few different ways, and I've heard most of them.

Quote:

I think anyone in a state of sobriety who witnesses typical drunken behavior will make scornful or derogatory comments. It is hard not to be judgmental in such circumstances.. after all, drunken loutishness is pretty dreary at best.

Then don't be around people that are drinking. It's the same thing with me...I don't like people on illegal drugs. I stay away from them. If I am around them, and someone offers me weed, I just tell them that I have no problem with them doing it but I don't. I don't get annoyed and pissed off because they have the gall to do drugs...DRUGS!.. in front of me

Quote:

Neither do I. People should be aware that it is dangerous, and they are being assholes for putting the lives of other road-users lives in danger....

Good.
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post #44 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

So let's jail people for being a little tired too. Let's jail anyone that talks to the passenger instead of looking at the road. Let's jail 'em all. That's what you're saying.

Two things that have to be considered:

1) How risky a particular behavior is. Binary is risky/is not risky thinking is a really stupid way to analyze risk.
2) How avoidable a particular behavior is. It's a whole lot easier to simply not text than it is to not be a little tired. Your bff jill can wait.
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post #45 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

SDW: speeding along in his SUV in the morning eating breakfast and talking on his cell phone (hands-free, of course) with a .15 blood alcohol level. A man who truly needs no traffic laws. Do you ghost ride half the way, too, or is that too tame?

Correction: Toyota Camry. And it's not a hybrid either.
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post #46 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

Two things that have to be considered:

1) How risky a particular behavior is. Binary is risky/is not risky thinking is a really stupid way to analyze risk.
2) How avoidable a particular behavior is. It's a whole lot easier to simply not text than it is to not be a little tired. Your bff jill can wait.

+1

I've been lurking in this thread since it started, and this was exactly what I wanted to say all along.

That's why this law is fair.

"Your bff jill can wait."

Duh.
post #47 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

And let me tell you, cops are NAZIS...

Dude, I totally hear you.

Personally, what I hate are those double yellow lines. The dashed lines are bad enough, but at least they don't completely force you to stay on one side of the road. The worst, though, are the white dashed lines. Really, everyone on this side is already moving in same direction. I don't need no liberal politicians micromanaging which part of which side of the road I'm allowed to be in. Fucking NAZIS! It's borderline communism!

Before you know it the government will post mechanical sentries on each corner with blinking lights forcing people to stop and go solely on the whim of its government controlled, emotionless mechanical brain.
post #48 of 81
Breath-Alcohol Analysis: How Reliable Is It?

Quote:
In a 1983 law review article, Stephen G. Thompson observed the following:

Modern criminal justice is premised upon the requirement that a criminal defendant be proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before punishment can be meted out. This standard of proof is severe; its severity is based upon a collective societal judgment that the risk of error be borne by the state. As fundamental and unquestionable as this principle may seem, it is frequently tested when the interests of society appear urgent, immediate, and identifiable. In these instances, society often creates policies and systems which threaten the presumption of innocence.

Breath testing is a good example of the use of scientific evidence that routinely deprives suspects and defendants of the presumption of innocence and results in wrongful convictions as well as unwarranted guilty pleas.

The reason for this is that breath testing as now employed does not accurately reflect the true or actual value of alcohol concentration in the venous blood or even in the breath of a human subject.
post #49 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

Breath-Alcohol Analysis: How Reliable Is It?

Interesting.

Are people convicted of DUIs solely on breath tests? Or do they take a blood sample as well?
post #50 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

Interesting.

Are people convicted of DUIs solely on breath tests? Or do they take a blood sample as well?

They do both, in fact with myself it was either sobriety tests or blood sample. Blood samples are way more conclusive. I don't think I ever had a breathalyser...it was over 17 years ago.

My how times have changed...

Quote:
Police may inflict permanent physical damage while forcibly taking blood from a motorist accused of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), according to a decision by the appellate division of the New Jersey Superior Court. The court on Tuesday found that police officers from Washington and Hamilton Townships did nothing wrong when they held down Russell Johnston in such a way that his wrist suffered permanent nerve damage as a nurse from Robert Wood Johnson Hospital took his blood.

Again...
post #51 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

So let's jail people for being a little tired too. Let's jail anyone that talks to the passenger instead of looking at the road. Let's jail 'em all. That's what you're saying.

