Texting While Driving: It’s Deadly

Senator Charles Schumer, one of four senators who introduced legislation to ban texting while driving, says studies show it’s more deadly to text while driving than it is to drive when intoxicated.

12 replies
  1. southbeachbill
    southbeachbill says:

    If everyone did what was right and proper we would not need any laws but we all know that will never happen. A seat belt law is a fine example of a law that many people do not agree with but it has proven to save lives. Prohibiting the usage of cell phones and texting maybe unpopular but it will save lives. We sometimes need to save ourselves from ourselves.

  2. jenifer
    jenifer says:

    Though I can’t fathom why it should ever go federal, I can argue at least a little in support of a no-texting law on two fronts:

    1) It’s outrageously common. I see it all the time. People miss going when red lights turn green (not a terrible infraction, but indicative of a bigger problem) or narrowly miss stopping when necessary because they’re looking down at “something” in their lap. I’ve been rear-ended by someone talking on the phone, all while I screamed obscenities and blared my horn. But at least with cell-phone talkers, their eyes are forward. Texters? Nope!

    2) It’s easy to hide when necessary. Though it’s easy to spot texters, they can also easily just stop what they’re doing when they see a police car. And, unlike speeding, there’s no tell-tale brake action if the warning comes early enough.

    I was really moved by this video, but I’m not sure it matters. I’ve never dreamed of texting while driving. I’d bet a lot who do would just assume they’d never cross that center line in the first place. The feeling of immortality is difficult to overcome.

  3. D. Swords
    D. Swords says:

    No, Lee. We Ohioans didn’t join forces. But great minds do run in the same direction!


  4. BethAnderson
    BethAnderson says:

    Ok, I’ll chime in as an upstate NY driver. A couple of years ago there was a horrendous accident out around Rochester. It happened because two carloads of teenage girls were texting one another on their way to someone’s summer house. Several promising young girls lost their lives. What a waste.

    NY has a cell phone law. It’s never enforced. I think 1 out of every 3 drivers I see has a cell phone in hand. It scares the heck out of me. But then people reading the newspaper, shaving or applying makeup also terrify me. Cell phones and mp3 players are totally changing our society. I own one of each, heck I even have a Blackberry, but as a high school teacher, I see firsthand how they are working to isolate people because they don’t speak face to face anymore. It kills me when I see people texting in stores and other public areas. What the heck is so darn important?

  5. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Sure, most states do have laws that cover reckless driving. But how many good defense attorneys can convince a judge or jury that they don’t apply to cell phone use? This is one I that I think should be specific, like drunk driving.

    I definitely agree that this should never, ever become a federal issue. If it did I’m sure the mandatory minimum sentence would be 80 years in prison with a $1 million dollar fine. Mandatory minimums…grrrr….

    So what is it with you Ohio guys, anyway? Did you join forces today?

  6. D. Swords
    D. Swords says:

    Hello everyone.

    I agree with Bob in that we don’t need another law. Police can enforce the ones they have in order to get the job done.

    Most states, Ohio included, have applicable laws.

    I, for one, don’t think it should be a Federal problem. I believe they have enough to keep them busy.

  7. Carla F
    Carla F says:

    I’d like to second what Queen said. There is such a thing as too much multi-tasking. I drove home the other day watching a woman drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette, and talking on the phone. What amazed me was when she made a right-hand turn. My mom always said God should’ve given mothers 4 hands, but I didn’t know He’d actually gone and *done* it!

    A report ten years ago said people tend to look down more when they’re talking on the phone and driving, thus reducing their view of what’s ahead and limiting their reaction time. I got a Bluetooth recently and damned if I didn’t notice, I look down while I’m talking on it and driving. The best course of action in my mind is, unless someone’s bleeding or something’s on fire, the call can wait.

  8. queenofmean
    queenofmean says:

    It is amazing how many people do stupid things while driving. I’m really surprised there aren’t more accidents. It’s unfortunate that common sense has to be legislated.

  9. Terry
    Terry says:

    And I saw a driver ‘talking’ to her hearing-impaired passenger. Thank goodness when I saw it, they were in a parking lot and not on the interstate, but sheesh.

  10. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    I knew better than to mention any politician, but I hoped I’d squeak by with this one because I agree with him, on this issue.

    I really don’t care how it’s dealt with – included in another law, etc. I just want to see something done. Texting while driving is really, really dangerous.

    Bob. Let’s not forget the people who eat a bowl of cereal while driving. I used to see that all the time when we lived in California. I saw it once or twice in Boston, too.

  11. SZ
    SZ says:

    I think AZ also has a law for “stupid motorists” It revolves around storm closings. If we as a tribe really need a law to see this is dangerous, so be it. I think an all encompassing one like a “dangerous motorist” law should suffice.

  12. Bob Mueller
    Bob Mueller says:

    If Chuck Schumer told me the sky was blue and no rain was expected, I’d go to the window to check, and still carry an umbrella.

    That said, yes, texting is dangerous. So is eating, adjusting the music, reading, writing a check, or any of a multitude of things I’ve seen riding funeral escorts. The answer is not to write a specific ban on texting. That will be necessity be very narrow, and not do anything to curtail other dangerous activities. Anything that distracts a driver from the task at hand–driving–should be addressed, and it’s impossible to write a law that individually addresses every possible infraction. But politicians are jumping on the “ban texting” bandwagon so they can say they’re “doing something.”

    The better answer is to re-write the reckless operation laws, such as Ohio RC 4511.20 and 4511.202. Set up increased penalties for repeat offenses, and different penalties for different levels of offense. Weaving? Minor misdemeanor. Cause a crash? M4. Crash with injuries? M1.

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