By on April 5, 2013

In a move that will undoubtedly create a flood of profitable tickets save uncounted lives, Virginia has made “distracted driving” a primary offense and raised the fines to the proverbial ceiling.

If you’re confused as to what a “primary offense” might be, toss me some click love and check it out. Virginia’s governor is expected to sign legislation that will add so-called distracted driving to the list.

Sen. George Barker (D-Alexandria) says he has been trying to get a bill passed on this topic for a number of years, after students from Centreville High School brought the issue to his attention.

“I’m very pleased, because this is an extraordinarily dangerous activity,” Barker says. “The accident rate is 23 times the rate for people that are texting compared to people that aren’t, which is a phenomenal differential. It clearly will save lives.”

Look for the “23 times” factoid to be repeated again and again everywhere until people unquestioningly accept it. That number comes from a six-month survey of truck drivers and has been ruthlessly expanded to include everyone and everything humanly possible. Never mind the fact that operating a long-haul truck in urban environments is significantly more difficult and physically involved than driving a car. Never mind the fact that in modern traffic, commercial trucks are already unable to brake and maneuver well enough to avoid accidents. Never mind the fact that young people are far more adept at texting than your average career trucker. It’s a fact now and you might as well accept it.

Your humble author is of the opinion that legislation like this leads to surreptitious texting with one’s phone tucked beneath the line of sight in the car. That behavior significantly increases the danger of texting while driving and to encourage people to engage in it just so a few tickets can be written trades public safety for public revenue. Texting while driving is not going to go away. Not now and not for a very long time. It is the preferred communication method of everybody under the age of thirty and everybody’s going to keep doing it. Period. Point blank.

I would suggest that the texting-and-driving hysteria we’re seeing now as a society is as outsized as it is for one simple reason: people just love to be Puritans about something and we live in a world now where it’s no longer acceptable to have any public views about sexual behavior or common decency besides those once held by Ol’ Little Roman Boots. Since the Puritanical impulse is likely genetic in nature and it is one of the reasons your Cro-Magnon ancestor survived while his neighbor died in an ill-fated attempt to reproduce with a tribe of bonobos, it’s hard to completely suppress it. Instead, we swallow those feelings and let them fester until one day we are busy nonjudgmentally watching “Glee” and we see a public-service ad about texting and driving and it erupts from our stomachs in a bile-covered, steel-toothed xenomorphic presence OMG SOMETHING MUST BE DONE BLEEEEARRRRRRGH.

An exceptionally paranoid individual, which I am emphatically not or at least emphatically not really, might also wonder if the Illuminati think this: By removing all sorts of potential distractions from driving and forcing us to stare straight ahead at the stopped bumper of the Escalade in front of us, possibly with the aid of those hold-the-eyelids-open apparatus they used on Malcolm McDowell, the misery of operating a privately-owned vehicle might possibly be ratcheted up to the point where we will cheerfully accept being herded onto filthy cattle cars and shipped to our destinations in the most climate-friendly way possible. Just forget I said anything about it, though, because I’m not paranoid.

What I am, however, is someone who enjoys texting the finest-looking women available at all times. So if you see me rolling my Town Car down the street, chances are I’m texting somebody. But from now on, I’m going to wear sunglasses and hold my phone under the beltline, so you can’t tell for sure. If you have complaints about that, send them to your local legislator.

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58 Comments on ““Distracted Driving” Joins The Ranks Of Primary Offenses In Virginia...”


  • avatar
    Sky_Render

    So what are the fines?

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Meh. I’m too old to care. But I know people do all kinds of weird stuff in their cars. Just ask any truck driver. About 45 years ago, I had a summer job working for the county schools department. The first summer I had this job, I was on a work gang of similar people who did all the crap jobs that the regular employees didn’t want to do . . . like crawling in steam pipe tunnels under a school building to remove termite-invested concrete forms left there by the building contractor 10 years earlier. My second summer, wanting an easier job, I discovered that the guy who regularly mowed the playing fields of the schools was let go because he would just curl up under a tree and go to sleep. Using my prior ranch experience driving a farm tractor, I volunteered for this tough job (which involved driving a farm tractor with a 10′ wide flail mower on the back. Every day, I would drive the tractor on the public roads from the property yard to the various schools whose grass I was supposed to cut. From my high vantage point — and thanks to the relative scarcity of automotive air conditioning in those days, I could see lotsa stuff going on inside the car that had nothing to do with driving, such as reading letters from boyfriends/girlfriends, putting on make up, eating, and um other stuff.

