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October 2nd, 2009
05:00 PM ET

How to handle people who drive while doing other things?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Distracted drivers are a deadly threat... and this includes anyone talking on cell phones, texting, eating, putting on make-up, etc. while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. It's estimated that 6,000 people were killed - and more than half a million injured - in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver.

One study shows 80 percent of crashes are related to drivers not paying attention... and people using handheld devices are four times as likely to get in crashes that could result in injury.

Safety advocates say they're especially worried about young people... saying that some of the kids learning to drive now text 5,000 times a month. This is scary.

Washington wants people to take this threat more seriously... there's one Senate bill that would reduce federal highway funding for states that don't ban texting while driving.

President Obama signed an executive order that bans federal employees from texting while behind the wheel. The government also plans to ban texting by bus drivers and truckers who cross state lines; and possibly prevent them from using cell phones while driving. Hundreds of companies have already banned employees from using cell phones while driving.

The problem is - there's no enforcement. I see literally dozens of people yakking away on cell phones in cars every day on my ride into work from New Jersey. They change lanes, slam on their brakes, swerve all over the road... all while lost in their own little worlds on their cell phones.

Want to get serious? Yank their drivers' licenses - permanently - if they cause an accident while driving distracted.

Here’s my question to you: What’s the answer to people who insist on driving while doing other things?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Bob from Houston writes:
Automobiles could be made with shields in the roofs that block the ability of the cell phone to get through to the signal or some sort of device in the dashboard that interferes with the cell phone's ability to get through to the signal once the engine is turned on. How about a device that renders the cell phone useless once the car's speed exceeds 5 mph? Use technology to make people get off the road and stop the car if they want to use their cell phones while inside a car.

Bob writes:
The cell phone problem is easy. The cops should take the phone and mail it to our troops. Second offense: take the car. There is a section in most vehicle codes for unsafe driving that covers the rest of what drivers do. Problem is enforcement and what the judges do about it.

Ron writes:
Any time a collision occurs, one of the routine checks should be whether the driver has a cell phone number and, if so, whether that phone was in use at the time of the collision. If so, the driver on the phone should be charged will full responsibility for the accident, including all damages and possible criminal charges such as vehicular assault, homicide, etc. If both drivers are using mobile devices, they share the charges equally.

Sean from Phoenix writes:
In Maricopa County, Arizona, you know, the county with the "toughest sheriff in America", if you're stopped while driving on a suspended license, the police take you to jail – even though your stay is just under 24 hours. They don't have to take you, but it is done to prove a point. The same should apply to these drivers who put the rest of us in danger and I bet we'd start seeing change. Lock 'em up!

Bill writes:
How come it's taking so long for all cars to be fitted with ways for communication to be sent to the driver without the use of their hands? If I could get my text messages on my windshield and be able to speak my response and have it sent back as a text then I wouldn't have to struggle to tell my boss I'm late because I'm stuck behind Jack Cafferty taking his sweet time cruising into work.


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. John from Alabama

    Jack: People who drive cars while being distracted are dangerous to the driving public. Have the person with you in the car take the license number and report it to the police. This is all you can do.

    October 2, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  2. David in Natchez,MS

    After they run me off the road on my motorcycle I usually pull along side of them and try to put my boot thru their door.

    October 2, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  3. Tom from Philly

    well the first step is to include distracted driving under the reckless driving code complete with 6 month suspension. then when caught again, jail time. Its america we put everyone in jail, why not include reckless drivers. And that state that just bumped up to 15years per death of vehicular homocide bully to them

    October 2, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  4. Independent Joe

    Jack,

    Require those who have been cited for texting or using cell phones while driving to ride along with paramedics, police, or firefighters. If they could see what we see, they would be more careful.

    Independent Joe (Mn)

    October 2, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  5. MB in VA

    The fact that we need laws to prohibit people from texting while driving is ridiculous; I would have thought that common sense would dictate that this is not a safe thing to do. People need to take responsibilitiy for their own actions.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  6. Peg from NY

    Ticket them with LARGE FINES and NO lenience. One strike out and they LOSE their liscense. Easy peasy.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  7. Paul Austin, Texas

    People driving while doing things should be called fool ragers. When you drive you must give it your full attention. It only takes one second for a mistake to happen. I see people eating looking at the food, doing makeup, shaving, on the cell phone or texting not looking in the direction they are headed and the worst I have seen is someone reading the daily news paper and not paying any attention. All of the above by the way never looking at the road and most going over the speed limit to boot. If police see such actions they should be aloud to stop them and give them a fine that means something a fine of say $700.00 to start that would handle it.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  8. Terry in Hanover

    Refuse to ride with them. My mother puts on make-up, eats, drinks coffee, looks at the person in the passenger seat to talk to them, waves her hands while talking, uses her cell phone, and even turns her head towards the back seat to chat with the person there. Fortunately, no one has been hurt - YET. I've been terrified since childhood of her driving and nothing gets her to stop. Now when my husband and I have to go somewhere with her, he insists on driving or we do not go.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  9. Christian

    People who insist on driving while doing other things should choose between going hunting with Dick Cheney or reading Sarah Palins new book. Either way Jack its punishment enough.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  10. Jim

    Jack, The answer is to make it easier and more affordable and encourage doing other things while driving. Eventually they will all kill each other and then there will be peace on LA streets and freeways. Unfortunately some of us will be collateral damage.
    Jim in Los Angeles (the multi tasking capitol of the world)

    October 2, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  11. Jayne

    Traffic tickets. Lots and lots of traffic tickets. At least once a day I narrowly escape death in the local roundabout as a texting or cell phone chatting driver barrels through without noticing there are other cars on the road.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  12. Lisa in Shelton

    Keep a safe distance away from them if possible; report them when necessary. Plus – teaching your kids about following the law and good manners – explaining about the impact of the speed of technology, and the rampant self-indulgence and lack of patience it breeds.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  13. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    When caught, impound their vehicle. If they do it often enough they will probably find out exactly the value of what they were doing while driving, and if they can afford to keep it up?

    October 2, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  14. Kenneth in Seattle

    If they drive while on the cell phone, hands-free or not, the answer is easy. If they get into an accident, check their cell phone records. If they were using the phone, they forfeit their car– even for a minor fender-bender.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  15. Lori - PA

    I don't know. This is an issue that has been discussed for years, and, obviously, people are not listening. People can be fined, jailed, or have their driver's license suspended, and they don't stop the behavior that got them in trouble in the first place.

    Maybe make the drivers that get caught talking on a cell phone, reading, or putting on make-up (to name a few) while driving, use a horse and buggy for a week.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  16. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    If you kill another human being while texting,boozing or dialing you get
    25 years automatic..........no questions asked.I hear so much about and such worry about the users and abusers ALL the time and not one word about the victims and their familys' not a word.
    David

    October 2, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  17. mark pribble Anna Illinois

    They should fine them and if that does not work take away their cars. We all know that cell phones and distractions while driving can kill. We need to take responsibility for our actions behind the wheel of a vehicle good and bad.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  18. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Public Transit!

    October 2, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  19. Joe in VA

    I'm not smart enough to answer this one! All I can think of is impose the same penalties for various inattentiveness while driving as are imposed for being over the legal limit from drinking. Still, any enforcement would be hit and miss. Hopefully another blogger has a brilliant insight.

    Chatham, VA

    October 2, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  20. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    This morning the wife and I were on a walk next to a busy street when a young girl was driving while putting her hair into a pony tail. We were on a sidewalk but could have been killed if she had turned the car with the wrong leg. To me these people should not be allowed to drive for the rest of their life, just like cell phone addicts or drunk drivers after one offense!

    October 2, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  21. Johnny From SC

    Stay as far way from them as you can. Better safe than sorry.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  22. Jackie in Dallas

    I think that a government initiative withholding tax money for road improvements is in order - until each state passes a law that creates a SERIOUS fine for "driving distracted". They did it for speed limits; I think it would work for driving distracted.

    Every one of us who drive is guilty at some time, so I think we have to give a little leeway in defining "driving distracted". The guy slurping his Starbucks is not nearly as distracted as the guy texting; the woman nibbling on an energy bar is not nearly as distracted as the woman separating two battling kids in the back seat. I think it depends on whether they are causing unsafe driving conditions for others or actually cause an accident.

    A sliding scale fine: $100 for first offense, or where there is no actual accident, but where other traffic ordinances are violated (illegal change of lane, swerving at speed, etc.); $500 for second violation or where there is an accident, but not one resulting in injury to others; and $5000 fine plus other charges if an accident occurs that results in injuries or death.

    We have to get serious and hit people where it hurts. Multi-tasking is great, but drivers have to remember that driving is a privilege, not a right, and that their primary focus while behind the wheel is DRIVING.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  23. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    Take away their toys first (cell phones, etc). and their cars next.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  24. Denni's north Carolina

    jail and fines

    October 2, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  25. Carol Colitti Levine

    Northampton, Massachusetts

    There should be a hotline to call authorities when someone swerves, runs a red light, otherwise puts me at risk. It happens at least once a day.

    Now I just honk like hell.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  26. Ryan, Galesburg IL

    The answer is age-old: Invest in mass transportation (so long as the train operator isn't plugged-in too).

