By on July 18, 2013

New York is one of 40 states that have banned texting while driving. In the four or so years since the ban went into effect in New York state, a bit more than 11,000 tickets have been issued for all hand held phone violations, including texting.

 

That number seemed too small to Gov. Andrew Cuomo who is so concerned about distracted driving that upped the number of demerit points a “texting while driving” violation will incurr to five points (from three). It takes 11 points to lose your license in New York. The Governor’s solution to jack up the number of citations issued was to give New York state troopers undercover SUVs, customized with increased ride height, presumably with some kind of airbag suspension. It seems that the high driving position of the lifted SUVs allows the police officers to look down into passenger cars and see whether drivers are using their phones. To publicize the stepped up enforcement, Gov. Cuomo and an ABC News crew got a ride-along with a New York state trooper, who pulled over four drivers in an hour for using their phones.

USA Today looked at many of the states (and D.C.) that have laws against texting while driving and how many tickets they’ve issued for it. The District of Columbia issued the most tickets, over 87,000 (for all hand-held violations), followed by California. Kansas issue the fewest, with 65.

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110 Comments on “New York’s Secret Weapon Against Texting Behind The Wheel: Jacked Up SUVs...”


  • avatar

    I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH THIS.

    When I bought my 2006 Chrysler SRT8, I was REAR ENDED by a jack@ss who was texting in his beat up Honda Civic in 5 mph traffic – with KIDS in my car (not mine LOL). He could have caused serious injury to me or the KIDS – or killed us (unlikely since my car is 3 times the size) – or hurt someone else.

    I immediately won the lawsuit against him, but my vehicle lost value and it was not my fault at all.

    I drive back and forth between NJ and Poconos and you see people texting in 80mph traffic. EVERYONE thinks they can “handle it” right up until they cause an accident.

    Studies have shown that “texting” is more dangerous than “speeding” and “driving drunk”. Texting is more akin to driving blindfolded or with one eye covered because #1 depth perception is thrown off and #2 you can’t react to changes in traffic immediately.

    I DO NOT TEXT WHILE DRIVING.

    I do not ever drive buzzed or drunk and I feel Texters and Drunk drivers should be PROSECUTED to the fullest extent of the law.

    Speeders on the other hand typically are not “driving recklessly”. They wait for openings in traffic and test their car to see what it can do. On wide, low traffic highways, this should be allowed if there is no sign of reckless endangerment and kept in the left-most lane (the fast lane).

    TTAC: on a side note, yesterday I bought a new 392 SRT8 300c and I’d like to contribute to the short takes or something.

    youtube.com/watch?v=UwNziIq4vfM

    #1 This car throws out so much heat that you think the cabin heater is on when it isn’t.

    #2 Blind spot detectors are extremely annoying.

    #3 The Goodyear Eagle RSA should be swapped immediately for Goodyear Eagle GT if you need an all season tire. Goodyear gave me 50,000 mile warranty on the GT’s and they replace them if they wear before 50k.

    I put videos up on my Youtube if you’re interested. I’ll even reshoot if you have specific points you want me to cover.
    If you want Jaguar XJ-L footage I can do that too.

    • 0 avatar
      tallnikita

      Obviously we are heading way off topic at the outset, what’s with you pimping out your youtube account, but riddle me this:
      1. Why would you have a lawsuit if mundane things like that typically get resolved by the insurance companies and the offending company pays your deductable; and
      2. On what planet can you win a lawsuit immediately when any typical court system takes about a year to get from filing to trial?

      I say you’re just a wee bit full of yourself. And you run video while driving, which is just as distracting as texting.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I thought you were waiting for the 8 speed? I know I am.

      • 0 avatar

        As you can see in one of the videos, they were selling em for $10,000 off BRAND NEW. Hard to resist. I was trying to resist…couldn’t.

        I ended up getting $14,000 total in savings… how could you resist that?

        This one was fully loaded, for the price of the non-fully loaded “CORE” model which starts at $45,250 and lacks a bunch of options. In fact, I paid less than you’d pay for a John Varvatos.

        I wanted the new steering wheel and the 8-speed, but I’m guessing those options will push this car’s price higher.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          That’s a pretty good deal to be sure. I’ll still wait for the better transmission when I spend my 40K rather than take the depreciation hit twice, or regret not waiting. If the improvements in acceleration and fuel economy are anything like those seen in the JGCSRT8, the V8 LX cars with the 8HP70 should be well worth it.

          • 0 avatar

            According to the sticker, the difference between the 2013 and 2014 models is just 1MPG city/Highway.

