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January 31, 2014 - 8:19am

Today's Poll: Should it be illegal to text while driving?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
tom hunt
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This is a no brainer....distractive driving is killing people every day.

Greg Rada
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This isn't just a simple distraction, you litteraly have to completely look away from the road in order to text.

RICHARD L. HALE
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Should texting be illegal.....yes. Do we need another law? Maybe......Would it really solve anything? I doubt it.

Making a law doesn't mean its going to solve the problem. All of the DWI laws for instance.......people still drive drunk...every day.

A young person won't text while driving?.......ain't going to happen.

Greg Rada
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Laws aren't meant to stop free will and choice. They can deter the majority of people from doing things they shouldn't. With the enforcement of the law provides revenue and protects innocent people from those that disregard it. Of course there will be plenty of who won't care or think it doesn't apply to them. You can remove stupid from society sadly...

tom hunt
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Unfortunately the Genie is out of the bottle. No amount of law making and the risk of fines is going to stop our technology addicted segment of Society from texting while driving. They are going to continue to kill themselves and unfortunately cost the lives of the innocent. The only solution I see, on the horizon, is to use technology to fight technology. Automobile manufactures need to install anti cell phone blocking devices into the design of the cars to stop the use of cell phones while the car is in motion.

Kyle Couchman
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Yep Tom I believe that would be the best answer..... However tech wars will insue with phonemakers making more powerful phones, and so on.

Greg Rada
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That's a smart idea, but what about hands free calls. I don't find talking on the phone being as much of a distraction as texting.

~all the while I have a profile photo of me driving. Oy!~

Kyle Couchman
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I dont know Greg.....some people dont use handsfree either. I think if car manufacturers and cell phone makers get together they can find a way to alert you to texts and calls then you can pull over and with the vehicle in park make your text or call.

I think the life saving value overweighs the need to constantly communicate.

Howard B. Owens
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Yes, let's put technology in cars to make it impossible for a person to call 9-1-1 when they see a crime in progress, or spot a house fire or come across a serious injury accident.

Let's make it impossible for the distraught teen to reach dad while he's on the road, or the pregnant wife to call hubby to saw she's gone in expected labor, or the boss to call the employee to say if you don't get such and such done by 3 p.m., we lose the contract.

There are all kinds of good -- some effecting life and death -- that come from mobile communication.

Blocking calls from cars is a baby, bath water, window solution.

Dave Olsen
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Absolutely Howard and I do not agree that handsfree telephone use is safer that holding a phone next to your ear. Trying to stop people from doing something stupid doesn't work as a number of folks have pointed out above. Stop making so many #@$* laws. If an officer sees a vehicle swerving, then pull them over and if they were texting, give them a ticket. If it caused an accident, then that person is at fault. Geez. It's not all that complicated

To answer the question, Yes, texting while driving should be illegal. Inventing ways to stop people from doing it is a waste of time and money

tom hunt
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I agree with you in the case of life or death situations. They could block cell phones while under motion by tying in with the transmission sensors. You could still use the phone while parked or stopped.

Jeff Allen
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There is a storied history with mobile devices in moving vehicles. Can you imagine Al Cowlings not being able to communicate with the rest of us while driving O.J. to freedom?

tom hunt
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Apparently some people don't agree with my ideas of blocking cell phones while a car is in motion. These must be the every people I see on a daily basis blabbing away on their cell phones while driving. Like I said before, we have a segment of Society that is addicted to the very technology that may one day kill them.

Greg Rada
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Full out attempts at prevention in this case is pointless and intrusive. Creating laws to allow ticketing and proper perspective on insurance claims is more than enough. Granted I'm interested in seeing how prevention could be done, maybe in rare cases good, despite the intrusiveness. But over all, you can "not" stop free will and personal choice, stupid will find a way to be stupid. Plain and simple.