    October 2, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  27. george

    My pappy always told me it was a lot more dangerous to drive drunk than it is to ride a horse when you're drunk. Says if you fall off a horse chance are the only thing that will be hurt is your pride, but horses are not going to outrun the speen limit, and usually horses are too smart to run into trees, however put that same person behind a wheel of an automobile is a different story. Texting, and talking on a phone while driving is just as dangerous, but falls into the same catagory. Sometime a little common sense would help, but who has that anymore.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  28. TERRY DELOUGHARY

    I'm probably going to lose about half of my friends if you publish this, but here goes: You could cut the car-driving cell-phoning by an easy 80% by making it illegal for women to drive. My wife just looked over my shoulder and told me I was in enough trouble, already and I should close.
    Terry DeLoughary
    Bark River, MIchigan

    October 2, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  29. Lucy

    Revoke their licenses. You mess up once, take away their license. Driver's licenses are a privilege, other people have the RIGHT to live.
    Lucy
    SF, CA

    October 2, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  30. Alex in Seattle

    It is already illegal in many states but not enforced. They put drunk drivers in jail, maybe they should do that to distracted drivers as well. A ticket just doesn't seem to be enough to stop the carnage on our nation's highways.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  31. Al from SoCal

    We Needed to build a sort of behind the wheel neighborhood watch system. Where every day people (drivers) after some kind certification process could report drivers doing things that they shouldn't be doing while they are driving. A system that is supported with some kind of response to those that have been reported. If people behind the wheel new that there might be somebody watching them, other than just police, and there are repercussions for that behavior I think most people would be less likely to do things that they are not supposed to be doing while they are driving

    October 2, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  32. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    First hit em in the pocket book big time. Make it the fine of all fines. $500.00 for the first offense, after that it's the drivers license and 30 days picking up trash on the side of the road. There are enough idiots out there who think they can't get caught who will think again after shelling out that kind of money. The states stand to clean up with this if they handle it right. Cell phones are useful tools in our daily lives I personally don't own one, because I can't justify the cost to my needs.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  33. Paul from Canada

    There is no clear answer, we can only treat distracted drivers the same as drunk drivers and look for visual clues of erratic driving. Perhaps the odd camera can catch some people, but in general, its gonna have to be labelled socially as something deemed unacceptable, and driven home repeatedly through endless media campaigns until its finally accepted through most of the thick-skulled people. Severe penalties won't hurt either.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  34. John

    Pass the approriate traffic laws and enforce them. If you need to Twitter, E-mail, Facebook, or Text you don't need to drive.
    John
    Pampa,TX

    October 2, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  35. Allen L Wenger

    Take away their driver's license. That's what you do when someone gets a DUI or too many traffic tickets. This is the same thing, they are a hazard to everyone else on the street. You protect everyone by taking away their driving priviledges. Sounds too simple, doesn't it?

    Mountain Home ID

    October 2, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  36. Judie Williams EL Lago

    A cell phone user missed me by the measure of a cat's whisker....talk about "flashbacks" ... for months.

    Driving while talking simply does not work......period, and I can nearly spot them a mile away.

    Major auto insurance companies COULD have them sign an exclusion clause...downside is that the person they kill or injure is penalized.

    It is long overdue that each individual state passes a bill by which this practice is illegal. If not, then do it on the federal level.

    To think that once a drunk driver was the most feared. Harzadous to my health are the cell phone users......on the roads and in the restaurants! This only reflects their selfishness and self centeredness........the "ME", "I", status.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  37. Tina Tx

    The poor police are too busy now to be looking for people who are not paying attention to their driving. I can eat and drive and still keep my eyes on the road. It is the other idiots I can't trust.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  38. RDR Texas

    Make it a Frderal Law to use cell pnones while driving.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  39. JENNA

    What’s the answer to people who insist on driving while doing other things?

    Here in CA it is against the law to drive while talking on your cell phone however the police here do it all the time.. You see them in their cruisers on their phones..

    If police won't follow our laws why should citizens?

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    October 2, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  40. Jerry Alpharetta, GA

    I know that enforcement of traffic law in and around the greater Atlanta area is basically non existent. If the police can't get control of the roads, how in the world will they ever get control over the use of cell phones? Perhaps the only thing to do is to require that in every accident investigation all cell phones in possession of all drivers must be checked to determine if the cell phone was in use at the time of the accident. If it is determined that a cell phone was in use by any of the drivers they would be inhibited from receiving any compensation from insurance companies for any damage or injury suffered by them. If they are an uninsured motorist then there should be a minimum 6 month jail term.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  41. Fred S. pulpmillbottom wv

    just like the seat belt law...if your pulled over and your phone is not cradeled out of reach in the back seat you get a ticket

    October 2, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  42. Jan from NJ

    You should make them accompany the police when they have to go notify families of people killed in car accidents for one year.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  43. Chryssa

    We've already proven that texting behind the wheel is as bad as drunk driving, and the penalties should be similar. We need stiff fines and temporary loss of license after two or three offenses. That's what it'll take for people to put their phones away when they get in the car.

    Boise, ID

    October 2, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  44. honestjohn in Vermont

    Their cell phones and other distracting toys should be confiscated and made to wear ankle bracelets that will sound alarms if they turn on a cell phone or other device while driving.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  45. Mike

    It depends on t he person. I drove for 30 years on the Los Angeles Freeways while reading a book. It can be done, it just requires concentration and ability. Of course now that I am over 70 years old it is a bit harder. Just can't do it anymore.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  46. chris

    nothing without envading our lives in our cars with camera's and if those camera cought someone doing things not omnly related to cell phones but that is a bad idea cuase it's a invasion of our privacy but you can't just talk about cell phones there is other things people do so you have to fine someone for anythign that they do except drive that would not good cause it would be them once again tellign what to do with our lives driving is a part of oue lives

    October 2, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  47. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, I totally agree with you on this issue. The answer is, make the punishment strong enough to get their attention, then enforce it, hard and fast. Example, $300-400 for not wearing a seat belt has the majority of people buckling up. Suspend several thousand driver's licences for a year, with a nice $500 fine for using a cellphone while driving, the word will get out. Until enforcement follows the law, the "cellphone addicts" will continue to put the rest of us at risk daily, and more people will die as a result.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  48. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Eventually the laws of nature will provide the answer for them, and it won’t be pretty. After they wreck their cars, they should pay all costs and liabilities of the crash to their victims. Then they should be thrown in jail just as if they were DUI (which, in a sense, they were). But unlike a drunk, they knowingly and in full control of their faculties got behind the wheel of a 2 ton battering ram and uncaringly proceeded to batter innocent people. If some one gets killed in the process, I think the term would be criminal negligence.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  49. BILL, WI

    Copy what some european countries have done to curtail tailgating and other inconsiderate driving habits. Establish a fine that is a percentage of the offenders annual income along with banning them from driving until the fine is paid. Start with a fine of 12 percent but which will be increased if there is an accident.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  50. Maria

    Let's include those who program their GPSs while driving. And let's not wait until an accident happens. Make it a felony in every state to use anything in your hands while driving (keep it clean, people). First offense, lose license for two years, go to jail for two years, and supervised probation for two years, including a trip to local morgue to see kids who've been mangled by an offender.

    Maria
    Brunswick,MD

    October 2, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  51. Tim in Texas

    LIke a seat belt law, there should be a law that all cell phones must be in the glove compartment while the car is in motion. Also there should be no DVD players mounted under the rear view mirror. You can't prevent all distractions, but you can minimize some of them.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  52. Pugas-AZ

    The only way to stop phoning and texting while driving is to somehow disconnect the phone service, Maybe some sort of GPS system could be tied into the phone and cutoff service if movement was detected. Most people would probably say, as the NRA does, over gun control "over my dead body." Then there is the other side of the story: "phones don't kill people, people kill people." In any event, let's pull the plug on this outlandish practice.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  53. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Get there license plat number and report them for reckless driving .

    October 2, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  54. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Sooner or later we'll get to put them in a wooden box and their selfish, ignorant way will come to an end.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  55. ed in ri

    Jack;
    Your first mistake was describing these people as "drivers!" The cell phone moms in their SUVs, which their husbands bought them", to get them out of the house - Will, eventually decline, due to the micro-wave radiation they are receiving on an apparent 24/7 basis.
    That alone, might save the planet.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  56. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Instead of spending their time hiding in bushs to catch speeders, the police should start pulling these idiots over and citing them for their reckless behavior. Then, the judges need to throw the book at these multi-tasking morons, pull their licenses, and keep them off the roads. We all see them everyday, and they don't realize how dangerous their behavior is.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  57. Anthony

    I live in The Netherlands and here we get a fine if we even hold the phone while driving... The fine is higher then the actual price of a carkit for your phone..
    That doesn't go far enough for me.. I think they should make it as high as double the price.
    The current fine is 150 Euro.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  58. Paul - New Orleans, LA

    The answer is that we need to honk at them so they can listen and show them that texting while driving is heading them to the hostipal.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  59. Sylvain

    We need better cars!... We live in a Jetson's Era and we drive Flinstones cars. Cars could and should be a lot safer. The technology is there, car makers have just been sitting on their profits for so many years. For example, The combustion engine (gas burning) has been invented in the ealry 1800's. Isn't it time to move to something else?

