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Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: jdc
Date: March 12, 2012 02:55PM
A driver who caused a fatal traffic collision when she was text messaging behind the wheel on the freeway last year was sentenced today to five years in state prison.

[blogs.sacbee.com]

Is it illegal in every state? or just a few? Anyone here do it all the time?

I dont text (dont even have a texting plan) and thankfully have BT in both my cars...



----

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs [www.fakesteve.net]


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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: mattkime
Date: March 12, 2012 02:58PM
killing people is illegal in 47 states.





VTPKL it!
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: Grace62
Date: March 12, 2012 03:00PM
Here's the state-by-state run down on driving and texting laws:

[www.iihs.org]
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: GGD
Date: March 12, 2012 03:01PM
Quote
mattkime
killing people is illegal in 47 states.

Where are the three exceptions?
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: March 12, 2012 03:04PM
Logically speaking, it should be treated like alcohol. Having said that, I only text when the traffic is very light on the road (usually freeway like conditions). The analog when it comes to drinking (for a person of my tolerance level) is like driving when you've only had one or two drinks (I've done it) and even then only when traffic conditions are light (In other words I'm hardly feeling the effects, if at all).
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: hal
Date: March 12, 2012 03:08PM
Several family members of Wilson spoke in court at today's sentencing in which they expressed anger at Jones, who has been in custody since the October crash. Besides pleading no contest Jan. 30 to causing the wreck that led to the death, Jones also admitted that she fled the scene rather than stop to provide aid for the man who was hit by another car after she knocked him off his motorcycle.

Ouch? She's getting off light imo...
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: (vikm)
Date: March 12, 2012 03:17PM
I text. I don't drink (not even when I'm not behind the wheel).

It takes me forever to send a message because I text 2-3 letters of a word at a time and rely heavily on the autocorrect. Is it illegal? Sure. Is it wrong? Not so sure. It's not different (for me personally) than changing the music that's playing in the car or adjusting the temp or whatever.

I'm not saying she shouldn't be punished and I'm not even saying it was too much or too little a punishment. I'm guessing the fleeing the scene didn't help her much.

It's really a sad shame, regardless.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: March 12, 2012 03:25PM
There's no excuse for texting behind the wheel. Or looking away to change the radio. Or the A/C. Or to scratch your ass.

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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: jdc
Date: March 12, 2012 03:26PM
Quote
Grace62
Here's the state-by-state run down on driving and texting laws:

[www.iihs.org]

WOW. That first column should be "all drivers" for every state IMHO.

You can always tell when someone here is doing 45 in the slow lane, or 45 behind an 18 wheeler on the freeway is because they are talking on the phone and arent paying attention.



----

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs [www.fakesteve.net]


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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: decay
Date: March 12, 2012 03:30PM
Siri helps me if i need to dash off a message while at a red light.



---
I buy records. Getting rid of some? Let me know.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: March 12, 2012 03:31PM
Logically speaking, it should be treated like...

...any other negligent activity, with punishment appropriate to any resulting actions.

Texting is illegal in CA, along with holding an electronic device. There is a demographic around here that holds a cellphone while using it as a speakerphone. Some believe that's legal, others do so to hide it quickly when The Man is around.

CA blew it big time making using a cellphone without hands-free gear no more consequential that a pricey parking ticket. Even then, most people didn't know that the ticket was pricey until they got one. Texting wasn't specifically addressed either. Not much of a deterrent.

Both activities should have been treated as moving violations with convictions adding points to their driving record.

It took many, many years for CA as well as many other states to recognize drunk driving as a irresponsible criminal act rather than merely an "unfortunate" by product of just having "a couple of beers".

It's good to see they're moving a little faster in the digital age (though that took years, too).

Interesting that she was responsible for the death of a motorcyclist. When I ride, I often see people with their phone in their right hand, that hand on their leg (presumably keeping the phone out of sight) and looking down at the phone to read, and sometimes time.

In the city, I split lanes at stop lights and occasionally as I roll up along side a car, I'll see the driver hide his/her cellphone.

I'm glad the girl was in custody from the time of the killing, and I think five years is a very small price to pay for negligence resulting in the death of another.