C. M. Barons
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There are 253 million registered vehicles on the road in the United States. Most of the drivers operating those millions of vehicles are concerned with getting from point A to point B in a reasonable amount of time without incident. However... A certain segment of the driving public find driving, in its strictest sense, unfulfilling. Those drivers assume a superior status to other drivers, regarding safe driving habits, obeying the rules of the road and adjusting to weather and other hazards somehow diminish the driving experience. Those drivers presume that they are in competition with everyone else on the road and often feel obligated to teach other drivers a lesson. They cut other drivers off, pass on the right, weave between lanes, ride other cars' bumpers, fail to dim high-beams, run stop signs, run red lights, consume meals while driving, watch videos while driving, speed, talk on cell phones, fiddle with the stereo, read maps, read the newspaper, change clothes, play dashboard drums, shave, apply eyeliner, drink alcoholic beverages, smoke joints, sort through CD collections, discipline their children, pop zits, make out, look for house numbers or street signs... ...And assert that it is their right to engage in those behaviors while driving their vehicle.

Jeff Allen
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Two thumbs way up C.M. , well said

david spaulding
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Howard, it wasn't too long ago when we did not have cell phones. Everything you mentioned in your post was handled in one way or another without texting and without a phone in a car.
if I lose a contract, if my house burns down, if I miss the birth of my child because I missed a phone call or a text, so be it...my life will go on.

now if somebody needs to text or phone while driving due to the above issues and drives into the front end of my car, my life will not go on...

so I do say, use the technology to stop cell use in automobiles and make sure to install it in the police car.....................

Dave Olsen
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First off I reserve the right to play dashboard drums anytime I want, or make out, if I can find a willing partner (unlikely) as for the rest, CM I agree with you.

The answer, my friends is the same as it was when I got my learner's permit 39 years ago and was the same 39 years before that. Defensive Driving. Pay attention to what you can control; your speed, the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, your distractions, pay attention to oncoming traffic and be ready to avoid the idiots on the road. If you yourself are paying attention, your chances of being involved in an accident are greatly reduced. Stop friggin' worrying about everyone else. Stop thinking some new law will protect you, it won't. Only you can protect yourself. I drive around 35-40 k miles a year, covering all upstate NY and 2/3 of PA, I see all manor of idiocy. I am always on guard and ever vigilant. You can't control others' action so stop trying.

Julie Morales
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This wouldn’t be an issue if we had transporters. They should be in every household by now, like toilets. How much longer must I wait.

Greg Rada
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Don't forget hover boards..

Kyle Couchman
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People may not know this but, if you take a cell phone from 10 yrs ago and keep it charged and with you, it has technology that allows you to call 911. even if it hs no service or carrier. I appreciate Howard's point of view...but emergency calls to 911 could be recognized and allowed so easily that it shouldn't be a consideration.

As for the rest of the examples... as others pointed out they may be important but they too aren't critical enough. After all depending on your carrier you can easily be in a dead zone and not recieve these same messages. They are conveniences yes but not rights.

So I respectfully disagree that this blocking solution is a baby/bathwater/window solution at all.

Howard B. Owens
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Dead zones are rare and eventually they'll be non-existent, so that's not really an agreement.

Also, the whole point of living in a free country is not to have others dictating your decisions to you. It's not up to you to decide what's critical to me.

There's something fundamentally wrong with a society that would use draconian measures to control other people's behavior.

You simply cannot inoculate society against every evil that might befall and individual and the more you try the more you rob people of their freedom.

To try and lock everything down and deny people the benefits that go with personal responsibility for when and how to use technology is 100 percent a baby/bath water situation.

Howard B. Owens
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Julie, if we had transporters they'd be banned because the guy in the red shirt always gets his molecules scrambled.

Howard B. Owens
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David, my point was -- we didn't have the convenience and benefits of this technology before, and now we do. It would be foolish to try and roll the clock back.

Scott Blossom
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For the tech side of things, my companies policy is no phone use period while in motion.

We have a device and app on our phones for this.

The device plugs into the ODB port under the dashboard. When the vehicles computer indicates motion via the speed sensor, the phone is locked out and you cant use it until you come to a stop.

However, the phone still rings and gives you you alert tones. It also has an emergency icon that calls 911 wether or not you are in motion.

