A Texting Driver's Education

A Texting Driver's Education

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***** Moderator's Note *****

From a historical perspective, cellphones have a couple of unique attributes:

  1. They became popular long after political leaders learned the value of keeping accurate acciednt statistics.

  1. With few exceptions, there is no demonstrable contribution to public safety made by motorists who text while driving.

As a result, the cellular industry is having to face a sharp downturn in mobile usage, as states ban not only text, but *ALL* cellphone use by drivers. Connecticutt will be citing users after October 1, and it's only a matter of time before the rest follow.

A cynic might say that the Insurance industry's lobbyists are duking it out with the cellular industry's lobbysists, but I think there's a more prosaic reason: the same computers which enabled texting have also enable the sharing of news and opinions by voters at all points on the political spectrum, and that means that ordinary people have been confronted with irrefutable evidence of the dangers of using cellphones while behind the wheel.

Bill Horne Moderator

Reply to
Monty Solomon
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Hi Bill,

Good points on the mobile usage while driving, but unrealistic.

I think it embraces the usual left-thinking assumption that another law will fix everything, and also curiously as such correlates nicely to 'gun control' legislation.

Continually building boxes around generally law abiding people is not going to solve the problem, but many think so. It's the idiotic "but if it only saves ONE life" line of thinking. People intent on making phone calls while mobile will make them, regardless of the law. People intent on killing others with guns will do so, regardless of the law.

It merely pinches all the folks in the middle with more compliance for little effect.

Want to fix the problem? Hit them where it hurts: if someone kills someone while driving distracted, make it a 10 year felony, and enforce it. People will catch on. That's why drunk driving incidents are dropping..people are hit hard.

And, from my law-enforcement career:

I'm not familiar with Connecticut's law, but I'm sure it has an exception for law enforcement and/or general government mobile use of communications devices. With a lot of years in a uniform, I can unequivocally state there is no class in the academy, nor any OJT experiences that magically allow a LEO to safely operate communications equipment in a mobile environment any more than you or I. With today's MDTs, various radios, confusing talkgroup selections on trunked systems, LOJACK, video recorders, and more, it's a very distracted environment. Cops hit things all the time while distracted as such..it is just a smaller percentage of incidents purely by the number of cops.

And ...

There are not enough cops around, nor will property values and local taxes ever recover enough to hire them in quantities needed to play the enforcer for liberal 'feel good' legislation like this. There are not enough cops around to chase down real crime, let alone play Sherlock Holmes figuring out if you, in your passing car, are using a hands-free option on your mobile or not. At the very most, it will be what cops call an "extra sprinkles" (think ice cream cone) ticket ... just an add-on to something else if they get lucky.

Would I be forever devastated if someone I loved was killed by a distracted driver? Yes. Will a lot of feel-good laws ever fix it? Nope.

I know a lot of this will fall on deaf ears, due to your penchant for hating things "new" such as mobile communications, but try to look [at] it objectively.

(Anonymous contributor)

***** Moderator's Note *****

My aversion to "new" things extends mostly to the way products that add nothing to the quality of my life are hyped as if they were the second coming. My aversion to "Smart" phones, if that's what the poster is refering to, extends to the ways that they are used by dumb people, as if the device were a talisman that would embue its user with business acumen, caution, and common sense.

Bill Horne Moderator

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