Clueless Idiots And Their Cellphones - There Ought To Be A Law
Ever see that video of the woman who gets hit by a train while talking on her cellphone? While completely into her cellphone, she's walking across the platform and steps off to walk across the tracks, never noticing the train bearing down on her. Doesn't even lift her head. She gets hit. Sorry, no happy or funny endings on this one. She was killed. Instantly. I don't have a link to the video, and if I did would not post it. I certainly hope nobody else does either. Tragic.
Well, happened to me today. Almost put down a young boy, maybe 15 or 17. Without a blink, and engaged in his phone, he stepped off the curb right into my path. My view was obstructed, didn't see him on the side of the road. I slammed the brakes and veered the car. It was really, REALLY close. His reaction? Not a blink. I was transparent. He is very lucky I am a darn good driver with fast reactions and formally trained (Bob Bondurant), or else, at minimum, he would have two broken legs and a fractured pelvis. I was driving a SUV. It was bigger than him.
Happened one other time. I was sitting at a red light when a woman made a left turn in front of me. I watched her texting or dialing her phone. She didn't make the turn sharp enough because she was trying to handle the phone and turn at the same time. She drove halfway up on the curb. Her reaction? Not a blink. She drove half on and half off the curb while continuing to do the phone. She veered her truck off the curb just before it went into a telephone pole.
There should be some way of testing and licensing fully-functional cellphones to those who are not idiots, and restricted ones to those who are. And the test and solution could be very cheap. The cost of the test? Only that of a stick of gum.
Anybody who is buying a cellphone is given a stick of gum and asked to walk. Can't walk and chew gum at the same time? You're restricted! And that would be easy, too. Simply hardwire the phone GPS into the operating system. If location varies more than 6 feet, it shuts off. Simple. Not fair? You can't use the phone while walking from the bedroom to the kitchen? No, you can't. If you can't walk and chew gum at the same time, you need somebody to watch over you. You're dangerous.
A law here in NC was supposed to go into effect tomorrow, October 1st, banning cellphone use in cars. Not just texting, talking too. In the city of Chapel Hill. But it was put on hold pending review. What review you ask? Don't know... I assume review of bank accounts, pending large deposits to local politicians by the cellphone lobby.
Somehow... some way, cellphones need to be taken away from the clueless.
there is a thing called selection of the fittest i believe. and well, if someone is killed for doing something stupid, well then oh well.
i'm sure the kid was updating his facebook --- dude... i was almost hit by a car, and he waiting for his likes to come in. but kids running in the street seems so lax now. there are kids who are always running out in the street without looking at all. its amazing he's still alive.
i don't know how they will prevent talking in a car, since you can be talking on a headset. they have laws like that in NJ right now. can't say it helps a lot, but it does cut it down. doesn't help with people in the street. watching people ride their bikes, or kids on skateboards looking at their phones.
at one point it was hot coffee that distracted the drivers. there will always be something.
I just simply call 911, note down the plate of the offender, which is/might be difficult if you're driving in the opposite direction and give it to the responder..and you wouldn't believe how fast they act when they get such a call! Try it the next time you see an idiot texting and driving, you'd be surprised! But I TOTALLY agree with your statement about nothing will be done federally to prevent this from happening!
I often turn mine off while I'm driving unless I'm expecting some emergency call. I mean come on, people we lived for years without a phone in our cars. Of course it's good to have if you're stuck somewhere.
Dan, I totally agree with you that something needs to be done. We have a ban on texting while driving here in Massachusetts, but it doesn't go far enough. IMO, there should be a law on talking unless it's hands free. The problem is people ignore these laws and continue to abuse them until it's too late.
Last July 2012, I was in a head-on collision with a man who was bending down (so he said) to pick up his cell. In my vehicle was my then-eight-month pregnant daughter in the front seat along with my then-two-year old grandchild in the back seat. Fortunately, I turned right so I took the brunt of the crash. They were spared signifcant injuries. The three of us were put into an ambulance and driven to the hospital.. That is one ride I hope to never experience again.
My granddaughter was okay, but my daughter was in and out of the hospital and doctor's office for checkups and ultrasounds to make sure her unborn child was well. Because I took a blow to the chest, I was in and out for tests until I was cleared last October. I am grateful that all of us are fine. This guy could have killed four people, counting the unborn child.
