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Texting & Driving

Old 08-29-16, 06:21 AM
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Texting & Driving

Someone on another forum I frequent posted this.

Last Monday I went for a ride on my road bike over lunch. I work downtown and chose a route that I have biked many times before. Just a few minutes into my ride, I was stopped at a stoplight on a broad boulevard that doesn't get much traffic during the day. While I was stopped at that red light a woman was driving while looking at her smartphone and plowed into me from behind at about 40 mph never even seeing me or the red light. I was rendered unconscious at the point of impact, however this has been verified by the driver as well as witnesses. As a result of being hit, I was thrown against the wind shield, then thrown forward a number of yards before being ran over by the same vehicle. I sustained a significant head injury with bleeding on the brain and a severe concussion, a broken scapula, broken ribs, a broken lumbar vertebrae, some damage to my right eye, a tear from my right eye to the top of my forehead that extended clean to the skull and required over 100 stitches (thus disfigurement), muscle damage throughout my body, multiple lacerations and road rash, and some nerve damage on my upper face, head, and lower back. I spent 2 days in ICU and nearly 4 days in the hospital. It may be weeks before I can return to work, and of course my beloved carbon fiber road bike has been destroyed.

http://www.debatepolitics.com/polls/...d-driving.html
Freaking nasty.

Brings up a good question though. Should texting while driving be punished as harshly as DUI?

IMO, if you hit someone and cause injury while texting, it should be a felony just like if you did it while drunk. I'd also like to see cops pull licenses and judges hand out 6 month suspensions to people who text and drive.
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Old 08-29-16, 06:57 AM
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I agree 100%. Sadly though, drunk driving is frequently treated too lightly by the courts.
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Old 08-29-16, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
I agree 100%. Sadly though, drunk driving is frequently treated too lightly by the courts.
I believe the system has done a great job of getting drunks off the roads. Sure, some still slip through the cracks. But, the number of people with 5-year suspensions and out right revocations has increased sharply over the years. They need to start cracking down on texters, IMO.
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Old 08-29-16, 07:05 AM
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I think one simple rule would suffice. Driving is a full-time job. If you voluntarily do something that is proven and listed to be a distraction or impairment when you're supposed to be driving, it should be an offense.
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Old 08-29-16, 07:28 AM
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on my commute last week I saw a guy driving next to me texting with both hands and steering with his left foot!!! I see people texting and driving, often with no hands on the wheel, almost every day. I yell at them, not to be rude, but to force them to look up and make eye contact with me, in the interest of safety for the both of us. in fact, I witnessed this just this morning, and after I yelled at the guy in the lane next to me, he put his phone down and paid attention, at least until he turned off the road we were on.

I live in NYS, and around here, when they actually give people DUIs (which they don't seem to enforce very well) the penalties and fines are extremely harsh, so I don't know if I would go that far. as far as I'm concerned, they should confiscate your license on the spot and at the very least make you show up to court to explain yourself. it's outrageous.
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Old 08-29-16, 07:43 AM
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any distracted driving should be harsh.

reading the newspaper, eating etc.
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Old 08-29-16, 08:16 AM
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In NYS, it is illegal to use any mobile device while operating a motor vehicle. In my opinion, talking on the phone isn't so distracting (it was legal for many years here) and if your car is equipped with "hands free" bluetooth", you can use the phone and drive.
Texting is different and while many phones let you talk/type, only a few let the device "read" to you. Reading or even editing your text is really dangerous as you are very focused on the text rather than your driving.
Laws evolve as society does but it takes time. It's sad that common sense seldom prevails in situations like this because people think they will never be a statistic.
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Old 08-29-16, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by baron von trail View Post
Brings up a good question though. Should texting while driving be punished as harshly as DUI?
Personally, I'd take all those resources we utilize to catch and punish those last 1.5% or so of people who don't wear a seat belt, and put it into punishing those texting and driving.

