Bill targets teen cellphone use. But is it enough?

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  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 10:00 p.m.

    @one old man:

    "wrz -- will you invite me to your funeral and then tell me my response was a bad one?"

    Your response was not necessarily a bad one. But it begs the question... What about other distractions while driving such as adjusting a radio nob, fiddling with a window or visor, applying lip gloss, or dealing with several unruly kids in the back seat?

    And more importantly, why not stop the real source of carnage on the freeways, since most deaths are not from texting or using a cell phone? Most deaths on freeways are caused by speeding, which the Highway Patrol blatantly ignores.

    Oh, and yes, you are invited to the funeral. Will you give the opening prayer?

  • mtmanmc Colorado Springs, CO
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:10 p.m.

    Rocket Science & DEW

    Let me clear some facts up. I've driven with CB and Commercial radios with mikes, and cell phone traveling over 1.5 million miles. I've seen every kind of distraction on highways and streets in my over 40 plus years of driving. I figure that people would respond to certain comments, which were bought into. I've seen were people fail to govern themselves so they have to have laws to cause themselves do the right things. I watched the basic rule of driving in Montana turned into a speed limit because of failed judgement of people driving out of control because there was no speed limit. When I used chewing gum and can't drive. The point is people fail to use good solid judgement in there driving abilities. First and always is the business of driving safely. Distractions are everywhere while driving. Today! I was looking for an address on a very busy street in Colorado Springs. That is a distraction and I was driving slower than posted speed limit. Using a quote from Dirty Harry,"You got to know your limitations."

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 5:26 p.m.

    David King, I couldn't agree more. Well said!

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 4:18 p.m.


    "Please don't miniize them by claim(ing) we should 'just accept' that people die."

    That's what the highway patrol does... i.e., just accept that people die. There is no, nada, zero, effort on the part of the Highway Patrol to stop speeders (and thus, deaths) by pulling them over and giving them fat tickets.

    And, again, for your edification, speeding is the chief cause of deaths on the freeways.

    Furthermore, every driver that speeds is accepting that 'people just die.'

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 12:57 p.m.

    wrz -- will you invite me to your funeral and then tell me my response was a bad one?

  • Phedge Centerville, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 12:35 p.m.

    Lawmakers should watch the episode of Mythbusters where they tested cell phone use while driving vs drunk driving. They used the drivers license test course in California in the city where the show is filmed. First they drove while chatting on a cell phone. Then they repeated the course while talking technical business on the phone that required more concentration. They repeated these with hands free phones. Then the drank until they reached 0.08% blood alcohol and repeated the course. The worst scores were for doing business on the phone, even with hands free. The next worst scores were for chatting on the phone, even with hands free. The best scores were for being intoxicated. Bottom line - do not talk on a cell phone while driving, period.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 12:32 p.m.

    'Why not just accept that there are going to always be deaths on the highways?' - wrz | 11:48 a.m. Jan. 26, 2012

    Because a human life...

    has value.

    You, have value.

    Please don't miniize them by claim we should 'just accept' that people die.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 11:48 a.m.

    @one old man:

    "It won't be enough until adults are stopped from talking and texting while driving."

    Yes, and there should be laws against adjusting the car's radio dial while driving. In fact, radios should be removed from vehicles altogether.

    You want to stop deaths on the highways? Try enforcing speed limits. There's where statistics show that most deaths occur.

    Why not just accept that there are going to always be deaths on the highways? Speeding, texting, weaving in and out, driving while tired/drowsy, etc. People die on highways, just get over it.

  • Trooper55 Williams, AZ
    Jan. 26, 2012 11:46 a.m.

    I believe that everybody who drives shouldn't talk on a cellphone, text, apply make up, or read the newspaper while driving, that goes for all age groups not just one. I have been to the scenes of auto accidents, and drunkdrivers, people on the cellphone and along list of others distractions, were the cause. When are people going to wake up and smell the coffee. I don't talk on the cellphone while I am driving,but before I retired my 2 way radio I did use to commuate with the dispatchers, to do my job and respond in a timely fashion. As a retired Law Enforcement Officer I took alot of driving courses, so that I was able to be a better driver and to handle my cruiser in a safe manner.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 11:37 a.m.

    As much sense as this law makes we just as well add everything to it that can be a distraction to driving such as...

    children, relatives, friends in the vehicle. Other drivers in other cars, flashy advertising and billboards, workers and pedestrians, immodest clothing, good looking people, not so good looking people, pets, feral cats, wildlife, fast-food drive throughs such as McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's. Sonic can stay but the drive thru has to go.

    And the list goes on.

    Given enough time Obama can fix this too.

  • David King Layton, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 10:59 a.m.