Had the two drivers been acting in concert to commit a felony, the girl could be facing a life sentence. As the motorcyclist was merely an innocent victim, see gets only five years.

By the by, I'd feel the same of the victim was a bicyclist or the driver of an SUV, or anything in between.



You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

There is no safety for honest men
except by believing all possible evil
of evil men.

Pixels were born to be punished. -Frederick Van Johnson

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* Sigs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: March 12, 2012 03:40PM
And I don't text while driving. Ever.

I can change my radio station by touch, as with the A/C. And if I had to scratch, I could do that without looking away, either.

Using Siri has never occurred to me. If I hear my text tone, can I ask Siri to "Read my latest text" without picking up the 'Phone and navigating to the text? That would be cool.

Siri does a better job of calling people than the previous voice menu did. There is a lot of potential in voice control and I hope Apple exploits it to the fullest.



You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

There is no safety for honest men
except by believing all possible evil
of evil men.

Pixels were born to be punished. -Frederick Van Johnson

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* Sigs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: davester
Date: March 12, 2012 04:09PM
Quote
(vikm)
I text...

...It's not different (for me personally) than changing the music that's playing in the car or adjusting the temp or whatever.

If you believe that then I've got a bridge to sell you.




"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: Mike Johnson
Date: March 12, 2012 04:17PM
Quote
RAMd®d
Both activities should have been treated as moving violations with convictions adding points to their driving record.

I couldn't agree more. You can get points on your record if you're passed out drunk in the back seat of your car, sleeping it off instead of driving home, but no points for texting while driving? Crazy.

Car crashes kill more than 35,000 Americans every year.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: billb
Date: March 12, 2012 04:32PM
Quote
(vikm)
It's not different (for me personally) than changing the music that's playing in the car or adjusting the temp or whatever.



People who drink and drive have similarly convinced themselves of their holy capabilities.


It's not wise to be doing for even the remote possibility of causing an accident.
It's not wise to be doing for the likelyhood of being blamed for having caused an accident.


All those other activities have been cited as distractions leading at least in part to having caused an accident, too. Texting can be proven. The other distractions, not so much.



Too many a-holes on the road to let one of them scr*w ya, and they will.





" Families who heat their homes with wood responsibly should be recognized for their contribution to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a sustainable energy future."
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: Manlove
Date: March 12, 2012 04:36PM
My wife just got a $110 ticket for texting whilst stopped at a red light.
She didn't pull away in a timely fashion when the light turned green and a cop saw her and she was ticketed. Essentially, in terms of the danger involved, she could have been looking at a map, or doing any one of a 1000 other things that causes people to not pull away the instant a light turns green. Needless to say she will not be texting in a car again, unless she is pulled over with the engine turned off!
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: mattkime
Date: March 12, 2012 04:48PM
the reason why there are specific laws being passed against texting while driving is not because they're needed from a logic standpoint - distracted driving laws should cover that just fine. however, police and courts have a devilishly hard time trying to care about these things.

in many places you can be ridiculously negligent but as long as you don't have any alcohol in your system then its just an "accident." elderly person hit in a crosswalk? accident!

people want to drive without being responsible but at some point we have to justify needless lives being lost.





VTPKL it!
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: mattkime
Date: March 12, 2012 04:49PM
Quote
Manlove
My wife just got a $110 ticket for texting whilst stopped at a red light.
She didn't pull away in a timely fashion when the light turned green and a cop saw her and she was ticketed. Essentially, in terms of the danger involved, she could have been looking at a map, or doing any one of a 1000 other things that causes people to not pull away the instant a light turns green. Needless to say she will not be texting in a car again, unless she is pulled over with the engine turned off!

ug... and tickets are more likely to be handed out when its easy rather than when someone is actually doing something reckless....
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: jdc
Date: March 12, 2012 04:59PM
No texting while driving had to happen -- its how 99% of all teenagers -20 somethings communicate -- and the age group with the largest amount of accidents.

one less thing for them to be preoccupied with.

turning a station, or upping the AC takes far less time than texting.



----

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs [www.fakesteve.net]


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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: Black
Date: March 12, 2012 04:59PM
Quote
RAMd®d

In the city, I split lanes at stop lights and occasionally as I roll up along side a car, I'll see the driver hide his/her cellphone.