My three-year old RAV with only 14,000 miles was totaled. The adjuster stated the RAV performed exactly as it was expected to do so in a crash. The other guy was driving a small pickup. My insurance picked up the tab and would be later reimbursed by his insurance. For anyone with carseats for children, those must be replaced when your vehicle is in an accident. For months, this guy was nowhere to be found by his insurance company. Months later, I saw his name under court news for drug charges that occurred a couple months before my accident.
I was later contacted by the DA's office asking me if there was anything I wanted from this. My answer was...send this guy to rehabilitation and revoke his license. He did lose his license, but I don't know for how long. Reality is having no licenses or unregistered, uninsured vehicles does not keep these people off the roads.
I have a smartphone which I will use when I shut down my PC. I will use it to call home from the store or in the parking lot. I try not to answer or call anyone until I'm stopped. I am in total support of cell phones but not while driving unless it's hands free. I would also like to see people shut them off at gatherings or in restaurants as well. It's not only rude but sad to watch couples out for dinner, not talking and both using their cell phones.
I am sorry for you and anyone placed in these situations.
its illegal to text, but ok to use the cell phone. Whats the difference between texting and dialing?……. a $250 fine.
also, a friend got pulled over and given a fine for having both earbuds in her ears listening to music. The officer explained that it is imperative to be able to hear horns and sirens to be able to drive safely.
She then asked, what if I was deaf? His answer…. Then you wouldn't be listening to music!
You can get a license to drive being totally deaf, but if you can hear, you can get fined for wearing earbuds that impair your hearing…...
I have a hands-free cellphone option built into my car. When I get in, my cell asks me via a musical signal if I want to activate the hands-free function. I always push the "yes" button (because if I don't, the stupid phone will nag me about it for hours, even if I push the "NO" button - what's up with that, AT&T), and then, if I want to make a phone call while driving, I speak into the air and the car starts dialing. I've used that function exactly once. I intend to use it primarily to let someone know when I'm coming or in the case of an emergency. I can't imagine having an involved cell phone conversation while driving. How stupid is that?
Your story took my breath away, literally made me gasp before reading that all worked out ok.
Then you made me laugh out loud with this:
" I would also like to see people shut them off at gatherings or in restaurants"
This is a favorite of mine. When we go out to eat, there is never an occasion when we do not see a young couple, probably dating, sitting at a table in a restaurant in a way that makes you laugh out loud. He is across the table from her talking on his phone, she on the other side doing the same thing. Nary a single word exchanged between them. Is this what we have become? THIS is a relationship? So sad.
I once saw a woman walking thru the park - flowers and butterflies everywhere. She was pushing a baby in a stroller and had another young one walking beside her. She was on the phone cackling and laughing. Not a word was said to her kids. She completely ignored them. I wanted to push a grapefruit in her face like Bogey and tell her to "wake up!" Get off the da--ed phone and talk to your kids! Show the older one the flowers and butterflies, tell what they are. Pick a flower and show the baby. Interact! Teach! Ummmmm, LOVE! As controversial as it may be to say, I feel sorry for those children having someone like that as a mother.
I have had to dodge so many drivers out here, being that I have to walk due to my seizures, and these people who are texting and driving ALWAYS look at me like I am the one in the wrong...
I would love to see it mandatory for cars to have a cell phone block on them so these morons cannot drive and text or talk while driving. So many of these people cannot even think above the importance of their blasted phone to pay attention to what they are doing. I watched a wreck a few months ago, a man was stopped at an intersection waiting to turn, his blinkers on and sitting there, when a Pick-up with the kid texting smashed into his rear-end sending the car into the corner I had just crossed from and pushed the rear trunk over the rear fenderwell so that they could not move the car out of the road, with out a wrecker.
These people are beyond dangerous.
It's also illegal to text or talk in Australia. Driving around you will always see people stopped at the sie of the road on their cell phones. I believe some of the major new highways around and into the big cities have special pull in bays where you can stop and chat or text. Hands free is okay.
You'd go crazy here, Dan. It's against the law here too, but they do it anyway, they can actually smoke, drink coffee, text or talk on the cell phone, hold a baby in their lap, and drive 150 mph, all at the same time.