    But whatever, I’m sure the good Democrat from Alexandria can tout his legislative accomplishments when he runs for re-election next year.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “Look for the “23 times” factoid to be repeated again and again everywhere until people unquestioningly accept it.”

    And I’m sure that with the new legislation, the accidents will decrease to only 13 times, which means a decrease of accidents equal to 43.478260869565217391304347826087% of the original level.

    See?? I can make up accurate looking facts easily.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    As a motorcyclist, I somewhat applaud this move.

    Just this morning, I saw a minivan speeding in & out of traffic with 3 kids in the back. Once the driver got to a lane and was following someone by the great stopping distance of 3 car lengths @ 65mph, She figured it was safe enough to start texting (or in any case, staring at her phone doing whatever) for 15-30 seconds at a time.

    Now, it’s possible she looked up during that time as I didn’t stare at her for 15+ seconds straight, but I kind of doubt it. Every time I peered over, she was looking down into her lap with one hand on the wheel.

    The issue with this law is like most other traffic laws:

    1) This is most likely another law that simply won’t be enforced in most cases
    2) If it is enforced it will be sporadically against the people the police don’t like or want to pull over anyhow
    3) It will be used in an accident on trumped up charges.

    I’d rather see a distracted driving law punishing people harshly who actually cause accidents. If you are found to have made a call or text on your phone within 5 minutes of an accident that wasn’t to 911, you are automatically at fault. My idea has probably has lot of loopholes, but I think most here can get the general idea of where I’m going with this.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Nice idea. Now I have to wait 5 minutes from communicating to use my vehicle? Legislating isn’t easy which is why we should take more care over who we vote for.

    • 0 avatar
      b787

      I think way too much attention is given to speeding, while stuff like this gets overlooked. So I can only applaud Virginia for this move.

      While the idea itself isn’t bad it would be impossible to enforce without severely violating one’s privacy.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Speeding is tops because it is easy to milk money out of the public. But speed in and of itself is not dangerous; reckless speeding is. But limits are determined in many cases with ticket revenue in mind. Anything that makes you concentrate on something for 20 seconds at a time instead of the road is dangerous, whether it be a phone or MyFordTouch. But if you really are looking to discourage the activity of being “distracted” as opposed to a money genrerating machine you need to decouple the financial incentive for the municipality while providing a means of penalty. Maybe community service? I don’t think we should throw the problem of distracted driving into the BS category…anybody who logs a lot of miles out there sees the problem on a daily basis..

  • avatar
    dwford

    Everyone drives distracted by something. Whether its texting, talking on the phone, talking to passengers, eating, changing the radio, adjusting the heat, reading directions, etc. Shit happens. Whats next, outlawing daydreaming?

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      So, someone should only be liable in the event of an accident, since otherwise it’s a victimless crime? Seems that if you make that argument about driving distracted due to phones, kids, etc. then the same argument applies to distraction due to intoxication as well.

      From a motorcyclist’s standpoint, getting hit by a drunk or by a texting teen is a distinction without difference.

  • avatar
    Majda

    Nice Caligula reference, Jack. (It makes me want to change my username to “Caligula Drove a Morgan” — but brevity, brevity…)

    • 0 avatar
      roadscholar

      Actually “A Clockwork Orange” but still a great reference and my favorite scene in the movie. Here’s a tip I use to survive on the road both in my car and on my bike. Assume everyone will do the most idiotic thing you can imagine and be ready for it. It works.

  • avatar
    CliffG

    Virtually every state has banned driving while talking on the cell phone. And…..everyone still talks on the cell phone. You know how the texting fine thing will work? My daughter can explain that one, while sitting at an inteminable mid-LA trafiic light she checks her phone for messages, bingo! $172 fine. Way to save lives, chump change. But it makes politicians get a warm glow thinking of all the lives they are saving, ignoring the fact that they have allowed the roads to deteriorate to the point they are undriveable.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      I don’t text and drive, but I’ve been known to read a text message when stopped in traffic. I don’t feel guilty about “distracted driving” when my car is the zero kinetic energy state. Seems to me that actually moving should be a precondition for getting a moving violation type traffic ticket.

      I know of a guy who got an expensive DUI ticket for sitting in a parking lot with the engine on. Chose not to drive drunk, but got cold and ran the engine, transmission in park, to get some heat.