And I'm also hopelessly aware of what's going on inside people's cars. Most of the time I wish I wasn't able to see.




MR/F Guestmap: [www.mapservices.org]
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: March 12, 2012 05:20PM
however, police and courts have a devilishly hard time trying to care about these things.

BS.

Police have a devilishly hard time trying to prove the driver was distracted, without some kind of measurable standard. If there is a major infraction, or a collision (with or without injury, it's pretty much prima facia.

It's similar with DUI. But with DUI (in CA) there must first be probable cause for a stop. If the driver is eventually found to to have a BAC of .08% or greater, they are presumed DUI. No further proof is needed. But everything up and to that point can (and often is) challenged.

Less than .08%, the People have to prove that the actions and condition of the driver warrant (npi) a conviction. Not that easy.

With texting being illegal, you don't have to prove that the driver was distracted, you just have to hope the jury believes your testimony that he was texting, and not the jerk:

"I wasn't texting. Maybe it was somebody who looked like me, in a car that looked like mine. But it wasn't me. I don't know what he's talkin."


turning a station, or upping the AC takes far less time than texting.

Agreed.

And it's my contention that it takes less higher (?!) brain activity to do those as opposed to texting.



You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

There is no safety for honest men
except by believing all possible evil
of evil men.

Pixels were born to be punished. -Frederick Van Johnson

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* Sigs. It's Glocks I hate.




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2012 05:20PM by RAMd®d.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: mattkime
Date: March 12, 2012 05:59PM
Quote

however, police and courts have a devilishly hard time trying to care about these things.

BS.

what proof is needed for a red light ticket? just the officer's word. i don't see why that wouldn't be sufficient for reckless driving.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Date: March 12, 2012 06:05PM
Quote
jdc
Ouch...
A driver who caused a fatal traffic collision when she was text messaging behind the wheel on the freeway last year was sentenced today to five years in state prison.

She got off easy.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: Manlove
Date: March 12, 2012 06:14PM
Quote
Article Accelerator
Quote
jdc
Ouch...
A driver who caused a fatal traffic collision when she was text messaging behind the wheel on the freeway last year was sentenced today to five years in state prison.

She got off easy.

Agreed.
I was pissed about my wife's ticket. As Mattkime said, she was an easy target, plus the end of the month quota's were needing to be filled...

But she was not causing any danger to anyone. A simple, short toot of the horn from the car behind would have been all that was needed to get her on her way again. Ho hum.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: Manlove
Date: March 12, 2012 06:18PM
Quote
RAMd®d
...
turning a station, or upping the AC takes far less time than texting.

Agreed.

And it's my contention that it takes less higher (?!) brain activity to do those as opposed to texting.

Kids (and other people) can pocket text, i.e. by touch. They barely need to engage neurons to reply to a text. It's automatic. It's old people we need to worry about, whose fat jittery fingers fumble to find the keys!

I keed, just a little.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: Mike Johnson
Date: March 12, 2012 06:26PM
Quote
Black
Quote
RAMd®d

In the city, I split lanes at stop lights and occasionally as I roll up along side a car, I'll see the driver hide his/her cellphone.

And I'm also hopelessly aware of what's going on inside people's cars. Most of the time I wish I wasn't able to see.

I walk my son to school & back every day, and we have to cross at a very busy intersection. So I'm teaching him how, even when you have the Walk signal, you have to make sure the approaching driver sees you and acknowledges you before you step off the curb. We watch drivers approaching the light as it's about to turn green, and it's downright frightening what we see a couple times a week. Maybe twice a week we miss the signal because somebody speeds right through, barely slowing to make the turn, often while chatting on the phone, or texting, or putting on makeup, or shaving, reading a newspaper. Or just not looking for pedestrians standing patiently at the corner trying to cross legally and safely.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: Michael
Date: March 12, 2012 06:36PM
Quote
jdc
A driver who caused a fatal traffic collision when she was text messaging behind the wheel on the freeway last year was sentenced today to five years in state prison.

I wish it was more.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2012 06:37PM by Michael.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: Manlove
Date: March 12, 2012 06:44PM
Quote
Mike Johnson
Quote
Black
Quote
RAMd®d

In the city, I split lanes at stop lights and occasionally as I roll up along side a car, I'll see the driver hide his/her cellphone.