If I am on the back of my friend's Honda, I do not hesitate to yell at drivers to "put down the damned phone". Most actually do, because who wants to mess with a biker? lol
However, one dumb kid we came across was in the left lane of a 4 lane highway, doing over 55 and on the phone when we came up to him from the next lane to the right. I did my usual "Put down the damned phone!" when he leaned over to the passenger side to roll UP the window, still with his phone in his left hand! So now dumbass is doing 55+ with no hands on the steering wheel, one hand holding his cell phone and he's leaning over. We moved over further away and got the hell away from him.
NJ's cell phone law only has a $100 fine, so most drivers really could not care less. I have seen drivers drift over lines, not pay attention to traffic moving in front of them, make dangerous turns and run lights, all with phones in their hands.
It's against the law here in NYS....do you think people follow it? NO! I see people all the time using theirs and tailgating other people (me!) about to hit them if we put on our brakes! My sister saw somebody walking and talking/texting on a phone get HIT by a car, bounce off the hood, get up and just kept walking after that...clueless!
The only way to stop it is for cell phone companies to step up to the plate and remove texting from their phones, which will never happen. The problem is they keep adding new features to phones that will make it easier for more instances like these to happen. Smart phones can be a great tool, I hate to say it but maybe they should stop making them and go back to the un smart phones and like I said above remove texting features. I know that won't happen either but it would definitely solve a lot of the problems.
Cell phones should not remove the texting option from their phones because some people won't stop texting. That wouldn't be right. And I saw video years ago of a woman walking right out in front of a train. This was way before cell phones. Stupid has been around for a long time, Best we can do is enforce the laws on the books and hope when stupid people wreck because they are not paying attention (for whatever reason) that they don't take out innocent people.
They implemented the "no texting" law here about a year ago (Michigan). When I left work, I went the back way out of here, through a residential area, but on a semi-major roadway. It was weird because there was a police cruiser on EVERY SINGLE SIDE STREET for about a mile and every cop was staring heavily at all the drivers as we went by. I thought at first, they were looking for a fugitive or there was an amber alert out for the area or something, but I found out later the community I was driving through had instated a "no distracted driving" law on top of the no texting law. I think they were looking for people who were not starting straight ahead at the road...
We still don't have a hand's free law, though. I do notice people weaving a little when they are on their cell.
Grrr.... This is a sore subject for me. I have a 23 mile drive to work and back every day. Every day I see at least one dope weaving between lanes because they feel its more important for them to text their friends and family than it is to live to the end of the day. This problem is worse than DUI.
BTW, most, if not all states in the US already have distracted driving laws.
Awww, Chuck, no sympathy here - my commute every day is 50 miles one way. Been doing that for years. Although if I take back roads, I don't run into as many idiots on cell phones as I do on the freeway.
I was editing some images I took at a local carnival. Folks on an amusement park ride. I noticed nearly everyone of them is holding one of their ears! What can be up with that??? Then on closer examination I notice they are talking... on the phone. What makes you want to pick up the phone on an amusement park ride??? Take a look (and you probably thought there was no way this thread could be used to push an image)
If people think they are any safer with hands free they are mistaken. Many studies have already shown that handsfree is not much safer than holding the phone. Its because the drivers focus is on the phone call instead of driving a 3000 lb missile. The laws on the books have to be enforced and enforced vigorously. The public must be made to understand it will not be tolerated. But we all know it will be tolerated until the "right" person's relative is killed.
Joseph Hinson " Best we can do is enforce the laws on the books and hope when stupid people wreck because they are not paying attention (for whatever reason) that they don't take out innocent people."
The problem is, stupid people are the ones that usually survive, and the innocent and more intelligent that are lost because of them. I wish "survival of the fittest", actually worked on them, but it usually does not, and it is "survival of the least fit" that applies with them...
Whenever there is a law, there are thousands that will break it.
Seems that it's equally a matter of being in the moment and aware.
I've been terribly distracted of late and have walked into my garage door as it was opening, a wall and almost turned into road kill in a prking lot...and no cell phone was required. :(
I have been banned from driving until further notice.
Well, Marlene, that makes me feel a little better about trying to get my house key into the wrong lock for 5 minutes the other day LOL.
