Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

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Posts Tagged ‘commuting’

Texting teen drivers

Posted by Richard on November 14, 2007

A few weeks ago, after I had a close call with a texting driver and saw a bizarre news story about another, I ranted a bit about the phenomenon, suggesting that texting while driving might just qualify as “felony stupidity.” Well, a new survey suggests that it’s astonishingly common among young people:

DENVER — A survey by AAA Colorado found 51 percent of Colorado teens admitted to sending or receiving text messages while driving. That means they were either typing or reading the screen while driving.

The survey also found that 66 percent of Colorado teens admitted to talking on their cell phones while driving. The Colorado figures are much higher than those found in a recent national survey, where the rates were 46 percent of teens who text and 51 percent who talk, AAA said.

The teens surveyed almost unanimously (97%) considered the practice dangerous, and 73% thought strict penalties would help.

I don’t want to get on a high horse regarding risk-taking by young people. Lord knows, my friends and I engaged in some behavior involving cars that — well, it’s a wonder we managed to survive. But we were endangering ourselves and others because our judgment was temporarily impaired. What excuse do these texting fools have?

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Texter hits train

Posted by Richard on October 19, 2007

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving up I-25 minding my own business when the car to my left started to drift into my lane. I leaned on the horn and slowed down. The other car recovered and remained in his lane, but through the rear window, I could see that the driver was holding his cell phone at the top of the steering wheel and punching keys without pause.

That was the first time I became aware — because of the close call — of the "texting while driving" phenomenon. Now conscious of it, I've since noticed a couple of other instances. So far, thank goodness, I haven't seen the level of distraction exhibited by texter Robert Gillespie of Eugene, Oregon. He ran into the side of a freight train that he failed to notice while texting. 

As a libertarian, I'm convinced we have far too many laws and regulations. But I've long argued, semi-tongue-in-cheek, that there's a case to be made for a "misdemeanor stupidity" statute for behavior that's just too dumb to tolerate. This "texting while driving" crap makes me wonder if there should be a "felony stupidity" category as well.

What's going on here? Are we breeding common sense and even the drive for self-preservation out of the gene pool? This is stupid squared, it's apparently astonishingly common, and it gets people killed.

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Turn on your lights! (a rant)

Posted by Richard on April 28, 2006

Greetings from Colorful Colorado, a generally quite arid state that’s imitating Seattle at the moment. This morning, I have a modest request of you, if you’re reading this blog while driving in the Denver area (or in similar circumstances elsewhere): If it’s pouring down rain as you cruise the interstate, if there’s so much spray and splashback from the standing water that it looks like you’re driving into a heavy fog, if visibility is so low that air traffic control long ago switched to instrument flight rules, …

    TURN ON YOUR FRIGGIN’ LIGHTS!

Thank you. I feel better now.
 

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