            Is that really worth the extra $2000 or so?

            The steering wheel is what I really wanted, but it stopped mattering to me when I got the killer deal.

            MPG is not something youshould even be thinking about with a JeepSRT. That thing has gained so much weight, you’ll be lucky to even see 15mpg.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      What a load of nonsense. Massive differential in speed* is far less predictable than everyone being within 10mph or so of one another. The left lane is NOT the fast lane. It is the passing lane. You are basically saying that there should be a fast lane and a slow lane. Anyone trying to pass someone in the slow lane from the slow lane had better be quite good at judging closing distance.

      *Most states are 20 to 25mph over the limit for reckless driving

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        What you’re describing is the German Autobahn, where the right lane is for 56 mph truck traffic, the middle for 81 mph economy cars, and the left lane is for running at top speed. Their safety numbers are no worse than ours.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          That requires at least 3 lanes in each direction. That isn’t the normal condition here in the mid-atlantic region. Additionally, Germany has much different standards for getting your license and I’d assume they are far more strict as far as road worthiness. Ohio doesn’t even have a token state inspection.

      • 0 avatar
        brenschluss

        One should be able to judge closing distances anyway, if they’re driving a car.

        While I’m not as extreme as BTSR, I do get the feeling speed limits in the US are created with infirm drivers in mind…

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          Where did I say that it wasn’t a required skill? I said you better be quite good at it. Until our driver training is vastly improved, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging larger variance in “cruising speed”.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Worse, they’re created for revenue generation, more often than not.

          Speeding tickets are easy income you can sell as “caring” and “safety”.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          Highway engineers have measures to calculate the fastest “safe” speed, using stopping sight distance, passing sight distance, and decision sight distance, to name a few, but they’re all subject to revision downward for various reasons. Your elected representative or their political appointees have the last word, and yes, the general level of driving proficiency, and the capabilities/condition of typical cars on the road enter into the equation, and don’t forget the lawyers – NEVER forget the lawyers. There’s an old saying, “full-blown, bat-sh*t crazy and still holding down a steady job”. Highway engineers are required to design with those commuters in mind.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Left lane laws:
        http://www.mit.edu/~jfc/right.html

        Take-away:
        The highly restricted use of the left lane that many people think is the law is not the case in the majority of places.

        • 0 avatar
          justgregit

          It is the law in CO and still not enforced. This morning I was driving to work and there was a police officer in the right of three lanes, driving at about 50mph. The middle lane was doing 50 as well, afraid to pass him (despite the fact that he was 15mph under the speed limit) and I was in the left lane.

          The car in the left lane in front of me and a few other cars was driving about 52 mph slowly passing, and when they finally did, they failed to pull over. I was hoping the police officer would ticket them for failing to obey the clearly stated signage (keep right except to pass), but they did not. Rather instead, we were all forced to crawl along at their too timid to pass rate of 52 mph until the officer finally took an exit and traffic cleared enough to go around.

          • 0 avatar
            noxioux

            I have to laugh at people when they do that. This last weekend I had to pass an idiot on the right because he was plugging up the left lane for this exact reason. The Trooper was another lane over just a hair over the limit, so I went right between them at 5 over. Trooper didn’t even look at me, although I’m sure he scanned my rear plate.

            But I always pass a trooper if they’re under the limit.

      • 0 avatar
        darkwing

        Classic myopia — “I don’t like texting, so it should be illegal. But I do like speeding, so it should be encouraged.”

        Both internally inconsistent and a terrible way to evaluate policy.

        • 0 avatar
          brenschluss

          I would much rather live in a world with high speed limits and no one texting than the opposite.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            Agreed. But does that justify draconian and expensive “zero-tolerance” and “prosecution to the fullest extent of the law” policies?

            “Government should promote what I like and outlaw what I don’t” is a terrible idea all the way across the spectrum, from nanny-state liberals to compassionate conservatives.

    • 0 avatar
      dswilly

      Ditto, While stopped at a light last month I was rear-ended by a car going 45+. The driver admitted to phone “use”. She never touched the brakes. Needless to say my car was totaled and my neck hurts.

    • 0 avatar

      I completely agree with BigTruck on the texting (I haven’t bought the SRT8, but with that kind of savings, it might be irresistable!). I see texters all the time–from my low riding (by today’s standards) ’08 Civic! It’s easy to spot ‘em looking down, instead of at the road.

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      you are probably unlikely to die in any accident in 5 mph traffic. I understand that under normal speeds, yes, a bad crash is possible and texting is stupid at all times, but you didn’t phrase your “possible death” in that manner.

