Comments about ‘Police say driver who hit 3 children may have been texting’

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Published: Tuesday, May 14 2013 5:35 p.m. MDT

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MormonSean
Salt Lake City, UT

Just as we need to drive responsibly, we need responsibility in the rest of our lives. I don't believe the police department is acting responsibly by bringing the public's attention to this before knowing the truth. I also don't think it's responsible to publish reports about it either until the truth is known.

Right now, neither a newspaper or the law enforcement have done anything horribly wrong or that will hurt lives. But all it takes is one indecent where someone said something they shouldn't have, and it turns out to be false.

Until a 'probably' is confirmed, this isn't news nor is it fair to the driver, whether they were texting or not. I hope he wasn't texting. Even if he was, most the people who'd accuse him aren't without the same driving behavior.

Justice requires that we are innocent until proven guilty. We aren't "likely guilty" before proven guilty.

JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt
Beverly Hills, CA

People need to stop texting, eating, putting on makeup, talking on the phone while driving. The point of driving a car is to drive it and not get anyone hurt or killed.

Hamath
Omaha, NE

Could companies put in software that looks at the GPS location and automatically shuts down texting? Maybe allow someone to override it, but it would send a signal to some database that said they did it and recorded time and phone #. Just thinking.

Aggielove
Cache county, USA

I'm very guilty of this also. I'm making a change today.

My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT

There are electronic devices available now and have been for many years that block cell phones from use in varying ranges from 50 yards to several miles but phone companies fought them as illegal devices interfering with FCC communication regulations. Jammers can be installed in vehicles very easily and should be but it will require federal laws to do it and since everyone with a cell phones uses them while they drive distracted the legislators don't want to infringe on driving distracted privileges.

For the same FCC regulatory communications laws it prevents car makers, schools, hospitals, public service departments, or private business from installing jammers in the buildings to keep employees focused on their jobs.

The only legal restriction on cell phones is in airplanes and hospitals where stray transmissions signals might interfere with the hundreds of magnetic relays and wiring components. Each cell phone operates on different frequency's every time it is used to prevent cross talk between users so any phone could accidentally transmit on a frequency that could disrupt signals in a fly by wire passenger aircraft or hospital patient monitors.

Pete1215
Lafayette, IN

@Hamath. Precisely. If a cell phone is traveling faster than 10 MPH (knowable by GPS-detected position changes), no cell phone should be able to text. Period. As for this driver, if texting where pedestrians are common, show no mercy.

TimBehrend
Auckland NZ, 00

It's not just texting, but talking on a cell phone as well; not just teens, but all users of cell phones are liable to distraction. NZ has taken action on this, issuing tickets to drivers observed using a cell phone while driving, and making cell phone use a potential aggravating factor in cases of careless driving causing death or injury. For now, hands-free phone usage is exempt.

CP
Tooele, UT

Texting and driving, actually using a cell phone while driving, is one thing I hate the most. It's not just teens either. I was almost rear ended by a texting driver who wasn't a teen. It's very dangerous and so stupid. Whenever a person is behind the wheel, total attention needs to be focused on only that.

JSB
Sugar City, ID

Why is it just young drivers who are penalized? When we were in California, it was against the law to text or use a hand held cell phone while driving at any age. Distracted driving is distracted driving whether you are sixteen or sixty.

Willybee71
GARDEN CITY, NY

Hope these three kids recover fully. A few years ago, a Sonoma State college student was Speeding while Texting through a crosswalk at a playground and plowed through two women wheeling baby strollers.
One Infant was killed, and her Mother, now crippled for life, was hospitalized for nearly six months. At the Hearing, where the Driver received a Speeding Ticket and Probation only, the Father and Husband, while wheeling his Wife, said in interviews, "Well I guess that's what the Law says." I quite doubt that the Mother's thoughts and words were printable.

I do not believe that Laws prohibiting non-hands free cellphone use while driving are ever enforced. This leads to the belief that one can also Text with impunity. Investigation results of several Train accidents across the Country definitively found that the Operator of the Train was texting prior to the incident. While disciplined, the guilty did not lose their jobs.

In the very least, the Courts need to sentence the Guilty to a year or more of Internet-Publicized Community Service to the Victims.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

If the driver was actually texting, he/she needs to be prosecuted as if he/she were DUI. Distracted driving kills.