    What happened to equal protection under the law? How can you apply a law to only one group of people, and consider it just? Let's pretend for a moment that white males between the ages of 20-30 had a disproportionate amount of serious accidents involving cell-phone use. Could we write a law that only targets them? There would be an outcry. Unfortunately, many teenagers don't get involved in the political process, so it's easy to target them. My guess would be is that my age group has just as many incidents involving distracted driving as teenagers. If you're going to make a law that restricts liberty, it should at least be applied equally to all people.

    On another note, what a sad state of society if the only thing that keeps us from doing dangerous things is more laws.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 10:37 a.m.

    Let's punish kids for stuff we do too! That makes perfect sense!

    Wait... oh yeah, no it doesn't. lol

    Although I can't stand bills that want to limit all cell phone usage. If one has SYNC or something, it's no different than talking to someone in the car. People often say "yeah, well you still have to hang up by pushing a button" which isn't true. You can set it up to work around that with no problem. Even then, it technically makes using a cell phone safer than listening to a radio that you DO in fact have to push the buttons on. There is a ridiculous amount of micromanaging making it's way into our law-makers minds. I'm for protecting people, but not at the cost of having choice taken away.

    Restrict non-hands free usage? Yes. Restrict usage altogether? No. Otherwise it's as bad as these city codes that force people to put their property on display according to how their neighbors want things instead of their own free choices.

    It's kind of hard to be told I can't use something altogether (as some law makers have pushed for) when I drive better with a cell than half the people on the road do without one.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    'A proposed Senate bill, SB128, sponsored by Sen. Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake City, would ban the use of cellphones while driving for those under the age of 18...' - article

    Because the guy in the photo...

    is 'obiviously', under 18?

    *Shakes head

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    Re: mtmanmc | 1:16 a.m. Jan. 26, 2012

    Your reasoning would suggest that we loosen drunk driving laws because after all it does take away our freedoms. While we're at it perhaps we should eliminate traffic lights whose only purpose is to give the police an excuse to give us traffic tickets.

    By-the-way, it has been proven that texting while driving quadruples your risk of crashing.

  • Civility Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:45 a.m.

    We do all live (and drive) in a world of distractions. No one is completely focused on their driving 100% of the time. Reasonably, any activity that requires you to take you eyes off of the road for more than a few seconds should be banned. Simply talking on a cell phone or to other passengers, listening to music etc. should not be placed in the same category as activities that divert your attention from the road.

  • Well Read SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:39 a.m.

    Utah wake Up! It is just plain stupid to not ban ell phone use for ALL! Before cell phone we all did quite well. It is silly to think of banning cell phone use for the young and not for all adults.

    We in Utah have fun telling the Federal government to stay out of our life - except when we want money!

    Its time for the state of Utah to realize that the Federal is no longer the enemy. We have long since quit hiding our other wives from the feds! :-) We need to get over our fixation about the feds invading our lives. We in Utah are quick to ask for aid from the feds when an emergency happens - witness Davis county with the recent high winds.

    Legislators - Ban cell phone use in cars for ALL or NO ONE!

  • Silent Lurker Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:38 a.m.

    I agree with many of the comments here that we should have a total ban of cell phone usage while driving. Almost every time I come across someone driving erratically, slow or impeding traffic flow they are on a cell phone. I refuse to use one while driving because I believe it is dangerous, I do not like laws that infringe on others liberty, but some laws are for the safety of the whole and not just the convenience of the individual. Sadly for those who do not recognize this we need to have laws in force that promote safety and good judgement for everyone.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    "It never ceases to amaze me how people outside Utah are so concerned with the things day to day in Utah."

    Lived in Utah many years Uncle. You live "where freedom and liberty reign" but I should not comment on these boards? Too funny.

    I notice that you did not address my post. Guess its cause I don't live there.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:33 a.m.

    Ms Molli:

    Thanks you, I stand corrected if that is the case in CA.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:21 a.m.

    Rocket Science | 9:00 a.m. Jan. 26, 2012
    Brigham City, UT
    California has a law banning all cell phone usage while driving.

    Not true, the CA law requires HANDS FREE cell phone use while driving.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    @mtmanmc, Really. Why don't we go back in time when we didn't have cell phones. That will solve the problem or would it?

    I had my guide dog guiding me to cross the street when some stupid person driving while talking on the cell phone and swearved around us. A bystander saw what happened.

    Back then, all those things you mentioned are everyday things will go on forever (I think, if nobody want anymore children). You child haters. Of course you more likely to tell me to get off the street if I am on the cross walk like some people will tell those blind people or anyone! Oh, my guide dog di just fne getting me around sometime while my dog was CHEWING GUMS (Really)! :-))

    Cell phones should be BANNED while a person is behind the wheel when the motor is running along with any other communication (gps, ipad, pc, etc.) devices (not children)!

