CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Texting while operating dangerous heavy equipment

Dear CarTalkers:
Here is an excellent letter published in the Eugene (Oregon) Register-Guard:
“Texting while driving
SEPT. 9, 2016
It is unnerving to read the Sept. 3 piece about the nationwide epidemic of texting while driving. Over lunch recently, a retired friend was telling me about his early training as a machinist working with heavy-duty machine tools in the aircraft industry. The greatest emphasis was on focus while operating a metalworking lathe or a high-capacity drill press. Keep your eye and mind on the work in front of you, no chatting with your neighbor at the broaching machine, no holding coffee with one hand, no daydreaming about girlfriends or problems at home. Concentration on the job, first and foremost. Finally, did I know what was the highest-risk heavy machinery? The automobile, as potentially dangerous as the giant automatic screw machine, but not stationary, it’s rolling on wheels, really fast. It is not secondary to something else, like eating a sandwich or – horrors! – texting. It is the primary task at hand and must be treated as such.
JIM WOOD”

We had a local city bus driver caught texting ands driving and nearly causing a serious accident. He is currently being disciplined by his employer, thanks to an alert passenger recoding it all…

Distracted driving by strangers frightens me nearly every time I drive.

Cars are continually becoming safer. However, that is not translating to safer travel on our roads because of the distracted driving epidemic. It’s difficult or nearly impossible to defend against!

Furthermore, safer cars should be driving insurance costs lower, but distracted driving collisions are driving it higher.

I think the time to get serious about addressing the problem is long overdue.
CSA

The ACLU might not like it but I think it’s possible to have an automated camera system that could take pictures of drivers as they pass by.
One camera takes a photo through the driver’s window; another takes the license plate.
If the driver has a phone to their ear or looking down at a phone in their hand the car’s owner gets a nice fat ticket in the mail.
If it wasn’t the owner driving it up to the owner to work that out with the driver.
The camera for the driver’s window can use an infrared strobe to prevent driver distraction.

Yes distracted driving does effect insurance rates. But these also have a big effect: wildfires, floods, severe storms with high winds and hail, and the fact that with crumple zones that allow us to have a much better chance to survive a crash while totaling the vehicles.

Has nothing to do with ACLU, but everything to do with state laws. Conservative NH is not a friend of the ACLU yet they think that would be vacillation of our rights. Heck - Road blocks to do sobriety checks is unconstitutional in NH.

A few months ago a student videoed their school bus driver texting and driving. They were fired. Probably difficult to terminate a city employee.

Plus airbag deployments totaling vehicles.

I hadn’t thought of it before but sobriety check road blocks technically lack probable cause.

You school bus drivers are city employees? Ours work for private companies which the towns then have contracts with. Biggest in our area is First Student.

Sobriety checkpoints are legal under the 4th Amendment and do not require probable cause. There are variations of the laws from State to State, how, where, when, who and so on. Just don’t talk or answer any questions if you feel offended, that’s legal too.

Our public school bus drivers are also contract. I was replying to Docknick’s post concerning a city bus driver.

I agree, texting can be dangerous. We need a dedicate lane just for drivers that want to text while driving. :grin:

And yet, they seem to do them in Seabrook on a fairly regular basis. They even advertise they are going to do them in the local paper. FWIW- I am against wholesale pulling over of people to see if they are impaired in some way. They always publish how effective they were with X number of arrests but fail to say how many total people they actually inconvenienced to catch the few. I see it as a slippery slope…

texting and WALKING is just as bad.

1 Like

Not wven close. I don’t know too many who have the ability to kill someone else while walking and texting.

But texting and walking may get you KILLED, if you aren’t paying attention, and walk out into rush hour traffic

I’ve actually seen several near-catastrophes

Disaster was averted, because the driver was paying attention and managed to stop in time, or swerve out of the way

Unlike the IDIOT who was walking and texting, not a care in the world

And the IDIOT continued walking across the street, to the other side, either oblivious to the danger HE caused, or he just didn’t care

1 Like

Following a person, happened to be female, one brake light burned out, could see cell in her right hand, and gesticulating with her left hand, slowed at one point to 15mph in a 30 mph zone, must have been steering with her knees.
Cell call ended, and now she was doing 40.

Sure texting can distract you, sure pedestrians are so tied to their phone, they are oblivious of their surroundings and can get hurt, sure I tried pokeman go, kind of fun, see enough people doing it, even some hotspots I tried, ran out of ammo, do not go for the big ones I guess.

Sure you have the potential to kill yourself. But not likely you’ll kill someone else texting while walking.

But you might get yourself killed, and also endanger motorists, when you walk out into rush hour traffic. Might cause a snafu, which endangers more than just the IDIOT texter who’s not looking where he is, what’s going on, where he’s walking, etc.

What if a motorist manages to stop in time, avoid hitting the IDIOT

But the guy behind him doesn’t react as quickly, and slams into the guy that did manage to stop

Could be somebody gets hurt

And it’s essentially the IDIOT texter’s fault

I see bums run out into traffic and cause these situations

Now it could be IDIOT texters

If you’re going to text, you should be aware of your surroundings, unless you’re glued into place on the couch, for example, where there is no likely possibility of causing injury to yourself or others

1 Like