      BTW, why did you sue him? No insurance? Insurance wouldn’t pay? Or did you get “injured” in that 5 mph crash?

      • 0 avatar
        noxioux

        Unless you’re a pedestrian. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people blow by me in a crosswalk dicking around with their phones.

        • 0 avatar
          See 7 up

          I never said texting was ever safe (my greatest fear as a cyclist is texting). I was only commenting on bigtrucks comment that his life was in danger in a 5 mph crash in a car.

      • 0 avatar

        See7 UP… I sued him because I loved that car.

        DAVID, if you’re in the market, there’s still a Black exterior/red interior $10,000 off -($46,000)

        To be perfectly honest, looking down and fiddling with a NAV system or anything else is just as bad as texting.

        • 0 avatar
          See 7 up

          You sued because a of a car you loved that would be fixed via insurance?
          What exactly did you get? I can’t see an insurance paying out for “emotional damages” because you loved a car.

          • 0 avatar
            Loser

            A repaired car is never the same again. Not to mention the hit you will take on resale value.

          • 0 avatar
            See 7 up

            True, but a 5 mph straight rear end crash is not going to change the integrity of the vehicle. It will not require body panel replacement and/or weld repair. Worst case it will be a trunk and bumper replacement, perhaps some tail lights. If it was really that bad, scrap the car.

            Suing for diminished value is often done and rightly so. But you don’t do it because “you love the car” You do it because you want to recoup costs that you lost.

          • 0 avatar
            raph

            That typically only works with a limited production vehicle like Big Trucks SRT8, the more common variety if the repair is done in the proper manner shouldn’t effect the value of the vehicle (this was certainly true when I traded my 07 GT which had been hit in the passenger rear requiring the replacement of sheet metal from the middle of the passenger door to the middle of the trunk)when I traded it in on the GT500.

      • 0 avatar
        probert

        P=MV momentum equals mas times velocity. A 2 ton car at 5mph will shatter a pedestrian.

        • 0 avatar
          MLS

          Except that a pedestrian isn’t a fixed object, so he won’t receive all of the two-ton car’s momentum. To the contrary, he’ll probably just flop onto the hood, suffering some scrapes and bruises.

        • 0 avatar
          See 7 up

          You assume the pedestrian is immovable. They aren’t so it isn’t that simplistic. If it were, you would instantly die if a train hit you going 1 mph. As long as you don’t get crushed, a 1 mph train won’t kill you (although I do not recommend trying this for obvious reasons)

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      Sweet ride, best of luck! That’s a great deal.

  • avatar
    Oelmotor

    The police should buy some Citroens equipped with hydropneumatic suspensions to peek into another car.

    The fine should higher and the penalty more severe for driving while yip yapping on a mobile phone.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      That’s clever, but may I suggest a Freightliner Argosy:

      http://worldcarslist.com/images/freightliner/freightliner-argosy/freightliner-argosy-09.jpg

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Can’t wait until Weiner and Spitzer are jacking themselves up, creeping aroung, peering into people’s cars.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Aren’t we glad that police departments and local governments have found a new revenue stream to fund their activities?

    Crashing into someone’s car while distracted already falls in the category of negligence, but now we can monetize it!

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      The govt will get their funds one way or another. Whom would you prefer to pay: yourself or people breaking the law and/or endangering you?

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “The govt will get their funds one way or another.”

        This ought not to be the standard by which rules are judged.

        If law breakers are to pay for the law, then they just make everything illegal.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          “This ought not to be the standard by which rules are judged.”

          You miss the point. It is not a standard by which rules are judged – just an inescapable fact. Govts tax; that’s a necessity, and the question of where to get those moneys is a very valid issue.

          I make no claim supporting selective enforcement of law (or selective legislation of illegal activities) for the purpose of revenue. We know texting & driving is dangerous, so that’s not selective legislation. I don’t believe that these tickets will change NY’s revenue noticeably (and I happen to believe they are doing this to be a safety nanny, not to make money), so I don’t see it as selective enforcement.

          What it really boils down to is:
          - Is this an activity that we want to discourage? If it is, should it be illegal?
          - Do we prefer that people be taxed for doing things that are good, like earning money or buying things, or do we prefer that people be taxed for doing things that are bad?

          We already have numerous sin taxes, and I believe they are effective at reducing unwanted behaviors (like smoking). I have no problem with that, especially if it both makes my life better AND reduces how much tax I have to pay.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            You’re missing the distinction between fining for deterrence vs. fining for revenue. When fines are revenue, the incentive for the government isn’t to discourage the behavior, but rather to maximize enforcement.

            “I don’t like it, therefore it should be illegal” is tinpot tyranny.

            (The evidence for the effectiveness of sin taxes, by the way, is mixed at best.)

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      No money from tickets in my state goes to the local municipality, so I am not worried about that at all. Obviously, State Police ticket money goes to the state.

      I am ALL for enhanced texting enforcement, if nothing else if a cop is busy writing a texting ticket, he won’t be writing me a speeding ticket. :-)

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        It makes me smile a little – with bitter irony – when I see *cops* using phones or their magic electronics while driving.

        Which is *all the damned time*.

        Because they’re SPECIAL.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      cynical no? Texters and talkers are the new drunk drivers. In some ways worse because they feel entitled.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Why can’t phones be disabled once in motion (except for 911 calls etc)? As if we need more police surveillance. This love affair with cell phones and texting is damn near sicker than anything I have ever seen. How did we ever live without them?

    Driving is not optional once you get behind the wheel and if you are careless enough and irresponsible enough to let a stupid “hey what’s up?” message affect your driving, then yes, by all means, let the cops have a field day with these morons.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “Why can’t phones be disabled once in motion (except for 911 calls etc)?”

      That would significantly decrease the amount of ticket dollars coming in. Can’t have that.

      Not that I would advocate disabling phones at all anyway. It’s the responsibility of the driver to drive safely, and they need to be held responsible for the results of their actions. Pre-crimes don’t give me the warm and fuzzies.

    • 0 avatar

      If phones were disabled while in motion, that would require:

      #1 The proximity sensors to know when it’s in motion.

      #2 the phone knowing it’s in a car and the car is in motion and the user isn’t a passenger.

      #3 firmware that didn’t allow a person to jailbreak it and disable such a feature. If you could bypass all that, you could still text and drive.

      Phones needn’t be disabled. This is personal responsibility. The government has ZERO TOLERANCE for drunk driving or buzzed driving. Therefore they need to implement 0 Tolerance for texting.

      There is no constitutional right to drive. It is a privilege – and Texting is a public nuisance. It slows down traffic/efficiency and leads to WASTED fuel/lower mpg and fatalities/injuries/property damage.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “There is no constitutional right to drive. It is a privilege”

        This is a common misconception. Article 4 of the Articles of Confederation guarantees the right to travel. For much of American history the right to travel was unhindered by licensing and was allowed in any vehicle of choice. Only since the advent of the automobile have judges decided to orphan this right by upholding licensing instead. The only reason unlicensed travel would no longer be a right is because no one is defending it.

        • 0 avatar

          Neither of us are sitting on the Supreme Court. As far as I know, the Federal Government oversees right to travel between states, but ultimately it is the individual states that make/enforce their own laws regarding driving. That’s why the states can choose how fast speed limits are locally, but the interstates are set by the Feds (or so I’ve heard).

          That’s also why I believe Obama’s healthcare law is unconstitutional REGARDLESS what John Roberts says. Calling it a “tax” is a way to get around the fact they have no right to force you to buy anything. Problem is, the Congress is corrupt to the core, the executive branch has far too much power and the judicial branch is all activists.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            Not in this case — enforcing the mandated speed limit was a requirement for receiving federal funds for highway repair. That particular law was repealed in 1995, but I think there are several similar ones still on the books, most notably mandating the drinking age.

        • 0 avatar
          probert

          Get a bicycle.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        #1 The proximity sensors to know when it’s in motion.
        GPS. Most phones already have this.

        #2 the phone knowing it’s in a car and the car is in motion and the user isn’t a passenger.
        Why? I don’t care if passengers can’t use their phones. (I’d actually prefer it.) And if the phone knows it’s moving 60 mph (see #1), does it really matter if it’s in a car or airplane or in the hands of a really fast sprinter?

        #3 firmware that didn’t allow a person to jailbreak it and disable such a feature. If you could bypass all that, you could still text and drive.
        Minor design change.

        Or, if we relax some of the telecommunications laws, cars could simply block all cell phone signals & make a dead zone inside the car. (The same thing could be done for theaters & other places we don’t want people to use their phones.)

        • 0 avatar
          arun

          You are overlooking the fact that there are sometimes genuine reasons to have a phone conversation within a car. E.g. when you are waiting in the cellphone waiting area at the airpot. Or even emergency calls (not 911 emergencies but things like ‘can you get that on your way back from work’ emergency?. Or God forbid, someone in your family is hurt and they want to contact you.

          At the end of the day, there is a lot of convenience that a phone brings. I definitely agree that texting should be banned period – just don’t agree with the throwing-the-baby-along-with-the-bath-water approach.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Wasted fuel?

        None of the government’s god-damned business if I burn off fuel I paid for.

        Don’t start down that path. Next thing you know, your beloved SRT8 is “wasting fuel” and banned.

        Just. Don’t. Start.

        It’s a terrible argument and a worse precedent.

        (I have this crazy idea that some people are capable of using a phone while driving without being any more dangerous than other people are while trying to pay attention to the road.

        And a “zero tolerance” call wont’ work, because people won’t stand for it, because they know the risk/cost calculus doesn’t support it.)

        Punish reckless driving and collisions.

    • 0 avatar
      99GT4.6

      Wouldn’t work. Passengers can still legally text. Making all phones disabled while moving would mean they can’t use them.

  • avatar
    igve2shtz

    I absolutely HATE the act of texting while driving or placing calls while driving, and am mostly for increased rules against it.

    The problem is that it is impossible to catch all of them. The other issue is with the way these bills are passed – where they write the bill against “hand held mobile devices” or “any wireless device”. This means that if I am checking the GPS function on my phone for directions, or searching for an album on my iPhone, that is considered using a mobile device and subject to violation.

    Some police officers may have a heart and let you off with a warning for the above “infractions”, but that is only after he already pulls you over, and 10 minutes of polite bickering later. However, what stops any person from having a text conversation, and then claiming “I was only changing songs” before the cops catch on to these lies and ruin it for everyone?

    Is it too much to ask that people police themselves and when they drive, they devote 100% to the act of driving? If only it were that simple.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      My 4Runner and Prius both allow you to change songs from the head unit when your phone is connected via bluetooth (assuming your phone supports this, too). I can just press down the home button and activate Siri to request a song, as well.

      That said, I fail to see a big difference between having your eyes on your phone looking for an album or your eyes on the phone confirming what you are typing or checking your GPS settings… all are distracted driving. I’m surprised that touchscreens haven’t been brought up. With most of them having dreadful user interfaces and little feedback for when you hit a button, they are quite good at distracting you. My wife has snapped at me for messing with the touchscreen while driving. It is pretty amusing that the biggest complaints on the 4Runner and Prius forums I follow is the inability to manually enter addresses into the Nav while driving. haha

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      So, let me get this straight: you’re saying that, while driving, it’s dangerous to text your girlfriend that you’ll be seeing her to go to the concert at 8:30; but it’s not dangerous to be inputting an address in your GPS?

      Which, by the way, in my late model Garmin requires 3 steps: first, choose the city “near” your address if the address isn’t local, second input the house number and third input the street name.

      Not that I am defending texting while driving, but the operation of entering an address into my Garmin is several orders of magnitude higher than just a simple text.

      Of course, the elephant in the room that no one is talking about, is that apparently a number of modern cars require going through several levels of nested menus to change the AC setting, or change the volume of the radio.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Yes i am aghast the ID of testing while deriving but sum thyme you can use boys activated systems four the same ding. What the frock Siri I didn’t say that delete delete delete

    CRASH

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The whole thing is creepy, but are the cops themselves paying less attention to the road? Aren’t they just as distracted peeping in and hoping to catch some short skirt working the clutch action? If we’re talking 5 MPH (or stopped) texting, who the heck cares?

    Yes I do text while driving and try to do it while stopped, but I often have to look up an address on the fly, fire a quick message or dial a number and put it on ‘speaker’. But I hold the device at the top of the steering wheel for all to see. I definitely don’t mind exposing myself to a ticket. I welcome it, if they can see me before it see them. Having to look down at your lap while driving has to be causes of most all texting accidents.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The upheld double standard seems to be that superhuman police officers are never distracted when using their cell phones, radios and in-car computers all at once. While at the same time scanning for motorists engaging in illicit texting.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Or, they get a camera/antenna that automatically detects it, much like their license plate scanners.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      You are a menace and should have your license taken away. Please reconsider.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Holding his phone up where the road is the background (and thus providing peripheral/background notice of, oh, brake lights or nearing vehicles) is probably making him less of a menace than Joe Driver using a center-dash touchscreen to adjust his A/C.

        Settle down, seriously.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      I guarantee you’ll crash checking out some babe BEFORE I crash texting (like I am right now). I’m better at multi-tasking than YOU and I am not ashamed to admit it.

      1st, no one should take their eyes off the road for more that a full second. Changing the station, checking their rear view, adjusting the HVAV, whatever.

      2nd, know your limitations. AND BE REALISTIC!

