Recently many states have started TEXT laws for commercial vehicles over 10000 lbs. The fine is $2750 for first offense(or there abouts). Yet for others, the fine is`warning( first time), $100 second offense, and $500 third( and this is maximum for each offense). I understand that truck drivers need operate safely, but ALL drivers should be penalized the same. When car drivers fail to signal and cut off trucks, then hit the brakes. Truck drivers are abused enough. I am just asking all fines be equal. Does anyone have a problem with this?
I am not sure why having higher penalties for professionals amounts to abuse. A professional driver should know better, and a professional driver is endangering more people with his 60,000-80,000 pound truck than a guy in a 3,000 pound car.
We have similar harsh penalties for other crimes. For example, someone who is registered as a boxer or another kind of professional fighter would face stiffer penalties if he loses control of his temper and kills a stranger in a bar fight. The penalties for driving drunk are stiffer than penalties for public intoxication. If the captain an oil tanker causes a major oil spill because he was drunk, he will get a stiffer penalty than the guy who wrecks his pleasure craft for the same reason.
There should be higher standards for professional drivers. There is more at stake, and they should have the training to know better.
First I agree with Whitey, but I will add that if I understand it correctly the fines you list are from different authorities.
In any case I would be more concerned with a driver of an 18 wheeler than someone driving a Miata.
For many years I used to drive a LOT in heavy high speed traffic in every type of setting and have had MANY near incidents with cell phone drivers. I have been run off the road, nearly hit head on, forced over, sideswiped, lights run, turned in front of, cut off, and any scenario imaginable. In nearly every incident the driver was on a cell phone. I have always been a very careful driver and have never had a serious accident although I have been in at least 50 accidents over the years with other drivers - nearly killed twice - several which have died since. I lived and drove in the Kansas City area for 16 years and saw some really horrendous accidents. It was rated the highest traffic speed city in the nation. It was not unusual to be driving in 6 or 8 lanes of hundreds of cars doing 80 mph. The cops didn’t even try to control it as they caused far more accidents than they prevented. They simply became the meat scraper crews. Quite an exciting commute! After cell phone use became more common the stupidity increased drastically. Fortunately I now live in 100 miles from any major city and try to not go to town more than once a week. The unreal thing is is that in the small town (pop.8000)I now drive in I generally see nearly as many close calls as I did in a metro area of 6 Million. I attribute this to nearly everyone being on their f’ing cell phone. Going on too long now but a recent example is that as I was approaching town at 65 mph a street intersects with the Divided 4 lane just outside of the city limit. Two pickups were waiting to turn in front of me. As I came within around 300 ft. the first truck pulled into the inside lane - OK fine no problem. Then the second truck followed him - without stopping. OK dumbass ignore the sign. As I came within 100 ft of the second truck the first truck -which was perhaps now 150 ft leading the second - whips it over into my lane leaving me about 3 seconds to react. I went between them. I nearly took all of our mirrors off and I certainly hope I scared the shit out of them as much as they had me. I then slowed down, pulled up along the first, saw that he was on his cell, and shook my bare knuckle bird in his face, by then we were at the 30 mph city limit and the second truck pulled up behind me and I responded the same to him - who was also blah blahing on his cell. I watched them as I went thru town and neither came close to me in traffic. Just one example of the many incidents I have been thru. Not one person I have ever had an encounter like this has become hostile with me - they were ashamed or embarrased and hopefully scared of a really pissed off guy - some have pulled alongside and made some gesture of apology.
I also used to be a cell phone owner - don’t want to talk to anyone that badly any more. I always tried to be a safe driver with a cell. I admit using a cell while driving but always on an open road with no traffic. If my cell rang in traffic I had a holder on the dash and would pick it up - push any button to answer - say I am in traffic but I would pull over asap and call them back -Thats what I did and never had any kind of incident.
So yes I believe that penalties should be just a stiff as DWI or DUI.