No what I said is anybody that drives and text messages at the same time is a moron and deserves to go to jail.
People need to use a lot more common sense when driving. I have never seen so many idiots on the road as there are nowadays.
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. Thomas Jefferson
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The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. Thomas Jefferson
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post #52 of 81
How about tailgaters? People driving at 80+ mph on the freeways in the pouring rain with visibilities down to a few yards due to mist and spray, driving a few feet from the vehicle in front is a common sight anywhere in the country. How frigging, unbelievably stupid is that? For starters, if you rear-end somebody, it is almost always the fault of the person behind. Are people unaware of that? And there is also a fundamental principle (in this universe anyway) that is is impossible to occupy the same space as the vehicle in front. It seems that many people are unaware of that, too.

Yikes.
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post #53 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

How about tailgaters? People driving at 80+ mph on the freeways in the pouring rain with visibilities down to a few yards due to mist and spray, driving a few feet from the vehicle in front is a common sight anywhere in the country. How frigging, unbelievably stupid is that? For starters, if you rear-end somebody, it is almost always the fault of the person behind. Are people unaware of that? And there is also a fundamental principle (in this universe anyway) that is is impossible to occupy the same space as the vehicle in front. It seems that many people are unaware of that, too.

Yikes.

Tailgaters can very legally be charged with reckless driving, which can lead to jailtime. Yes it's stupid and needs to be cracked down on more. So is talking on or viewing a handheld device while driving.
post #54 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

How about tailgaters? People driving at 80+ mph on the freeways in the pouring rain with visibilities down to a few yards due to mist and spray, driving a few feet from the vehicle in front is a common sight anywhere in the country. How frigging, unbelievably stupid is that? For starters, if you rear-end somebody, it is almost always the fault of the person behind. Are people unaware of that? And there is also a fundamental principle (in this universe anyway) that is is impossible to occupy the same space as the vehicle in front. It seems that many people are unaware of that, too.

One of my pet peeves is that I've never witnessed anyone ever being ticketed for tailgating, nor do I know of anyone who's been ticketed or has seen someone else ticketed for tailgating. I suppose if I searched the appropriate legal records I might find instances of this, but I get the very strong impression that unless a collision actually occurs, penalties against tailgating are rarely if ever enforced.

I guess it's just too easy for the cops to do point-and-click tickets for speeding, and they most leave enforcement of moving violations to that. Tickets for running red lights, plus the occasional DUI or wreckless driving charge (but not for the kind of tailgating that happens all of the time), rounds out the enforcement that I'm aware of routinely happening. I'd expect, however, that tailgating turns out to be more dangerous that simply going 10-15 mph over the speed limit.
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post #55 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

One of my pet peeves is that I've never witnessed anyone ever being ticketed for tailgating, nor do I know of anyone who's been ticketed or has seen someone else ticketed for tailgating. I suppose if I searched the appropriate legal records I might find instances of this, but I get the very strong impression that unless a collision actually occurs, penalties against tailgating are rarely if ever enforced.

I guess it's just too easy for the cops to do point-and-click tickets for speeding, and they most leave enforcement of moving violations to that. Tickets for running red lights, plus the occasional DUI or wreckless driving charge (but not for the kind of tailgating that happens all of the time), rounds out the enforcement that I'm aware of routinely happening. I'd expect, however, that tailgating turns out to be more dangerous that simply going 10-15 mph over the speed limit.

One of the challenges officers face is the possibility that a ticket will be challenged. It screws up their day to have a court appearance, and they hate it. Giving a ticket for tailgating presents a much higher risk of a day in court.

What the police need to do is to photograph tailgaters as they drive and document the speed, and present that as evidence. When issuing the ticket, the officer could explain that a photo has been taken and show it to the driver. The driver would probably be able to use their own judgment that a conviction for serious tailgating would be pretty easy, and the chance of going to court would be reduced.
post #56 of 81
Aggressive driving for its own sake causes nothing but grief. There's never any excuse for idiotic, moronic habits such as tailgating, arbitrary/unexpected lane-changing, not using indicators, wandering all over the road, or driving at a large speed differential to other road users. Some folk would say that their "driving skills" can always get them out of a fix, but thats not the point... it's always about the other idiot who does something unexpectedly stupid and gives one no chance at avoiding an accident, because other drivers' potential idiocy wasn't taken into consideration. And when vehicles weighing up to 80,000lbs are traveling at 100 ft per second, often on wet roads... that leaves very little thinking time. But what's going to change when so many testosterone-fueled motorists regard "defensive driving" as being "for sissies"?
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #57 of 81
Police Begin Fingerprinting on Traffic Stops

Quote:
If you're ticketed by Green Bay police, you'll get more than a fine. You'll get fingerprinted, too. It's a new way police are cracking down on crime.