    October 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  60. JWC in Atlanta

    Time for some tough love on this issue. Time to take away driving privilege from anyone who doesn't at this point understand the danger they pose to themselves and others. No tolerance. Catch them once, tear up their license for a year. Catch them again, they never drive again. Experience shows us that simply putting a Surgeon General warning sticker on the equipment won't do the job.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  61. Remo, in beautiful downtown Pflugerville, Texas

    Treat them like a DWI or DUI. If they are that dangerous, then give them the appropriate fines and jail time. It does not matter if you killed someone under the influence or with in-attention.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  62. Ian, Canada

    I'm assaulted by idiots who insist on conversing on their phone while they drive all the time. I don't even listen to the car radio anymore. Got to pay even closer attention lest one of them comes too close. I don't know what to do about it. There's already a law on the books concerning driving without due care and attention.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  63. Lou from North Carolina

    Down here we text, and talk on the phone, try to follow GPAS (or whatever they call it ) to find out way to wherever we are going, put on lipstick, tell the kids in the back seat to shut up and drive 60 miles an hour in a 35 zone all while driving into the morning sun. Why do you see a problem? It called multi-tasking!

    October 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  64. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    How about the one finger wave? I get so irritated with these self important people on a cell phone while driving, Why not pull over and talk? I don't know what is so important that it can't wait till a better time. Cars should come with warnings like, if you talk on a cell while driving you may be talking from a cell.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  65. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Jack
    I think you've nailed it and I am with you 100%. The roads would be a lot safer and there would be greater demand for public transit that actually works.

    Pablo
    Arlington Texas

    October 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  66. Jane (Minnesota)

    It's nearly impossible to get everyone to stop. Texting is getting to be as bad of an addiction as drinking – look at how successful deterring people from drinking & driving has been. Setting the fines for getting caught high enough will deter some.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  67. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    Simple solution: first offense a fine of $1000 or more. Second offense would be mandatory jail time not less than 30 days. Third offense would be impounding all of the persons automobiles. Evidence indicates that people driving distracted are most likely to cause an accident. I do not remember giving any one permission to endanger my life while I drive.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  68. frankie

    As a baby boomer, it worries me that the country might also have a problem when a whole bunch of us become elderly drivers at the same time. Add that to practicing alcoholics and people absorbed in their cel phones. Perhaps America will have to stop acting as though a driver's license is a natural right and take them away more often, and test us all every so often.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  69. Michael Sullivan from Lafayette, California

    Jack - Someone needs to design a device that renders a vehicle immobile if only one hand is placed on the driver's wheel - require that this irremovable device be installed in all existing cars as well as new ones - it's time to start driving with two hands once again!

    October 2, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  70. Don't Tweet and Drive @DontTwive

    When we pass a driver’s exam we receive a DRIVER’S license. It is not a license to multi-task or engage in activities behind the wheel that place other cars/cyclists/pedestrians on the road in danger. A driver’s license comes with a responsibility to be a safe driver. Driver’s Ed teaches both hands on the wheel…not on a cell phone.

    If records show a driver was texting & driving when they caused an accident there should be a sliding scale of consequences based on severity of the accident. Consequences could range from taking a road safety course geared toward distracted drivers, to loss of license for a period of time to jail time if there is serious injury or fatality.

    Thank you for covering this topic!

    Don't Tweet & Drive @DontTwive
    Atlanta, GA

    October 2, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  71. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    Let's hit them where it really hurts ... a web-site that lists every moron ... their address, photo, cellphone, etc., and details of their offense.

    Let's turn the web-site into a VERB that friends, family, and potential employers can ask about. "Have you ever been ...?" If that doesn't work, there is no solution.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    October 2, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  72. Jackie in Dallas

    I think that the government initiative withholding tax money for road improvements is a good idea — until each state passes a law that creates a SERIOUS fine for “driving distracted”. They did it for speed limits; I think it would work for driving distracted.

    Every one of us who drive is guilty at some time, so I think we have to give a little leeway in defining “driving distracted”. The guy slurping his Starbucks is not nearly as distracted as the guy texting; the woman nibbling on an energy bar is not nearly as distracted as the woman separating two battling kids in the back seat. I think it depends on whether they are causing unsafe driving conditions for others or actually cause an accident.

    A sliding scale fine is in order: $100 for first offense, or where there is no actual accident, but where other traffic ordinances are violated (illegal change of lane, swerving at speed, etc.); $500 for second violation or where there is an accident, but not one resulting in injury to others; and a minimum $5000 fine plus other charges if an accident occurs that results in injuries or death.

    We have to get serious and hit people where it hurts - their wallets. Multi-tasking is great, but drivers have to remember that driving is a privilege, not a right, and that their primary focus while behind the wheel is DRIVING SAFELY.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  73. Linda in Arizona

    Your idea sounds good to me. Most people are too stupid to drive when they're NOT distracted, and unfortunately, the dumber they are, the more likely they are to think they can drive and yak or text at the same time. The trouble is it's hard to see from outside the car if someone is doing either one of those things. I would recommend pulling over and ticketing anyone obviously using a cell phone while driving. If they cause an accident, treat them exactly as we would a drunk driver. They're more dangerous than the drunks.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  74. Anita

    Years ago, no one was using seatbelts like most are today. What changed?
    Enforcement cracking down and hitting them in the pocket book. Go for increasing fines and penalties first.
    Require all offenders to go to Distracted Drivng classes w/out license until signed attendance slip.

    Bottom Line: People have to see that it is 'their' habit to break and not 'someone else's problem'. Alcoholics have excuses, too. Driving under the influence or texting while driving is like 'Russian Roulette' with your life & others.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  75. Katja, Bradenton, Florida

    Until laws are passed making talking and texting while driving illegal, there is nothing that can be done. Of course you would have to get the cops, state, county, and city workers to stop doing the talking and texting first. Because if they can do it, why cant the rest of us?
    Drive carefully!

    October 2, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  76. Jeff in Houston

    Revoke their license on the spot. No. That won't work in Texas. Driving while drunk is a constitutional right there. Confiscate their car? That would surely annoy them, but it would miss the mark. Confiscate their cell phone, their source of meaningless drivel conversation throughout the day? Now THAT would strike true horror in to the minds of cell phone addicts. How long before a creepy, unwashed guy on the corner in a raincoat asks if you wanna cheap 3G hook-up? This is insane.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  77. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    Make the law across the country with a hefty fine and have the police enforce them. I see it all every day driving on the highway, makeup, texting, shaving, etc., but the scariest was when there was a man behind me reading a map. I see police cars parked in several places, but they do not go after these offenders. Why should we be the innocent people involved in their accidents?

    October 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  78. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    Jack, I couldn't agree more. Take the license away. As a motorcyclist I am more aware of the problem than a four wheeled driver. Motorcyclist were in much danger in getting killed before cell phones, can you imagine what we are up against now.
    Almost all incidents I had with a vehicle the driver was using a cell phone. It's amazing how oblivious they are of the surrounding traffic, especially when they are arguing on the phone. Yes, I can tell Jack.
    Just yesterday I was pushed into the medium on the highway because the person had her phone stuck in her left ear blocking off her vision to the left lane.
    How do I protect myself Jack? It's getting worse.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  79. Greg, Ontario

    If they kill they should lose it permanently and do jail time.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  80. Dee in FL

    Do you remember the scene in the Schwarznegger flick when Rae Dawn Chonng shoots the rocket launcher?

    That's my solution.

    It is of course impossible to police every driver and stop every driver who is texting, chatting, eating, putting on makeup, having sex, reading, watching movies, etc.

    But a few random rocket blasts at random drivers who think they are great multi-taskers, should put the fear into everyone!

    October 2, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  81. Chad from Los Angeles

    Make them take public transportation! that should scare them straight!

    OR

    If we walked more, we would not kill each other as much on the road and we would be more fit!

    October 2, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  82. Theresa

    If talking on a cell phone presents a credible distraction worthy of a driving offense, then we ought to count arguing children (or spouses) along with screaming babies in the backseat as well as conversing with passengers including fellow car-poolers.

    We should eliminate road-side billboards, drive through window meals-to-go, radios and CD/DVD players, GPS, vanity mirrors, and cigarette lighters and ashtrays. It would also seem that reading maps, newspapers novels should also be illegal as well as applying makeup, tying ties, and (dare I say it) sex along with any other likely distraction.

    (T. from Ks.)

    October 2, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  83. Craig Raiche

    Huh, What?
    Oh sorry, I was busy on my cell. Here is what you do. Pull up next to them and motion them to roll down their window. Then you can then tell them their tire is flat. They'll hang up the phone and pull over, thus saving us from certain death.

    Craig

    October 2, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  84. Bob (Houston)

    Automobiles could be made with shields in the roofs that block the ability of the cell phone to get through to the signal or some sort of device in the dashboard that interferes with the cell phone's ability to get through to the signal once the engine is turned on. How about a device that renders the cell phone useless once the car's speed exceeds 5 mph?

    Use technology to make people get off the road and stop the car if they want to use their cell phones while inside a car.

    For the present, treat texting with a cell phone while driving a car like driving under the influence – with the same consequences.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  85. Aaron S. - Dallas, TX

    There is no single answer. We need to educate people, for one thing: run ads explaining what driving while on a cell phone can do, teach kids in driving school that talking on your cell phone while driving is unacceptable, etc. We also need to enforce; police need to know that this is a real problem and a real hazard and respond to it accordingly. Nothing can be done about this problem until we take it seriously.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  86. kathy from Phoenix

    Here we go again about something that should have common sense involved but we as a nation only care about what we want and not how it would effect anyone else. Is anyone else tired of how many ignorant people live in this world. My grandmother who is 92 years old can still be shocked by what happens in the news everyday. Like she says" The more people she knows the better she likes dogs".

