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Utah Law Punishes Texters As Much As Drunks In Driving Fatalities 620

The NY Times reports on legislation in Utah which harshly penalizes people who cause fatal car accidents while texting. Instead of merely facing a fine, offenders may now get up to 15 years in jail — the same as drunk drivers. "In effect, a crash caused by such a multitasking motorist is no longer considered an 'accident' like one caused by a driver who, say, runs into another car because he nodded off at the wheel. Instead, such a crash would now be considered inherently reckless. 'It's a willful act,' said Lyle Hillyard, a Republican state senator and a big supporter of the new measure. 'If you choose to drink and drive or if you choose to text and drive, you're assuming the same risk.' The Utah law represents a concrete new response in an evolving debate among legislators around the country about how to reduce the widespread practice of multitasking behind the wheel — a topic to be discussed at a national conference about the dangers of distracted driving that is being organized by the Transportation Department for this fall."
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Utah Law Punishes Texters As Much As Drunks In Driving Fatalities

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  • by DragonPup ( 302885 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @09:34AM (#29242147)

    I agree with Utah.

    Wow, that felt dirty.

  • by jeffb (2.718) ( 1189693 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @09:38AM (#29242185)

    I've got superhuman reflexes, godlike judgement, and 99.99th-percentile driving skills, so those rules constitute an unconstitutional burden! I can easily thread through cross-traffic in an intersection or use the two-millisecond rule for following, with perfect safety -- as long as all the other drivers refrain from their usual rank idiocy.

    Oh, sorry, I though this was a speed-limit thread.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29, 2009 @09:40AM (#29242207)

    Or don't answer the phone, and give yourself some "me time" in your own car.

    I thought the point was to reduce distractions and impediments to driving, sheesh.

  • Re:ROFLMAO (Score:3, Funny)

    by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Saturday August 29, 2009 @09:56AM (#29242329) Homepage Journal

    I didn't think it was that funny.

  • by MetalPhalanx ( 1044938 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @10:27AM (#29242601)

    My biggest beef with public transportation is the seats are generally set up in pairs of two. I take up almost 1.5 of the seats, I'm not fat, they're just rather small... I need to literally turn my shoulders on a 45 degree angle if someone is to sit comfortably beside me, and I'm not really that large of a person.

    Now, enter the obese person who is all sweaty from lumbering to the bus... who literally COULD take up both of the seats in a pair... who somehow doesn't realize they can't even fit a single ass cheek on the .5 of seat that is left, and then proceed to try to fit into that space, ramming me against the side of the bus with their sweaty fat folds. Not really productive when my cell phone in my pocket is buried under a wave of someone else's sweaty fat. 2 weeks ago, one guy did this who smelled so bad that when I got to work, my boss could smell the fat sweat off of me. Thank god I bring a change of clothes for working out, I just wore them instead.

    I've been taking public transportation for years and ignorant fat people are my longest running complaint. If it was once or twice, I wouldn't care... but it's more like once a month. /rant

  • by initialE ( 758110 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @11:00AM (#29242973)

    You've got superhuman reflexes, godlike judgement, and 99.99th-percentile driving skills, and you couldn't get first post?

  • by LoudMusic ( 199347 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @11:34AM (#29243319)

    I would estimate I've done it about 30 times over the last 6 months of driving.

    That is roughtly 30 times too much.

    Give or take 0.

  • Re:ROFLMAO (Score:3, Funny)

    by selven ( 1556643 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @12:06PM (#29243641)
    I personally prefer "cops at my door brb in 25 to life"
  • by Dan541 ( 1032000 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @07:00PM (#29247415) Homepage

    why can't more drivers get the message?

    I thought that's what they were doing that was causing all the problems.

  • by Dan541 ( 1032000 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @07:12PM (#29247497) Homepage

    We need to reduce the cost of running the prisons.

    Put the prison out in the dessert = no need to build expensive walls.

    Here in Australia it costs more to keep an inmate than it does to put a worker on a mining site. If the private sector can put fly-in fly-out workers in the dessert cheaper than the current prison system, to me that solves the problem.

    Build a prison in the bottom of an abandoned mining pit and a single rifleman at the top of the access ramp will be sufficient to thwart any escape attempt, even if they do escape who cares they will die long before they reach any settlement.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30, 2009 @10:21AM (#29251327)

    This guy epitomizes carelessness (doesn't result in a crash though). []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30, 2009 @12:25PM (#29252155)

    A quarter second is TOO MUCH time to be distracted while driving. At 65 miles per hour your vehicle can travel 7.5 meters!. Which is more than enough to get you into trouble if someone in front slams on their brakes just as you glance down at your all important cell phone.


    People like you are the reason why I don't let my kids out of the house. If you killed even one of my kids I would kill your whole family with a baseball bat. You think a stupid cell phone call is worth my kids' life? If you do you are the worst kind of human being, a human being who would kill a child just to glance down and see who is calling . I can't believe people like you even exist. I can't believe how badly your mind must be twisted around.


    I turn off my cell phone before I get into my car. I fasten my 5 point harness securely. I adjust my mirrors. One hand at 10 and one hand at 2 firmly grasping the steering wheel. I DO NOT turn on the radio, I do not read billboards, I do not make eye contact with passersby, I DO NOT rubberneck at accidents. I observe all road rules. I never exceed the speed limit. I make only right hand turns because they are the safest kind of turn. I drive a jacked up H2 because it is safest. I do all of this because I want to ensure the SAFETY of myself and any passengers I might carry and everyone along my route or travel. I instruct all passengers that they may not talk at all at any time during the journey. I do this because I am not a SELFISH DICKHEAD who glances at cell phones putting the maybe 500 or 600 people at risk of painful death.

    Have you ever seen a person hit by a car? It fucks them up, badly. My cousin once BROKE HIS ARM in a car crash and, guess what! He had a devil fucking cell phone in his pocket at the time, turned on and everything.

    What we need is not anti-texting legislation. We need SAFE ZONES on all roadways. HOW MANY AMISH YOU KNOW CAUSE CAR CRASHES? You don't know any Amish cause car crash because Amish don't cars because Amish aren't FUCKING SHITHEELS who value their own convenience over the LIVES OF INNOCENT CHILDREN

    In conclusion, fuck you and I hope you die slow in a fire.

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