If you're caught speeding or playing your music too loud, or other crimes for which you might receive a citation, Green Bay police officers will ask for your drivers license and your finger. You'll be fingerprinted right there on the spot. The fingerprint appears right next to the amount of the fine.

Police say it's meant to protect you -- in case the person they're citing isn't who they claim to be. But not everyone is sold on that explanation.

"What we've seen happen for the last couple of years [is] increasing use of false or fraudulent identification documents," Captain Greg Urban said.

Police say they want to prevent the identity theft problem that Milwaukee has, where 13 percent of all violators give a false name.

But in Green Bay, where police say they only average about five cases in a year, drivers we talked with think the new policy is extreme.

"That's going too far," Ken Scherer from Oconto said. "You look at the ID, that's what they're there for. Either it's you or it's not. I don't think that's a valid excuse."

"I would feel uncomfortable but I would do it," Carol Pilgrim of Green Bay said.

Citizens do have the right to say no. "They could say no and not have to worry about getting arrested," defense attorney Jackson Main said. "On the other hand, I'm like everybody else. When a police officer tells me to do something, I'm going to do it whether I have the right to say no or not."

That's exactly why many drivers are uneasy about the fine print in this fingerprinting policy.

Police stress that the prints are just to make sure you are who you claim to be and do not go into any kind of database; they simply stay on the ticket for future reference if the identity is challenged.

"Police say it's meant to protect you"

How come the person who is supposedly being protected is always the one who gets screwed by the law?
post #58 of 81
Cell phones are the worst thing to happen to driving in a long time. I live in West Salem which means you have to cross the bridge over the Willamette river. A few months ago I was pulling on to the bridge from the Front ST. on ramp and some lady almost ran me out of my lane and didn't even know it! She was driving, talking on the cell phone, and checking herself out in the mirror because she was doing something with her makeup! Cell phone was tucked under her chin. Now that's just too much!

Let's see how many things we can do besides driving before we have a serious accident?
Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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post #59 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

Dude, I totally hear you.

Personally, what I hate are those double yellow lines. The dashed lines are bad enough, but at least they don't completely force you to stay on one side of the road. The worst, though, are the white dashed lines. Really, everyone on this side is already moving in same direction. I don't need no liberal politicians micromanaging which part of which side of the road I'm allowed to be in. Fucking NAZIS! It's borderline communism!

Before you know it the government will post mechanical sentries on each corner with blinking lights forcing people to stop and go solely on the whim of its government controlled, emotionless mechanical brain.

I know that was supposed to be amusing, but it wasn't. Apparently you haven't dealt with the police recently. It's like a episode of Reno 911.
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post #60 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldo View Post

No what I said is anybody that drives and text messages at the same time is a moron and deserves to go to jail.
People need to use a lot more common sense when driving. I have never seen so many idiots on the road as there are nowadays.

So they go to jail even without causing an accident? There are at least a dozen other things just as distracting. Should they go to jail for adjusting their iPods? How about the stereo controls? Setting the cruise control? Checking the odometer? Reading a map? Adjusting their GPS?
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post #61 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Apparently you haven't dealt with the police recently. It's like a episode of Reno 911.

I live in chicago, thanks. Here the police are notoriously just as dangerous as the gangs, increasingly so in recent years, and we have double the crime rate of new york. You live in...nowheresville, PA. Maybe it's like Reno 911 where you live, but here it's like The Shield.
post #62 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

I live in chicago, thanks. Here the police are notoriously just as dangerous as the gangs, increasingly so in recent years, and we have double the crime rate of new york. You live in...nowheresville, PA. Maybe it's like Reno 911 where you live, but here it's like The Shield.