    October 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  87. john .... marlton, nj

    Make it against the law and ..... do something different .. ENFORCE THE LAW... then if and when there is an accident, and traffic is backed up for hours, have the cops hand out "receipts" that drivers can submiit for reimbursement for their time wasted to the insurance company of who ever is responsible.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  88. Desmond in Calgary Alberta

    The answer is tougher sentences for those found to have been distracted, while driving who end up in vehicular accidents. Rather than enacting legislation restricting freedoms which is both diifcult to enforce and which treats all of us as idiots lacking common sense, we should be focussing more on the consequences of abusing said freedoms.

    After all its just like drinking and driving. What many of us seem to forget is that is it not illegal to drive after drinking, rather its illegal to drive after you have consumed enough to place your blood alcohol level beyond a certain measurement.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  89. Penny Muleshoe, Texas

    Jack I do not know that there is a solution to this problem. People have been doing it for years. Playing with the radio knobs, combing their hair, putting on makeup, reading while driving you name it. the cell phone is just one of many distractions. Another one is children in vehicles and parents fussing at them. There is no end to stupidity and unfortunately stupidity is mobile.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  90. Caity

    The best way to deal with this is to enforce laws against it. Once people start getting charged and fined for doing thingsl ike texting while driving, or talking on the phone while driving, it may act as a deterrant to others. Of course not everything needs to be cracked down on so hard. I see nothing wrong with having a cup of coffee while driving as the time span spent on taking a sip is seconds and does not divert the attention away completely from driving.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  91. Keith

    It's DWI plain and simple..........not that we do that much about DWI, but it's a start.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  92. Mookie in Columbus, OH

    Ontario just banned any use of cell phones (calling, texting, emailing, etc) while driving. A lot of states should look at their example and follow. Canada always seems to be ahead of us.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  93. Jon from Tempe, Az

    Make a federal law that bans all texting and allow the use of cell phones only if the driver has a Bluetooth headset. Make the penalties just as severe as those of DUI.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  94. Kevin Galbraith

    It's a very simple solution. Block ALL cell phone use while a vehicle is in motion with a signal blocker within the vehicle.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  95. Jessica G

    Jack, I like your idea about serious consequences. I permanent revocation of ones' driver's license seems extreme, but a temporary revocation is completely appropriate. It makes me so sad and angry to think about how little people consider the consequences of their actions and be responsible human beings.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  96. Dave

    Jack:

    You need to remove all distractions from the vehicle. It MUST BE OUTLAWED that any pretty woman attractivelly dressed cannot walk within 100 yards of a highway or street! I was in an accident caused by this distraction and IT MUST BE STOPPED NOW.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  97. Bill - St Louis MO

    I like your suggestion – driver priledgeds revoked for life. Walk.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  98. Eva

    Make laws and enforce them. They are worse than people drinking sometimes as people drinking are usually trying to pay attention but I don't know how many times I have had to stop of watch these idiots on their cell phones or go to pass someone and they are swerving all over because of texting. We need to stop this and now.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  99. Gary, Newark, DE

    You do not need any new law for banning cell phone use. Not keeping your eyes is reckless driving. And, anyone doing this is subject to enforcement. Let's start enforcing what we have.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  100. Patrick, Daytona Beach, FL

    That would be slow painful death, Jack. Imagine, we could get rid of the idiots on the road and help the environment at the same time by reducing the population. Everyone wins!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  101. Bob Watts

    The cell phone problem is easy! The cops should take the phone and mail it to our troops. Second offense take the car!

    There is a section in most vehicle codes for unsafe driving that covers the rest of what drivers do, problem is enforcement and what the judges do about it which is usually just a fine (capitolism at it's best).

    Bottom line if the punishment is severe the problem will stop. But the politicans will do nothing because they use the phone, put on makeup, eat, etc.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  102. Annie, Atlanta

    Take away their driving privileges forever. I’ve seen it. People reading maps, texting or talking on the phone, putting on makeup, eating, drinking. They're not paying attention. And here in Atlanta it's all done at 75+ mph. Enough already.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  103. BiL

    the answer is simple. All cars should be electric,
    Peope dont need to drive electric cars, electric cars can drive people.
    People make more mistakes than a computer driven car would make.
    if computers drove cars, the computers would interact, cars would never hit eachother again.
    we have the technology.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  104. Derek (Sacramento, CA)

    It's simple, Jack. Make driving a privilege for those that are actually capable of doing so. 40,000 people a year die in this country from auto accidents, primarily due to stupid people with drivers licenses that really shouldn't have one. We hand out drivers licenses to anyone with a pulse these days, yet if you want to fly a small airplane it takes months of training prior to getting a license. Yet, small aircraft kill very few people each year. Fix public transportation in this country so it works, and make testing for licenses involve complicated tasks and real testing. Take 40% of the people off the road and into public transportation. Done deal.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  105. Chris

    These people will need to either get into an accident, or get a ticket to get the damn message. It's unreal how prevalent this is!!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  106. preya

    plain and simple- take their license away.
    idiots.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  107. Timothy Clark

    What is needed is a small, very short range radio jamming device built into the vehicle that will obliterate cell phone frequencies within the entire interior of the vehicle. The only way to stop people from using cell phones while driving is to make it impossible to do so. Jamming the phone would do that.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  108. Bill Walsh

    Jack, I blame the auto manufacturers, cell texting is nothing new, bluetooth is nothing new, how come it's taking so long for all cars to be fitted with ways for communication to be sent to the driver without the use of their hands. If I could get my text messages on my windshield and be able to speak my response and have it sent back as a text then I wouldn't have to struggle to tell my boss I'm late.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  109. Kurt Melville

    Defensive driving. Who has the right to tell me that i cant anwser the phone or text? Ive been driving for 4 years and am a member of generation technology. Ive got a spotless driving record. Personal Responsibility.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  110. Chris

    Jack,

    Drivers talking on cell phones should use the hands-free suppository models... they put the unit as close to the head as possible!

    Chris

    October 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  111. Moe Y

    Jack:
    I blame the parents who buykids phones with unlimited texting and say then say they can't do anything about their texting or the large phone bills. Did they ever think they can CANCELTHE CELL phone or at a minimum the texting element on the phone.

    As to the law, when insurance companies start raising rates for those with cell phones and then increase rates everytime they have an accident maybe people will stop. But unfortunately our culture thinks it is cool to be in constant contact with people via any means possible. Oh for the days before cell phones....

    October 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  112. Daniel G

    I believe we do something like the following:
    drivers who see others driving distracted can report the license # to the police (and / or insurance company – but the state has the database). If a driver is reported – they are contacted and warned. If they are contacted two times, they receive a fine. Three times – their insurance company is contacted, they receive another fine, and they have a 30 day DL suspension.

    Tennessee has a similar policy to report drivers who unsafely transport minors in their car. Example: a toddler unbelted, not in a car seat. I'm not sure how effective it is, but I stored the phone # in my cell phone and reported one such driver.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  113. Jim

    Make the carriers and mobile manufacturers take some action. Maybe they could render the devices useless by using engine noise and frequency channels? They must play a part here, it appears people find texting take a priority over lives and this trend will continue. hanks, Jim in Tenn

    October 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  114. Ron D-

    Any time a collision occurs, one of the routine checks should be whether the driver has a cell phone number and, if so, whether that phone was in use at the time of the collision. If so the driver on the phone should be charged will full responsibility for the accident, including all damages and possible crimimal charges such as vehicular assalt, homicide, etc.

    If both drivers are using mobile devices, they share the charges equally.

    No exceptions, even if the other driver ran a red light, was drunk, etc. That driver may be charged with the offense, but the cell user is responsible for the collision on the premise that an alert driver should have been able to avoid it.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  115. Steve

    It would not solve the entire problem, but it should be fairly easy to build technology (GPS or tower triangulation) into cell phones that disable the ability to send or receive text messages, or phone calls, while the phone is moving more than 15-20 mph.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  116. Susan

    If offending driver's licenses were suspended on first offense (and this were strictly enforced) I have little doubt that this terrible problem would be solved.
    Driving while otherwise occupied can be as deadly as DWI and should be treated in similar fashion.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  117. sara norvell

    I say , yank their drivers license (suspend, etc.) if an accident occurs. I find it offensive that folks explain away their behavior as if they possess some magical powers at multitasking that the rest of us don't possess. Did you read the piece in the NYTs this week profiling truckers with computers behind the wheel? The irony is that the they showed a pic of a trucker in his cluttered cab with his computer keyboard and a chihuahua in his lap (one of two that he travels with). It appears no matter how much defensive driving you practice you can be done in by those who are entirely too distracted on our roads.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  118. Jake

    I don't think you are going to be able to stop something like this with law enforcement, it is easier with seatbelts, but cell phones are a different problem. It is the public's responsibility to get these people's attention and let them know it is not safe. If we can do that, it will become a habit that is generally frowned upon. If not, we will have increasingly dangerous roads.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  119. Bill from Texas

    Fine them. Fine them. Fine them.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  120. mycountry2