      • 0 avatar
        Kevin Jaeger

        Agreed. In Ottawa the cops have taken to dressing like the homeless who beg for change at downtown traffic lights. This allows them to sneak up on people and catch them glancing at phones while stopped at a light.

        Nice way to generate revenue and reduce respect for law enforcement at the same time. I don’t think they are even pretending this type of enforcement has any connection to traffic safety.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Luckily I drive in Detroit (to and from my home in the suburbs) where the traffic laws are only a suggestion. Unless you are presently involved in the act of killing somebody, Detroit Police will not look at you twice even for 30 over on the highways leading into downtown (limit 55). And of course there is the “the light was only red for a few seconds” exception, etc. Thus the ban on using mobile devices while driving in Detroit, is really just politicians with nothing to do and having to justify their existance. It would be interesting to see if a single infraction has been recorded in the few years since it has been enacted.

  • avatar
    Eggshen2013

    So according to your logic I will just have to live with clowns like you and the clown who was tailgating me while texting, didn’t see the light ahead turn red until it was too late to stop and bounced his car over the center divider into on-coming traffic narrowly avoiding a head on collision.
    Oh I forgot, you are such a talented multitasker that this will never happen to you and it is soo important to text that pretty girl that it can’t wait until you are out of your car.
    What I find astonishing about your article and all the fanboy replies is many of you think it’s fine to split your attention between driving and texting. This from a site dedicated to cars and driving.
    The shame.
    Hang up and drive!

    • 0 avatar
      YetiBoney

      You totally missed the entire point – no one thinks distracted driving is good or acceptable, we just know that creating harsh penalties against it won’t deter people from continuing to do so, and will ultimately only serve to bring in revenue and to make the politicians look sanctimonious.

      • 0 avatar
        Eggshen2013

        “So if you see me rolling my Town Car down the street, chances are I’m texting somebody.”

        The shame.

        • 0 avatar
          replica

          You’re assuming texting is 100% associated with these negative activities and/or results.

          Also, a law doesn’t stop something from happening. It won’t. Here in Washington it’s illegal, and people use their phones all the time.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Don’t conflate the ineffectiveness of a law with the stupidity of the action it is trying to prevent.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        But Marijuana is illegal in over 45 states and there is no drug use in the vast majority of the country. Right?

  • avatar
    b787

    No matter how good driver you are, you are going to be a less good driver when you do something else while driving, especially if that involves constantly looking down on a small screen (ok galaxy note II is a bit of an exception but I digress).
    While I agree with many of your rants, I have been stuck behind people texting while doing 30 in a 45mph zone far too many times, so I just can’t support an article which is openly defending texting behind the wheel.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Jack,
    I can’t find anything wrong with your logic at all. I think you nailed this one.

  • avatar
    lon888

    Our brilliant Oklahoma state legislature has voted down anti-texting and driving laws 3 times in the past year and a half. But what they have done though is tell doctors how to practice medicine (they cleverly passed a bill that allows a physician to prescribe 1 30-day supply of medicine with only 1 refill before having to go back to the doctor). I’ve seen multiple times my wonderful representatives and their chilren texting while driving (they special have special plates to identify them as such). I guess they can tell doctors what to do but they don’t want them and their children to be hassled by Johnny Law doing somethng really, really stupid.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    As a motorcyclist, Neil Peart may actually have something good to say about laws intended to curb distracted driving, despite his apparent 1970s Ayn Rand fixation.

    You can argue the ineffectiveness of such laws or their ability to be abused as income generators and I’ll listen. What I won’t take seriously is any lame excuse to justify texting while driving.

    Whenever I see someone driving like they are distracted (inconsistent speed, failure to match traffic flow, failure to notice green lights, inability to stay in their lane), if I manage to pass them I make it a point to glance and see if they are on the phone. Nearly every time they are, and the worst driving seems to correspond with texting rather than just talking on the phone.

    And yes, people love to be Puritans about something. Doesn’t mean they are always wrong.

  • avatar
    Lemmy-powered

    I’m capable of landing a light airplane while talking to controllers on the radio, fighting a crosswind and gently reminding my passenger in the right seat to keep his feet off the damn pedals.

    But I’ve never been able to satisfactorily combine texting and driving — and my casual observation is that other people can’t either.

    Does texting-and-driving hysteria stem from the fact that people love to be Puritans about something? Maybe. But the addictiveness of smart phones has indeed created a world in which people are very happily paying only HALF attention to whatever they’re doing — be it wheeling a Country Squire through a game of street hockey, or sitting at the dinner table with the family.