What gets me is where are Mothers Against Cell User Drivers - Gee!! Even though more people -esp. kids - are being killed by this one cause than all DUI drivers their is no great outcry.
WHY? Their all driving to the mall while talking on their freakin cell phones!
Maybe you would be a happier person if you lived in a place where people drive better.
According to Forbes, the best cities to commute in are:
- Buffalo, NY
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Milwaukee, WI
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Cleveland, OH
- Hartford, CT
- Kansas City, MO
- Cincinnati, OH
- Richmond, VA
According to Forbes, the worst commuting cities are:
- Atlanta, GA
- Detroit, MI
- Miami, FL
- Orlando, FL
- Dallas, TX
- Tampa, FL
- Washington, DC
- Houston, TX
- Los Angeles, CA
- San Francisco, CA
I noticed that the worst commuting cities are almost all in the south, the best almost all in areas with seasons and different terrain. I’ll suggest that a deeper analysis would disclose related disparities.
I’m a trucker. I’m held to a higher standard, agreed. But a fine that’s 27 times the amount for a car committing the same violation? Come on. Remember this: it doesn’t matter how good I am at my profession (and I am really, really good!); I still have to drive on the same roads as all the brain-dead car drivers. There’s only so much I can control. And our own federal government readily admits that accidents involving a car and a truck, and resulting in a fatality, are the fault of the car driver in 75% of the accidents. 75%! The double standards and coddling of car drivers are inexcusable, and a real slap in the face to the best drivers on the road, by far. Another example: the Feds have proposed making transportation worker drug testing even stricter than it already is. The new standards, if they’d been in effect last year, would have resulted in less than 30,000 positive tests. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, this was out of 5.4 MILLION tests. That’s less than 6/10 of a percent. I will bet my house, my IRA, my wife, and my dog that the percentage of car drivers who would fail this new test is way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way higher than 6/10 of one percent. I’d also guarantee that out of 5.4 million car drivers on the road, a vastly higher percentage of them would fail the current transportation worker drug test than the people who are subject to testing already. Yet, I have to share the road with all of them, and still be expected to save each and every one of them from the stupid acts they commit. It’s all about revenue enhancement, and fleecing the population least likely to fight back.
Why limit it to just drug testing? Why not have a mandatory road/rules test everytime we all go to renew our driver’s license? A person taking the test answers their phone call/text, automatic failure. Don’t turn on their headlights when it looks bad out or use their turn signals, failure. Rolls through a stop sign or runs a red light, failure.
I sure can’t argue with that, except within a month or two, the entire tri-state region of NY, CT, & NJ will be devoid of all but a dozen or so cars !
you make that sound like a BAD thing. I think that the whole US would have less cars on it after the next year than it did back in 1905.
I agree…equality. BUT…a MAJOR fine is indicated for texting while driving. A friend of mine said, “Yea, but teenagers can’t afford that sort of fine,” to which I said “exactly!”
Well, no offense but I drive 30-40K a year in all weather conditions, and have been for over 30 years. I can count on two hands the number of close calls I’ve had. If you’ve had that many close ones, I would suggest to review your own defensive driving techniques. Things like maintaining space on all four sides can go a long way. If someone crowds me, I find a way to stay away from them.
Most of the time it isn’t the teenager, but their parents, that are paying their bills. Because they don’t consider themselves a good parent if they don’t wait on their kids hand and foot.
That makes sense to me. Northern cities have less urban sprawl, more mass transit, and fewer car owners. In southern cities, average commute times are longer because more urban sprawl means longer commuting distances. In addition, not many southern cities have good mass transit. Dallas and Atlanta have good mass transit, but their systems are not old enough that developers would exploit the transit lines when developing the neighborhoods.
Whitey’s post was IMHO spot-on. Truckers SHOULD face much stiffer penalties.
Your fine is many times bigger, but so is the danger you subject others to. And you’re getting paid to drive safely, the average driver isn’t.
I’m sure glad airline pilots are subjected to higher standards than the rest of us…