    People who talk on cell phones or text message while driving should lose their license for five years. That way they could drive again, but would have plenty of time to think about it.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  121. Denis DellaLoggia

    Dear Jack,
    All of these texters and cell phone addicts are unhappy people. They need a lesson in "Be Here Now" as Ram Das put it. They should learn to smell the flowers and simply stop putting their mind in some place or time other than where they are. I suggest Buddhism.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  122. Michael O'Connor

    I actually have an invention to prevent ALL of the texting, drinking, eating and mak-up distractions. If 2 hands are not on the wheel for more than 5 seconds, a warning alarm sounds. It can be programmed to slow and even shut off the car. The driver must have his/her hands at the 10 and 2 position in order for the car to work.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  123. Kimo, Honolulu

    Honolulu recently enacted a ban on cell phones while driving and it led to three things. First, thousands of people texting while driving with the phones hidden in their laps. Second, thousands of tickets that haven't solved the problem at all. And third, thousands of people dangerously idling on the side of roaring freeways cause they just can't wait til the engine stops. The measures must be drastic, or people won't change their ways.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  124. Angela

    If they can pull you over and give you a ticket just because you are not wearing a seatbelt, why can't they pull people over for using their cellphones &/or texting? But the fine has to be large enough people will notice. And if you get several tickets for texting while driving – then maybe your license should be suspend or revoked.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  125. Ken Adams

    Well, I see people talking on their phone all the time when I drive to work. I never even answer a phone call from my boss, while driving, and I easily say, I was driving when you called me. Thing to understand is that people who do that have to be charged with intend to kill, because they might kill me or someone else one day. I think the most reasonable response to that from the law will be to increase the insurance of people caught doing it by very significant amount, and do it increasingly when caught, this will stop people. They increase my insurance for driving 10mph over the speed limit, though in my 20 year driving I havn't had a single accident. Seems unjust.
    My 2 cents

    October 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  126. Ted

    I've worked at a U.S. Marine Corps base. On board the base, you will receive a citation (from Military Police) if you are observed with a cell phone in your hand. You don't need to be using it, to get a ticket.

    Enforcement, and strict rules = I think that they work.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  127. James Little

    I think Auto Manufacturers should be compelled to install Cellular Reception JAMMERS into the cars of the future. Maybe at least that will cause a dent in the Cellphone issue. Who knows? Why not threaten to cut off peoples ears or hands like a Third World country may do? It would drive the point home so the smarter ones.

    James
    Anchorage, AK

    October 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  128. Jennifer

    How can we expect Joe public to follow the cell phone laws when the police openly engage in the same behavior? No matter what town I've been in, I've seen local and state police on cell phones. Even in towns known for ticketing for other driving offenses!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  129. Jeff

    Anyone who texts while driving is a moron...no question. Cel phones are ALMOST as bad. I say, if it can be proved that a driver was connected to his/her cel phone when an accident occurs, it is an immediate $5000.00 fine, regardless of whose fault the accident is. Of course, if the accident proves to be their fault then let the justice system take it's course. (On the other hand, maybe that's not such a good idea, either).

    It's astonishing to me that the states have not made texting/cel phone use while operating an automobile – or any other form of transportation, illegal. Duh! .....or should I say "DOH!"

    October 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  130. Rory Murray

    Jack,
    For years, I used to drink & drive. While it is illegal and I do NOT condone it, it was less distracting than cell phones that "tweet".
    What's the answer for thses "twits"? A brick wall or busted gaurd-rail would be my guess.
    Have A Good Weekend!
    Rory Murray
    San Bernardino,CA

    October 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  131. Patricia Gaffney-Kindig

    I got a big jolt while driving my car when a woman behind me neglected to stop at a red light. She told the policeman she was kissing her poodle.
    True story!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  132. JP Martin

    Cell phone jammers are illegal but too is yacking on your phone. "W" withheld a report for 6 years and now most are addicted to their cellphone. Now the addicts whine that they need to be in constant contact with others but don't mind making contact with your bumper when they are gabbing about their kids poopy diaper. Real enforcement by impounding the vehicle and jail time for the violators. When I see someone on their phone I just give them the one finger salute, be it a civilian or police. The country went mad after 9-11 without commercial air travel, imagine the cellphones stop working for a week, mass hysteria! I am just glad that no one in my family owns a cellphone and will never get something the industry pushes as a "need" when we all know it's just a "want"... Silly sheep!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  133. June Seminole Fl

    if they can make technology to prevent dui drivers from driving.. (they have to blow into a breathalizer...to start their cars) then some computer geek can develop technology that will shut down all cell phones from text mesasging.. Give a $1mil prize and see how fast it will happen

    October 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  134. john

    Jack,
    Here in Ontario were about 3 weeks away from mandatory hands free driving......
    Its a pain.... its yet another law with severe penalties....
    And its long overdue! ! !

    John.....
    Toronto.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  135. Debbie Shoup

    Here is the answer if anyone can pass a drivers test while texting, talking on cell phones, eating or etc. while parallel parking, driving, etc. I quess they are a better driver than I.
    Thought it would be a good idea as I taught my son to drive not to show the bad habits. It starts at home.

    Debbie/Pennsylvania

    October 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  136. J Flamme

    I can't agree with you more. I live in a state where it is already illegal to drive while talking on a cell phone, yet I still see dozens of people doing it every day. If it has been shown to be just as dangerous as driving drunk, treat it just as seriously. Mandatory jail time. Take away licsenses. Most importantly, we need to educate the public just how ddangerous it is, just like we did with drunk driving. Create a stigma with slogans like "friends don't let friends text while drinving"

    October 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  137. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    We other safe drivers need to start calling 911 with a license plate number and an approximate location when we see someone doing something that is dangerous to others. If we want the laws enforced, sometimes we have to help do it. Of course, someone besides the driver should call or if we're driving alone, we should pull over and stop before we call.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  138. MoneyedPoliticians

    Technology will catch up and we'll see GPS cell phones detect moving vehicles and shut off. But what about distracting kids and passengers?

    October 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  139. Robbie Smith

    I am sure the cell phone providers can use their technology to determine if a cell phone is in transit (moving through the cell net work at speed). This is how a smart phone can give you "GPS" data on your position.

    Make the cell phone companies disable the incoming and outgoing signals until the cell phone comes to rest.

    With the exception of a 911 signal.

    Simple, automatic and do-able now. There is an App for that...

    Take this to Capitol Hill!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  140. Edward C Grundy

    The U.S. should do as in Spain: a federal law that fines drivers caught talking on their cell phones $800 dollars. Clean cut and simple.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  141. fred roosli

    twitter the license plate of those twittering 🙂

    October 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  142. Art

    Well it's time to have driveing class with you on the cell phone, right... Ok maybe not but it's not bad where I am, not many cars on the street. But I didn't know how serious it was. If it's serious where you have to get on well get in slow lane and pay attention to the road. If you can drive and talk then don't. Try not to text. But if must (key on the must) then only do it if you can text one hand without looking at the phone and looking at the road. But this is for small city. 🙂

    October 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  143. Bett Burton

    Jack,they need to be fined 500.00 and three days in the pokey for first offence. Second offence,life in prison for attempted homicide!!!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  144. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    The act of driving this distracted should be no more tolerated than driving distracted because of alcohol or drugs.

    This should be treated like a DUI in both society and in the courts.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  145. Weldon from Newmarket

    They have many electronic innovations that come out every day. Why do they not come up with a device that electronically disconnects any cellphone usage within a vehicle unless that vehicle is at a complete stop. When they come to a complete stop, any voicemail or text messages would be immediately made available to the recipient. Make this a mandatory feature of every vehicle on the road.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  146. Bruce in North Salt Lake

    This is really pretty simple Jack, if you hit someone while on a cel phone than I suggest 1. Hit them with a DWC ( Driving While Celing) 2. Notify their insurer , and let them hit em in their pocket books with much higher insurance premiums, that ought to cut into their budgets. Fewer cel minutes, far less coffee's too go, and forget the makeup, can't afford the luxury.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  147. Bill Twilbeck

    It is very simple..just charge them with the same legal penalties as a DUI.
    Please ask two questions;
    1. Has anyone ever had a conversation that was worth endangering their life and the lives of others?
    2. Would anyone aimlessly fire a gun while talking on a phone? A 2000 lb. automobile is far more capable of killing someone than a small bullet.
    There have been several groups trying for the last few years to get MADD to take up this cause. So far they have resisted because they receive money from the cellular industry.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  148. Michael in Albuquerque,NM

    Is there a device that can be installed in cars that will block or interfere with cell telephones? I would make them mandatory. Everyday that I ride my motorcycle I have close encounters with people not paying attention. I understand that I must ride as if I were invisible. But, it has gotten so that I must drive the car with the same technique. Because people are simply to distracted to even look for other vehicles. The answer for people that drive while doing other things seems to be: to kill me.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  149. Brett (Tucson)

    Jack,
    Enforcement would be tricky. Here in Tucson I see about one in every four police officers on their cell phone while driving on duty. How could they pull people over when they're doing the same thing?

    October 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  150. Deb Arington

    Some should be done, however what about all the police driving around talking and texting on their cell phone? Every day I see an officer on the cell phone while driving a police car. How can you enforce hands free no texting if the people that should be enforcing this are doing it themselves?

