R U Driving Rite Now?

A couple years ago, I got hit with a jaywalking ticket. I was crossing at the corner in downtown Washington, but against the light. There were no cars coming. When I got "pulled over" by cops in a squad car, it didn't even occur to me that I was about to get in trouble. When I figured out what was going on, I—a sweet, law abiding, goody-two-shoes—sassed the cops. And for a good while afterward, I felt vaguely grumpy whenever I saw an idle squad car taking in the street scene.

So now California and other states are talking about banning text messaging in cars—Suffolk, NY, has already done it—and I can't help but think that such a thing will recruit many more into the ranks of the grumpy cops-sassers. The drug war and speeding laws have already sent us pretty far down this path, but when you add talking on the cell or texting to the list of verboten behaviors, just about everyone in America under the age of 50 (and quite a few who are older) is going to start feeling nervous around cops. We're talking about people who are basically good, law-abiding, common-sensical guys and gals, who just want to double check an address, or make sure everything is ok with their kids.

Sure, texting a mangum opus while dodging through tricky traffic is silly, but people who check a text message at a stop light shouldn't be subject to flashing lights and aviator glasses. 

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  • miche||

    I crossed the street against the light once in Dallas and got (from a bicycle cop no less) a $250 ticket. I now hate all DART cops.

  • Naga Sadow||

    A jaywalking ticket? Seriously? I wasn't aware they even bother with those anymore.

  • ||

    I almost got run down by a Seattle cop when I was jaywalking. He had to stand on his brakes to keep from hitting me. To his credit, he waved me across and continued on his way.

  • jtuf||

    The drug war and speeding laws have already sent us pretty far down this path, but when you add talking on the cell or texting to the list of verboten behaviors, just about everyone in America under the age of 50 (and quite a few who are older) is going to start feeling nervous around cops.

    That will make work much easier for prosecutors. A nervous defendant looks like a guilty defendant to a jury. Sigh, we've got to fix this legal code.

  • ||

    What if you are checking your VZ Navigator or adjusting your route? That would look exactly like texting and would get you pulled over--but it isn't texting.

    The more people who hate the cops, the better, regardless.

  • ||

    I got very good at texting with the wife and kiddies while driving an 18 wheeler back and forth from California to Florida.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Episiarch,

    You got a VZ? Sweet!

  • ||

    Not sympathetic..I was rear ended at a light by a cell phone user not paying attention.

  • ||

    Sure, texting a mangum opus while dodging through tricky traffic is silly*, but people who check a text message at a stop light shouldn't be subject to flashing lights and aviator glasses.

    Good luck coming up with an enforceable law that clearly prohibits the first without banning the second.

    * Silly? You mean seriously dangerous to all the other people on the road, right?

  • ||

    aviator glasses

    "Whut we have hereya... is evidence of attempin' to communicate."

  • ||

    texting a mangum opus

    You must have a seriously tricked-out cell phone to be able to create works of anime on it..

  • ||

    Most jurisdictions already have a provision in their vehicle code to cite a driver for "failure to pay full time and attention" to their driving. Fiddling with your cell phone while driving would certainly fit.

    Oh, and Katherine: texting while driving is highly irresponsible and dangerous to the people around you on the road. Knock it off, you selfish twit.

    -jcr

  • stuartl||

    ...common-sensical guys and gals, ...

    Like the woman making a left turn into traffic while she was busy texting yesterday and nearly ran into my car. I hit the brakes and was nearly rear-ended. The woman didn't even look up and had no clue about her near miss. Face it, if you are texting, don't be driving. It isn't common-sensical.

    That is not to say that there needs to be special laws for texting. Hopefully existing law covers lack of attention already.

  • MAX HATS||

    So it should be legal to engage in risky driving practices on public roads? Sweet. Because I like to drink.

  • ||

    A somewhat related rant.

    How often do you see a cop ignore a traffic law in non-emergency patrolling? If you live in an urban area once, twice, twenty times a day? Or does it happpen so goddam often that it's just humdrum normal stuff that you just accept? That's what cops do, right? Hand out traffic tickets for shit they ignore.

    If these #$&&%*%!s want to be treated with even a modicrum of respect they might consider not blatantly disregarding the laws they are so quick to ticket the little people for.

