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Author Topic: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving  (Read 5162 times)

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Offline ♥♣ ~Maynard~♣♥

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 Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving by Kristin Nelson, KY3 News           Close  By Gene Hartley  Story Published: Dec 4, 2009 at 10:06 PM CST
Story Updated: Dec 4, 2009 at 10:06 PM CST  "Meet me at the mall." "See you soon." "Almost there." No matter the mobile message, chances are you had to take your eyes off the road to send it.   "I've seen people texting and driving. They'll swerve everywhere, trying to text at the same time. Sadly enough I've done it once or twice."  So has Halli Bruton.  "I do text usually at stop lights and stuff but when the  is moving I don't text."
  A law that took effect in August prohibits anyone 21 and under from texting while behind the wheel. If caught, they could pay up to a 200 dollar fine.  "I also don't think it's very fair," said Bruton.  But house bill 1276 could change that. It would make it a crime for anyone to text while driving.  "Sounds like a good idea to me, it would make the roads a bit safer."  Research shows 80 percent of the nation's car crashes happen because the driver was distracted. And the number one source of distractions is the important
 
When we look at other distractions such as eating or people reading in the car or turning around and fiddling with something in the backseat, those typically are short term tasks where as people can be on their cell phone for hours while driving and it keeps the focus off the road," said Cheryl West, director of Safety Council of the Ozarks.  If those at Safety Council of the Ozarks had it their way, all cell phone use would be banned while driving, but they say this bill is a shift in the right direction.
http://www.ky3.com/news/local/78574167.html
 
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Offline A_MARIE

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2009, 08:26:11 AM »
Wooot!

Offline Seeg

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2009, 02:00:14 PM »
Seems like it might be difficult to enforce.... how can LE tell the difference between dialing a number and texting?
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Offline Kristi Marie

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2009, 02:18:32 PM »
I can't talk and drive at the same time~ don't know how some people do it~ and If I look away from the road, that is the direction I'm going! so i'm waving now everyone!!!!

Offline igahmah at work

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2009, 02:43:23 PM »
I think it should be like on post.  You can't use your cell phone in a moving vehicle, not texting, dialing or talking unless you have hands free.  If it's so important that you have to talk to someone pull into a parking lot and call them.  Especially during the hours of 3-6 at night in St. Robert.  The traffic is crazy and there are people trying to navigate traffic with one hand on the wheel and one holding a cell phone
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Offline CriTTer

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2009, 03:26:16 PM »
my new car came with onstar which now has a hands free option.  I press one button and then everything from there on is voice activated .  i pay for my minutes just like a tracfone and the never expire

Offline igahmah at work

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2009, 03:49:24 PM »
that's nice and i'm jealous.  :)
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Offline Geezer Glide Taz

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2009, 04:30:41 PM »
I think the law should be made that if you cause an accident because you were doing an acction that caused you to be distracted, then you should get a stiff fine and licence penalty. While texting is a major problem, so isn't in dash DVD players, eating, radios, and the list goes on. Instead of just attacking those that text, I think you can discourage all facets of inattentive driving by increasing the penalty for causing an accident due to performing a distracting act while driving.
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Offline David Day

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2009, 06:51:10 PM »
Seems like it might be difficult to enforce.... how can LE tell the difference between dialing a number and texting?

It is very difficult to enforce.  How I think you will see it used most often is if there is an accident and the phone records show that you were sending text messages at the time of the accident, you will get nailed.  Like a lot of laws, it is not much on prevention but rather a punishment when something happens....hopefully folks will think twice about doing it if they know they are going to get nailed if they are in an accident.

That is the thinking anyway, too early to know if that will work or not with the younger folks that it is currently illegal for.

Hope that helps explain the thinking on this.

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Offline Seeg

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2009, 07:31:50 PM »
How I think you will see it used most often is if there is an accident and the phone records show that you were sending text messages at the time of the accident, you will get nailed. 

Wouldn't that require a warrant?

Also, Dave..... didn't 70 or 80% of your survey respondents desire a law restricting texting while driving?  I'm assuming this means you are planning on voting in the affirmative on  HB1276. ??
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Offline David Day

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2009, 07:59:12 PM »
It may require a warrant, JB would be the one to answer that, but obtaining warrants are not unusual when there is an accident. 

I would have voted for it anyway, but yes it was on the survey.  There was support of 90.1% to ban texting by drivers of any age...stronger than I would have expected.  It's hard to get 90.1% of the people to agree on anything.

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Offline darrellmaurina

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2009, 06:29:07 PM »
Geezer is right.

I don't have a problem with the Army establishing and enforcing strict rules about what you can do on an Army installation -- it's been the case literally since before the formation of the United States that activities inside a military complex have a different standard. I strongly suspect thats why Rep. Day got his 90% support for this proposed new law right in the middle of the "live free or die" hillbilly land of the Ozarks; people have gotten used to rules like this because so many people work at FLW.

I do have a major problem with "nanny state" rules like this in the civilian world.

Personally, I think texting while driving is stupid. Unless somebody has a Blackberry or another device with a full alphanumeric keypad I can't see how anybody could possibly text while driving on a typical numeric-only cellphone. But the fact is that we **ALREADY** have existing laws barring careless and imprudent driving, failure to maintain the proper lane, etc.

As far as I'm concerned -- and I realize I'm apparently in the 10 percent minority -- penalize the obvious bad driving behaviors like swerving or going off the roadway that are obvious to any law enforcement officer. Maybe add an extra penalty that if an accident occurs, an additional charge can be filed leading to more points on the license if the at-fault driver was texting. But our police have enough laws to enforce already without an impossible-to-enforce rule barring texting while driving, especially since the only way to prove that texting had been going on is to get a warrant to view the cell phone records.

Now as for talking on a cell phone while driving, I will support bans on cell phones at the point that we also bar drivers from talking to other people in the car, listening to the radio, changing channels on the radio, putting a new CD in the CD player, reading a map, or any one of a long list of other behaviors that pose as much if not more driving risk as talking on a cell phone. Be realistic, guys -- talking on a cell phone is far less distracting for most people than having a car full of kids.

People simply have to take some level of responsibility for their own actions. You just can't pass a law against everything dumb that some people might do, and if we're going to ban cell phone usage while driving, to be consistent, we need to ban a whole long list of other things. That just leads to an even worse nanny state than we've already got.


I think the law should be made that if you cause an accident because you were doing an acction that caused you to be distracted, then you should get a stiff fine and licence penalty. While texting is a major problem, so isn't in dash DVD players, eating, radios, and the list goes on. Instead of just attacking those that text, I think you can discourage all facets of inattentive driving by increasing the penalty for causing an accident due to performing a distracting act while driving.
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Offline Traveler

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2009, 07:28:31 PM »
Taz and Darrell spot on.

I would have been in that 9.9% percent as well but I didn't get the Survey......
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Offline David Day

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2009, 09:56:00 PM »
So Darrell, you would do away with DUI (DWI - whichever you want to call it) since there are laws against driving careless anyway?  That is your argument about texting, even though there are many studies that show texting while driving is about the most dangrous thing you can do.  Both are things that could result in an accident, both are things that often people would not be caught at unless there is an accident, etc...

Just curious.

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Offline Just_a_Biker

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2009, 12:45:35 AM »
Actually, there are studies that show texting & driving is the same as DWI, which is also the same as Senior Citizens driving...  I agree, we already have enough laws on the books, we don't need this one.  This is just wasting money to come up with a new law for something that is already punishable under existing laws.  No need for this one, we just need to do a better job of enforcing the laws we already have...
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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2009, 02:54:51 AM »
Actually, there are studies that show texting & driving is the same as DWI, which is also the same as Senior Citizens driving...  I agree, we already have enough laws on the books, we don't need this one.  This is just wasting money to come up with a new law for something that is already punishable under existing laws.  No need for this one, we just need to do a better job of enforcing the laws we already have...
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Just because I may run into the ditch 3 times in a mile or back into a tree when i back out of the drive and Becky hid my drivers license.
DOES NOT MEAN I AM A BAD DRIVER :poke:   :crying:
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Offline Just_a_Biker

