Final wake-up call?

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  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    June 12, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    How can technology prevent the driver from using his cell phone but still allow passengers to use their phones? That would be the best solution if we could find a way. Concerning punishment for distracted driving, jail time isn't the best answer. But, perhaps denial of driving privileges for several years might help people get the message.

  • Anne26 West Jordan, UT
    June 11, 2012 4:56 p.m.

    Put your phone out of reach while you are driving, therefore taking away the temptation. No phone call or text is so important that it can't wait. If you need to use your phone, find a safe place to stop.

    In the old days, (the 1980's) when we were away from home, we were unavailable. Somehow, we survived not being constantly connected via phones or computers. While I don't advocate going back to those days, I do wish we would spend more time living in the moment, visiting with those actually in the room (or car) with us, and less time checking for updates on our phones.
    I'm afraid we are missing out on a lot.

  • sportsfan21 OREM, UT
    June 11, 2012 4:46 p.m.

    15 years? That seems to be a longer suspension than is handed out to drunk drivers who are found guilty of manslaughter. Maybe I'm wrong (perhaps someone Knows of DUI cases with a harsher sentence) but it seems a little backwards to issue a 15 year suspension to a tester but only make a drunk driver install a breathalyzer. Why not force the man to use a phone that deactivates while moving?

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    June 11, 2012 1:23 p.m.

    It appears that some people didn't even read the article. Taken directly from the article, "Utah is one of 39 states that bans texting and driving among all age groups."

    Also, it's impossible to legislate stupidity. I see cops on their cell phones and actually typing on their computers while driving all the time.

    You can make all the laws you wish but they will do nothing to stop people from their own stupidity.

    Stop trying to take away my freedoms and liberties in the name of safety. I think someone really smart said something similar to that a long time ago. ;)

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 11, 2012 12:51 p.m.

    Re: one old man Ogden, UT
    "True, Rifleboy. The question is WHY are they not enforced?"

    The last time I checked the Utah State Legislature doesn't issue traffic citations. There are a lot of laws that aren't enforced as any illegal alien will testify. If the police weren't so busy with the crimes they commit I'm sure they could zero in on the distracted drivers.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 11, 2012 12:32 p.m.

    True, Rifleboy. The question is WHY are they not enforced? Lobbying influence?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 11, 2012 11:52 a.m.

    It is technologically possible to eliminate this threat to life without any laws that require enforcement, without any costs to the taxpayer, and with near perfect performance.

    Cell phones can be made fully or partially inoperative in a moving environment by the manufacturer of the phone.

    Use of the cell phone while moving can be detected and registered by the phone company equipment.

    If our government has the means of protecting our citizens from danger and fails to do so, is this malfeasance if government?

    Should the phone company and the government be held to be complicit in the harm done by an “attractive nuisance”?

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 11, 2012 10:54 a.m.

    Re: one old man Ogden, UT
    "Meanwhile, in Utah, our legislators don't have the courage to write some laws that would keep us all safer."

    We already have a distracted driver law in Utah that isn't being enforced. Laws don't keep us safer unless they are enforced and obeyed.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    June 11, 2012 10:19 a.m.

    Harsher sentences on texting and driving won't do a thing. A) Texting by itself is NOT a crime. B) Texting while driving should fall into the category of reckless driving, or manslaughter in this case.
    Making laws about texting and driving is just another way to fill our jails with stupidity. Disable cell phones in cars before we build prisons to hold texting teens and adults. Lets think it through people,
    Because we all know that the harshest sentence (death) dosn't stop people from committing murder. SO why would this work. Harsher sentences are proven NOT to work.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    June 11, 2012 9:49 a.m.

    Good comments. I think pragmatist is right. Most likely it will require technology to truly address the issue. Here in CA where texting and talking are banned for everybody, I still see adults talking on cell phones while driving, and know some who text while driving. Perhaps laws can reduce the number who text/talk but it doesn't eliminate all activity.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 11, 2012 9:04 a.m.

    Adults text and drive too, nearly as often as teenagers.

    We need to do something about it and if stiff sentences are what it takes then I'm all for it.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    June 11, 2012 8:44 a.m.

    Re: "Final wake-up call?"

    Not even close!

    The abject hypocrisy of legislators feigning indignance over teen texting, while financing cynical political campaigns with blood money from the "hospitality" industry would be laughable if it weren't so sad.

    This is merely another hustle to squeeze more campaign "donations" -- "investments" would be a better word -- from the cell phone industry.

    Politicians apparently believe they're not paying their "fair" share.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 11, 2012 7:44 a.m.

    No amount of persuasion or punishment will change this. An interesting article in this Sundays New York Times explains the evolutionary need that social media meets and the constant need we have for social connection. Technology got us here (they text while driving because they can), and only technology will get us out of this.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 11, 2012 7:06 a.m.

    Meanwhile, in Utah, our legislators don't have the courage to write some laws that would keep us all safer. They reluctantly restricted teenagers from talking and texting, but not adults.