  • hotsauce||

    Do we really need laws specifically targeted at text messaging and cell phones? It seems reckless driving is broad enough to cover the instances where someone is texting on the highway and not paying attention to his surroundings. It is also narrow enough ("reckless") to not cover texting at a stop light.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Not sympathetic..I was rear ended at a light by a cell phone user not paying attention.

    You were rear ended. The reason is immaterial. Would you prefer to have been rear ended by someone with worn tires?

  • ||

    You got a VZ? Sweet!

    Naga, I have a Dare. Navigator is part of my plan.

  • ||

    J sub,

    a local tv station had a news story a coupla weeks ago about the county and city cops being required now to obey posted speed limits due to the high cost of fuel.

  • short, fat bastard||

    I don't believe in prior-restraint, only punishment for wrong-doers.

    So texting while driving should be legal so long as it draws a mandatory prison sentence if you cause an accident while texting.

  • ||

    Invisible finger...but I wasn't rear ended because of worn tires, but because they guy was too busy on his fucking cell phone to notice the light AND MY FUCKING CAR.

    The cause of the accident is material in this topic.

    Am not sympathetic to worn tires either. But most likely the driver with the worn tires would have noticed me. This dude, who I know in this "small town America of mine", again did not even see what was in front of him because he would rather have been chatting than paying attention.

  • Naga Sadow||

    J sub D,

    I don't have the link but a police Impala was speeding and ran a red light without his lights on in Gulfport, MS a few months ago. Caused a crash bad enough to total both vehicles out and send the other motorist to the emergency room. Why did he run the red light? On his way to a crime scene and "forgot" to turn on his lights and siren. No disciplinary action taken.

  • ||

    Capelza,

    I haven't actually been rear-ended (yet), but I have heard the sound of screeching brakes behind me a few times and looked in the rear-view mirror just in time to see the coffee go flying and the other hand still holding the cell phone.

  • short, fat bastard||

    Oh, and Katherine: texting while driving is highly irresponsible and dangerous to the people around you on the road. Knock it off, you selfish twit.

    I would have resorted to one or more vulgarities.

  • ||

    Sorry -- I think texting while driving is a very bad idea and I can't get worked up about laws banning it. And I think most people would thing banning texting while driving is a good idea.

    I don't agree with the laws banning talking on a cell phone while driving (and here in Chicago I see people driving downtown on their cell phones [cops included] all the time) -- studies have shown that the risk is with being mentally distracted and not with what your hands are doing -- but texting requires you taking your eyes off the road excessively to be safe IMHO.

  • Paul||

    A jaywalking ticket? Seriously? I wasn't aware they even bother with those anymore.

    I'm surprised they hit her with it in the East. That's something that happens here in the west. But in the East? I thought you ladies were tougher than that, back there. Eh well, even the mighty must fall...

  • The Extispicator||

    People, please read the post. The law bans texting in cars, not texting while driving - which is already illegal in the sense that it is reckless and/or not paying full attention.

    Like jaywalking, texting while parked or at a red light would not be enforced 99% of the time, only when a cop didn't like your look or things you're selling drugs.

    I had a friend who was a cop a few years ago -- he said that without jaywalking, he wouldn't have gotten 90% of his crack arrests. He knew who all of the dealers and runners were in one neighborhood, would sit at an intersection, and wait for one to go to the crack house to make a buy. Every time, they would dart across the street, get busted for jaywalking, and have their crack found incident to the jaywalking.

    He really respected one guy who, after getting busted a couple of times, would walk to the crosswalk and wait for the green light. That guy never got busted again.

  • Dagny T.||

    I almost got run down by a Seattle cop when I was jaywalking.

    We heard a while ago that Seattle cops would be "cracking down" on jaywalking. So far being young, white and female has provided immunity.

    FWIW, Washington State is also one of the no-texting states. And Nickels is begging us to vote for a freakin' 20 cent tax on plastic grocery bags. Chicago ain't got nothin' on us.

  • Jerry||

    You haven't experienced the European police yet. They have specific targets for the number of tickets they have to write each year. So you might get away with jaywalking in the early months of the year, but in the fall months, the cops have to play catch up with their set target, and you'll find them everywhere, ticketing people for even the smallest infraction.