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2009, 02:28:07 PM »
Grrrrrr :fight: :argue: :anger: :th_tha3ab577b-1:
Just because I may run into the ditch 3 times in a mile or back into a tree when i back out of the drive and Becky hid my drivers license.
DOES NOT MEAN I AM A BAD DRIVER :poke:   :crying:

lol  Nope, just means you're at the same level as the local drunk or the kid talking/texting on a cell phone.  But hey, you're in Florida, where everyone drives the same ;-)
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Offline darrellmaurina

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2009, 08:18:38 PM »
Valid question, Rep. Day.

First off, to be clear here ... I do not text while driving, period. I think it's stupid and I cannot imagine how anybody could do it at all while driving without a full alphanumeric keypad like a Blackberry. I sent my first text message today in months, and that's only a reply to someone who sent me a text but didn't return my e-mail, and I sent it because I'm afraid I've got the wrong e-mail for him. I did it sitting in my office.

A major difference between texting-while-driving and DWI is that an officer can rather quickly determine probable cause that the driver may be over the legal alcohol limit. The officer might not be able to determine if the driver's blood alcohol is 0.081 or 0.07, but he'll be able to tell not only from the driving behavior but also from watery eyes, slurred speech, and the smell of alcohol that he has probable cause to administer a field sobriety test.

Another difference between driving-while-texting and DWI is that even if the guy turns out to be 0.07 -- barely under the legal limit -- the impaired driving doesn't go away. The officer can tell the guy, "Look, you're barely legal to drive, and I can't arrest you for DWI, but if you pull out of this parking lot I'm going to stop you every time I see you cross the centerline or weave or fail to signal until you get the hint and call for a cab or a fully sober driver."

None of that applies to texting-while-driving.

So how, in an legal environment where probable cause is key to making an arrest, do we actually make a texting-while-driving law effective? I believe the solution may be severe additional penalties against those who are responsible for an accident and can be proven to have been texting-while-driving -- the evidence is clearly available after the fact from phone records -- but I just don't see a way to make a law against texting-while-driving enforceable as a primary offense.

So Darrell, you would do away with DUI (DWI - whichever you want to call it) since there are laws against driving careless anyway?  That is your argument about texting, even though there are many studies that show texting while driving is about the most dangrous thing you can do.  Both are things that could result in an accident, both are things that often people would not be caught at unless there is an accident, etc...

Just curious.

Dave
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Offline qqqq

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2009, 08:50:04 PM »
I don't even have to look at my phone while I text,  I am guilty of having texted while driving, but it isn't something that I do often.  I do have to say though there are a lot of things that are very distracting while driving and I have to say that my kids are way more distracting than my cell phone will be any day.

Offline Just_a_Biker

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2009, 09:11:45 PM »
I don't even have to look at my phone while I text,  I am guilty of having texted while driving, but it isn't something that I do often.  I do have to say though there are a lot of things that are very distracting while driving and I have to say that my kids are way more distracting than my cell phone will be any day.

Another good point. 
The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. Cicero - 55 BC, Rome

Offline David Day

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2009, 09:51:30 PM »
If you don't have to look at your phone while texting (and for those that are scratching their heads...yea many folks can do it) then I suspect it has very little if any impact on your driving other than maybe finding the phone to start with...and I doubt it will make you have an accident...and I doubt you will ever get a ticket.

I agree that it will be very difficult to enforce as far as pulling you over and giving you a ticket for doing it (unless you admit it...and BTW, MANY people do just that).  What it will allow LE to do is add another "hit" to you if it is found out after the accident happens that you were sending a text.  I will argue that when you make the decision to pick up your blackberry and look at it while texting and trying to drive, you have made a decision that is just as dangerous as drinking a 12 pack (or whatever amount gets your drunk) and deciding to drive.  Either way, if you cause an accident from your actions, it is no less of an accident and is a result of a decision you made.