One action hurts the violator, one hurts others. And no, I'm not just bitter about my seatbelt tickets
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Old 08-29-16, 08:47 AM
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In Canada they're talking about making it a criminal offense -- like DUI -- to use a phone or other electronic device while driving -- aka texting while driving. Sounds like a reasonable idea but there seem to be many borderline cases in which it would be excessive. I hope the law is constructed in such a way that it leads to reasonable results.
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Old 08-29-16, 09:06 AM
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Don't stop in the lane at stoplight. One of the worst.. getting hit from behind.
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Old 08-29-16, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by asmac View Post
In Canada they're talking about making it a criminal offense -- like DUI -- to use a phone or other electronic device while driving -- aka texting while driving. Sounds like a reasonable idea but there seem to be many borderline cases in which it would be excessive. I hope the law is constructed in such a way that it leads to reasonable results.
SOme states here in the US slap you with a $100 fine. I guess that's a start. But, I am not sure anyone goes to jail for hurting or killing people while texting and driving. I know they do for DUI...unless you're very rich, that is.
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Old 08-29-16, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Don't stop in the lane at stoplight. One of the worst.. getting hit from behind.
This.

I always try to get over to the curb. And, if you read the OP, it seems this was one of those red lights not even worth stopping for, as he said it was light traffic. I would have done a stop and go.
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Old 08-29-16, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by asmac View Post
In Canada they're talking about making it a criminal offense -- like DUI -- to use a phone or other electronic device while driving -- aka texting while driving. Sounds like a reasonable idea but there seem to be many borderline cases in which it would be excessive. I hope the law is constructed in such a way that it leads to reasonable results.
First would be to exempt certain apps that have a proper car mode (generally the dialer, nav and some music players) as long as the driver doesn't commit any other violation while using them. (Some people shouldn't be allowed to use the forward/back buttons on the stereo while driving. Others have used manual tuners and changed 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs and SD cards for decades without issues.) For the ones who cause injury while texting or doing any other clearly inappropriate task, I'd recommend crucifixion, organ harvesting and the sale of all assets (including usable organs, and possibly children) with proceeds going to the victim.
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Old 08-29-16, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I think one simple rule would suffice. Driving is a full-time job. If you voluntarily do something that is proven and listed to be a distraction or impairment when you're supposed to be driving, it should be an offense.
Bingo! Simple, to the point, and it covers all issues...

Drivers, it really is this simple: be aware of what is in front of (or behind) you, maintain a safe stopping distance to objects in front of you, and don't hit that which is in your direction of travel.

This also means that if a road has a 50 MPH speed limit and you are rounding a blind curve or cresting a blind hill... you MUST slow down. (that simple action is very very often missed by motorists... and they are violating the basic speed law by just "driving the speed limit").
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Old 08-29-16, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Don't stop in the lane at stoplight. One of the worst.. getting hit from behind.
So you want us cyclists to compensate for drivers disobeying the laws?
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Old 08-29-16, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by KD5NRH View Post
First would be to exempt certain apps that have a proper car mode (generally the dialer, nav and some music players) as long as the driver doesn't commit any other violation while using them. (Some people shouldn't be allowed to use the forward/back buttons on the stereo while driving. Others have used manual tuners and changed 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs and SD cards for decades without issues.) For the ones who cause injury while texting or doing any other clearly inappropriate task, I'd recommend crucifixion, organ harvesting and the sale of all assets (including usable organs, and possibly children) with proceeds going to the victim.
A bit harsh, eh?

I think one of the things I find most annoying about many of the most recent vehicles made is that you cannot tune or change tracks or anything of that nature without looking a touch screen... you must take your eyes off the road to do any of several functions... that in the past was locked to a dedicated button you could feel for and use muscle memory to activate.

Clearly this is a design flaw.
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Old 08-29-16, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by KD5NRH View Post
First would be to exempt certain apps that have a proper car mode (generally the dialer, nav and some music players) as long as the driver doesn't commit any other violation while using them. (Some people shouldn't be allowed to use the forward/back buttons on the stereo while driving. Others have used manual tuners and changed 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs and SD cards for decades without issues.) For the ones who cause injury while texting or doing any other clearly inappropriate task, I'd recommend crucifixion, organ harvesting and the sale of all assets (including usable organs, and possibly children) with proceeds going to the victim.

I suppose the devil will be in the details. The threat of a criminal conviction should be a big deterrent without requiring drawing & quartering or even jail time.


Nonetheless, I'd hate to see some poor sap saddled with a criminal conviction because they changed a station while waiting at a light without their car being in park. We all know (well, most of us, anyway) what the problem is and the difficulty will be in defining it without creating a bunch of false positives.
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Old 08-29-16, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
So you want us cyclists to compensate for drivers disobeying the laws?