  • ||

    I'm surprised they hit her with it in the East

    Whaaa? Remember when Rudy cracked down on jaywalking? Maybe you don't, but I lived there. Never got busted, but how annoying.

  • ||

    a local tv station had a news story a coupla weeks ago about the county and city cops being required now to obey posted speed limits due to the high cost of fuel.

    That memo when straight to the round file, I'm sure. I've been almost run over by a cop while crossing at the light with one of these lit up. More than once. Cops that slow down a bit before running red lights? Daily observance of mine. LEO left turn from the right lane? Ditto. If everbody drove like cops the streets would be indistiguishable from Mexico City traffic. Cop road behavior makes me despise them more and more daily.

  • ||

    I'm glad we don't have jaywalking laws in Germany (or anywhere in Europe).

    We may not have free spech but at least we can jaywalk - take that Americans!

  • ||

    Sorry, if you think it's anything but a really stupid idea to be texting while driving, you are an asshole. Standard libertarian text goes here about stupidity (or being an asshole) not needing to be legislated against.

  • Naga Sadow||

    John-David,

    What if you are hoping someone will hit you? I want my Camaro totaled out so I can get a new one. No I don't text and I will rarely talk on the phone while driving.

  • ||

    You haven't experienced the European police yet

    I don't know where you were but in Catalonia, and especially Barcelona, the cops (particularly the Mossos d'Esquadra) completely ignore you if you are European in appearance. But if they think you look like a Gypsy or a Muslim, they will pull you aside and hassle you without any cause. I saw a younger guy getting hassled by the police and they were pushing him around, going into his bag, etc. I said to my ex-girlfriend "what the fuck is that?" and she said "probably a Gypsy."

  • Jerry||

    affenkopf, but they will fine you when your bicycle doesn't have a bell.

  • Zubon||

    Just to make J sub D happy, I note that Detroit has been considering jaywalking tickets since it made the list of top five cities for killing pedestrians. Detroit PD has not been terribly receptive to the idea. They were happy to pitch in for ticketing red-light-runners at the top pedestrian crash areas.

    Wayne State University is a test site for pedestrian safety countermeasures, so you might want to watch it around the perimeter of campus.

  • ||

    Naga Sadow,

    Good point. It is pretty easy to make someone texting behind you slamming into your rear bumper. "What, you didn't see that kangaroo hopping across the road? Oh, right, you were texting."

  • me||

    The train accident in SOCAL has been blamed on texting by at least one source. MSM has been trying to keep a lid on the rumor but apparently one person, a young train enthusisit, claims to be texting the engineer moments before the crash. He's dead so they can't ask him, the train people say they can't find his phone so they can't prove/disprove the claim (I guess the phone company has not been asked for their records)
    Anyway, it makes some kind of sense. He (the driver) apparently ignored a red light on his track that would have prevented the accident if he had stopped for it. If he was, as many are, kind of driving his train on mental autopilot, while texting his friend, it would have been easy for him to miss the red light. After all, driving a train has to be an unusually routine practice and it would be easy to get lost in a virtual conversation and miss a track signal that is probably always green. From the media reports I have seen it does not seem like anybody wants to explore this angle, maybe it makes too much sense and anyway, it does not help the cry of "we need more money" that always comes after something like this.

  • Naga Sadow||

    John-David,

    LOL. Perverse incentives. Of course, once I have my 2011 Z28 there had better be a crack down on whatever might cause people to slam into me and hurt my baby!

  • I, Kahn O\'Clast||

    Yeah but you Germans are far too law-abiding to jaywalk.

    I am moving out of a town with a serious police-state problem. With only 7,000 people (half retirees the rest a mix of commuters and farmers) we have a seriously beefed up force, at least 4 squad cars on the roads at any one time. They will pull you over for going just ONE mile over the speed limit and ticket you.

    I pointed this out to an Arch-Liberal friend of mine who thought that it wasn't so bad: that is until he was pulled over for not wearing his seat belt and was ticketed for it (he was on his way to the local pizza joint for carry out - about a mile from his house.) He now despises the police here.

  • MAX HATS||

    Yeah, texting while stopped at a red light is harmless. Unless you are behind someone who is texting at a red light, and have a reasonable expectation of moving forward when the light turns green.