I know this was meant to be yet another insult to SDW, but instead I just pictured a large, bald white man with a well greased night stick preparing to "search" giant as he is spread over the hood of his car.



This is the view giant sees over his shoulder as he is thoroughly "searched."



I feel so much better now.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #63 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

So they go to jail even without causing an accident? There are at least a dozen other things just as distracting. Should they go to jail for adjusting their iPods? How about the stereo controls? Setting the cruise control? Checking the odometer? Reading a map? Adjusting their GPS?

You can fire a gun into a crowd at random and not kill anyone. The bullet won't necessarily hit anyone. Hell, it might not even cause any significant property damage.

Do you only arrest a person if the bullet they fire actually strikes someone, or damages something valuable? Do you think it's bad that someone who randomly fires a gun into a crowd goes to jail (gasp!) without even killing somebody!?

I'm pretty sure you don't think that.

There's a spectrum of risk here. Firing a bullet into a crowd is obviously at the high end of such a spectrum. We can't responsibly sit back and wait for actual harm to be done before we take legal measures to penalize such risky behavior.

Adjusting your iPod is at the low end of the spectrum. A reasonably quick check of your odometer might even go into negative numbers on this risk spectrum, as knowing your speed potentially makes you and others on the road safer than the very slight increase in road focus you might gain by not looking at your speedometer.

I have a strong impression that the accident and insurance stats are out there to confirm that talking on a cell phone while driving is one of the riskier distracting things you can do while driving a car, up there with DUI, not down at the level of occasionally adjusting the volume on your stereo or skipping tracks on your iPod.

If you can (and I believe you almost certainly do) accept that some risky behaviors must be penalized even when a bad outcome does not actually occur (e.g. shooting randomly into a crowd), on what basis do you draw the line where cell phone usage in a car should be legally allowed, or subject to only minor penalties, unless an accident actually occurs?
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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post #64 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmac View Post

A few months ago I was pulling on to the bridge from the Front ST. on ramp and some lady almost ran me out of my lane and didn't even know it! She was driving, talking on the cell phone, and checking herself out in the mirror because she was doing something her makeup! Cell phone was tucked under her chin. Now that's just too much!

A few months ago I notice a woman pull up next to me at a traffic light, talking on a cell phone, checking herself out in her rear-view mirror, and eating an ice cream cone all at the same time.

It's a shame that evolutionary pressures will function at too slow a pace, and with so much collateral damage in the meantime, to weed that kind of stupidity out of the gene pool during our lifetime.
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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post #65 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

So they go to jail even without causing an accident? There are at least a dozen other things just as distracting. Should they go to jail for adjusting their iPods? How about the stereo controls? Setting the cruise control? Checking the odometer? Reading a map? Adjusting their GPS?

Like I said a little common sense goes a long way. If you need to read a map pull over to the side of the road.
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. Thomas Jefferson
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The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. Thomas Jefferson
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post #66 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

I live in chicago, thanks. Here the police are notoriously just as dangerous as the gangs, increasingly so in recent years, and we have double the crime rate of new york. You live in...nowheresville, PA. Maybe it's like Reno 911 where you live, but here it's like The Shield.

City cops are generally easier to get along with that suburban or rural cops. They have plenty of work to do, so if you stay out of their way, they stay out of yours. Suburban and rural cops, however, don't have a lot to do. From time to time, something flares up and they all need to be activated, but most of the time they just sit around waiting for something to happen. Usually, this is some kind of victimless crime like a moving violation or similar, and they take out their frustration on the driver if given the chance.

When you add this to the fact that the departments are always interested in bolstering the local budget via issuance of fines, you end up with a bunch of bullies in uniform. They get accustomed to being above the law. To give an example, my friend's car was hit by a cop who was running a red without his sirens on, but was forced to cover damages because it proved to be impossible to convince the legal powers-that-be that the cop was lying about having put on his sirens. Even with four witnesses, my friend couldn't make headway.

Everything is OK because he now lives in NYC and doesn't need a car or, more specifically, car insurance, but that's an unusual solution to the problem. Due to a lying cop, he won't be able to get a somewhat realistic car insurance quote unless he gets married (go figure).
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post #67 of 81
Man texting while driving when he hit Taunton teen with SUV, prosecutor says

Quote:
The man accused of killing a 13-year-old boy in a hit-and-run in Taunton told police he was behind the wheel typing a text message on his cellphone when he lost control of the sport utility vehicle and hit what he thought was a mailbox, a prosecutor said today in court.

