Texting Bans

Anti-Texting Laws Promote "More Public Awareness"

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this tshirt is also not an lol matter

Colorado recently joined 27 other states and the District of Columbia in banning texting while driving. But since the ban went into effect a month ago, police haven't issued a single citation. Local radio reporter Kirk Siegler interviewed Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle, who says "the measure has created more public awareness, and that's a good thing."

[Reporter] SIEGLER: State Representative Claire Levy…pushed Colorado's texting ban through the legislature. Levy is quick to deflect criticism that the state's new law is just a feel-good measure. It's on the books, she says, and that's going to deter some drivers from picking up their phones.

State Representative CLAIRE LEVY (Democrat, Colorado): I mean, look at speed limits. People treat those as just merely a suggestion but—yet there's an awareness of what's a safe speed to travel on a particular highway.

But laws passed in the service of raising awareness aren't just harmless fun. They lend themselves to selective enforcement and profiling. A phone visible anywhere in the car is now a pretext for police to pull over anyone they like.

And just as posted speed limits have little to do with the actual safe speed to travel (on many highways, traveling the speed limit would cause a massive pileup), blanket bans on texting ignore the fact that a quick "ok" sent from a stoplight endangers no one, even if typing out War and Peace in stop-and-go traffic isn't a good idea.

More on texting while driving here.

NEXT: There's a New Law in Town. Actually, Lots of Them.

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  1. And just as posted speed limits have little to do with the actual safe speed to travel (on many highways, traveling the speed limit would cause a massive pileup)

    Oh, come on. I have never seen an expressway were at least 10-20% of the traffic wasn’t travelling at or below the speed limit. Most people travel only a bit over (5-10 mph), which clearly implies they are using the limits as a suggestion.

    1. Oh, come on. Do you ever get tired of the boot taste in your mouth?

      1. Sometimes Chad likes the taste of it in his mouth after it has been inserted in his/its other end.

    2. Oh, come on. I have never seen an expressway were at least 10-20% of the traffic wasn’t travelling at or below the speed limit

      Sounds scientific to me. *rolls eyes*

      1. If you have any data which refutes common sense, please, out it.

        I am not going to waste time proving that there are plenty of people who drive below the speed limit. Hell, it seems like I get behind one every morning.

        1. You are more LOL than that t-shirt.

          1. Texted from my truck at 80+ MPH, biotch.

            1. Now THERE’S a T-shirt Suki.

              Put that phrase on the back, and modify the “you are more Lol than that shirt” to put on the front.

        2. Chad – you are like fucking spyware around here. Your next step should be some sort of audio pop-up that said I have won and a sparkling banner ad.

    3. I wish the government would set more standards for me to live by.

        1. How sad for people to live in such a hyper-partisan universe that they jump all over a poster whose post just doesn’t swallow every outrage-fanning contention in the article. Chad did’nt say whether he was for or against a ban, he just challenged the statement he quoted, and then all these people go into Suki-level retard mode: Oh Chadbot you suck and you and government sitting in a tree, etc.,

          1. I know….and I bet they are 100% unable to provide any statistics refuting my claim.

            Actually, I will toss out one of my quadruple dog dares, in hopes that someone will actually bother to dig up the statistics of speed distributions about the speed limit.

            1. MNG, stop changing your handle and replying to yourself.

            2. I bet they are 100% unable to provide any statistics refuting my claim.

              Hey dickhole, if you make the claim, the burden of proof is on none other than you. So shut your gorilla mask and put up a link.

              1. If I claim the sky is blue, and you claim it is pink and purple polka-dotted, the burden is on your shoulders.

                1. Ok. I got bored and found it for you.

                  The answer appears to be…FORTY FIVE PERCENT. As I expected, the answer is much higher than the 10-20% I qualified with “at least”.

                  Thank you for playing. Please admit I am just better than you.

                  http://www.ibiblio.org/rdu/sl-irrel.html

                  “Based on the free-flow speed data collected for a 24-h period at the experimental and comparison sites in 22 States, posted speed limits were set, on the average, at the 45th percentile speed or below the average speed of traffic”.