      And I don’t have a right to tell YOU what you can and cannot do in your car unless it encroaches on my safety.

      I do have a lot of distractions behind the wheel, inside and outside, but I also consciously limit my glances to a full second or less, regardless of the distraction or device.

      But holding the device up (for everyone to see, including cops) does save a lot of time as opposed to holding it down low. And I keep the device in the area where my eyes already need to be.

      There’s always a low speed risk, although obviously some are better at multi-tasking than others. Although when it’s time to do some serious driving, I put the toys away.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        “I do have a lot of distractions behind the wheel, inside and outside, but I also consciously limit my glances to a full second or less, regardless of the distraction or device.”

        Did you know that in that one second at 65 MPH, you’ve traveled 95 feet? It takes a full second to recognize a hazard and another full second (at least) to respond to it. Most new cars tested by CR can stop from 60-0 in over 100 feet, usually 125-145 feet, so you’ll travel well over 400 feet before coming to a stop. That’s an important second of distraction that increases stopping distance by up to 25%. Try to limit your multi-tasking to an office environment.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Who said anything about texting at 65 MPH? That’s insane. Even for me. I put away the toys long before that. 20 MPH max. And holding the device down and out of sight takes a full second just to look up and down. That’s why your rearview mirror is so close to your straight ahead, outward field of vision, and not down by between your legs.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DenverMike
            I glad you think that insane, just read the comment you posted 6 months ago. I’m glad you are a changing person behind the wheel.

            ——————————————–

            DenverMike
            February 15th, 2013 at 4:22 pm
            It’s the east coast that doesn’t export, but I didn’t get my truck to commute and have low miles. I don’t know anyone that uses their full-size for commuting, but my friends that have mid-size trucks do, and haul ass with a bed full of air both ways. Of course they fly under the radar or get a pass while getting the same mpg as my full-size. I get better mpg actually because I drive like there’s an egg under my foot. I have got 19, 20 and 21 mpg averages because of how I drive. It’s a 2wd extra cab as is most full-size in the US, but I cheat by running up to 50 psi in the tires (depending) and a zero toe alignment which I don’t recommend for the average driver.

            I didn’t know there was a sqft minimum for 106 yo houses, but my next new work trucks will be gas V10s in up F-650 configurations. Why do you ask?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAfo – Thanks. Could you get any further up my tailpipe? You’ve gone beyond trolling and now you’re stalking? You probably have all my post printed out and all over the walls and ceiling of your mom’s basement.

            Ya, I stick by what I say, as always. What of it?

  • avatar
    Eggshen2013

    Hang up and drive!

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Yes , hang the hell up and drive .

    I was crippled for life when I was run over by some damnfool in his gypsy cab .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Fordson

    Higher-than-normal ride height? On a BOF SUV?

    So, um…are these things supposed to be pursuit-rated?

    Give me a break.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Maybe it an age thing. I’m shocked at the number of people I see texting. You don’t need to be sitting in a lifted vehicle,to see it. I’m not a New York taxpayer. Its just seems like just another expensive toy for the cops.

    Driving these days, means using all five senses,all the time. At least for me it does. I find it kind of relaxing to pull into a shady spot,take out my I phone and do what I have to do.

    I paired my I phone to the infotainment system,in my Camaro. I just wanted to prove to myself I could do it. I don’t like using blue tooth either. So mostly, I ignore it,and wait till I can pull over.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Deep in Red State land, it seems like almost every semi-urban police force has been moving to Tahoes over the past few years, so this doesn’t seem like news. Yes, I still see tons of newer GM and Dodge vehicles as cop cars, but the growth in Tahoes has been incredible.

    I’ve always stated that cops shouldn’t choose vehicles that make people think they can outrun them (especially in the twisties), but I’m not going to argue with the ride height, ergonomics, interior space, and general intimidation factor (or “Gestapoprestige” as the Germans might call it) provided by a big BOF SUV with a brush bar. Sort of like cops on horses at Mardi Gras, or in midtown Manhattan.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I suspect it’s just about running costs. Chargers and Tauri are frangible.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      The Ford explorer, Taurus, chevy impala etc are definately not something that inspires authority to most.
      Tahoe’s are the only BOF RWD vehicles that are police rated, and they lack visibility and interior room problems that the chargers have.
      No idea on the caprice.

      Makes much more sense to get a Tahoe than any other vehicle for normal duty, they will outlast any other choices and be cheap on maintenance, as well as have a much more police friendly setup.

      • 0 avatar
        darkwing

        Chicago has a few Explorers; painted in CPD colors and decked out in police gear, I’m surprised by the presence they have. (I think the white paint helps a lot. Ford’s promotional paint scheme is heavily black, which I think makes the Explorer look stupid.)