Craig P. Bigos, 31, told investigators that he did not realize the SUV had struck the boy on the bicycle until he drove back down Poole Street hours later on his way to work at a restaurant, said Bristol County prosecutor Aaron T. Strojny.

The boy, Earman Machado, was sleeping over at a friend's house Thursday night. The teens had gone out at 12:30 a.m. to meet two girls, Strojny said today in Taunton District Court. Machado was riding a bicycle and his friend was walking on the soft shoulder of the road. Police said the friend, also 13, attempted to call 911, but was unable to get through on his cellphone.

A chill went up my spine when I read:

Quote:
Machado was riding a bicycle and his friend was walking on the soft shoulder of the road.

My nephew was walking home with a friend on the "soft shoulder" when he was struck and killed.

People, just drive. Don't eat, don't drink, don't phone, don't text, don't iPod, don't GPS, don't watch TV...just watch the road...just drive.
post #68 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

City cops are generally easier to get along with that suburban or rural cops.

Unfortunately, not in the real world
post #69 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

I live in chicago, thanks. Here the police are notoriously just as dangerous as the gangs, increasingly so in recent years, and we have double the crime rate of new york. You live in...nowheresville, PA. Maybe it's like Reno 911 where you live, but here it's like The Shield.

It's been a while since you took at shot at where I live. I was starting to think you didn't care!

It's not quite Reno 911 here of course...it's just that the police are pretty much useless. They are excellent at handing out speeding tickets and traffic violations, which pay for their jobs. They are excellent at arresting 23 year old girls for DUI when they are not even half the legal limit, then not releasing the blood test results until the day of the trial (a friend of mine). And they are really good at riding around in their cruisers, stopping at WaWa for coffee. Now, go 20 miles down the road...into Philly..or even what used to be the Western suburbs in Delaware County, and maybe that's a different situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

You can fire a gun into a crowd at random and not kill anyone. The bullet won't necessarily hit anyone. Hell, it might not even cause any significant property damage.

Do you only arrest a person if the bullet they fire actually strikes someone, or damages something valuable? Do you think it's bad that someone who randomly fires a gun into a crowd goes to jail (gasp!) without even killing somebody!?

I'm pretty sure you don't think that.

There's a spectrum of risk here. Firing a bullet into a crowd is obviously at the high end of such a spectrum. We can't responsibly sit back and wait for actual harm to be done before we take legal measures to penalize such risky behavior.

That is an utterly invalid comparison. Firing a bullet vs. texting? Come on.

Quote:

Adjusting your iPod is at the low end of the spectrum. A reasonably quick check of your odometer might even go into negative numbers on this risk spectrum, as knowing your speed potentially makes you and others on the road safer than the very slight increase in road focus you might gain by not looking at your speedometer.

Adjusting your iPod is no different than texting. I think that for me, texting might even be safer.

Quote:

I have a strong impression that the accident and insurance stats are out there to confirm that talking on a cell phone while driving is one of the riskier distracting things you can do while driving a car, up there with DUI, not down at the level of occasionally adjusting the volume on your stereo or skipping tracks on your iPod.

Talking on your phone might be more risky than adjusting your iPod. Notice I didn't say that doing so should be legal. I just said one shouldn't go to jail for doing it.

Quote:

If you can (and I believe you almost certainly do) accept that some risky behaviors must be penalized even when a bad outcome does not actually occur (e.g. shooting randomly into a crowd), on what basis do you draw the line where cell phone usage in a car should be legally allowed, or subject to only minor penalties, unless an accident actually occurs?

Again, it should be penalized. But it's a question of what kind of penalty, and what other behaviors we penalize. A reasonable standard would be if the activity (eating, talking, adjusting whatever, etc) is causing erratic or unusual movement in the vehicle.
A fine is reasonable. Jail is not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldo View Post

Like I said a little common sense goes a long way. If you need to read a map pull over to the side of the road.