    October 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  151. Dennis Williamson

    Right on Jack!
    When I lived in Germany in the 1994-2001, Germany passed laws against using a hand held cell phone while driving. Fines started at 40 DM and doubled every 3-6 months. For rich people that did not care about "chump change" the Germans leveled the field by making the fines for them a percentage of their income. That got their attention.
    The U.S. is afraid to upset anyone for any reason. That has got to stop.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  152. Nick -- Minneapolis

    I see police officers talking on their phones while passing by in their cruisers on a daily basis. It is a problem, but part of our every day lives. The only solution seems to be integrated telephone technology in our vehicles as standard requirement. I never thought I would see the day where driving while talking on the cell is more dangerous than drunk driving. Something needs to be but an effective way of enforcement is critical.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  153. Kathie Payan

    Jack,

    1st offense – 6 month license suspension,
    2nd – 1 year.
    3rd – 5 years
    4th – Permanent ban.
    Any offense with accident causing injuries – triple the penalty plus restitution.
    Any offense with accident causing death – permanent ban. Felony conviction with 5 years prison per victim.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  154. BiL

    ok, now a real a solution.. are you ready ?
    all cell phones have GPS, GPS knows your speed.
    if your traveling at a speed of over 30 mph.. make the cell phone service temporarily go out of service

    .

    October 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  155. Jonathan

    How is texting, reading, applying makeup any different than drinking and driving? Both distract your focus, slow your reaction time, and endanger the lives of fellow drivers. We should start suspending liscenses of drivers who use cellphones while driving, and even harsher penalties for those who cause accidents.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  156. Penny Rutter

    All states need a law preventing this so if caught texting, putting on make-up, etc. They should be pulled over and ticketed with a large fine. After three strikes, no license.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  157. david duggins

    Jack,

    I agree, people should not talk on cells, do makeup etc, But how do you instill common sense? beyond me.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  158. Elinor Stephens

    What is wrong with this country? We have a huge problem with people texting and using cell phones in vehicles. Why do I hear of new laws being considered that will forbid texting in school zones etc. Why are some calling to forbid teens from texting? WHY not just forbid the use of cell and texting in vehicles while driving...period???

    October 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  159. Susan FL & IL

    Jack,

    Just one quick thought on how this major problem could be eliminated. I think that most newer vehicles have GPS in them. If the phones are tied into the GPS........there could be a ticket system set up where one is automatically issued a ticket for using a handheld cell phone for talking or texting. while the vehicle is moving. This would eliminate the need for the Police being involved in the ticket process. It would also eliminate many accidents......issuing penalities after an accident is not the answer to the problem.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  160. Keith Ellis

    Hello! Isn't driving a privilege? I see that kinda crap everyday on my seventy plus mile trec to work. People simply do not think of the danger they are putting others in. Revocation of licenses and fines would be a good start, plus mandatory public service from those who are caught, or cause injury to others, because of their stupidity.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  161. Ann Perry Garland Tx

    Yes- Jack I am with you.Take away their liscense and a stiff fine and it might wake them up.That goes for the big truck drivers that drive to fast anyway and turn over or hit someone killing them.People need to wake up.Lot of stupid people out there.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  162. Ken from Campbell River

    A simple way to fix this problem is to have cell phone companies devise something that makes your phone useless while your vehicle is in drive. With all the bells and whistles that our cell phones have these days this should be a very easy addition to any phone.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  163. Elena, San Diego CA

    Concentration on driving and concentration on texting or reading at the same time is something that doesn't exist in nature. If you say you can do it, you're a liar or just exaggerate thing quite a bit. You can read while waiting for an endless traffic jam to finally start moving, it does NOT mean you're driving at the moment. Driving and texting is as crazy and absolutely idiotic as it gets! These drivers should be BANNED COMPLETELY. Enforcing it is the only way to save thousands of lives a year. Aren't they aware of how dangerous it really is? Oh, I'll text real quick and get going. Nothing will happen to me... well, maybe nothing will happen to you, smarty, but you can kill someone else. $5 000 minimum fine for that. Max – throwing the moron to jail and making his family pay all the expenses. Including feeding him there. Sorry, I may sound a bit too extreme, but these brainless text typers just piss me off. Remember the train wreck in LA? He was texting too...

    October 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  164. Sherri of Goshen, Indiana

    The terrifying potential for disastrous, if not deadly consequences of this completely illogical behavior has not been more credibly displayed than in the British YouTube clip that began circulating some weeks ago, portraying a teen texting and driving. Since humanity seems to have such a need to perpetually play the game of immortality, while continuing to post more losses than wins, once again the few must take care of the many. What should be common sense will be relegated to mandates, warnings, arrests and an unfortunate continuation of unnecessary injuries and deaths..

    October 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  165. Bill Eberle

    If you are involved in an accident and it can be shown that you have done any of the following in the one minute preceeding the accident:

    Any use of a cell phone
    Exceeding speed limit by more than 10 mph
    Blood alcohol content more than 1/2 of the legal limit
    Failure to use a seat belt for all occupants
    Being positive for any illegal drugs
    Applying make-up or otherwise fixing your appearance

    Then you are assumed to be at fault in the accident, regardless of any other circumstances of the accident. You are not entitled to collect damages from anyone. Any other driver who is innocent of these acts for one minute before the accident may seek and be awareded damages from you.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  166. Annie D.

    The answer is treating any type of distraction that results in an accident or death of another driver or pedestrian (God Forbid!) as a serious offense to include a fine, jail time followed by a "Distracted Driver's Course", and/or Community Service. Once completed - reinstatement of Driver's License. Life is short as it is...we don't need distracted drivers to decide others fate.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  167. robert

    Jack, we the public drivers fed up with other drivers on cell phones, texting or otherwise need a hotline whereby we can call in their license plate numbers and report them. After a warning that they have been seen using while driving, they should be hit with a large fine on the second report. Think of the revenue to each states coffers.
    Get the public involved!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  168. Floyd Vahalik

    You hit one of my hot buttons. Driving while using any kind of communication device should be outlawed and the law should have teeth. $500 or $1000 fine, maybe suspension of a driver's license.

    It doesn't matter if it is a hands free device. It is the splitting of a person's attention between communicating and driving that does the damage. I have seen people blow right through a red light and start honking when they realize the situation. They never put the phone down. These busy yappers are killing people.

    If I have to talk on a cell phone, I pull off the rode and put my car in park. I know I can't possibly listen and talk attentively and still drive with any degree of responsibility. It shouldn't be that hard to enforce.
    Radio transmissions from cell phones are easily detected with the right equipment. Equipment that is less complicated than radar.

    Arghh!

    Floyd Vahalik,
    Ammon, Idaho

    October 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  169. Paul, Tacoma

    Jack, How 'bout charging users 5 bucks a min for a cell phone traveling over 5 miles an hour. Technology must exist to do that, We know the cell phone industry would love that extra cash, And users will think twice.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  170. Jody Clark

    Ban people for life for causing an accident while texting? Come on Jack, have you lost your mind? Granted, a lot of people text while driving and cause accidents but to ban them for life is a bit extreme. Its not just the young, when I see people driving and talking on their phones its a fifty-fifty split, fifty percent are civilians and fifty percent of the time its a cop driving and talking on the phone,maybe this will all change when we stop seeing cops yapping and texting on their phones while they are driving. If you are going to place the blame, then place it on everyone, including cops..... and not just blaming the youth for every problem on the road!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  171. Thom Hunt

    Jack, in regards to what we can do about people doing other things while drivng: Until we find a method of A)catching someone in the act of doing other things while drving, B)proving it and C)enforcing any consequences or laws against it, there IS nothing we can do about it. I see people talking on their cell phones ALL THE TIME here in Los Angeles, even though it has been several months since the law went into effect here banning cellphone use while driving.
    -Thom Hunt
    Los Angeles, CA

    October 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  172. Mohammed

    Jack,
    Here in Ontario we just passed a law to pan the use of cell phones and other electronic devices but I doubt very much that it can baenforced.
    I am with yanking the licenses of distracted drivers for ever but with no enforcement mechanism, only those involved in major accidents will face justice possibly after killing an innocent fellow human.
    I take the bus to work during summer and early fall and enjoy looking at drivers do all kind of things; I recently saw one eating, drinking and smoking all while in a busy highway.
    Mohammed
    Toronto

    October 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  173. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    We've seen reports of distracted bus drivers, train conductors, etc. which caused injury/death to others and I'm sure they were fired by their employer. Maybe it's time drivers license should have an entry "driving while distracted can result in the loss of employment".

    October 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  174. david - knoxville, tn

    I understand what everyone is saying about texting and/or talking while driving. Well, I work for a cell phone company and of course our manual says not to use your cell phone in the car. You would not even believe how many times the boss calls or types while your in your way to work, or going home. If you do not respond, then you can count on getting your a** chewed. As an employee these days, I'm afraid if you don't answer, I'll be fired. I Can't take that chance!!!

    David
    Knoxville, TN

    October 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  175. larry from suffern, NY

    There is not much you can do Jack. People treat cars like toys. My 16 year old son is in drivers ed. While driving he checked his phone to answer a text message. I got so mad I smacked him in the head and threw the phone out the window. I got a ticket for littering. The look of horror on his face as his phone flew out of the window was worth the 500 dollar ticket.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  176. james in Idaho

    Jack,

    The answer, is to increase the entry level pay and benefits for becoming a police officer over the first four years of employment in any given town in America, and then decrease or level off that pay, to a reasonable level of course, while increasing benefits over time. Like taking from one side of a scale and putting it on another side, until a prefered balance is found. This is actually the blanket answer for most of the problems plaguing our roadways and crimeridden lives, including those pesky texting drivers.