An accident caused from texting currently for people that are older is just another accident...sometimes without putting blame where it probably rests.  Let me give you an example...you and another car hit each other and to LE it appears to just be another accident like happens all of the time.  Don't you think that after an investigation is done and it is found out that the other person was sending a text...that maybe more of the accident was their fault than originally thought? Maybe they were not paying as much attention to driving as they should have been.  Considering how insurance rates are handled, I would personally want as little of the accident put on me as possible.

Just a thought, probably rambling...to much going on around here to think it seems.

JMO,
Dave
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Offline darrellmaurina

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2009, 10:02:25 PM »
Okay, I think we're now in agreement that the only practical effect of this law will be to put fault where it lies if a person is proven to be texting while driving after a crash. I don't have a problem with that,
 
Rep. Day, remind me of your position on the primary seatbelt law. Can texting while driving for adults be made comparable to seat belts, that officers can ticket a motorist for not wearing a seat belt but can't stop or arrest a motorist for that offense merely by itself? I think I'd be okay with a law like that applied to texting while driving since it is basically unenforceable anyway since probable cause for T-W-D is virtually impossible to determine prior to an incident that causes the driver to be stopped for something else.
 
I fundamentally have a problem with passing laws requiring people to use common sense that are unenforceable. It's feel-good legislation that may play well with some voters but doesn't actually solve a problem. What **WOULD** solve the problem would be a law making T-W-D a non-primary offense, and I don't think Pete Rahn of MoDOT is necessarily your closest friend anyway in Jefferson City.
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Offline David Day

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2009, 10:10:37 PM »
To me the difference between seatbelts/helmets and texting is texting can impact other drivers/passengers.  Seatbelts/helmets impact the person that is making the decision.  I don't know if in the end this would be a primary law or secondary like seatbelts are now...but I don't see any LE pulling you over for texting.  They may pull you over for driving all over the place and in visiting with you ask you if you were texting...and of course if you say "yes" you may get nailed.  That said, I have never thought of this as a primary offense, just can't see how it can be done unless you admit it or show them the text you just sent.

As I said in I think my first post on this, it will be very hard to enforce...difficult to tell the difference between dialing and texting as we all know.  However my point is as I said before, it is a great tool in determining the cause of an accident and frankly if someone causes an accident because they decided to text...I say nail them all the harder with an additional law/fine.

Again, JMO.

Dave
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Offline Just_a_Biker

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2009, 11:20:28 PM »
... Let me give you an example...you and another car hit each other and it appears to just be another accident like happens all of the time.  Don't you think that after an investigation is done and it is found out that the other person was sending a text...that maybe more of the accident was their fault than originally thought? Maybe they were not paying as much attention to driving as they should have been.  Considering how insurance rates are handled, I would personally want as little of the accident put on me as possible.

Just a thought, probably rambling...to much going on around here to think it seems.

JMO,
Dave

Dave, we already have a charge for that... it's C&I, which comes with a very hefty fine & points.  I'm not arguing that texting while driving is safe, it's just as dangerous as other things mentioned earlier (radio, kids, alcohol, age, etc.), but we already have a law in place to punish this behavior.  How many hours are Reps & Senators spending on this bill?  If you add up all of the hours spent on this and look at salaries we're spending a whole lot of money to try and create a law that doesn't need to be created...
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Offline David Day

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2009, 11:32:42 PM »
Biker....

First, it will take very few hours, but that isn't the point to me.