I agree, but is it common sense to send someone to JAIL for getting out the map. A fine is appropriate. If it causes an accident, then maybe jail might be appropriate, depending.
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post #70 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

It's not quite Reno 911 here of course...it's just that the police are pretty much useless. They are excellent at handing out speeding tickets and traffic violations, which pay for their jobs. They are excellent at arresting 23 year old girls for DUI when they are not even half the legal limit, then not releasing the blood test results until the day of the trial (a friend of mine). And they are really good at riding around in their cruisers, stopping at WaWa for coffee.

Can't argue with that. It basically describes what I've seen with rural and suburban cops.

See, no need to take offense to everything.
post #71 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

That is an utterly invalid comparison. Firing a bullet vs. texting? Come on.

I didn't compare the two other than to establish a spectrum of risk, and to illustrate a concept. The extremity of the gun firing example is not there to establish equivalence between firing guns and texting, it's there to clarify a concept: we do punish people for exposing others to undue risk, and rightly so, rather than only punishing when actually harm occurs.

Quote:
Adjusting your iPod is no different than texting. I think that for me, texting might even be safer.

Only two things really matter here when it comes to the kinds of laws you can expect:

1) Public perception of risk, be it rational or irrational, and willingness to excuse some risks more than others.
2) Actual measured risk, for those rare occasions when laws are driven by real data and not political pandering.

Your personal opinion of your personal ability to text more safely than you can adjust your iPod matters not one whit -- and it shouldn't. I'm sure there are people who are safer driving at 80mph than some other people are at 40mph, but it's hardly reasonably to expect speeding tickets to be personalized based on that sort of thing.

Absent solid statistical data, I'd have to guess that texting is much riskier than simple iPod adjustments (whatever special texting skills you imagine yourself to possess aside), many of which (volume up/down, skipping a song) are fast and barely require any eye contact. If you're talking about, say, creating an on-the-go playlist, at that point iPod usage probably does get as risky as texting.

Quote:
Talking on your phone might be more risky than adjusting your iPod. Notice I didn't say that doing so should be legal. I just said one shouldn't go to jail for doing it.

I already said from the start that jail time for a first offense seemed excessive to me as well. If you get to, say, a third offense over some period of time (2-3 years perhaps) and fines and tickets aren't having an effect on mending your ways, I can see jail time as a reasonable escalation of punishment.
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post #72 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

Unfortunately, not in the real world

I think you're making a bigger deal out of this than it really is. I've lived in a handful of cities as well as a handful of suburban and rural locations. In all cases, the city police were much easier to deal with. I bet that if you took a 2007 poll of Chicagoans about their opinion of the police, you wouldn't find too many people annoyed. In fact, I almost guarantee it. All of the links that popped up via your "proof" were either historical, of debatable credibility, or of marginal social impact.
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post #73 of 81
Jail time is inappropriate as talking on cell phones or eating while driving should not be a criminal offense. It's stupid and it's irresponsible when done excessively, but it's very understandable that people would have occasion to need to talk on their cell phone while they drive. For instance, to get directions. Unlike alcohol consumption, where no one can drive safely under the influence (although people's BAC tolerance levels can differ somewhat), I think that some people can multitude so well that talking on a cell phone wouldn't distract them anymore than billboard or a clever bumper sticker would.

That being said, I'd support laws that suspend or revoke people's licenses due to accidents caused by cell phone usage. Or laws, for instance, that give higher penalties for combinations of traffic violations in conjunction with cell phone usages. For instance, if I'm speeding 15 MPH over the speed limit AND talking on my cell phone, the minimum fine is tripled, and if such traffic violations in conjunction with cell phone usage occur more than once (say three strikes, you're out), you get your license suspended. Also, I know that in many states it's illegal all the time if your under a certain age (in Illinois I think that age is 21). Also a good idea. Young drivers suck, mostly because their new and less experienced.
post #74 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

I think you're making a bigger deal out of this than it really is.

No, I'm actually not.
post #75 of 81
New super-cameras mean no hiding for drivers who smoke, eat or use a phone

Quote:
Digital speed cameras which capture drivers smoking or eating at the wheel are being introduced nationwide in a new move to hammer motorists.

Drivers will also face fines, bans and even jail for infringements such as driving without a seatbelt, using a hand-held mobile phone or overtaking across double white lines.

The hi-tech DVD cameras, which have instant playback, will also be used to provide photographic evidence against those eating sandwiches or rolling-up cigarettes at the wheel.

These are now considered serious offences under new guidelines drawn up for prosecutors.