  • ||

    i support laws against texting while driving, and also laws against speeding. like the constitution itself, libertarianism is not a suicide pact.

  • ||

    The timing of this article is questionable, to say the least, given that one of the causes under investigation for the MetroLink crash is that the engineer may have been texting on his phone instead of watching the signals....

  • Dagny T.||

    I said to my ex-girlfriend "what the fuck is that?" and she said "probably a Gypsy."

    Did anyone else see the profile in the Economist a few months ago about the Gypsy (or Roma) diaspora? Pretty dire circumstances for a lot of people.

    My sympathy for their plight does not, however, prevent me from observing that "probably a Gypsy" is a good answer to a lot of questions.

    "Who left the cap off my f*%$ing Glisten?"

    Answer: probably a Gypsy.

  • ||

    Epi-12:44

    "The more people who hate cops, the better, regardless." If we want a decent, just society.

  • ||

    I am moving out of a town with a serious police-state problem

    I owned a house in a town in Orange County, NY with a population of 20,000. It had a "village" within it with a population of 3,600.

    We had 3 Village police cruisers, at least 6 or 8 Town police cruisers, Orange County Sheriff, and of course State Police all over. One time on a 7 minute journey to the local grocery store I passed 6 cruisers.

    I sold that house and made a 25% profit. I owned it for 4 years, and was really glad to be rid of that town.

  • ||

    Cop: What's this, sir?

    Driver: My licence and registration. Yeah, I wanna be in compliance. I was just thinking we could take care of it right here, in Brainerd.

    Cop: Put that back in your pocket, please. And step out of the car, please, sir.

    (whimpering)

    (whimpering)

    (screams)

  • ||

    Bruce-

    You got bats in your belfrey?

  • Mad Max||

    A law against texting while driving? What's . . . hey, slowpoke, you tryin' to get run over? Speed up or move the hell out of the way! . . . What's next, a ban on posting H&R comments while . . . damn, that traffic light didn't *used* to be there, oh well, I've passed it anyway . . . I mean, what will these traffic fascists think of next . . . yo, dumbass, do I *look* like I have an "I break for slow pedestrians" bumper sticker? . . . now, where was I? Oh, yes, the traffic fascists, I . . . hold on, another slow driver . . .

  • Chris||

    Sorry, but if you text while driving I hope you are killed in a one car accident very soon.

  • ||

    Bruce-

    Libertarianism does not suffer fabian fools who, while claiming to be libertarians, sling silly statist slogans.

  • ||

    Pretty dire circumstances for a lot of people.

    They really go out of their way to piss people off. The Europeans generally have no pity because the Roma consider themselves able to help themselves to other people's property. But it's always been that way for them. I wouldn't feel too bad for them.

    "He swore by that Glisten."

  • Chris||

    Sorry, but if you are a Gypsy I hope you are killed in a one car accident very soon.

  • ||

    "suicide pact"? We will, all three hundred million of us, kill all of us becuase we mop the floor with the head of fascism.

    Notice the totalitarian bias built in to the stupid slogan-as if 300,000,000 is one and one is 300,000,000. Methinks that Justice Jackson came up with this gem.

  • Dagny T.||

    I wouldn't feel too bad for them.

    Naturally the Economist didn't focus on the stealing. More on the poor, illiterate kids. It seems like there is a lot of prejudice though, which (despite being sometimes accurate) I'm sure doesn't help the situation.

    "They're perfect."

    "Years of brushing with Glisten."

  • ||

    Y'know, I just wish other drivers would DRIVE THEIR DAMNED CAR. Not make phone calls, not text, not sleep, not raise their children, not write the great American novel...DRIVE.

    Once they park and get out of the vehicle they can return to being self-absorbed, clueless, idiots.

  • ||

    Naturally the Economist didn't focus on the stealing. More on the poor, illiterate kids

    According to the ex, all the kids in the neighborhood would play outside (of course). There were a few Gypsies that would show. They would routinely bully, threaten, and steal from the other kids. Didn't set her up with a great respect for them. Their issues with impurity and outsiders certainly don't help.

    "Hide me. Don't turn in Pop-Pop. Help Pop-Pop."