    This would likely put more officers on the road to keep track of all those people you see in the morning Jack, decrease the incentive for good cops to turn corrupt, for crooks to stay in law enforcement, and put more law enforcement in our violence ravaged cities and towns, and make sure that officers can't become a severe part of a growing drug problem. After all, I don't think drug dealers are willing to collect health insurance cards, and certianly not OUR health insurance.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  177. Rick Goulette

    Jack if the motor is running cell phones should not work. On SEPT 11 05 While on my motorcycle i hit the gaurd rail on the highway on a curve at 55 mph. This person never stoped may have never seen me because of a distraction. I saw it CELL PHONE IN HAND.Im lucky to be alive. I wish i could have my day with them.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  178. KDF

    I think everyone needs to be proactive about this issue.. As a 21 year old I am guilty of this (or used to be). Actually I was just in an accident where the driver was texting and driving. Speed was involved was well. I knew he was Texing but nothing about it. I could have said stop texing or even asked to drive but didnt. He rear-ended a man stopped at a stop light. Luckly no one was hurt. It was the first accident I had ever been in and a HUGE wake up call. Since then I havent so much as used my phone while driving let alone texted.
    Ive pleaded with family members to stop which most have.

    I agree everyone needs to put 2 hands back on the wheel. Driving is no joke. Not only do you have your life in your hands but the lives of everyone around you. Your mistake could end the life of someone. What phone call is worth that???? NO PHONE CALL!! PULL OVER PEOPLE!!!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  179. shay weller

    These people who are texting and talking on phones while driving are an accident waiting to happen, and it's getting worse every day. More & more gadgets are being put on the market & just about everybody has one,"especially teenagers" & they are the worst drivers on the road already, & now they are texting while driving!!! I think the police should put out extra police officers on the roadways to catch these people with phones and other texting devices while driving and throw them in jail for a long time,,'That is the only way to stop them.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  180. Jack Pine

    Hi Jack,

    For years people, groups, police etc have gone crazy over people having a couple of drinks and driving. My brother-inlaw who is in law inforcement told me he would rather catch a drunk driver than a felon because of a certain conviction in our courts.. Now that it has been proven that texting and talking on cellphones is as bad as a drunk driver, where is the outrage now?

    October 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  181. Andre Szymala

    Jack ,
    police is not inforcing ANY rules ( at least in New york and New Jersey ), what about agressive driving, cutting traffic two , three lines at the time, running red lights in front of police patrol car?
    They only are looking for money not for safety or order , do any one ever drive according to rulles, ,,, what rules.
    andre szymala New York

    October 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  182. Keith

    If we thow in drugs (incl alchohol), cell phones, and other driving incapacitators, we might well be talking 25,000 deaths, and 250,000 in injuries per year. Auto disable the phones in the car (even a side phone conversations by a passenger can distract the driver), and put in a device to validate the capabilities of the driver before the vehicle starts..........at least until we completely turn the driving over an automated solution.......would help with traffic too !!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  183. Col-tech

    Remember the movie, Minority Report or IRobot. It seems that everyone wants to do everything else in their cars except drive. So, lets just give the option. A system of individual, network operated personal transports that. Cars that basically drive themselves from A to B. The technology is out there already. A simpler solution might be to give out bus passes instead of licenses

    October 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  184. Rabbi Simeon Kolko

    Jack
    We need to remember that having a drivers license is a privilege and not a right. Driving a car under circumstances which impairs judgement and response is akin to misusing a lethal weapon. Texting and using a cell phone while driving surely falls into this catagory. Perhaps we should create a new type of punishment for these driving- related crimes called DWD- Driving While Destracted. The harm in loss of life and serious injury created by these avoidable tragedies requires a response which is proportionate to the human and social crisis involved.

    Rabbi Simeon Kolko
    Rochester, New York

    October 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  185. Jameal Johnson

    You know what's funny Jack? Most of the people responding to this question are texting you while driving on the road, Im for a nationwide ban for everything that distracts drivers' focus on the road.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  186. Dave (Altoona, PA)

    The main issue is enforcement. The laws need to make this a primary offense, allowing a police officer to ticket the offender for this offense only, not as a by-product of some other transgression. And, put some teeth in the penalty – make it a 3 point moving violation with a huge fine. Second offense a larger fine and license suspension. The fallout will then include increased insurance premiums which should have the Insurance Lobbyists throwing their full support behind this.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  187. Vic from Germany

    I recently spent 3 weeks on business in the Washington D.C./Virginia area. I am an American but have lived in Europe for the last 20 years. I was appalled and totally baffled to see so many folks talk on their cell phones and text messages. While waiting on a red-light intersection one evening in Alexandria, 95 % of all the drivers I noticed making a left turn in front of me were engaged in cell phone conversations. The U.S. should copy the Germans and many other European countries on how they enforce and address this issue: pop the offending drivers with a € 60.- euro fine which equals about $90-$95.00 bucks for the first offense. It get's higher with repeat offenses with possible lost of driver's license. I'm sure folks would get the message really quick.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  188. Ron

    Dear Jack,
    I was a passenger driving down the Garden State Parkway and I happened to look to my right and saw a well dressed women in an expensive foreign car with a spread sheet (it wasn't a map) across her steering wheel pointing to different points with her left hand heavy with rings and bracelets while holding in her other (I assume) bejewelled hand a cel phone which she was talking into emphatically. If intelligent adults don't get it, how will teenagers who think they are indestructible?
    Taking away licenses alone won't work. Take the car away also, you don't give a gun back to a robber, and a 4-5 figure fine as well. Sadly, some will still do it after those things are imposed.

    Ron
    N.Y.C., N.Y.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  189. To Don in Westport MA (Daniel in MO)

    The answer to "how do we protect ourselves from the [oblivious] distracted drivers:
    As a former motorcyclist, I constantly remember one of the acronymns I learned in a motorcyle safety class:
    "S.I.P.D.E." :
    Scan (ahead)
    Identify (possible hazards)
    Predict (what another driver or deer, etc. might do)
    Decide (what you'll do if it happens)
    Execute (if it does).
    The other mantra I execute ALL the time: "seen and be seen":
    I drive a Miata now – and I'm not "seen" that easily by other motorists.
    I NEVER:
    Hang out in anyone's "blind spot"
    drive between a semi and an approaching highway exit
    unfortunately – "Scan ahead" now includes more so than it used to "scan behind" and "to the side".
    And as a runner, I've learned to watch driver's eyes. It's amazing how many NEVER see me as I run along a road.
    The bottom line:
    As you (should have) learned in Drivers' Ed:
    "defensive driving".

    October 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  190. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Jack:

    I am not a fan of "Big Brother" for he is neither, philosophically. But we know from TV shows that if you have your cell phone on, you can be located. I can forsee a detector that proves you are cell phoning, texting, or pressing the phone buttons while you are in motion (GPS) tracking, how about traffic cams that show you on the phone? ......BUSTED !

    October 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  191. TJ

    Police Officers are too busy patrolling for other issues to enforce this law. I think that the best course of action is to pull cell phone records after an accident and then fine accordingly if it shows calls or texts were made prior to the event.

    TJ – Wichita, KS

    October 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  192. Liz in California

    If a "distracted driver" (DD) injures somebody who is hospitalized, the DD should be made to visit the injured person, look the injured person in the eye and admit his/her guilt. If a DD kills somebody, the DD should be made to go to the funeral, look the family in the eye and admit his/her guilt. In any event, the DD should be heavily fined and have his/her driver's license taken away for at least 2 years. Oh, maybe there should be a "convicted dangerous driver" registry too.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  193. Diane, Marshfield MO

    I'm for yanking their drivers' licenses at least for a period of time. Studies have shown that drivers who are talking on cell phones, let alone texting while driving are about as unsafe as those who drive while "under the influence".. Like you, I don't own a cell phone. I have in the past when an employer required me to have one and paid for it
    as my "electronic leash" since my jobs have almost always been those that required me to be "in the field". But even then I'd pull over and tell the person calling that I was driving and that I would call them back as soon as it was safely feasible.

    Diane

    October 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  194. D. Brian Wilson

    Hello Mr. Cafferty,

    I always enjoy your show and comments.
    I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
    As of October the 26th, 2009, we have a law coming into place, which makes it illegal to either text in your car, or speak, on your cell phone, not equipped with a hands free device. The fine will be $500.00, which I am sure that you feel is fair. For two months, the police will be only handing out warnings. I think the fines should start right away!

    I never text in my vehicle, and have a hands free device in my car, which I rarely use. I like you, am tired of seeing people talking away, in their cars, and not paying attention. I had a friend, who had an accident caused by a person texting, who broadsided her car, causing $16,000.00 worth of damage. Not my friend's fault.

    They should do this in the U.S.

    People need to be held accountable. Great subject!