The development will massively increase the number of fines and prosecutions against normally law-abiding drivers for relatively minor offences.

As well as being fined £60 and given three points on their licences, motorists now face two years in jail if their actions are considered to have been a factor in dangerous driving.

Virtually every police force in England, Wales and Scotland is now equipped with the new digital cameras. They were given Home Office approval in April but are quietly being rolled out nationwide.

George Orwell is rolling fags and munching chips in glee. I still stand by my comments here though.

Freaking pervs. What else will you capture on DVD...
post #76 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

:l


I agree, but is it common sense to send someone to JAIL for getting out the map. A fine is appropriate. If it causes an accident, then maybe jail might be appropriate, depending.

No I suppose it is not common sense to send people to jail for reading a map while driving.

People just need to wise up and realize that driving is not a walk in the park. It can be dangerous at times.
You are putting your life, as well as others on the road at risk if you do not pay attention to what is going on while driving.
You cannot do this while texting, reading, or talking on a cell phone.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas..._styling_hair/
http://www.geocities.com/morganleepena/rebuttal.htm

I will agree with you that no one should be put in jail for any of these things as long as they do not cause an accident.

Maybe drivers license suspension would be a more appropriate penalty.
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post #77 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

I didn't compare the two other than to establish a spectrum of risk, and to illustrate a concept. The extremity of the gun firing example is not there to establish equivalence between firing guns and texting, it's there to clarify a concept: we do punish people for exposing others to undue risk, and rightly so, rather than only punishing when actually harm occurs.

I realize that, and I still think it's absurd because you went to that length to illustrate the concept. And it's flawed anyway, because the central point here is to what degree we punish people exposing others to risk. In other words, do we put people to death if they pull a gun on someone? Of course not. That's because we do distinguish between exposing people to risk and actually causing injury.

Quote:

Only two things really matter here when it comes to the kinds of laws you can expect:

1) Public perception of risk, be it rational or irrational, and willingness to excuse some risks more than others.
2) Actual measured risk, for those rare occasions when laws are driven by real data and not political pandering.

Your personal opinion of your personal ability to text more safely than you can adjust your iPod matters not one whit -- and it shouldn't.

What does matter then? Just public perception?

Quote:
I'm sure there are people who are safer driving at 80mph than some other people are at 40mph, but it's hardly reasonably to expect speeding tickets to be personalized based on that sort of thing.

Speeding is objectively and provably more dangerous than not speeding. Texting is harder to prove, as is adjusting other equipment, eating, etc. That said, we also don't throw speeders in jail for the most part.

Quote:

Absent solid statistical data, I'd have to guess that texting is much riskier than simple iPod adjustments (whatever special texting skills you imagine yourself to possess aside), many of which (volume up/down, skipping a song) are fast and barely require any eye contact. If you're talking about, say, creating an on-the-go playlist, at that point iPod usage probably does get as risky as texting.



"..personal opinion of your personal ability to text more safely than you can adjust your iPod matters not one whit -- and it shouldn't."

If personal opinion doesn't matter, your personal opinion doesn't matter. The more I think about it, the more I've convinced that texting is easier for me. I can conceivably text without looking at the keys on my phone, as I know where they are located and how many times I need to press each one to get the desired character. But what if I'm selecting a song? That requires much more eye contact.

Quote:
I already said from the start that jail time for a first offense seemed excessive to me as well. If you get to, say, a third offense over some period of time (2-3 years perhaps) and fines and tickets aren't having an effect on mending your ways, I can see jail time as a reasonable escalation of punishment.

Then we have to punish other "risky" behavior with jail time as well, such as adjusting an iPod, eating, talking to a passenger, even using "vacation arm" on the kid in the back.
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post #78 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

No, I'm actually not.

Either way, you haven't done a great job convincing anyone except yourself.
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post #79 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I realize that, and I still think it's absurd because you went to that length to illustrate the concept. And it's flawed anyway, because the central point here is to what degree we punish people exposing others to risk. In other words, do we put people to death if they pull a gun on someone? Of course not. That's because we do distinguish between exposing people to risk and actually causing injury.

I wasn't arguing for equal punishment for imposing risk of harm and actually causing that harm -- if you got that out of what I wrote, I don't know how.

