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Hang up and drive

Distracted driving victim tells story at Lake Shore High School

January 17, 2014

ANGOLA — “Hang up and drive” was the message for Lake Shore High School students Thursday. Distracted driving survivor Jacy Good presented her story to about 850 students in the auditorium....

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Jan-17-14 10:46 PM

First and foremost, thank you Jacy Good for having the courage to bring your painful story to fellow students. I'm sure just by doing that many lives will be saved. To the point of this article and today's question, in the event of an accident or other serious traffic violation the investigating officer should most certainly examine any cell phones found in the vehicle for usage immediately prior to the accident. Also, they must determine who was using the phone in the case multiple people in the vehicle. There should be an added penalty if phone use is found at the time of the accident; much like the use of a gun in the commission of a crime stiffens the penalty. The cell phone carrier can also provide usage and time details.

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Jan-17-14 3:40 PM

Captain - right on.

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Jan-17-14 3:17 PM

prevent & reduce, if taken in the extreme context, have two separate meanings. sorry for any misunderstanding.

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Jan-17-14 3:10 PM

It wasn't my intention to "bash" you. I did disagree w/your choice of the words: "The only way to possibly reduce these unsafe practices is to make the penalties so harsh..."

I guess you were more focused on preventative measures to state your position, while I'm more interested in efforts to reduce these avoidable accident, but if we both agree that harsher DWT penalties will likely reduce the number of traffic accidents/fatalities, then there's no harm done.

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Jan-17-14 2:57 PM

Back in 1968 I was hit on Lake Shore Dr by a drunk dentist who ran the light. The police took him to jail. The car I was driving was 6 weeks old and totaled. This was before cell phones and seatbelts. I'd like to thank that man today because it made a better driver out of me. Glad to see this young lady talking to high school students. If it saves one life it is worth it.

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Jan-17-14 2:31 PM

Captain, I'm not sure I'm getting where you're going with this... I clearly wrote that the only way to reduce the instances is to make the penalties extremely harsh.

You blasted me then misquoted me. The laws in place are reactive since there's really no way to prevent the activities - texting/calling/drinking. Therefore any benefit from the laws is indirect. Which is why I'd advocate for extreme measures - penalties so severe that although the laws are still reactive, they become indirectly proactive because only a moron would chance being caught.

I think we have a similar viewpoint. Not sure the need to bash me.

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Jan-17-14 2:15 PM

"The only way to possibly reduce these unsafe practices is to make the penalties so harsh..."

C'mon, man, how can you say with a straight face that NO reduction in traffic accidents/fatalities would occur if DWT penalties were similar to those given to DWI offenders?

Yep, people still drive drunk, even though laws were passed to reduce it. Laws also haven't stopped people from committing murder, rape, robbery, selling drugs, either. The "money grab" aspect for lawyers, courts, local PDs, insurance companies etc. is irrelevant with respect to crime rates.

If you actually believe that laws have no positive effect in reducing crime, then I'm wasting my time.

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Jan-17-14 12:30 PM

Mandatory confiscation of autos and permanent revocation of license for DUI regardless of accident or normal traffic stop. Seizure of cell records and same punishment if it's found after an accident that the driver was talking/texting.

Think it's over the top? A little. But go drive drunk in Ecuador and cause an accident. See what happens.

None of this will happen. The big fat dirty secret about DUI is that it's a revenue stream and keeps money in the coffers. Municipalities, NYS, lawyers, insurance agents all benefit from a drunk driving arrest, and it's a fact that DUI have a habit of becoming repeat offenders - which might get you a 30 day jail term served on weekends, or a 5 year driving ban, but the fine is super high, the lawyer fee is higher, and then you pay out the nose when you get to drive again.

For these reasons, the US will never truly crack down on DUI.

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Jan-17-14 12:24 PM

I was behind someone on rt. 20 just this morning driving between 42 and 50 mph, twice corrected by the rumble strips. Passed them - they didn't even know I passed them because they were still searching for something on the front passenger seat.

What are we going to do about that? We can't really do anything unless there happens to be a cop right there that can cite them for improper lane change, if anything. Yet this person could easily strike and kill a pedestrian, cyclist, or another motorist.

Same with talking, same with texting - there's no preventative measure. Same with DUI - if the guy makes it home, the law didn't prevent anything.

The only way to possibly reduce these unsafe practices are to make the penalties so harsh that you would be an absolute imbecile to think about violating the law. Like - murder 1 for an accident resulting in death. Attempted murder for accident resulting in injury...

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Jan-17-14 11:04 AM

I wouldn't call it a knee jerk reaction, and you can't compare texting to another slight or temporary distraction like adjusting the radio, drinking coffee, or talking to the kids.

Too many innocent people are being killed/maimed as a direct result of texting, and if you can't see the difference, there's no point in trying to convince you otherwise. I never said stricter laws would completely eradicate DWT, but it'll certainly reduce the number of accidents/fatalities, just like the stricter DWI laws have. You can't legislate stupidity or carelessness, but you can try to protect others who are neither.

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Jan-17-14 8:18 AM

Get a grip people, its not the phone it is careless drivers. It does not matter if they are on the phone or doing something different-they are still distracted. Making the crime more serious will not stop it-does the death penalty stop murders? Enforce the laws already on the books. Don't do a knee jerk reaction because of an accident.

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Jan-17-14 8:14 AM

So will smoking, talking to passengers, eating while driving,drinking coffee, dealing with the kids when they're fighting, checking make-up, etc.

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Jan-17-14 8:11 AM

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Jan-17-14 6:19 AM

Harsher punishments (jail time, license suspension/revocation, major fines, etc) have allegedly led to a significant drop in DWI arrests. DWT (driving while texting/talking) is just as serious (and has become much more common than DWI), but b/c most motorists own one, society doesn't view using a cell phone (in and of itself) as harmful, therefore, not worthy of the same severe punishments that DWI offenders receive. Until V/T laws change, this plague will remain a common occurrence.

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