    D. Brian Wilson
    Toronto.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  195. Richard

    Instead of making laws that people will naturally break, why not make a law that would make these items inoperative when moving at a certain speed, say 15 mph. I would think with a gps chip already in a cell phone, all they need to do is program phones etc to become inoperative once a certain speed is reached, and possibly they could, the phone part be used through a blue tooth hands free device only.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  196. ray

    Jack:

    Part of the problem is the difficulty in knowing with certainty that texting is occuring.

    Here's a thought:

    Mandate that cell phones etc have an embedded transmitter that sends a signal that can be detected at a distance via a receiver in law enforcement vehicles when texting is afoot.

    Law enforcement can then home and make a stop with proof, not unlike a radar stop.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  197. david doherty

    Jack I've said it before and you read it on air. Why is there never any kind of a push to get these wonder kids that can design a car to do everything from zero to 60 in four seconds, or tell you where the nearest starbuck is. But knowbody is demanding that they design a car that will prevent the use of a cell phone by the driver when the car is in anything but park! It can be done, if their willing to do it. Oh yeah theres the lobbyist. How many more people must die!

    Dave from NH.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  198. Daniel G

    One last comment (besides "I hope it gets better instead of worse":

    Perhaps we should check out what they do in Switzerland. While there two years ago, I believe I only spotted one person driving while using a cell phone. I witnessed one lady pull over to user hers. Apparently whatever they are doing is more effective anything we are trying here.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  199. Bill Levittown, NY

    They should be charged like a DWI. Driving while Talking/Texting. DWT. They are just as dangerous as the driver's who drink and drive. But, first you have to get the police officers off of their THEIR cell phones and their lower anatomy and get them to do some enforcement. But of course they will say they were conducting "Official Business".

    October 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  200. Cristina Pijuan Casis

    Hello Jack. My solution is public humiliation. Have their photos, license plates and names published on a special website for the public especially their neighborhood communities to gawk at.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  201. Robert Mears

    Speaking for texing and cell phone pandemic, treat the case like a DUI. Impose the same fines, jail, probation and insurance adjustments. Fear of drinking and driving because of the consequences has helped in this field. Fear is the only way to get to the public. Once the public see people in the slammer, will they think twice.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  202. Don Rodenbach

    The violation is "Careless Driving" and/or "Reckless Driving". The violations already exists.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  203. wade Canada

    Jack, Can't agree with you more, I live in a somewhat rural area close to the Vermont Border after spending Thirty years of my life working in the U.S. I returned to care for my elderly mother after my Dad passed and I assure you we have the same problem here. On a daily basis I see teens, ladies with infants in the vehicle, and men texting and yakking while driving, and I am in fear for my life. Driving is a privilege and a great responsibility and should never be taken litely. I was watching the local news the first of October and starting the 26th of this month in the eastern Canadian Provinces the Government will begin to enforce a new Law regarding the use of handheld devices while driving. 1st offence $500.00 dollar fine plus points of your licence, pretty stiff but I feel this my only reduce and not actually solve the problem. It's a terrible problem in both of our countries. Keep up the Great reporting' I never miss your show!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  204. Dave B. - Schaumburg, IL

    Yes Jack, you're right... no enforcement. It seems that the more laws that our State, Local & Federal Gov. come up with, the less enforcement there seems to be. I must say however, it's not all the enforcers fault. It's the majority of the people that complain that "their" rights are being violated
    in someway that are the true culprit in many cases. At the rate we're going, we might as well just stop making laws and let every man. women & child fend for themselves. Hell, we're almost there now anyway!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  205. Chris Marquardt

    Jack .. All we have to do is take their license plate numbers, call the police, and turn them in for driving recklessly. Eventually the police will get sick of hearing about this and hopefully get the necessary laws passed to stop it.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  206. Felix W Ortiz

    Jack,
    I am pleased to see that finally the nation is catching up with the issue of distracted drivers. I agree that the enforcement is weak and I have legislation calling for stiffer penatlies for offenders. In 1996 I introduced a bill in New York State banning the use of cell phones while driving. In 2001 the Legislature passed a weaker version of that bill. Thank you for putting the issue out there again and I will consider your suggestion of introducing legislation to remove the licenses of drivers who are caught breaking the driving laws.
    Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz

    October 2, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  207. Fran of Huntington, NY

    Plain and simple, $500.00 fine and suspension of your license. You'll see and end to accidents caused by distraction real fast.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  208. Tweed

    Hi Jack: I used to love to drink and drive. Drove all over the United States with a six pack and a smile. I finally gave it up because the penalty for drunk driving was too high and the risk of getting caught was too great. But drunk driving is easy for the law to prove. How the hell is the cop going to prove a driver is talking on the cellphone and not just scratching his ear with the phone?

    October 2, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  209. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    Jack, all the car insurance companies and the state government have to do is simply revoked their licenses until they have proven that they are responsible again. just make laws that will ban certain cell phone usage. IT'S SO EASY!!!!!!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  210. DawnL,CA

    People have been doing other things while driving since the auto was invented.....putting on make-up, reading the paper or a book, drinking coffee or eating, yelling at kids in the back-seat, & kissing & fooling around.
    Nothing is going to get through their brains to stop doing these things.
    Maybe impound their car for a few days & have them pay a BIG impound fee.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  211. Art

    I probably should clerify what I wrote. I don't think if caught with the phone in your ear should be a punishment where they take your licesence.

    I might text at a red light but still looking at the light. Or on the phone. Sometimes on the phone while driving butthd road has top priority. I don't due it often and I am in a small city. I focus on my eyes more than what I hear...

    October 2, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  212. Art

    I guess I am the only who does this, but not often. I'm doing it now while driving... Just joking. But if I where it would be at the light or if driving when no one us around. Kinds like speeding. I drive fast but smart and safe.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  213. ED QUIROS, L.I. NY.

    How do you expect anyone to follow the law and stay off the phone while driving when you see police officers themselves on the phone while driving at 75 mph passing by you, and perhaps risking the lives of those that they are supposed to be protecting. If they can do it we can do it as well many may say.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  214. Val in Ohio

    Jack,

    Thanks for addressing this pressing issue! I think progressive enforcement of violations is the key. A large fine of about $1, 000 should be leveled for the first offense and roughly a $5,000 fine and loss of license should be the result for a second offense. If distracted driving results in an accident, the driver should lose his/her license and serve time in prison. Police need to enforce these laws and stop drivers who engage in this behavior. It is urgent that the practice of driving while distracted be banned throughout the entire country.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  215. Jackie in Dallas

    Uh, guys, if you make the car inoperable without two hands on the wheel, those of us with standard transmissions would not go anywhere! What about sneezing, turning on the turn signal or lights? Not all of us have fancy cars with automatic transmission and full controls on the steering wheel!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  216. james in Idaho

    Basically Jack, Make it more lucrative to be an officer than a criminal, and make it worth a young college graduates while to becoem the beat cop that stops beatings in chicago, texting drivers in Jersey, and drug dealers in Arizona and New Mexico.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  217. Ann

    Enforce a law and fine the drivers with a $500 fine for violation. That should send the message.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  218. Jude from Florida

    Jack, let's be honest! There's no difference between Texting Driving and Drunk Driving? My uncle's a safe and a responsible driver for over two decades almost got killed in a car wreck by another drunk driver doing 70 miles per hour coming from the opposite side of the highway. Innocent drivers should not pay the price for irresponsible drivers and until the government put in some legal reinforcements the rate of deaths will go higher and higher every day. Texing driving is untolerable! Take away their licences!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  219. james in Idaho

    Jack, Pay officers more. More officers, greater chance of success and of catching people texting while driving.

    It shouldn't be too hard now that you have tax and spend democrats as opposed to horde and waste republicans in power.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  220. james in Idaho

    @Larry from Suffern... 🙂 If you come out to Kamiah ever... remind me to buy you a beer. If I could afford it.... I'd help you with that ticket. I'm sur ehis look was priceless.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  221. Mary from Los Angeles

    With all of our electronic savy this should be rather simple to solve. Personal cars should be equiped with a device that stops cell phones from working if the car is in motion.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  222. Jerry

    Jack, Check phone records and if they are involved in an accident, fine them they same as if they were over the limit of intoxication!

    October 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  223. Bob

    Manditory legislation to install a chip in all cell phones that will deactivate them when in a moving vehicle(car, truck, plane,etc.) Like the car won't run when the ignition is turned off. The phone won't work when the ignition is turned on.

    October 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  224. joe

    Funny you ask.
    Just today I had a woman in a big suburban riding on the shoulder and talking on the phone with the arms flailing and the whole animated bit.
    Without a signal, cut me off, as I was in the slow lane looking to exit. The worst part is that she had a child in the car.
    If you want to increase state revenue, just slap a big fine on these people with having a special task force put in action just to nail these people who are under the misconception that they can actually multitask while moving 60 MPH.
    THIS will really get everyone's attention once enough people are caught in the act. I think the law enforcement is not doing enough to keep these people off the road....and all enforcement has t odo is check the outgoing/ incoming calls with the time stamp...BINGO!
    People....don't kid yourself, if you are a crappy driver to begin with, what makes you think this will improve your skills.....GET OFF THE DAMN PHONE!

    October 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  225. carrie

    Jack, I love you. You hit this right on the head. Take away licences and have check points if need be.
    I see it all too often.
    I am a non driver and see people in my community driving while talking and kids crossing the big road near to my house texting and chating. So when they get run down who will be at fault.
    There needs to be laws

    October 2, 2009 at 6:01 pm |