  • Mike Laursen||

    I don't believe in prior-restraint, only punishment for wrong-doers.

    That is one of the dumber memes that has infected libertarian thinking. Among human beings, you sometimes need to make rules that involve prior restraint. The meme must have arisen out of Westerns, where the good guy never shoots until shot at first -- following the non-initiation of force principle to suicidal extremes.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Sorry, but even in libertopia, where all the roads are private, it's still very likely there would be rules against text messaging while driving. In fact, the consequences could be a lot worse than a fine, like being banned from that company's roads. Such banishment would go in the positive column for libertopia, by the way -- you shouldn't be text messaging while driving a car.

  • Ted||

    A new law went into effect on September 1st in Alaska making it illegal to text while driving. It's a primary offense, and unlike other traffic violations, it could carry up to a year of jail time.

  • ||

    Cops are nothing but a branch of organized crime. Every "sweet, law abiding, goody-two-shoes" should feel fear and trepidation at the sight of a cop.

  • Dagny T.||

    They would routinely bully, threaten, and steal from the other kids. Didn't set her up with a great respect for them.

    That's understandable. I was surprised (though I shouldn't have been) to learn the level of distrust and fear of Roma in Europe.

    Their issues with impurity and outsiders certainly don't help.

    Unclean! Unclean! (Another head case, perchance?)

    "Listen, if you pass a mini-mart, Pop-Pop gets a treat?" (Tip: if you're cute enough, this line actually works on friends and acquaintances.)

  • ||

    "Listen, if you pass a mini-mart, Pop-Pop gets a treat?" (Tip: if you're cute enough, this line actually works on friends and acquaintances.)

    Maybe for you, but I don't ask for treats. I get people to offer them to me instead. ;-)

  • ||

    I don't believe in prior-restraint, only punishment for wrong-doers.

    So it shouldn't be illegal to go around pointing a gun at people?

  • ||

    Epi,

    yeah, but not all of us look that good in a bananner hammock

    or can suck a golf ball thru a 50 foot garden hose.

  • ||

    or can suck a golf ball thru a 50 foot garden hose

    I can't believe you would say such a thing about Dagny. I'm shocked, SHOCKED.

  • ed||

    texting a mangum opus

    Does reason online have a copyeditor? I need a job and I'll work for peanuts. Can I do it from home? I'm getting used to working in shorts and a T-shirt. While drinking. Seems a perfect fit.
    Are there benefits?

  • Dagny T.||

    I can't believe you would say such a thing about Dagny.

    "I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it."

  • ||

    It is manifestly unjust to determine that a behavior is so "inherently dangerous" that it must be banned outright.

    I've said this, but NHTSA numbers bear out the conclusion that accidents happen far more frequently to the point of "strong likelihood" when one has passengers in the car. Should we ban that too? Should we ban talking to your kids while driving?

    I'm stunned, too, at the level of crotchety old man on here "Damn kids and your texts! you're selfish!"

  • ||

    Oh, and Katherine: texting while driving is highly irresponsible and dangerous to the people around you on the road. Knock it off, you selfish twit.

    What an unwarranted level of rudeness. Get some shame in you. Christ.

  • jmd||

    how about that amtrak collision? 25 killed cuz of a text-messaging driver. fucking great.

  • ||

    Does reason online have a copyeditor? I need a job and I'll work for peanuts. Can I do it from home? I'm getting used to working in shorts and a T-shirt. While drinking. Seems a perfect fit.
    Are there benefits?


    ed, Reason Online is a proper noun and thus capitalized.

    joez law.

  • ||

    """"People, please read the post. The law bans texting in cars, not texting while driving - which is already illegal in the sense that it is reckless and/or not paying full attention.""""

    "Starting Sunday, Suffolk drivers nabbed for driving while texting will face a fine under a new county law that is the first of its kind in New York State."

    Sometimes you have to click the links.

    But you have a point, reckless driving is already an offense.

  • memphisto||

    This is one of those issues where there shouldn't HAVE to be a law, but there are enough people who don't exercise good judgment. AFWIW, if you can drive as well while texting or reading texts as you can when you aren't, you AREN'T PAYING ENOUGH ATTENTION to your driving.

