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  • Don't we already have a law that pretty much covers being distracted while driving? I know you can get a ticket for "unsafe driving." Does this not cover when someone does something unsafe like veering into other lanes regardless of the cause?

    December 29, 2010 at 2 p.m.
  • Couldn't help but laughing when I remembered these quotes.

    Speakup: "'It's a Freedom Issue' is the biggest bunch of BS I have ever heard."
    - So it's not a freedom issue?

    "The fact is, as free a society as we are, we, nor anyone else is 'PERFECTLY FREE" We all have limitations imposed by others (notably government)."
    - By limitations you mean laws about texting? By your own admission it really is a freedom issue!

    Is it a constitutional, essential liberty? Maybe not on first glance.

    Should we throw out all laws? of course not!

    Is taking a penny less than taking a dollar? Yes. Does it still count as taking money? Yes it does.

    They've been slowly taking our freedoms, however small. And now, we as a society just sit idly by as they rob us of our Constitutional rights! And you say it's not a freedom issue. Give me a penny then. Now a dime. How about $1,000? This is fun because if I do it slow enough noone notices. How long will it take?

    December 29, 2010 at 1:46 p.m.
  • Speakup...... did you actually post you were a conservative, and then take a progressive liberal stand against liberty and freedom?
    While "safety" has become a huge buzz word for the right base. It is a cheap attempt at fear mongering the civic inept American population into a police state. The left base just flat out says its wants a police state.

    Fines for safety concerns that are targeted at perceived dangerous activity is a early warning sign for all police states.
    Not one person has posted any type of data that supports that texting while driving is dangerous. Because if they did they would get blind sided by numerous other known dangerous driving activities that result in fatalities. Like drunk driving... oh and man we have that under control now don't we.

    People have to start asking basic questions and think through these notions.
    like...
    Have laws made things safer?...... drunk driving, fast food, crash tests, just think about it.
    Can more govt control of anything make me safer?
    Does a "war" on something make it go away? ......drugs, crime, poverty.
    Does making a law against anthing make it go away or does the personal responsibility of our social contracts make people choose different choices?

    Now, of course no one has the right to harm or hurt you, nor destroy your property. We already have laws against those things. Simply adding revenue sources for muni's doesn't make anyone safer.

    Instead of looking to a big brother government nanny state, we should create social contracts that enforce personal responsibility that ensure our freedom and liberty. Making everyone and everything safer isn't really possible without severe unintended consequences. Just ask most of the people that are here in the States that have fled from tyrannical countries. Oh, wait that would mean you have to have a dialogue with people instead of holding up in your ivory towers and relieve yourselves from the oppression of your idealogy. Reality can be scary at first.

    Of course someone will epic fail by citing "common sense" safety things that are so necessary or it will be total anarchy. Like speed limits on highways, blah, blah...... In Europe they have very strict driving rules and no speed limits and per capita far fewer accidents. I've been to South America several times and it would scare most American drivers to death. Very few actual traffic fines can be assessed, and you see very few accidents because of the personal responsibility you have if you cause an accident.

    If you are not willing to defend your freedom and liberty in the end you will have neither.
    The slippery slope is a very valid arguement as it has been proven throughout time repeatedly.
    The unintended consequences of other peoples poor decisions will never out weigh my personal rights and freedoms. Thus making "laws" in a naive attempt to control poor decisions under the guise of safety is a pathetic excuse for police state empowerment.

    December 29, 2010 at 1:05 p.m.
  • speakup - I appreciate your dissection of my arguments as it sharpens and hones my 'steel' to a razor’s edge. However, I remain unconvinced by your comparisons to speeding laws and BAC, and the rest. They mirror the arguments (on the same topic) that a friend of mine uses. He is the most ardent fan of O***a and socialist policies that I know personally. I have no concern of drifting towards anarchy despite what you and he say. We have drifted so far that what was once expected is now the rare exception.
    On a lighter note, it has been very enlightening and enjoyable debating you and I appreciate your ability to sustain the dialog.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:56 a.m.
  • Speakup is apparently ethical, righteous and an upstanding debate opponent despite opening his comments of petty name calling of the guy in the article. *YAWN*

    When will society pay for the choices it's making?

    When will the circumstances get so bad that people start being responsible all by themselves?

    If common sense isn't common why and how can we get it back as a society?
    What about more powerful and publicized penalties for reckless drivers so that responsibility becomes an individual choice made to prevent embarrassment and preserve ones liberties. Why do drunk drivers get so many chances? If we had started with a zero tolerance policy would drunk driving be a problem today? Why do penalties not scale to offenses? Drunk driving is so incredibly irresponsible and offensive but what are the consequences? The system is broken and weak.

    I believe that common sense being in short supply is a symptom of over-regulation and a general breakdown of our society but that get's a little bit deeper than I'm willing to discuss on a public forum.

    You: "However I cannot see justifying making something illegal or not making something illegal based solely on what makes something easy."