Kind of a best of both worlds option.

david spaulding
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while I was trying to make a point against howards post, I may have gotten carried away...I do believe we already have enough laws and we just need to enforce them.
I'm sure that reckless driving or careless driving covers the texting/driving issue.
however I can't understand what makes it ok for the police to drive around and talk on cell phones. yeah I know the law allows them. I may be wrong but my understanding of the law is that it is not safe to drive and talk on a cell phone, that was the premise in enacting this law. now if it's not safe for me to drive and talk then how is it safe for the police? if by chance the police receive some special training over there at GCC for them to safely operate an automobile while cell phone talking, lap top reading and two way radio operation, then it should be offered to us nitwits too.

Kyle Couchman
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To be honest this will be a very short term thing at least for newer cars. I used to use my Boss's Honda Oddesy Touring van which was a 2007 model. It had voice recognition and could convert text to voice and vice versa. While I disagree still with Howard's opinion of these rights of free communication at this level. Fact is as Scott pointed out there is tech out there and there are corporations out there that already demand this of their employees. And from what I saw on that Honda van pretty soon you will convert talk to text for texting, and run voice calls like onstar does already. Plus with the new tech rolling out like in lane alerts, self parking and automated distance alerts while cruising I'm sure that being able to interupt cell communications for impending emergencies will then remove this whole need. It just takes time and something tells me we will still see this in our lifetimes.

Kyle Couchman
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Makes a note to remove all shades of red shirts from wardrobe when transporters become public use technology....

Dave Olsen
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Ah screw all this technology anyway. Give me a 69 Chevelle 396, manual everything, and I won't use my stupid cell phone when driving.

Just ;cause old Ted was crazy and a murderer, doesn't make him totally wrong

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/unabomber/manifes...

Mark Brudz
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I kind of miss my Mach I with a 302 Dave but hey those were great days in any event for late teen and early 20 types weren't they.

david spaulding
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Dave, Mark, I'll ride along side you in a ' 68 roadrunner 383 magnum 4 speed manual anytime....err, you may have to follow ...........i'll leave my cell phone in the garage

Dave Olsen
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I had one of those, David. By the grace of god, in that he supposedly protects fools and drunks, I am still alive!!!!. Good Lord that thing was fun.

Dave Olsen
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Not to tout Kaczynski or belabor this. Kacynski was deranged, a murderer and a terrorist to be sure. However I take his points that we as a society have begun devolving with the ascension of technology. This whole premise that people are more concerned with texting than to ensure that they cause as little harm to those around them just proves it. I'm not anti-tech, I like the convenience of a cell phone, I can remember being on the road, searching for a pay phone to call a call service or my office to get message that were hours old and many times incorrect. E-mail versus snail mail or faxes on the thermo paper that faded away, is no comparison.

But consider this, anyone who cares. If the electric power grid went out for 5 days or even a whole week, there would be total chaos and riots. We are far too dependent on technology. I love electricity and running water and don't want to give it up, but I could survive, can you?

Frank Bartholomew
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Not only should it be illegal, it should be automatic 3 points for a conviction, and a suspension for a repeat offense within a year of the last conviction.
There is just too much going on in traffic for any idiot to think they can drive and text
at the same time. This is probably just as dangerous as drunk driving.
When I was taught how to drive, my dad told me this; if you want to drink coffee, get out of the car and drink coffee, if you want to eat, get out of the car and eat. If you want to drive, get in the car and drive.

david spaulding
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Dave, that roadrunner was the fastest car I ever drove. I can remember going 115 mph in third gear, I'd shift into 4th, bury the speedometer and had no idea how fast I was going. I ended up hitting a parked car going sideways on drivers side. sold the car for the motor and drivetrain. of course if I had that car today, I would never drive it like I did when young unless I was on a racetrack.

Dave Olsen
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Roadrunners and Super Bees are very rare, because most of them were totaled by young gearheads. LOL The acceleration of a rocket and the handling characteristic of an ocean liner.

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