  • ||

    The woman didn't even look up and had no clue about her near miss.

    Unless you are behind someone who is texting at a red light, and have a reasonable expectation of moving forward when the light turns green.

    This is why God put a horn in your car, and why I replace the pukey standard-issue horns in my cars with after-market airhorns.

  • ||

    """how about that amtrak collision? 25 killed cuz of a text-messaging driver. fucking great."""

    The would never happen in the NYC subway system. If the engineer runs a red light, it trips the emergency brake.

  • memphisto||

    "and why I replace the pukey standard-issue horns in my cars with after-market airhorns."

    The single most important piece of safety equipment on a motorcycle, as well. Nothing gets a driver's attention like the sound of a semi horn.;-)

  • ||

    """This is why God put a horn in your car, and why I replace the pukey standard-issue horns in my cars with after-market airhorns."""

    Nice. I can imagine you laying on the horn, making her jump and her blackberry flying through the sun roof.

  • ||

    Personally, the standard should be to require drivers to turn off their cellphones and stow them away before driving.

  • cunnivore||

    J Sub D, if "reason online" is supposed to be capitalized, they need a copyeditor for the logos at the top of this page, all over this site, references to the magazine in the pages of their magazine, on the cover, etc.

  • Zinzindor||

    How do you get a ticket for for jaywalking? When the officer asks for identification, you simply shrug and say, "I don't have any with me."

    You're not driving. You don't need a pedestrian license (yet).

  • cunnivore||

    I've said this, but NHTSA numbers bear out the conclusion that accidents happen far more frequently to the point of "strong likelihood" when one has passengers in the car. Should we ban that too? Should we ban talking to your kids while driving?

    Such a ban would interfere with the very purpose of having a car. Whereas it's not asking much to pull off the road and park somewhere if you absolutely must text someone right this second...a situation which even a non-oldster must recognize comes along very rarely.

  • cunnivore||

    Zinzindor, there was a SCOTUS ruling a couple of years back saying that police could demand your name under penalty of law under any circumstances (even if you're not suspected of anything). Even if that weren't the case, they could always drag you down to the station to be their guest until your identity can be confirmed. And if that's not enough to keep you from pulling the tiger's tail, it's good to remember that you, I, and everyone else commits several felonies every day.

  • You sure about that?||

    libertymike- "Libertarianism does not suffer fabian fools who, while claiming to be libertarians, sling silly statist slogans."

    Have you seen the 2008 Libertarian presidential nominee?

  • memphisto||

    "accidents happen far more frequently to the point of "strong likelihood" when one has passengers in the car."

    There is no way of measuring how many times there would have been an accident unless a passenger had warned the driver of something. (The guy on the other end of your cell phone isn't going to do that.) But that's not the point. This are lots of reasons to use a cell or text in a car, but none of them are more important than the fact that you are operating a vehicle, which should get as much of your attention as possible.

  • Rhywun||

    Yeah but you Germans are far too law-abiding to jaywalk.



    Yeah, it's cultural. If I'm surrounded by people who don't jaywalk (Germans, Candadians), I don't jaywalk either. When I'm home (NYC), I jaywalk.

  • ed||

    Jaywalking while texting, bah.
    Driving a train while texting? Maybe a little more serious. If it's true. And even if it isn't.*


    *Full disclosure: right now I'm ignoring the flashing lights and really annoying alarm on that stupid "Core Meltdown" panel. But I'll get to it, LOL.

  • ||

    how about that amtrak collision? 25 killed cuz of a text-messaging driver. fucking great.

    Has that been proven yet? Or did a loose-lipped government agent get shitcanned for making presumptions before there was even an investigation?

  • Mike Laursen||

    ed, Reason Online is a proper noun and thus capitalized.

    All lower case "reason" is an affectation intended to convey cosmotarian hipness. Affectation overrules slavish, repressed paleo adherence to grammar.

    (See, anything can be turned into a cosmo vs. paleo issue.)

  • Just Plain Brian||

    Zinzindor, there was a SCOTUS ruling a couple of years back saying that police could demand your name under penalty of law under any circumstances (even if you're not suspected of anything



    Sounds like Hiibel to me

  • Yes||

    Katherine, I just saw you on ABC World News Tonight :-)

    You looked good. Not much talk time though.