    Easy or difficult, the simple truth is they cannot tell if I am texting or talking or passing gas. Distracted driving is an obvious and identifiable offense whatever the cause. Drunk driving is for the most part instantly determinable after the stop. These things are reasonable. You are supporting an unreasonable redundant law. I support lines being drawn where they CAN be drawn and societies suffering for stupidity. Self regulation WILL happen if you let it. We are lacking common sense because we have not made it mandatory for peaceful co-existence in our society.

    I don't want any more un-enforceable laws no matter what they are about. There HAS to be another way. I don't know all of the steps to get back to a society where the majority of people have common sense. But I do know that it will NOT be through nitpicky redundant laws that will no doubt be abused and lead the way down the slippery slope that you pretend we're not on despite ‘hating O***a and his socialistic ideas’.

    "A law for every individual is the only alternative."
    It is not the only alternative. That is a defeated conservative viewpoint. This is staunch conservative to me -http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Cleveland%27s_Veto_of_the_Texas_Seed_Bill
    I know that the law we’re addressing is a State issue but the principles of Grover Cleveland in that speech are what we need. Not more laws and Gov’t bailouts to protect us from our own stupidity.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:56 a.m.
  • Pilot...I never know whether you're posting with tongue in cheek or not. If you're serious, and really are on the phone between 15 and 20 HOURS in a month, aren't you worried about cauliflower ear? How can a human spend that much time on the phone? Is it business? You say you're still 15-20 years away from retireing. (That makes me want to shudder. I'm 62 and it seems that my 52 week vacation will NEVER get here. I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas.) I am amazed that you can be on the phone that much...maybe I can give you some of my almost countless roll-over minutes. :)

    December 28, 2010 at 10:34 p.m.
  • theWWW,

    I agree with what you just said. Kids who have these cell phones are not learning to be self-sufficient. They are not learning to look past themselves and their own little world. It's bad enough when kids do it, but when grown adults are doing it too, it's sad.
    I don't even own a cell phone and I really like that. I'm not bothered unless I choose to be and I have "my time" without all of the intrusions.

    December 28, 2010 at 8:58 p.m.
  • Okay, I recognize that I'm old and probably a couple of generations behind, but I'm looking for a REASONABLE explanation as to why some people seem to fixated on being in touch with someone ALL THE TIME. What is so important, interesting, necessary, or fascinating that you must be either talking or texting all the time? Do you not ever get irritated that someone is always reaching out to touch you? Do you not ever wish they'd just shut up for a little while? Can you not wait till you aren't doing anything else? Is your life so thrilling that others can't wait to hear from you? Or, are you so arrogant that you think others want to constantly listen to you or read your latest missive? For the life of me, I cannot imagine being on the phone for 100 minutes in a month. Yet, I know people for whom more than ten times that amount isn't enough. The funny thing is, when I've asked how they can talk so much and asked what is so important, they don't have an answer.

    December 28, 2010 at 8:07 p.m.
  • ....and on this slow news day...

    December 28, 2010 at 4:50 p.m.
  • Fine... I won't text and drive anymore. Can I still check my email, check in on Facebook, tweet on Twitter and watch a YouTube video? Can't use a phone anymore in the car? Fine... I'll need some company though. Maybe my dog or cat will want to ride with me. That's not distracting at all right? Can't do that either? Fine then... Seems like I'll be stuck listening to the radio or cds, hate it when I have to continually cycle through until I find something good to listen too. All the ones complaining about texting and driving here are probably those you see driving with their finger stuck up their nose or driving 20 under the limit with their blinker on for 10 miles. Anyway driving down 59 right now and just got a text I got to check...

    December 28, 2010 at 4:29 p.m.
  • As you may already know, there are 330,000 accidents and 6,000 deaths that occur annually primarily from drivers distracted by their mobile phone, which is equivalent to a major airliner going down every week.

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    December 27, 2010 at 2:53 p.m.
  • How about fine the parents of kids that even have cell phones with texting options?

    Sorry to tell you all, but with the population explosion, new laws will need to be made to protect the general public. We already have DUI's, DWI's, open container laws, seatbelt laws, childseat laws, laws against those who are too old (or too young), or mentally unstable, to drive. Our cars have to be proven safe to have out on the road, and now we should add DWT's to the list. It's all a matter of public safety.
    Texting while driving is comparable to impaired mental ability (same as DUI), blindness (not looking at the road or at things around them), hearing loss (who's listening to anything when they are concentrating on phone).
    For whoever said that having a active conversation with someone in the car is the same, you are right. One time I even ran right through a red light on Navarro while talking to my passenger. So, texting is so much worse because it takes eyes, mind, and hands to do.

    December 27, 2010 at 2:18 p.m.
  • Speakup - If I can text while driving with LESS distraction than being actively on the phone, would you want me to do that or talk on the phone? What if I was driving next to a car loaded with your loved ones? Would you want me to text or talk?

    Who can say that texting is more distracting for me?

    Should it be illegal for me and thus force me to choose a less safe option?

    Or should I be FREE to use my common sense and make the right choice for you and me? FREE is the word used there.