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:00 a.m.

    California has a law banning all cell phone usage while driving. A couple of times when my brother who lives in CA has called me, after we have talked, he has said "well I better get going". I ask him what he is doing and where he is and inevitably he is has puleed into a parking lot and turned off his car before he called because he felt he needed to call me right then before he got home. He does it because it is safe and it is the law.

    Would it be asking too much to do the same here?

  • Spirtree Centerville, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 8:58 a.m.

    Why would you have a photo of an adult, not a teen, in a story about teen cell phone use. Lazy

  • Uncle Charles Where freedom and liberty reign, utah
    Jan. 26, 2012 8:53 a.m.

    @Joe Blow: worry about your issues and the primary in Florida. I think people in Utah can take care of our own legislative issues.

    It never ceases to amaze me how people outside Utah are so concerned with the things day to day in Utah.


    someone should ask Mr Romero why just stop here with cell phones. It's impossible to legislate stupidity. Anyone see the Youtube hit from Bountiful with the crazy drivers during the last snow storm? We should have a law about that too!

    It's impossible to legislate stupidity folks, absolutely impossible!

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 8:53 a.m.


    Your reasoning would suggest we need no driving laws at all.

    A few years ago I attended a funeral of a friend who along with another person in his carpool, just as they were leaving Logan on their way to work one morning, were killed on their way to work by a driver who was texting. Was texting a distraction?

    Texting while driving is now ilegal in UT.

    Almost every evening while riding home in my carpool we comment about people who going way to slow for the freeway or who we see driving all over the place. Almost always they are on a cell phone or texting.

    Are they not presenting a hazard to others?

    Driving is a privilige and we all have a responsibility to do the best we can to avoid distractions. Obviously statistics and insurance data show cell phone usage has become a significant hazard. We have failed to police ourselves therefore a law is needed. Should your right to use a cell phone while driving supersede my friends right to live? You can delay your cell phone usage just a few minutes until you are not endangering anyone else.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Jan. 26, 2012 8:36 a.m.

    If we were debating a law against driving under the influence of alcohol, the comments would be 100% one sided.

    And rightfully so.

    So, why is it there there are some claiming govt interference when talking about a law banning texting while driving?

    Studies have show that it is AT LEAST as dangerous as someone who has been drinking. Some studies suggest that it is significantly more dangerous.

    Help me understand the disparity? Is it about safety or something more?

  • yuvgot2bkidding Salt Lake, Utah
    Jan. 26, 2012 6:32 a.m.

    wyoming and nevada have both passed laws prohibiting cell phone use while driving. how come we're lagging behind?

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 6:02 a.m.

    Every time I have been able to avoid a collision from a "drunk" texting//calling driver, the driver has been well over the targeted age in this bill. Cell phones just might be more dangerous than alcohol and should be illegal except when a vehicle is at a full stop or to call 911.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 4:35 a.m.

    It must require all cell phones to be off in a vehicle, including all passengers because they are a lot of the distraction to a driver as well.

    What is "very" disturbing is have a law enforcement vehicle or ambulance driver talking on a cell phone while performing their duties as martyrs and demigods serving the blue army and public trust. They too are in the typical phone pose while driving, left shoulder and arm and head propped against the left door panel and window with a blank stare on his face while maneuvering their vehicle proudly displaying the "Protect and Serve" slogan plastered on the car. While watching people run red lights (maybe) and near miss accidents (maybe), I can imagine his thoughts at that moment, "Too late to follow or apprehend, I'll catch them breaking the law next time". We can't fight the Blue Code and report these officer otherwise we become department targets every time.

    This cell phone law has to apply to everyone except for emergency use with vehicle stopped and Eng turned off. This law should also block the use of GPS and TV Mapping display programs during vehicle operation.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 1:18 a.m.

    Don't limit it to teens. Adults can't safely carry on a phone conversation while driving, either.

  • mtmanmc Colorado Springs, CO
    Jan. 26, 2012 1:16 a.m.

    Seem that people can't drive while chewing gum. A mother gets distracted by her baby or children, while driving. What you going to do ban the children from the vehicle? How about law enforcement, while looking at computer screens or talking on their radios. You think that isn't a distraction and dangerous? Then ban all communications equipment from vehicles. That includes radios, cd players, reading books and papers, putting on make up and combing hair. Why not just plain ban vehicle traveling all together. Wake up to the facts distractions are everywhere that we drive. The whole problem with this country can be found with laws that take freedoms away. If you can't handle distraction while driving stay off the road and quit driving. Otherwise learn how to drive without infringing on rights of the people by laws that become more and more controlling.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 25, 2012 9:46 p.m.

    No, it is not enough to target teenagers only. It won't be enough until adults are stopped from talking and texting while driving.