    The issue can’t be dismissed.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Lemmy,
      There is no reason to text and drive, but you could if there were. Same way you make inputs into instruments just adapted for driving.

      Check all directions, check speed, check all directions, input one character, repeat. Instead of scanning your six pack, you scan the road all around. You really don’t need to check your speed that often, but you get the idea.

      Of course, anyone choosing to do this rather than wait for a light, or even pulling off the road, to text, has nearly as bad judgement as the person who isn’t that careful and texts anyways.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    Thing that kills me is that it’s SO EASY to tell that people are texting, and they apparently think it’s so stealthy.

    I do not approve of these fines becoming a cash cow.

    I also do not approve of people texting and driving. One CAN hold both positions.

    I think an enormously effective PSA could be made showing photos of crash scenes of texting-while-driving aftermath, along with the actual text of the last messages sent and received before the crash by the driver’s phone: “…chillin…wut r u doin?” KA-BOOM…

  • avatar
    Syke

    Keep in mind a couple of realities driving in Virginia:

    1. EVERY sheriff’s deputy has a radar unit in his patrol car. And it’s normally on. Apprehension may be made while standing, moving, approaching, receding, or any other position regarding the targeted vehicle.

    2. Virginia is the one state in the union (plus DC) where ownership of a radar detector is illegal. Two years ago, the legislature introduced a bill to make them legal. County sheriffs actually testified that passing the bill could cause financial hardship for the counties. The bill died.

    3. If you are in a vehicular accident, know that once the sheriff’s deputy has sorted out vehicle motion and fault, SOMEBODY is getting a ticket. Usually, the person who was deemed the cause of the accident. Occasionally, other participants are included. No, the damage to your car is not considered sufficient “lesson learned”.

    4. If there is any doubt, the deputy will write a ticket and have it sorted out in court. This is not opinion, I was a part of the situation back in 1998 when I was knocked unconscious on my motorcycle by a hit and run driver while waiting for a red light. In court, the deputy admitted he had no idea what had happened, had no witnesses, etc., so he figured he’d write the ticket and sort it out in front of the judge. The judge dismissed the charge, still having no idea what happened, but had no problems with the deputy’s call.

    5. Virginia deputies have no problems with stacking on tickets if they feel they have grounds.

    6. Any safety considerations regarding this legislation are definitely secondary to revenue enhancement. And every Virginia driver knows it.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I can’t find a story about it, but I remember an accident that happened in Madison, VA many years ago. I suppose it was a Friday night, as there was a high school football game ending. It was on 29 North, a stretch known for police officers hiding in medians and ticketing people that didn’t keep their speed in check on the hilly divided highway. A police officer set off after a speeder, leaving off his lights and sirens(it’s never been clear if this included his headlights or not), and plowed into a car that was leaving the high school football game, killing a father and son. Somehow this became a manhunt for the speeder, who probably never even knew a cop was after him or her, let alone that he or she ’caused a fatal accident.’ Blame was completely deflected from the officer that sped past a high school with no lights or sirens.

      There was an officer in Charlottesville that had a very bad reputation among local youth. He was eventually caught miscalibrating radar units to increase revenue. There was a minor scandal, he was terminated, and all pending cases where he was to be a witness were thrown out. I saw him in uniform, driving a traffic unit a couple years later. The funny thing is the self-righteousness that accompanies the shake-down racket that is law in the commonwealth.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      #3 sounds pretty good to me. The number of times that there’s a collision that WASN’T the result of one or both drivers violating traffic laws is vanishingly small.

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        That’s the whole purpose of this “distracted driving” legislation. It now takes the few situations where nobody is obviously at fault for driving badly, and ensures that it’s SOMEBODY’S fault. Which means, SOMEBODY IS GOING TO GET A TICKET. If only for “distracted driving”. Another way of saying the deputy couldn’t figure out what somebody did wrong, but has to write a ticket for something.

  • avatar
    replica

    Texting while driving is a big problem. More than people that hold FIRE in their hands while driving. Smoking is still legal.

    F*UCKING FIRE IN THE CAR WHILE DRIVING.

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    More of Baruth being a master baiter. See also, driving 123 mph in traffic.

  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    Dear Derek K,

    Your recent political rants have been misattributed to Jack B. I’ve inspected the last two articles from that byline and found exactly zero mention of handcrafted guitars, lonely vixens, conspicuous Ketel One consumption, the grace and power of the modern Camry V6, or mind-boggling track skills. Please correct.

