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Tag: distracted driving

June
10th

Thumbs up for anti-distracted driving patrols

Recent emphasis patrols in the South Sound region ticketed more drivers for texting than did similar patrols in 2012. (LM Otero, The Associated Press)
Recent emphasis patrols in the South Sound region ticketed more drivers for texting than did similar patrols in 2012. (LM Otero, The Associated Press)

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

The figures are in from last month’s distracted driver emphasis patrols, and the verdict is: Plenty of us are, indeed, driving distracted.

During the week of May 20, patrols in many communities statewide focused on pulling over drivers who were illegally using handheld cellphones or texting. They nabbed 1,448, compared with 1,059 in 2012 — a 36 percent increase. If drivers are at all intimidated by the prospect of a $124 ticket, it’s not showing.

Here’s a hero of the emphasis patrols: the Gig Harbor police officer who single-handedly ticketed 101 of the 139 drivers the department caught using their cellphones.

Another shout-out to the Puyallup Police Department, which employed a tag-team approach on busy Meridian Avenue. One officer on the street served as a spotter, alerting another to make the stop and issue the ticket. In the first two days of the department’s three-day emphasis patrol, 79 tickets were issued for texting or talking on handheld phones. Read more »

March
31st

Driver’s hands belong on the wheel, not texting

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

When it comes to distracted driving, texting-obsessed teens are the problem, right?

That’s only partially correct. It turns out, they’re just modeling their elders’ behavior. Almost half of adults say they text and drive, even though they’re well aware that it’s considered dangerous. A slightly lower percentage of teens, 43 percent, admit to driving while texting.

But that actually may be a bigger problem because teens aren’t as experienced behind the wheel as older drivers; the under-20 age group has the highest proportion of distracted-driving fatal crashes, says the Centers for Disease Control. And while a slightly lower percentage of teens than adults might text, those who do tend to text a lot. Teens are more likely than adults to expect immediate responses – and to immediately respond to text messages they receive, even if they’re driving.

How dangerous is texting while driving? Read more »

Aug.
17th

Brilliant idea for your dining pleasure

Here’s an idea I’d like to see catch on: According to the Los Angeles Times, an L.A. restaurant is offering 5 percent discounts to diners who agree to check their digital devices at the door.

Eva Restaurant owner Mark Gold said his goal is to minimize distracted dining.

My question: Is there any way to apply this to distracted driving? Like offer a discount on car insurance to drivers who agree to install a cell phone signal jammer in their car? I know such devices exist from watching TV shows like “24.”

Anyway, here’s the Times’ article. Read more »

June
11th

New grads: Please just stay alive on the roads this summer

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

To the South Sound Class of 2012:

Your commencement speakers are offering you sage and farsighted advice about your potential, about the adversities and triumphs of a life well lived. Our message is strictly shortsighted: Please, stay alive and uninjured for the next few weeks.

The month of June frequently brings a familiar and tragic genre of headline. Such as:

Teen dies in crash night of graduation

Student fatally injured on highway after party

New grad killed in midnight rollover

Here’s the worst such headline so far this month: Death toll rises to 4 in Ohio pre-graduation crash Read more »