  • ||

    Zinzindor, there was a SCOTUS ruling a couple of years back saying that police could demand your name under penalty of law under any circumstances (even if you're not suspected of anything

    Sounds like Hiibel to me

    No it doesn't. In Hiibel, the Court held, the cop had probable cause to believe Hiibel had committed a crime. (It turns out he hadn't committed any crime--until he refused to provide his name, that is--but that doesn't alter the fact that the cop wasn't just harassing a citizen for the fun of it. On the other hand, Hiibel had no way of knowing that that wasn't exactly what the cop was doing.)

  • ||

    Back around 1978 or 1979, during the administration of then-mayor-for-life Marion Barry, the D.C. cops launched an aggressive anti-jaywalking campaign. Then fizzled out fast when the local courts ruled that while the cops could demand that an arrested jaywalker identify himself, they couldn't demand that he show identification, nor could they arrest him if they thought the name he gave was fictitious. A few days of finding that every other jaywalker was named Donald Duck put an end to that campaign pretty fast, forcing the cops to go back to their regular routine of arresting dope dealers and hookers.

  • JB||

    Stupid idiots. I love all the moronic commenters here who want ban everything because it scares them.

    You want to drive drunk? Fine by me.
    You want to text while driving? Fine by me.
    You want to eat your Big Mac while driving? Same.

    Just be responsible when you do it. You screw up and injure a person or their property? Then you are held responsible and punished accordingly.

    Why oh why do people want to punish others for victimless crimes? Bunch of fascists.

  • ||

    You know, anyone with common sense knows that doing anything else but concentrating on driving while driving is distracting.
    How can anyone say "fine, but if you hurt someone you will be held responsible"?
    What you are saying is that it is OKAY to create situation where you might kill someone, you just have to be prepared to take responsibility.
    Scares me? Sure it does. It scares me every time I am almost broad sided by someone who's not paying attention because they talk on the phone or do something else that impairs their ability to be a safe driver.

    Victimless crimes? You need your head checked. You scare me.

    Text while at a stop light? How are you going to know when it turns green if you're not looking at the light? If you really need to check something, have the common sense to STOP somewhere and do it safely.

    It doesn't take research to understand that texting while driving is dangerous. All it takes is to look around you when you're out driving and watch the erratic movements of people who are doing other things than just driving.
    Why is safety in traffic being downplayed?

    And for the editor.....yes, it might be law abiding people but that doesn't absolve them from doing the right thing. Why do you need to check on your kids while driving? Don't you think they would call you incessantly if something was wrong? If you can't go through the day without thinking that something might have happened to them; do the right thing and call them while you stand still and not at a light. Why would you have to check while you're out driving? Why can't you check while you're NOT driving? How many times a day do you have to check on your children? 20 times?

    Editor, you fail to understand that this is NOT about the people who are taking these risks. It's about the people in their immediate area who is running the risk of loosing their lives or getting severely hurt by the "good law abiding people" who think it's okay to compromise their driving because they feel it's important to use their cell phones, in whatever way they use it while driving.

    Shame on you!

  • ||

    Common sense,

    you need your head checked. It is a victimless crime UNTIL something happens. Over the last 15 years I have driven while texting, talking on the phone, putting in a contact lense, smoking, drinking coffee, changing cd's or cassettes or the radio channel, changing clothes (late for work), eating and probably a bunch of other ill-advised stuff that I have forgotten about. I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN AN ACCIDENT! NOt even a fender-bender, except in a parking lot and that was because I was laughing really hard AND NOT PAYING ATTENTION! Have you figured this out yet? It has nothing to do with the activity of the driver, rather the issue is their attention. Some people can smoke a cigarette, drink their coffee, talk on the phone, and change gears without lifting their eyes from the road. Other people will be distracted by a fly on the outside of their windshield, lose attention and kill someone. NOTHING IN LIFE IS RISK FREE! Just because you have control issues don't dictate to me how I should live my life. The second I do anything that affects you, tell me, until then don't tell me what I can or cannot do because something MIGHT happen.

  • ||

    amen. uncletom.

    Never give an inch.

    "An inch. It's small and it's fragile and it's the only thing in the world worth having. We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us."

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