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Thread: Should texting be as punishable as drunk driving?

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    #1

    Should texting be as punishable as drunk driving?

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    This article sparked my question:

    ‘Jake’s Law’ addresses penalties for distracted driving - The Washington Post

    Should texting (or any phone usage) be treated just like drunk driving, with the same punishments, etc?

    Should requesting the driver's phone be allowed without a subpoena?

    Is anyone who causes an accident (or fatally) subject to search and seizure? Meaning, do you think anyone who causes an accident should give up any information about what they were doing prior to accident, including giving up their technology (phone, tablet, laptop) that is in their car?

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    #2
    I don't think texting/phone use should have some sort of special treatment over other forms of distracted driving. Personally, the near-misses I've had lately involved moms turning around to look at their kids in the back seat or people with loose dogs in the car and the dog climbed into the driver's lap. I think ALL distracted driving and causing an accident should have the same weight of punishment. Is someone putting on mascara less at fault than someone trying to read directions on their phone? I don't think so.

    As for search & seizure, I don't people should have to give up any information about about the accident whatsoever without a subpoena. That's what going to court is for. There are times (rare times, but it does happen) when the person who was drinking/texting/whatever actually does NOT cause the accident and I don't think it should be assumed that they did.
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    #3
    I completely disagree with that. Obviously nobody should text and drive, but I don't think it's anywhere near being comparable to drunk driving.
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    #4
    I believe that all distracted driving should be punished, but unfortunately that will never happen. This article shows two examples of distracted driving. 1 was the texting, the other was that the mother was engaged with her child in the back seat.
    Other examples of distracted driving as found by nhtsa and the ntb:
    Talking on the phone, hands free or not.
    Eating or drinking.
    Engaging in conversation with other people in the car.
    Using a gps (not just playing with it, but having it on)
    Changing your car radio.
    Anything else with divides your attention, no matter how slightly
    Anything which causes you to take a hand of the wheel or an eye off the road.


    Any mothers here guilty of driving with a screaming child in the backseat?


    Also the phone information is a violation of the constitution, 5th amendment.
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    I don't think texting/phone use should have some sort of special treatment over other forms of distracted driving. Personally, the near-misses I've had lately involved moms turning around to look at their kids in the back seat or people with loose dogs in the car and the dog climbed into the driver's lap. I think ALL distracted driving and causing an accident should have the same weight of punishment. Is someone putting on mascara less at fault than someone trying to read directions on their phone? I don't think so.

    As for search & seizure, I don't people should have to give up any information about about the accident whatsoever without a subpoena. That's what going to court is for. There are times (rare times, but it does happen) when the person who was drinking/texting/whatever actually does NOT cause the accident and I don't think it should be assumed that they did.
    Thats interesting. Much of what you say is in the article, as far as all distracted driving should fall under the same punishments. My thoughts on the search/seizure or giving up cell phone is, I think they should only because from the time the accident happens until court date all of that information could be lost/destroyed and there wouldn't be any way of proving it was texting (should texting or phone have been the culprit). My mantra is, if you aren't guilty you have nothing to hide, so why can't you just give it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    I completely disagree with that. Obviously nobody should text and drive, but I don't think it's anywhere near being comparable to drunk driving.
    Can you expand on your thoughts?

    Are you saying that someone going 62mph, never seeing the stopped traffic (that had been stopped) for a couple miles (And however many minutes), rear-ending a car, never stopping (only stopping because of accident), killing a child, and severely injuring the others doesn't deserve as harsh a punishment as a drunk driver?

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    #6
    I think police are already looking around the car interiors in crashed cars to see if there are any cell phones near. And they are used to determined if someone was texting to talking on the phone or using it around the time of the accident. I'm not sure if any kind of warrant is required to look at it though.

    I also think it should play a role in punishment if they can prove that the phone was used and possible played a role in the accident.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by TrishAFSpouse View Post
    Thats interesting. Much of what you say is in the article, as far as all distracted driving should fall under the same punishments. My thoughts on the search/seizure or giving up cell phone is, I think they should only because from the time the accident happens until court date all of that information could be lost/destroyed and there wouldn't be any way of proving it was texting (should texting or phone have been the culprit). My mantra is, if you aren't guilty you have nothing to hide, so why can't you just give it up.



    Can you expand on your thoughts?

    Are you saying that someone going 62mph, never seeing the stopped traffic (that had been stopped) for a couple miles (And however many minutes), rear-ending a car, never stopping (only stopping because of accident), killing a child, and severely injuring the others doesn't deserve as harsh a punishment as a drunk driver?
    The data won't be destroyed. No cell phone company is going to go out of their way to wipe someone's accounts and risk legal wrath. It's probably against their policy anyways. Just like with anything digital, if it you put it out there, it's never really gone. It's super easy to assign guilt if someone "appears" to have been doing something wrong so whether or not you are actually guilty. If I RECEIVE a text and then immediately am in an accident, guilt could be assigned to me saying I was "reading" the text (No way to prove or disprove!) if nothing incriminating comes up with the other drivers involved.
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    #8
    I think so yes. Texting/holding a cell phone while driving is one of my BIGGEST peeves and every fricking near miss I have had is due to some dumbass who thinks their cell phone is more important than paying attention to the potentially deadly machine they are "in control" of.
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    #9
    I don't think that legally someone should be required to hand over a phone, no. And I don't think that such a law would be found constitutional.

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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    The data won't be destroyed. No cell phone company is going to go out of their way to wipe someone's accounts and risk legal wrath. It's probably against their policy anyways. Just like with anything digital, if it you put it out there, it's never really gone. It's super easy to assign guilt if someone "appears" to have been doing something wrong so whether or not you are actually guilty. If I RECEIVE a text and then immediately am in an accident, guilt could be assigned to me saying I was "reading" the text (No way to prove or disprove!) if nothing incriminating comes up with the other drivers involved.
    One can tell if a text has been read that is just received right before an accident. If the text is unread than texting might not have helped caused. But than you could have been reaching for your phone etc and not paying attention. But if you got a text right before you caused an accident and your phone is showing as having read the text than obviously it played a part.
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