Not really the point is it? And, yes, I'm willing to compensate for drivers disobeying the law if it means I don't get run over. I suggest others do the same.
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Old 08-29-16, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by asmac View Post
Not really the point is it? And, yes, I'm willing to compensate for drivers disobeying the law if it means I don't get run over. I suggest others do the same.
Well indeed we do in fact compensate for the poor actions of others... but in the long run, I'd much rather they correct their wrong actions... rather than make it de facto that cyclists have to dodge cars.
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Old 08-29-16, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Well indeed we do in fact compensate for the poor actions of others... but in the long run, I'd much rather they correct their wrong actions... rather than make it de facto that cyclists have to dodge cars.

We're agreed, I'd rather they did too. But, in the meantime...


As Keynes said, "In the long run we're all dead."
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Old 08-29-16, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
I think one of the things I find most annoying about many of the most recent vehicles made is that you cannot tune or change tracks or anything of that nature without looking a touch screen... you must take your eyes off the road to do any of several functions... that in the past was locked to a dedicated button you could feel for and use muscle memory to activate.

Clearly this is a design flaw.
One of the reasons I do favor using the phone for those things, though; the buttons for common tasks are in the same place, and generally large enough to find by putting a finger on the side or corner of the phone as a reference point. Since I'm not switching interfaces between using it with my headset or my home Bluetooth speakers and using it with the Bluetooth in the car, I don't have to worry about getting mixed up there.

Originally Posted by asmac View Post
Nonetheless, I'd hate to see some poor sap saddled with a criminal conviction because they changed a station while waiting at a light without their car being in park. We all know (well, most of us, anyway) what the problem is and the difficulty will be in defining it without creating a bunch of false positives.
Same issue as poor wording in the DUI laws getting people convicted when they were parked in the bar lot sleeping it off with the keys in their pocket. The problem I've seen there from my experience with local government is elected officials saying "we can trust the police to be reasonable and not abuse the law" when problems with the wording were pointed out. Then, no matter how many times it gets abused, each is "just an isolated incident."
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Old 08-29-16, 11:19 AM
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Old 08-29-16, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by KD5NRH View Post
Same issue as poor wording in the DUI laws getting people convicted when they were parked in the bar lot sleeping it off with the keys in their pocket. The problem I've seen there from my experience with local government is elected officials saying "we can trust the police to be reasonable and not abuse the law" when problems with the wording were pointed out. Then, no matter how many times it gets abused, each is "just an isolated incident."


That's the exact example I had in mind. Crazy! I thought it only happened here.
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Old 08-29-16, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
I think one of the things I find most annoying about many of the most recent vehicles made is that you cannot tune or change tracks or anything of that nature without looking a touch screen... you must take your eyes off the road to do any of several functions... that in the past was locked to a dedicated button you could feel for and use muscle memory to activate.

Clearly this is a design flaw.
I'm trying to come up with ONE vehicle with one of those horribly designed ICE (In-Car Entertainment) systems with touch screens that doesn't ALSO have BUTTONS on the STEERING WHEEL for changing volume and station. Coming up empty. So, name a most recent vehicle, any most recent vehicle, that has the problem you are talking about.

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Old 08-29-16, 12:11 PM
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There is a story that made the rounds here about the texting driver (twenty something) that killed a 35 y.o. mother of two young children. She was sentenced to six months but only served 90 days and she was banned from using a cell phone for two years. The cellphone ban was suggested by the victims husband. She was also ordered to pay $15K to the victims husband but I wonder if he will see a penny. Who enforces these judgements?

If that is the extent of what happens to a driver known to be texting and kills someone presently how much and how fast do you think the Justice System can adapt to actually create sentencing that is an actual deterrent to doing it? I mean... stiff actions against drunk driving has done nothing to actually eliminate it!

Cell phone makers IMO are behind the obvious foot dragging on real reform in the sentencing of distracted driver offenses. Millions of texts are generated by distracted drivers and that revenue stream is quite irresistible. But I see no half-way here. You can talk hands-free but there is no way to text that way.... actually there is... Siri will take dictation and text it on your behalf but I don't know if Android phones will do that. But I really think that all concerned take the view that the convicted driver does no one any good rotting in prison.
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