Police say driver who hit 3 children may have been texting

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  • mrkungfu West Valley/USA, UT
    July 11, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    17 other states have made it a crime to use your cellphone while driving...............when is UTAH going to wake up. This incident is certainly one more reason to make it illegal to text while driving!!!!

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    May 15, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    The concept of TEXTING and DRIVING does not exist. Either the person is driving the car or they are plugging in letters into a telephone. People can't do both.

    The problem is people THINK they can do both.

  • Beaver Native Garland, UT
    May 15, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    It irks me when people use their cell phones in any way while driving because of the associated dangers. Even talking on the phone while driving impairs driving to the same degree as DUI does. Last night, I observed a person turning onto a the road I was on, going the opposite direction, and his eyes were on his cell phone in the middle of the turn. Eventually that behavior will lead to an accident, perhaps where someone will is injured or killed. People need to be responsible and turn their phones off while driving, or at least move to the side of the road and park before using their cell phones.

    The person who complained about train drivers who had been texting about the time of the accident has it wrong. While the operators need to pay attention to the train, the train has the right-of-way and is hard to stop in short distances. A train will not stray from the path it is on without some type of mechanical failure. It's the people around the trains that cause the vast majority of accidents involving people.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    Awaiting the facts in this case will help. Distracted driving isn't debatable, it is illegal. Explicit laws against hand-helds while driving would be an improvement.

  • red rocks Saint George, UT
    May 15, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    As a society we have put a huge emphasis on being able to communicate 24/7. We have such a high regard for our precious cell phones that many of us can't function if we don't have one attached to our ear or are texting continuously. We have become a very ignorant society and are oblivious to what is going on around us. If we would all act responsibly we would not need laws. The problem is we all tend to think that we are a better driver than everyone else and we think we can multi task several items while driving and that the laws are there because of all of those bad drivers. Guess what we are all one of those bad drivers.

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    May 15, 2013 9:37 a.m.

    As most have said...
    Put down the cell phone and drive! Your eyes' attention is needed on the roads, not on the phones.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    May 15, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    @Irritabull - maybe the driver wasn't texting but he still have to watch for everything that might come his (all driver) way. Drivers are responsible what they do on the road at all times. Those three girls are not at fault. I don't drive and use my cane to get around (blind person) and two times my cane got run over and drivers didn't say anything or to help me. I have heard other blind people got their cane get run over as well and got stranded. Don't tell us not to go out in public places. I have a driver who takes me around (getting paid) and he many times has answer his cell phone while driving which I didn't like that and I told him no more but only when he's not driving.

    Think about it (drivers), you use your cell phones while driving then you are in DUI (DRUNK and DRUG are = CELL PHONES)! Hope this young girl recover.

  • MormonSean Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2013 8:51 a.m.


    I agree. Force is wrong, but it's also ineffective.

    Part of the problem with a cell jamming device is that if it interferes with wireless frequencies. Sure, that sounds great. But then when you're right next to an ambulance, police vehicle, fire truck, etc. There are plenty of other jobs, maintenance and otherwise, that need constant communication.

    Personally, I don't mind cell phone usage in a car as long as it is 100% hands free. Ear pieces usually aren't. Even voice options aren't, cause you would have to navigate to activate the voice listening. We are in a day and age where every single car should come with something like Microsoft Sync. This effects a communication that is no more involved or distracting than talking to someone in a passenger seat.

    Unless we outlaw talking to passengers also, that's an option that preserves freedom while solving the problem as best as humanly possible. Anything more or less than that, such as forcing everyone, will come with problems. Without freedom we can't be happy. It's a simple formula: to deal with problems, find solutions that preserve freedoms while teaching better behaviors.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 15, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    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.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    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.

  • Brown Honeyvale, CA
    May 15, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    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.

  • Speed_Altitude Centerville, UT
    May 15, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    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.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    May 15, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    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?

    May 15, 2013 7:55 a.m.

    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!

  • Dante Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2013 7:48 a.m.

    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.

  • Willybee71 GARDEN CITY, NY
    May 15, 2013 7:38 a.m.

    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.

  • Irritabull CHESTER, NE
    May 15, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    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.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 15, 2013 7:06 a.m.

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

  • Willybee71 GARDEN CITY, NY
    May 15, 2013 6:43 a.m.

    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.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    May 15, 2013 6:16 a.m.

    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.

  • CP Tooele, UT
    May 15, 2013 6:00 a.m.

    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.

  • TimBehrend Auckland NZ, 00
    May 15, 2013 5:59 a.m.

    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.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    May 15, 2013 5:42 a.m.

    @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.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    May 15, 2013 3:44 a.m.

    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.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    May 14, 2013 8:02 p.m.

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

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    May 14, 2013 7:12 p.m.

    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.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    May 14, 2013 6:51 p.m.

    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.

  • MormonSean Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2013 6:08 p.m.

    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.