Now, if a person repeatedly exposes others to a very high risk of deadly harm, I can definitely see life imprisonment or institutionalization of that person as better than waiting for everyone else's luck to run out, particularly if the risk-imposing behavior doesn't seem treatable. If there's true intent to cause harm, or a callous indifference to causing harm, and it's just a matter of luck that someone doesn't get killed, one offense should be enough to get you in very serious trouble in some cases.

Quote:
What does matter then? Just public perception?

...

Speeding is objectively and provably more dangerous than not speeding. Texting is harder to prove, as is adjusting other equipment, eating, etc. That said, we also don't throw speeders in jail for the most part.

...



"..personal opinion of your personal ability to text more safely than you can adjust your iPod matters not one whit -- and it shouldn't."

If personal opinion doesn't matter, your personal opinion doesn't matter.

You're mixing up two different things here.

The first, separate point is that it's completely unfeasible for the law to take into account the fact that some people might be more dangerous texting while driving than others. We're not going to be giving texting-while-driving tests, and putting stickers on drivers' licenses indicating who has earned texting privileges or not. This is the context where I'm saying your personal opinion of your own safety at this isn't important -- not important towards whether you'd be treated differently than anyone else for texting while driving.

There's also the matter that you seem like the kind of guy who thinks his own shit doesn't stink, a blustering in-your-face attitude kind of guy, making me take your opinions of your own abilities with a very large grain of salt -- but that's another issue.

Quote:
The more I think about it, the more I've convinced that texting is easier for me. I can conceivably text without looking at the keys on my phone, as I know where they are located and how many times I need to press each one to get the desired character. But what if I'm selecting a song? That requires much more eye contact.

...

Then we have to punish other "risky" behavior with jail time as well, such as adjusting an iPod, eating, talking to a passenger, even using "vacation arm" on the kid in the back.

The second matter of personal opinion here is how risky texting is -- on average, for all people, your own super duper talents aside.

If you're right in your risk assessment of on-the-road texting, and it's safer than I think, the penalties should be low, the same or less than other distracted driving issues. In the absence of hard data that I can point to, I have to go with my own risk assessment, and based on that I'd want to see texting while driving specifically targeted among various other possible driving-while-distracted behaviors.

Nothing beats hard data, however, and I'll gladly change my mind given hard data to the contrary of what my educated guessing tells me.

Another element in how laws about things like this are formulated is that we're all more willing to allow a risky behavior for others if we want the leeway to take those risks ourselves. Driving itself is risky, but since so many of us want to and need to drive, we make the bargain to accept the collective risk we impose on each other.

There are a lot of people who like want to listen to music in a car, so there's going to be more acceptance of whatever risk that generates. There's not a lot of sympathy, however, for the need to text while driving. If nearly everyone else thinks your bff jill can wait until you stop or pull over, you can't expect much willing acceptance of the increased risk.
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post #80 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

New super-cameras mean no hiding for drivers who smoke, eat or use a phone

George Orwell is rolling fags and munching chips in glee. I still stand by my comments here though.

Freaking pervs. What else will you capture on DVD...

The Brits are starting to have enough of this Orwellian crap. Wired Article here.

If statistics indicate that the ever growing forest of surveillance cameras does NOT reduce road accidents (in some areas accidents have increased with more surveillance), then what is all this really for if public safety isn't a factor? A good guess would be corporate welfare..... following the money trail usually provides the appropriate answers. Then there's the usual BS about 'terrorism'.....

I was in the UK last summer for 2 weeks. I rented a car and drove hundreds of miles all over the country from London, up the M1, M6 and M4 motorways. Being aware of the UK authorities' obsession/fetish with snooping on everyone (for reasons that aren't exactly apparent), I really noticed the cameras ... it's hard not to... they are literally everywhere. One afternoon, I was driving through Yorkshire on a quiet country road in the middle of nowhere, and I stopped the car at a rest area with a view over the hills, to stretch my legs and eat something. In the half hour I was there, just one car drove by. I was about to drive away when I noticed a pole next to a tree at the far end of the rest area... with a white cylindrical camera on top pointing straight at me! Not sure if it was a real one, or a dummy... but it felt really, really oppressive.

I'm surprised more people haven't taken up "Paintball" in the UK, or found creative ways to dispose of old tires....
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