    I'm utterly shocked at how your "off the top of your head" idea encourages officers to be able to write tickets for things which they cannot accurately discern and then obligate a FREE citizen to clear their name of such a "heinous" crime.

    The strong opposition is not because of the law in nquestion but because of the implications. If they can do this, what else can they do? When will they regulate an essential liberty? Is there a trend towards that in government? Are checks and balances in place to prevent it? Are they effective? O***acare answers all of those questions and either points to an overly powerful government or an overall trend towards socialism in America. Or both. The real question is when will the freedom loving patriots rise up and declare "ENOUGH!"?

    December 27, 2010 at 1:37 p.m.
  • The real issue is not texting while driving. The issue is widespread irresponsibility and lack of common sense. These things are not instilled by overreaching nitpicky laws regulating the fine details of behavior. Why don't they raise awareness of the dangers of it and crack down on those that are caught?

    we are all being confined by these laws to "averages" which are nearing the status of lowest common denominator. It's embarrassing that Americans are not instilling enough common sense or responsibility in the younger population and doubly so that Americans are willing to let the government be so involved in the details of our lives. It sickens me. Texting while driving today... what tomorrow? The next day? Power drunk politicians are removing the boundaries and controlling the personal lives of fat lazy Americans "for your own good".

    December 27, 2010 at 1:10 p.m.
  • Speakup- my cellphone requires FAR LESS attention to send a text than to talk on the phone. I can touch 2 buttons and then use voice recognition all without taking my eyes off the road. My brother's cell phone is far less advanced, and yet he can text blindfolded with one hand. It is an assumption that texting is the same level of distraction for all people.

    December 27, 2010 at 12:56 p.m.
  • According to the Distracted Driving Foundation, the percentage of accidents caused by distracted driving has gone way up since texting was added to cell phones. No, you can't remove every distraction - but texting while driving is one of the worst. And it needs to end. There are too many people who will not stop texting while driving on their own. So preventing it via technology, by law, is the only way it is going to end.

    December 27, 2010 at 12:51 p.m.
  • I'm in total agreement with the majority of those making comments that texting WHILE driving is worse than stupid and should be against the law. The whole cell phone thing while driving should also be included in such a law. I have witnessed on numerous occasions people (especially women) who on there way to drive somewhere were dialing a number on their cell phone as they started the car. This is just a STUPID habit.

    December 27, 2010 at 11:06 a.m.
  • Try this. Next time your driving and observe someone in the lane next to you texting while they're driving, just lay on your horn for about three seconds to let them know you see them and don't appreciate the danger associated with that activity.

    Also, don't make eye contact if you don't want a road rage situation.

    December 27, 2010 at 8:17 a.m.
  • hey speakup,
    you present a straw man response because the law is not about texting. it is about texting WHILE driving(which noone is defending btw). only "morons" would not make the distinction.

    Respond to masondixon about gps, cigarettes, or makeup, OR denounce erikwood who actually did something useful, then you might deserve the freedom you have. Those who would give up liberty for freedom DESERVE NEITHER. That's you.

    December 27, 2010 at 4:18 a.m.
  • I for one care about the people around me. I pull over to talk on my phone and to read a text. If you do not care about the people around you and cry saying that your rights are being taken away. Think about what might happen if you are distracting texting and have a accident and someone is hurt or even worse killed. Tell you what if I am the person you hit and if the accident didn't hurt you and I am still walking you better run because I will be trying to get to you. Wake up people do what is right and start caring for those around you.

    December 27, 2010 at 2:38 a.m.
  • Real change on this issue is going to come from the end user - the delivery man, the car pooling mom, or the teen driver deciding to change their habits. From truckers to moms to teens that I spoke with on the issue of text and drive - there was one common thread. If presented with a Big Brother type lock down alternative, they will immediately seek "to get around it". This does not constitute change on our highways. Let's change behavior and we will see those violent crash rates plummet...now.

    I decided to do something about distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user (especially teens) I built a tool called OTTER that is a simple GPS based, texting auto reply app for smartphones. OTTER also silences those distracting call ringtones unless a bluetooth is enabled. I think if we can empower the individual then change will come to our highways now and not just our laws.

    Erik Wood, owner
    OTTER LLC
    OTTER app

    December 26, 2010 at 7 p.m.
  • Ok, how about that seatbelt thingie? Then there's the can't have a beer in your lap on the way home from a bar issue. They won't let us have any fun.

    December 26, 2010 at 5:41 p.m.
  • What about putting on makeup while driving?

    Fiddling with a GPS navigator?

    Or changing the radio?

    Smoking a cigarette?

    The point is, where does it stop? People will do it regardless of the legality. Now their heads will be on a swivel looking for LEOs. We need less laws, not more.

    December 26, 2010 at 3 p.m.
  • No one has the "right" to put me in any unnecessary, added danger. When someone is texting, their mind is not on driving, so that puts more danger on those around them. My freedoms are being violated by those who are absentmindedly driving while texting. You can't forget that an automobile is a weapon and it should be illegal to use a weapon without your full mental capacity.

    December 26, 2010 at 2:38 p.m.