And I'm also hopelessly aware of what's going on inside people's cars. Most of the time I wish I wasn't able to see.

I walk my son to school & back every day, and we have to cross at a very busy intersection. So I'm teaching him how, even when you have the Walk signal, you have to make sure the approaching driver sees you and acknowledges you before you step off the curb. We watch drivers approaching the light as it's about to turn green, and it's downright frightening what we see a couple times a week. Maybe twice a week we miss the signal because somebody speeds right through, barely slowing to make the turn, often while chatting on the phone, or texting, or putting on makeup, or shaving, reading a newspaper. Or just not looking for pedestrians standing patiently at the corner trying to cross legally and safely.

Basic rule of the road- make eye contact with people, don't assume anything. Good for you dad. People really are stupid.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: March 12, 2012 07:03PM
what proof is needed for a red light ticket? just the officer's word. i don't see why that wouldn't be sufficient for reckless driving.

Well, you've hit the nail on the head. It's the officer's word. That is not proof. A judge or a jury makes a decision based on that testimony, not on material evidence. Judgement usually goes for who has the most reasonable testimony and accurate testimony, unlike a red light camera case which is pretty much cut and dry.

Again, this is just about CA, but reckless driving almost always requires that three moving traffic violations are committed, and they all have to point to wanton disregard for the public's safety. Unless the suspect waves their right to a jury trial, you must convince the jury that what you saw merits the arrest and conviction. And not all jurors will agree with you. That's another reason good witness statements are important. But good witnesses aren't always around.

You can't force anybody to accept your word except perhaps when you testify as an expert witness. Then the defense may try to bring in one of their own. Again, it's a matter of who the jury believes.

So we have laws specifically about cellphones and texting, to eliminate uncertainty and hopefully prevent injury or worse.



You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

There is no safety for honest men
except by believing all possible evil
of evil men.

Pixels were born to be punished. -Frederick Van Johnson

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* Sigs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: Racer X
Date: March 12, 2012 08:23PM
Reckless Driving in WA state is automatic for 20+ over the speed limit. My GF's niece just got nailed for 45 in a 20 school zone, and was hit with reckless. As soon as the judge heard school zone, she was screwed. He said she "might" be able to argue the 25 over down to 19, thus no reckless, but school zone screwed her. Lost her license until she hits 18.

I got an 86 in a 60, but the state trooper cut me some slack as the road was deserted, and wrote it for 19 over. He said the judge/magistrate knows this is code for already has been given a break and don't even try talking it down any lower.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: March 12, 2012 08:25PM
I send text messages all the time while driving. It's no different than having a conversation.

Of course, I use the speech to text function on my phone...




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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: rz
Date: March 12, 2012 08:28PM
For those of you who admit to texting while driving, please explain to me what's so goddam important that it can't wait? Seriously.

I think 5 years was nowhere near enough. She'll probably get out in less than 2.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: BCool
Date: March 12, 2012 10:57PM
I ride a motorcycle and see people weave in and out of the lanes on a daily basis and they are texting! Please stop before you hit and kill me. Memo to CHP, please ticket these folks.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: ADent
Date: March 12, 2012 11:01PM
The first case I heard of around here about 5 years ago and the teen got zero jail time.

Now it is plainly illegal.

Hit and run is a major crime here. The prosecutors and media like to assume the driver was drunk and that is why they ran - so thinking is it should be sentenced like a DUI fatality.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: March 13, 2012 09:20AM
Quote
GGD
Quote
mattkime
killing people is illegal in 47 states.

Where are the three exceptions?

Insanity and Anarchy are two.



It is what it is.
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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: March 13, 2012 12:32PM
Quote
rz
For those of you who admit to texting while driving, please explain to me what's so goddam important that it can't wait? Seriously.

It's usually no more important than whatever you might say to someone sitting in a car with you. Like I said, I use voice to text to send them so I'm not typing. I personally think those people who have to look at you while talking when they're driving are more dangerous.




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Re: Ouch: 5 years for text-messaging causing vehicular-manslaughter
Posted by: SteveO
Date: March 13, 2012 02:11PM
Please don't text and drive. A single moment can change an entire life.
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