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Interesting stats on tickets. It seems a jurisdiction’s ability to ticket phone use correlates with its murder rate. Could it be that without talking and texting while driving we all just can’t get along?

    Just kidding.

    Any stats on whether it actually reduces accidents?

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    If one is stupid enough to text while driving, one should drive their car (safely) off a bridge and remove themselves from the gene pool.

  • avatar
    walleyeman57

    The one thing that drives me nuts is in city traffic, when the light turns green, no one moves. The lead cars are all finishing their texts and the rest of us be dammed. Now when they do start moving often the cars back in line do (me) do not make the light.

    • 0 avatar

      If I’m behind someone and the traffic doesn’t start moving when the light changes, I now immediately assume someone’s texting and lean on the horn.

      • 0 avatar
        sco

        Amen brothers. You may need a jacked up SUV to document phone use but I’m pretty sure I could create a profile of a texter based on their on road behavior. The texter:
        1. does not proceed on the green light
        2. leaves large gaps in traffic in front of them which are intermittently closed
        3. drifts out of their lane
        4. drives well under the speed limit
        5. never ever acknowledges their bad behavior

        this is the SF variety, feel free to add more

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      In Seattle people have finished texting everyone they know and have fallen asleep due to the exceptionally long traffic light cycles…

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      The dynamic is everyone is texting and watching out the side of there eyes for movement. But they’re watching each other so no one moves. Pathetic.

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    What’s driving me absolutely crazy here in Michigan is that I’m cut off by at least 10 motorists per day who do not use a turn signal. In my attempt to ascertain the reason why, a look into the other motorist’s car as I go by almost always reveals them on the phone, either texting or talking. OPERATE YOUR VEHICLE FIRST PEOPLE, then your phone.

  • avatar
    CliffG

    Seems like a waste of money to me. All they have to do is combine the NSA electronic supervision with the license plate photo logs, and bingo, you can just mail them the summons/penalty in the mail. Coming soon to your electronic Stasi state near you. Which, judging by most of the comments above, seems to fine with most of you. As the old ’60s slogan goes: Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean someone isn’t following you.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    The cops should ride scooters/motorcycles. When it’s warm out and these idiots talk on the phones with their windows they can just grab and toss them. They don’t even need to give them tickets.

    • 0 avatar
      noxioux

      Yes!

      Me and my girl are in the theater the other day, and she’s playing with the phone, so I say, “Time to shut that off so we can watch the movie. . .”

      She says,”what if I don’t?”

      And I say,”Then you can pick it up over there, later,” and point to the exit on the far side of the theater.

      “Huh?”

      “Yeah, that’s where your phone will land when I grab it and throw it at the wall. . .”

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    About 45 years ago, I had a summer job working for the county school board in Arlington, Va. My job was to drive a farm tractor with a 10′ wide flail mower on the back and mow the grass at the athletic fields of all of the schools in the northern half of the county. Since the property yard where the tractor/mower was stored was in the extreme southern half of the county, that involved a daily roundtrip from the property yard to the schools where I was working, driving the tractor on the public roads at 25 mph (top speed).

    From my elevated perch, I could see a lot of what was going on inside the cars, especially since fewer cars were air conditioned in those days, so more cars had windows down. I saw people reading letters, reading the newspaper, doing their makeup and so on.

    So, attempts at “multitaking” while operating a car did not begin with the 21st century. And lots of people have pretty intense conversations with others in the car, while they are driving.

    I am not making the case for texting while driving to be legal; but my point is there are lots of ways for drivers to be inattentive if they choose to do so. I think the focus on texting is a little bit of hysteria. I also think the focus on hand-held mobile phones is a little silly. Except for people who drive a manual, like I do, it’s certainly possible to safely operate a car with one hand. The real problem isn’t whether you’re using one hand to hold the phone; it’s the conversation itself that is distracting. Lots of studies have been done that show this, and these studies also show that a phone conversation is no more distracting than a conversation with someone else in the car.

    i was once rear-ended (while stopped at a traffic light) by an inattentive driver. But — this being before the car phone era — the source of her inattention was a screaming baby in the back seat.

    So, I think the focus on texting and hand-held phones is, frankly, a little silly. The real issue is not paying attention to your driving.

    And, if we’re going to regulate something, then perhaps what should be regulated is the interface device(s) that a driver must use to operate the vehicle, whether its a touch screen with nested menus, or a sea of identical buttons from which the driver has to choose. And, I’m sure its even more fun if your car’s touch screen isn’t working correctly, while you’re trying to adjust the cabin temperature or whatever.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Following up on my comment from yesterday:

    With respect to distracting vehicle control interfaces.