    Thanks,
    Jellodyne

  • avatar
    56BelAire

    This subject strikes a nerve with me as way back in 2004, I was extremely lucky to survive a major accident where a flat-bed tow driver ran a redlight on a highway while cell-phoning and T-boned me.

    If you were the parent of deceased Taylor Sauer, 18 year old Idaho college student who rearended a tractor trailer at over 80mph while texting it would strike a nerve also. BTW, there was no evidence she ever applied the brakes prior to impact. Her final text prior to impact was,”I can’t discuss this matter now. Driving and facebooking is not safe! Haha.”

    There are studies way back to 2008-9 attributing distracted driving to AT LEAST 6,000 deaths and over 500,000 injuries in 2008. I can only think these number are worse today five year later as each year thousands more young drivers get their licenses and begin their texting while driving lives. Nearly 20% of vehicular deaths can be attributed to distracted driving today and many experts consider it more dangerous and far more prevalent than DUI.

    Cell phones are like a drug to the younger generations and sadly too many are addicted……..and it can and will kill them or others. To those who condone the behavior, I predict you will change your tune when it hits closer to home.

    • 0 avatar
      replica

      The numbers for “distracted driving” are a bit blurry. Distracted driving does not equal phone usage.

      If people don’t value their own lives, or the lives of others enough to stop messing with phones while driving, why do people think a small fine or ticket will change that?

      Drunk driving is still a massive problem. Laws didn’t stop that. I’ve been hit by a drunk. That was a fun night.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Those stats are unbelievable if you attribute them only to electronic distraction.

      If drunks who caused accidents were properly punished, you might finally see an end to it. I believe the main reasons for reduction in drunk driving are due to the problems of employment with a DUI on your record along with the change in social attitude about it.

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        @replica & Landcrusher,

        I realize the numbers are a bit “blurry” and “unbelievable” but they are easily googleable. You can google/search “Idaho student texting death” or “6,000 texting deaths annually”.

        And I don’t believe in this day and age a judge is gonna let you slide on a DWI/DUI because you might lose your job. As cited, yes experts are now concluding that distracted driving is actually more dangerous than DUI. I recently read a university study that tested drunk and distracted drivers in a simulated study and they came to the same conclusion. I am searching for that study now and will post it when I find it.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          Blurry isn’t the word for those numbers. I would use “ludicrous”. If there is anything less believable than the Internet, it’s an academic study.

          Lets compare the numbers of drunk drivers to text/talk drivers. There are many more of the latter. They are, according to “research”, as dangerous if not more so.

          Where are the bodies? We have unleashed upon our roads a worse plague than drunk driving. Traffic accidents and deaths have declined. Drunk drivers have been reduced, but were never as numerous as the new enemy (presumably many are double dippers). Over the last twenty years we should have seen a doubling of yearly road deaths at least.

          We haven’t seen that, and the studies don’t explain it.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            There are a bunch of forces that affect those annual death stats. From a vehicle standpoint, new cars are safer that older ones, and all other things being static, that fact alone will help drive the annual death rate down as the national fleet changes. If you could magically replace all the cars with new ones, I’d bet that you would see a big drop in death rate. Other things have helped as well. DUI is no longer socially acceptable, and while is certainly as not disappeared, it does not seem as rampant as before. Offsetting things like this are those that work to drive the death rate up like more miles per year being driven, distracted driving, etc. Where that all ends up is anybody’s guess.

            Distracted driving in many cases probably results in more banged up sheetmetal than in actual death. Most texting accidents are likely not even reported as such. So, I don’t expect to see a big bump in bodybags, but I do expect to see an increase in accidents. So we all get to pay for that with higher insurance rates.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            G2H,
            All well and good if I was throwing the problem in the BS category. I am not, and would appreciate a quote where I did so I can improve my writing because I don’t get how you get that.

            What is BS are the studies. What is BS is the legislation. If police really do start pulling people over for driving badly and ticketing them it won’t bother me one bit. We didn’t need a new law for that.

            Edit. G2H, I am confused now as to what you posted where so I am not sure what was said to whom or where or whether there were edits.

          • 0 avatar
            56BelAire

            The numbers are NHTSA statistics. Don’t be lazy, look it up.

            I agree that many “studies” can be and are misleading. They have a preconceived opinion and then formulate the study to get the result they desire.

            I don’t know were you live/drive, but if you don’t see distracted drivers on a daily basis…….you must be distracted.