My argument is because of the fact that fault in an accident is put on all involved, sometimes 100% to a person, sometimes 50/50, etc...  If there is an accident that you are involved in and to look at the situation it appears to be about equal fault, both take a hit on their insurance.  However, if the investigation is done and because texting while driving is illegal....and one of the drivers is found to have been texting...most likely more of the fault will fall on them, in my opinion rightfully so.  Because of that, in this case you would probably not take a hit on your insurance.  To me this is more than about making a law to "catch someone", it is about giving LE the tools to put blame of an accident where it more likely belongs.  In many of the cases I am talking about, C&I would not come into play, and much of the time it is a case of one person's word against another.

To me this is not very much about stopping the practice, although if folks know there is a harsher punishment it might slow down some, but as I said to help LE put blame where it belongs after the accident....much like having a driver take a breathalyzer and if they fail, the fault of the accident is most likely put on them, or at the very least gives LE cause to look more closely.

We have to agree to disagree on this one.  That is pretty rare I think.

Take care,
Dave
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Offline Just_a_Biker

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2009, 11:39:13 PM »

We have to agree to disagree on this one.  That is pretty rare I think.

Take care,
Dave

You're right there!  Not much we disagree on, but you can't agree with everyone all the time.  I still don't think we need this law, but like you said, we'll just agree to disagree on this one.  I still applaud your efforts and think you do a great job representing those of us in the District. 
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Offline whatsnew

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2009, 02:44:46 AM »
So is texting while driving illegal or not?
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Offline David Day

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2009, 02:50:23 AM »
Currently it is if you are 21 or younger (believe that is the age).  The legislation we are talking about would extend that to all ages.

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Offline darrellmaurina

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2009, 11:11:20 AM »
We may actually be in agreement here if you "have never thought of this as a primary offense, just can't see how it can be done unless you admit it or show them the text you just sent."

Make texting-while-driving a secondary offense that can only be prosecuted if an officer already has seen some other violation that warranted stopping the driver to find out if he was texting (i.e., a crash or bad driving behavior), and I have zero problem with zapping the driver with an additional citation for the inherently unsafe behavior that was a contributing factor to the bad driving or the crash.

My primary problem with texting-while-driving legislation is that as long as it's legal to drive while using or dialing a cell phone, it is a virtually unenforceable law unless a crash happens, or some other bad driving behavior is observed that gives the officer probable cause to stop the driver.

We don't need more unenforceable feel-good laws that make things illegal which can't be prosecuted because it is for all practical purposes impossible to meet the constitutionally-required burden of probable cause to stop the driver. I'm not accusing you of this, Rep. Day, but we all know there are politicians who vote for useless laws so they can claim to voters that they've been "tough on crime" or "tough on dangerous drivers" while actually doing nothing to solve the problem.

I think we agree that the real purpose of this law is to give police and prosecutors an additional tool to assign blame for a crash where it belongs, when cell phone records are available via the subpoena process, which has the effect of causing drivers to admit what they know the officer can prove via a subpoena. If that's the case, make it a secondary offense and throw the book at distracted drivers for T-W-D, **AFTER** the crash, which has the additional effect of not only adding points to the distracted drivers' driving record but also giving the insurance companies a helpful tool to properly assess proportional blame for the crash.

To me the difference between seatbelts/helmets and texting is texting can impact other drivers/passengers.  Seatbelts/helmets impact the person that is making the decision.  I don't know if in the end this would be a primary law or secondary like seatbelts are now...but I don't see any LE pulling you over for texting.  They may pull you over for driving all over the place and in visiting with you ask you if you were texting...and of course if you say "yes" you may get nailed.  That said, I have never thought of this as a primary offense, just can't see how it can be done unless you admit it or show them the text you just sent.

As I said in I think my first post on this, it will be very hard to enforce...difficult to tell the difference between dialing and texting as we all know.  However my point is as I said before, it is a great tool in determining the cause of an accident and frankly if someone causes an accident because they decided to text...I say nail them all the harder with an additional law/fine.

Again, JMO.

Dave
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Offline Traveler

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Re: Missouri House bill aims to ban everyone from texting while driving
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2009, 07:22:35 PM »
So, what if I am just browsing the internet and not actually texting??
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