Irritabull
CHESTER, NE

It is possible that the kids were not paying attention to oncoming traffic and they step into
the cross walk without monitoring the proximity or speed of the approaching driver. Kids with
the intent of getting some where are chatting, anticipating the fun they are going to have and
just not thinking. I know of a case where a child was hit and killed for exactly that reason.
It happened in Salt Lake City. Fortunately for the driver there was a witness to clear him.
If there were other witnesses to this accident the facts will come out. If there were no witnesses, then fault will be difficult to prove either way.

Willybee71
GARDEN CITY, NY

Sunday before last, I golfed with a recent Widow. Her Husband, a big rig driver, had dismounted within a Highway Work Zone to verify his Bill of Lading. A Texting 17-year old cut through the barricaded Work Zone, and nearly killed him. Nearly. He passed away after over Five Years of Misery in an Acute Rehab facility, with his Wife and Children at his side. She had opted for Early Retirement as a Special Ed Teacher to care for him. In most Jurisdictions, a Judge has the option of ordering Community Service in lieu of Probation or Jail Time.
Trying to move on with her life, this Widow still feels that the Driver should have been ordered to participate Daily, in the Victim's care. Let them see the lives that they've destroyed.
Have the 28-year old Driver Ordered by The Court to carry The Victims' books to School, and help them with their household chores. "Viral-Spread" documentation of this Example will serve invaluable Lesson to those who need it most: Classmates and Peers of the Victims and Driver.

Dante
Salt Lake City, UT

Get a clue. SeanMormon says, "But all it takes is one indecent [sic: incident] where someone said something they shouldn't have, and it turns out to be false." The police don't say the guy "may have been texting" without pretty good evidence--like a mumbled confession. So they disclose that to the press, but don't disclose his name. No harm, no foul. In a day or two, the cops will receive the cell phone usage report subpoenaed from the cell phone company. If the report confirms the dude was texting, they'll confirm it publicly and release his name. If the report doesn't confirm it, they'll withdraw the allegation when they release his name. Yes, one is innocent until proven guilty--but a mere allegation of wrongful conduct, especially when no name is released, violates no one's right to a fair trial.

Clue Bay
AMERICAN FORK, UT

This driver was not texting and is a good person. Interesting how many hypocrits on this comment board that have all had close calls and accidents and yet want mob justice in these public forums. Have a little empathy for all involved - accidents happen!

Shimlau
SAINT GEORGE, UT

I have had my phone ring numerous times while driving, what I do, is hand it to my wife. she does the talking. now if some of the ideas that have been mentioned to make it impossible to use a cell phone in a moving car, are actually put into place, then what about the passengers, are they then not allowed to talk on the phone?

Speed_Altitude
Centerville, UT

Yes. Let's demand stricter laws than are already on the books so that no ever gets hurt and no accidents ever happen. Let's find out what happened, before we start screaming for more legislation.

Brown
Honeyvale, CA

I am very surprised at all the comments indicating a desire to "MAKE" it impossible for someone to text while in a car. If I need to reply to someone I give the phone to my kids and have them read and text the message for me while I drive. "MAKING" my phone not work over 10 mph or blocking it altogether is ridiculous. I also pull over if I need to read or respond to a text. A personal discipline I have committed to. Yes, drivers need to become more aware of the dangers. I am sure no one wants to be responsible for harming someone. Awareness it the key…not taking away liberties.

Strider303
Salt Lake City, UT

Two comments: 1) Our court system function under the premise that the accused is presumed to be innocent so that the state has to prove that he/she is guilty of the crime charged. The guilty can claim innocence to force the state to convince a jury that the accused is actually guilty. Bail and incarceration are permitted before trial by a judge who determines the risk of flight and harm to the public.

2) There may be some merit in including distracted driving with driving under the influence of alcohol or other reality impairing substances. Some could argue DUI is where the driver is always distracted or disoriented or not in control, while distracted driving occurs only when you use the device. Should be worth a lot of pontificating on capitol hill next session.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

We need a law that bans texting while driving.

Oh, wait, we have that law, but it does not stop people from doing it.

Laws do not stop anything, only give us the power to punish people after they have disobeyed them.

So, let's get on with the trial and enforce this law to the fullest.

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