            I live in Utah and there seems to have been an alarming increase of single car highway accidents where cars go off the road and many times roll. I will guarantee at least some of these are cellphone related. At 75MPH when you are distracted and suddenly end up in the gravel then over-correct bad shit happens. As long as they only kill themselves, fine. But when they cross the median and take out a Mom and her kids…….it’s not okay.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Landcrusher: No edits made, maybe I was not clear. I think that much of the stats created to bolster a point are cherry picked and as such don’t really mean much. I took your comment “where are the bodies” and presented some reasons that might contribute to lowering the total body count even as distracted driving works to raise them. The legislation discussed here is not necessary if your goal is to reduce distracted driving. The sloppiness behind the wheel is pretty easy for a cop to spot; heck any motorist who drives can see the signs of inattentiveness. But if the goal of the legislation is to raise money but wrap it in an “anti texting” package, well then they were successful. And shameful I might add.

  • avatar
    Glen.H

    Yawn, same sort of pants-wetting stuff we’ve been getting from motoring writers for years. If it’s not the evil of texting bans, it’s the evil of drink driving legistration, seatbelts,etc, or it’s “OMG I GOT TO PAY TAX”. This sort of stuff is why most people think car guys are a bunch of whiny cranks, or boys with first world problems.

    • 0 avatar

      Society needs to get to a point where drivers are ashamed to text behind the wheel. It’s taken time, but in most places, there is great shame in drinking and driving (more shame in some places than others) – it’s taken decades for this attitude to take root. We still have a ways to go in this regard.

      In the meantime, drunk drivers that get caught suffer severe penalties up to and including imprisonment, depending on how often they drive drunk and where they drive drunk. Since it’s a completely avoidable behaviour, I personally don’t have a problem with it.

      Now it’s time for texting and driving to become just as shameful. Mythbusters did a great experiment and showed that texting and driving is similarly distracting to drinking (and probably worse). I have no confidence that young drivers are good enough to text and drive, even if they are better at texting, because they are also more risk-embracing and they are less skilled at driving, in general (good driving comes through experience, largely).

      If you think we don’t need driving rules, then why do we have driver’s licenses, speed limits, insurance laws, etc.? Some limits are obviously appropriate. I personally think that this is an acceptable limitation as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Glen.H

        Actually agreeing with the texting ban, mate- it’s the long history of motoring writers opposing any legislation that pushes drivers to take more responsibility for dangerous actions behind the wheel that is annoying me!

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Really like how you elevated the conversation. “Pants-wetting”?

      I can’t speak for all the editorials, but most that I have read complain about bad laws, not all laws.

      Do you really support getting laws passed by claiming they will be used only for traffic accidents and as add on fines, then making them yet another excuse to pull you over, then ticketing people for texting while stopped at a signal?

      • 0 avatar
        Glen.H

        No. What I’m commenting on is the relentless overreaction by motoring writers and readers about any legislation,good or bad, that attempts to make motorists behave like responsible adults behind the wheel. When a article like this is tagged “fascism” it certainly suggests a degree of panicky over-dramatisation of a pretty prosaic piece of legislation. In fact comparing it to what happened in large parts of Europe in the first half of last century pretty much defines the term “pants-wetting over reaction”.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          In what way does the legislation in question make people take responsibility? I really don’t get it. Seems like if you can’t drive safely you could get pulled over for any number of offenses before the law was made more broad and the fines raised. Driving too slow or fast. Lane discipline and turn signals could be enforced as well. Nope, as the man says, all they did was make it necessary for people to hide what they are doing, adding to the distraction.

  • avatar
    needsdecaf

    How is it that no one to this point has mentioned the following:

    Distracted driving will be a primary offense in VA. But….

    Hands free cell phone use is not even required?

    I mean seriously? WTF is up with THAT backwards logic.

    Having lived in VA for 4 years, I can honestly say that the amount of distracted driving is unbelievable. It really is a problem. People do NOT have any respect for being behind the wheel.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    Ok, I get it, sometimes you have to/want to text because you’re at work and as most of us are – working around other people, you don’t want to tell the wife that your rash is better today and have everyone wonder what the heck you have. But, with bluetooth available and easy to use, why text and drive? If you’re with folks you can’t talk around, just wait, I’ll bet the farm it will keep till you stop driving. When our first daughter just started driving and had to drive at night on occasion, she would call when she got to her car (bluetooth) and talk to us till she got near the house, still focused on driving, just talking like we right there.


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  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States