Dont Text and Drive, You Twit!

I understand that the recent catastrophe here in a local town was picked up by the national news: Five recent HS grads killed in a flaming collision with a semi-truck. What has only recently been released is that cell phone company logs show that someone was using the driver’s cell phone to send text messages just before the accident - and the return text message happened approximately at the same time as the collision. People have been very, very careful to avoid saying that the girl driving was texting when she went across the median to kill herself, her friends, and totally devastate the poor schlub driving the semi truck. There’s room to argue that it could have been one of her friends doing the text messaging, and the fire and heat of the crash was so devastating that there’s no hope for trace evidence to indicate who might have last held the cell phone.

But with that background I think the reader can understand why I am concerned that the driver of the RTS bus I just got off was text messaging while he was driving. One would think, with that kind of recent history that anyone with a brain would know that driving while texting is a Bad Idea[sup]TM[/sup]. Alas, some people think that they’re safe from the law of averages, or from consequences.

I’m going to contact the RTS management to remind them that using a cell phone while driving is, at the very least, a show of poor judgement. Considering that NYS has one of those stupid cell phone laws on the books, I’d suspect that it’s actually illegal. I’m not going to rat out the specific driver - they’re going to get one free hit from me, here. But I’m also going to make it clear that if I see the same behavior again on any bus, I’m going to report the driver, and raise as big a public stink as I can.

In spite of the recent explosion in NYC it’s been something of a slack news summer, up here. I suspect the local paper would love this lead, don’t you?

I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s against the bus company’s corporate policy for drivers to be on the phone in any way while driving (talking or texting).

I drive a vehicle for a living and we’re not allowed to be on the phone at all while driving. We also have DriveCams in our vehicles, so if an accident occured, it would pick up the fact that the driver was on the phone. There have been a couple of drivers fired because they set off the DriveCam (breaking too hard or bumping a curb) and they’re on the phone - talking or texting - and the DriveCam picks up sound, too, so they can tell the conversation is not important.

“I’m not going to rat out the specific driver - they’re going to get one free hit from me, here”

Why? That’s extremely dangerous behavior and should be addressed immediately, not in a general memo way, but in a direct message to the person way. I would report the driver without hesitation.

Bo Bettie, mainly because I was the only person on the bus at the time - I’m not pleased to admit this, but I’m a bit nervous about how easily the bus driver could figure out who it was who ratted him out. (It doesn’t help that the bus stops in front of my building, and often the drivers have seen me walking to my apartment building.)

My husband’s father drives a city bus here, and he tells us that cell phones (and, I assume, texting) while driving are a complete no-no. He also tells us that if his dispatcher calls him, he is expected to pick that call up regardless; little bit of a double standard, but that’s how it is for bus drivers here.

I agree completely with the OP. I saw it here a little while ago; a driver texting while driving his behemothmobile. I did a classic double-take when I saw that - lovely.

The conversation that was so critical it was worth dying and taking four of your friends with you (and giving an innocent trucker a horribly traumatic experience):
“What are you doing?”
“Just drivin…”

I don’t care much about people wanting to take themselves out of the gene pool by texting, celling, eating, reading, putting on makeup, shaving, whatever while driving, but they’re doing it AROUND ME. Why are these people all trying to kill me?

What are you afraid he’ll do to you?

Lib - can I leave it as simply my apartment has effectively no security? If you want specifics, I’ll PM them, but as it is it’s a judgement of my vulnerability, rather than a judgement of his capabilities.

I expect/hope the insurance companies will pick up on this. It seems to be the only solution: insurance companies refusing to pay if the driver was using their electronic device while driving.

I’m not looking forward to hearing about a tragedy being compounded by the absence of insurance money to cover an accident. But it seems to be the only way to address this problem within the existing laws and morals of this society.

Anyone know what insurance companies are thinking about this now?

No, that’s okay. Didn’t mean to snoop. Just wondered was all.

I don’t know about the insurance companies, but I have heard about the possibility of drivers getting dangerous driving charges if it can be proven that they were texting/celling while an accident occurred. I can’t imagine that the insurance companies won’t be all over that as a reason to not honour claims as well.

No worries, Lib. I thought it was a legitimate question. Just not one that I’m eager to answer completely. :wink:
cowgirl, there’s already talk of wrongful death suits from the parents of the other girls, here. I don’t know if it’s just people making guesses, or if there’s a real push for it - but… :frowning:

Wow. This story hits a little close to home for me, as my brother and sister attended that high school. I can’t help but think I might have known a parent of one of those kids. I only recognize one last name, but the age is all wrong.

“Driver, what’s your current location?”

im in my bus killin my d00dz


Simple solution: do the same as insurers do when a drunk driver causes an accident. The drunk can claim nothing; his or her victims, however, can file a claim against the drunk’s policy and receive something from the insurer. It’s a little more complicated than that, of course, but that’s it in a nutshell. Anyway, it may be a good idea for cellphone-caused accidents as well.

So you won’t post your address so we can be the judge of how secure your building is? Spoilsport!

I noticed this too, and it really irked me. They didn’t have to make accusations, but they could have been a little less mealy-mouthed about it. Sometimes I think this city needs a good old-fashioned tabloid.

LOL snert :stuck_out_tongue:

There was a similar story here a couple of years ago. Sad, really. We have a road which has existed for many years. Speed limit is 60 km / 36 mph (approx.). One of the worst storms ever. Lady is TALKING ON HER CELL PHONE, with her little one in the car, goes off the road, into the canal and drowns along with the little one.

However, the resulting explosion of accusatory statements AGAINST THE ROAD was ridiculous: The road should be closed; there should be guardrails up; we should drain the canal. It’s not the canal’s fault; it sure as hell isn’t the road’s!

Everyone tiptoed around the fact that she was talking on her cellphone when it happened because of the sadness.

But the facts remain.

Please, people: use common sense.

I have to share the FARK headline for this story: