Texting + Driving = BAD


Resident PIA
I get what you are saying, but the public at large is so --- and how do I put this delicately --- dumb and selfish that I think they are really just trying to make it top of mind awareness in order to try and prevent someone getting hurt. Otherwise, if they don't make an issue out of it, many will assume that it is OK in the eyes of society. Some people will listen and others won't. Just like drunk driving. Everyone already knows that its not smart to do it, but some people do anyway. We have to keep reminding that latter group that its not a good idea.
I think you missed my point. I don't think random enforcement of the cell phone laws do that much good, as you say, drunk driving.
I think as enforcement of the laws became stiffer people took notice. It wasn't that many years ago when local judges would give a first time offender a slap on the wrist and a wink, hey, he had to get his car home from the bar somehow. Now that the old slap on the wrist is cuffs and jail, people took notice. I also think that most decent establishments have their eye open and will get people a ride home.
The hard lesson might be the same with distracted driving. Don't focus on the phone, focus on the driver. It's their responsibility to maintain control of their vehicle at all times and to be aware of their surroundings.
Hell, I'd pull people over for impeding the flow of traffic when they are slowing down the flow of traffic, if they are on the phone, they get the daily double.
Run a red light, double the ticket, one for failure to stop, the other for distracted driving.
Penalize the offense.


Texting and cell phone and tablet usage during driving observation:

I think the general public is willing to accept the increased accident rate to be able to use them. I don't agree with it (I was wounded and had a car destroyed by a texting driver rear-ending me at roadway speeds), so I get it.

Data shows that (until the last year) a trend upwards in fatalities per 100,000 for the last several reporting periods.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in_U.S._by_year)
Most link this to cell phone and connected device usage.

2014 was the lowest on record (10.4 per 100,000), but the rate has since risen to back to 2008 levels.

My point is nobody was afraid to drive in 2008, or, better phrased, the risk was acceptable for the rewards, even though the chance of getting killed was much (relatively) greater with 12.3 deaths per 100,000, in 2008.

In both 2008 and 2017 ~37,000 were lost.

The traveling public accepted 37k losses back then, and today people are texting and chatting and surfing away with an accident rate returned to the 2008 level, which appears to acceptable to the public.

Again, I don't agree and condone, but I think driving and texting are here to stay, and people are going to keep doing it because the risk is worth the reward, to them.

Technology created the problem, and it will take technology to fix it. What that tech is, I don't know.
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Power with Control
I think the thing that will reduce it is the same thing that put the brakes on DUI. You can never stop all stupid behavior. But you can remove the societal acceptance once the pain and suffering get too high. So, you need harsh penaties, and you need societal condemantion. And by harsh, I mean on the level with DUI penalties. And you need enforcement at an equal or greater level than you ave for DUIs. I would venture a guess that currently texting drivers cuase as many or mroe crashes with injuries to others than DUI does. Nobody seems to be collecting the data however. DUI might be more crashes, but the nature of DUIs, being more likely to be later at night when there is less traffic, but texters are active even more so when they are surrounded by other drivers,a and there are far more of them.

But as long as the penalty is what, $200 bucks, no points, and the police dont bother to enforce more, then it's going to continue. When you see someon texting, give a honk and a flip off, unless you feel unsafe doing so. they need to know people are watching them and judgeing them.


I think DUI was 'easier' because the majority were not doing it, and results were way worse. According to the CDC (2015 data) data drunk driving caused 29 deaths a day (28% of the total deaths) and distracted driving was 2.4%.

I can't find any data set that answers the question 'what percentage of drivers at any given time are drunk compared to the number using a device'. But I would guess that the number texting is >> the number drunk.

Therefore I conclude the traveling public will not stand for DUI type penalties, given my guess that more than half of people text while driving.

So, relatively few drunks cause 28% carnage, texting drivers not so much. Therefore the public will continue to do it.

Not the answer I would like, but that's my penny thought.


..if momma ain't happy...
Serious reply. I wish they would drop the law about cell phones and just make "distracted" driving a fine IF you are involved in an accident or are stopped for say running a red light / stop sign or speeding - another moving violation.
There are any number of activities that people take their eyes and brains off the road for, you can't write a law for each one.
"Ouch, I dropped a lit cigarette in my lap".
"Oh, I spilled hot coffee"
"I was talking to my friend..."
People eat and drink while driving, wonder how many have dropped something, or looked down to pick something up.
There was that time with a wasp....was all over the road swatting at it, trying to get the window down and get it out.....I made it safely to the side of the road, but just barely.


happy to be living
Though not recently, there have been times on the Calvert scanner where they are sitting someplace on 2/4 and reporting ahead with description of car and person and whether it was a seatbelt or cell phone violation. Other times, for excessive speeds (over 70 MPH and some 80MPH).
Unfortunately, I never hear what the outcome is (ticket or warning) but I certainly do hope there are tickets given out!