    Not only do the (non)plethora of knobs and buttons in my Alero adjust my climate and HVAC with a 100% success rate, I can operate them without taking my eyes off the road. I know exactly where each one is, and what each on does, and can operate them by feel.

    Nested menus on a touchscreen to accomplish these functions is the very definition of ridiculous, in my opinion.

    I don’t operate my phone while driving.

  • avatar
    mitchw

    Just yesterday I shared the highway with a pimpy M3. Loud exhaust, oversize wheels and lowered. As I exited the highway and passed this approximately 30 year old driver on the right I noticed that he was looking down and doing something with his right hand. One guess, boys.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    I applaud the cops for at least trying. Texting and driving is a nasty habit and I don’t care for any arguments that attempt to justify it.
    One (complex) question, “is that text more important than your safety, the safety of others around you and reaching your destination as planned?”
    If the answer is “what if there is an emergency”, then I put it to you that there is even more reason to make it to your destination safely…

  • avatar
    TTAC Staff

    I’m beginning to question the wisdom of putting traffic enforcement in the hands of our criminal law enforcement system. I’d much rather have real police spending their time solving actual crimes against people and property than to work as revenue collectors hassling drivers.

    Why should exercising my right to freely travel expose me to all sorts of possible criminal prosecutions just because a cop feels like pulling me over? Yes, driving is considered a privilege, not a right, but freedom of travel is a concept deeply rooted in American culture and law.

    • 0 avatar
      justgregit

      So this responds more to the first half of this than the second, but would it not make more sense, then, to have a separate “force” of traffic police, more akin to what is done for parking meters?

      This could make sense, a more low skilled job, so lower pay. I also am a fan of more automated traps, as are used for some intersections, or speed traps. Its far more efficient and cheaper, and catches more people. You could easily just have cameras mounted along the interstate and pay someone in India $2 an hour to sift through look for people texting, and record the license plate number to send these out. You would catch a lot more people and perhaps actually discourage the behavior.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    I live in New York (in the suburbs of NYC) and I can’t believe how many people text and drive. I think there are more drivers who are texting compared to drivers who are not. Seriously…..it really is a huge problem. I’m glad that NY is starting to take this seriously, but the problem is so widespread that I doubt they’ll even make a dent. I guess it’s revenue for the state though….

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    How about a dragnet that cross-references text message timestamps with speeds calculated from cellphone GPS and then auto-issues tickets to drivers? Most of the infrastructure to make this happen is already in place thanks to our friends at the NSA!

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @azmtbkr81 How about a dragnet that cross-references text message timestamps with speeds calculated from cellphone GPS

      Just run a virtual cell phone on top of your regular phone – use VOIP through a VPN and an alternative SMS. Add custom encryption implemented with the ARM NEON instruction set. I even have a second working number for the virtual phone. Problem solved. All of my SMS text messages (other than carrier billing related) bypass my phone providers SMS system. Sometimes, they even bypass my carrier altogether and I get them via WiFi.

      Pretty much any scheme to stop texting while in a vehicle can be defeated. Likewise, there are a myriad of techniques that can be used to thwart any attempt at monitoring.

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        I was making an attempt at sarcasm so the fact that you find my scenario plausible is pretty scary!

        Encryption is a wonderful tool and one of the best defenses against increasingly intrusive government and corporate interests, the problem is most people can’t be bothered or simply don’t have the technical knowledge to make use of it. I’m always shocked at how many people fail to disable something as simple as geotagging on their phones so I doubt many would bother to make use of VPN. Ok tinfoil hat is coming off now.

  • avatar
    z9

    A few months ago I was rear-ended by a distracted driver of an official US government vehicle while driving a rented car. I was just stopped at a red light in a quiet neighborhood of Tacoma with absolutely no one around. This incident taught me that it is no longer a good idea to rent a car without buying all of the overpriced damage waiver coverage. Accidents now happen out of nowhere. It doesn’t matter how you drive. This is what annoys me about texting. We want to think that if we drive carefully we can avoid accidents. It’s a completely different world now. I’m not saying it’s more dangerous necessarily, but driving feels less under our control. Isn’t the whole basis of the appeal of automotive travel our sense of control? It’s an illusion. An epidemic of distracted driving accidents is paving the way for self-driving cars. What is the self-driving car if not a means to recapture a few minutes a day in which you can more safely be subjected to Google advertising?


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