And back to the cell phone thing, my son regularly calls me when he's driving home from work, but he uses the Bluetooth in his car. I hate it because I can't understand what he's saying with the road noise in the background. Then he complains about someone driving crazy when he's behind them. I should just tell him to call me back when he's home.
I've had the same as everyone else, at least a half dozen close calls the past few years with texting or talking drivers...
Then there's the fat woman doing her makeup at 60mph, the guy munching on a burger, loads of other folks eating whatever, mom turned around in the driver's seat chewing the kids out...and of course around 2AM it usually called "drunk thirty" for a reason...
And they won't let you carry a fingernail file on a plane...now that's intelligence...
Oh and by the way Mike...you confused two terms...survival of the fittest and natural selection. I think natural selection was the one you wanted. Both closely related to evolution. And it really makes me wonder after seeing all the people doing stupid things like driving while trying to text, just how the hell did we manage to survive the stone age???
It's illegal in California also. The driver can't have a phone in their hands. You have to use a headset to talk. I remember being in Tahoe when the law went into effect. You can't imagine the rush of people buying bluetooth headsets that day. I'm sure the law is broken every second, every day though. ;)
(also, in California, it is against the law to smoke in the car if there are children also in the car, which is a good thing)
I'm glad you're okay Dan & didn't get hurt and that the situation didn't turn out much worse for you.
& T.G. - that everything turned out ok for your family Janice !!!
What has really infuriated me for years ? Drive by any elementary school, morning or afternoon - & watch almost every "soccer mom" in their minivans screwing up traffic with a car full of kids - on the damned phone !!!
You would think - out of all the people who would have respect & concern for safety - it would be mothers with children in their car. But no.
Thankfully I can't walk & chew gum @ the same time.
Aside from safety concerns - it saddens me that the world is no longer experiencing their environment.
Why have concern for your environment - if you can't even be bothered to experience it ?.
Cell phones are banned from our dining table.
& I think they could install a chip in the phone that prohibits texting if the phone is in any type of motion.
Makes sense to me...........
omg, Mary! I came out of the drugstore the other day and opened up the passenger side of the wrong car...luckily, my sweetheart was parked to the right and gently called out " honey, I'm over here..."
He's the one who has banned me from driving until firther notice but I am house bound during the 7 day mourning period anyways...good thing!
Marlene - Doesn't take a cell phone to do that, I was doing it 20 years before cell phones existed...Walked up to an identical Ford truck one day and stood there wondering why my key suddenly didn't open the door lock...took me 3 tries to figure it out...I think that was about 1978...It's even worse when I drive my sister's truck, I walk out of the store looking for my Jeep almost every time...
Definitely one of my pet peeves as well, but I don't think laws will change much on their own, certainly not the amount of narcissistic stupidity that is everywhere. However propaganda arm in arm with laws might make a difference. Look at how things have changed with smoking in public or drunk driving or handicap access in the last 30 years. Not perfect but better. Look how propaganda( advertising) makes us "know" what is necessary and right and true. HA. For better or worse, we are shaped by our culture. It's hard to be a free thinker in modern society. or maybe it always was...I think I need coffee...
I wen to the store when I lived in north Louisiana one morning, on my way to a job. Police in the street, body still covered with a blanket, log truck stopped a hundred yards up the street...guy left the store, texting on his cell phone, walked into the rear wheels of the log truck. DOA...
Friend told me this weekend, we were discussing this same issue, someone here in the past year or two walked out in front of a train texting, hoodie on, listening to music on headphones...DOA...
Lady in Louisiana ran a stop sign, I slammed on the brakes, skidded to a stop about 2 feet from the side door of her minivan, she kept right on texting and never even noticed I was there. I'm glad I didn't step on the gas hard, I had already stopped for my stop sign, 3 way stop at a railroad track. Almost got run over there several times, phones involved or not.
Followed another lady about 10 blocks down the main street through town, all over the road, leaning over staring into the mirror finishing the make up she should have finished at home before she left.
Yet another ran out in front of me, she had the stop sign and didn't, talking on the phone, and actually flipped the finger at me when I almost ran over her car...I had the right of way and did nothing wrong, yet she got mad at me...
As I said before, how the hell did we survive the stone age????
OGG!! Don't run with that spear, boy!! Remember what happened to grandpa???