                  1. Uh, that was the average. Your original statement was that no expressway you’ve ever seen did the number drop below 10%.

                    I don’t know what expressways you’ve seen, but certainly many that I have seen, everybody is going very, very fast.

                    Which is good.

                  2. posted speed limits were set, on the average, at the 45th percentile speed or below the average speed of traffic

                    I don’t think that supports your assertion, but my statistics-fu is not upto the challenge of explaining why.

          2. MNG has girl issues. Wow, who knew?

            1. Poor Suki, everyone hates the stupid girl who tries to curry favor with the boys in their conversation by over-enthusiastic agreement about things she doesn’t know about…You try harder than the privacy-bot, and with equal depth…

              1. No, we actually like that. More if they show us their tits.

                Won’t work in Suki’s case because her tits are figments of John T’s imagination.

          3. Re: MNG,

            Chad did’nt say whether he was for or against a ban, he just challenged the statement he quoted[…]

            From what I read, I believe Chad simply misunderstood the point being forwarded.

            And just as posted speed limits have little to do with the actual safe speed to travel.

            The point is that these laws are based on arbitrary assumptions, not facts. Chad is right when pointing out that most people do not obey these regulations, but that does not mean that the reason behind their existence is fallacious.

    4. Does that work when you say it to a cop who has pulled you over for “speeding”?

      Here in Florida, while traffic tends to fly at high speeds, it’s always an interesting challenge dealing with the inevitable dementia patient driving on the interstate at a speed that might be too slow for residential neighborhoods.

      1. Happened to me this afternoon on 95 between FLL and Hollywood Beach.

        BTW, the handicap plaque lets you park in special places, it doesnt give you permission to drive like a retard.

        1. What if retardation is what you got the sticker for? I mean, they let reatrds drive right? It’s their god given right!

          1. Chad drives so yes they let retards drive.

        2. People in Miami drive either 20 over or 20 under. Nothing in between.

    5. Chad, you seemed not to get the point of the comment you are commenting on – the point being that Speed Limits are not based on safe speeds, regardless of the fact that people follow these speed limits or not.

      1. The point of the article had nothing to do with speed limits at all. I merely singled out some hyperbole in the article that happened to relate to it.

    6. Back in my moto-cyclin’ days I burned into a hairpin curve on a Louisiana back road and learned that when the sign said 15mph, it meant 15mph. Thank God for wide, flat, grassy, gub’mint maintained road shoulders.
      Just sayin’…sometimes the sign is right.

  2. blanket bans on texting ignore the fact that a quick “ok” sent from a stoplight endangers no one,

    It does if you’re Tiger texting a waitress.

  3. I’m having difficulty mustering any sympathy for people who text while driving.

    What we need is a voice applet that converts speech to text and sends it as a text message. The software already exists, actually.

    I guess the best solution is to make drivers liable for punitive damages if they were texting by hand while driving. That would avoid the possibility of selective enforcement.

    Anyway typing in text on a cell phone is WAY too attention conuming to be safe. It’s far more intelligent to phone.

    1. The ban in itself is silly and falls firmly in the category of “pop legislation”; however, the fact that someone texting at the wheel is probably driving like an idiot is hard to argue. But, you see, the driving like an idiot part is what should be actionable.

      What if Superman (not Clark Kent!) were driving a car on a highway in Metropolis while texting? He can use his other super senses to drive, so why should he get a ticket unless he’s driving erratically?

      1. I see your point, but I’m not sure I’d agree with following it to the logical conclusion. By that reasoning there should be no drunk driving laws, because some people are capable of driving safely with a .08 blood alcohol level or whatever. And no doubt some people can safely manufacture large quantities of fireworks in their apartment, but I have no problem with a blanket ban on that.

        1. PapayaSF, PL’s logic is sound and it DOES apply to drunk driving laws – a case can be mad that anti-DD laws make drunks more dangerous since they would drive in an even more reckless manner just to get home faster, before getting caught.

          1. That case could be made, yes. However, in my experience drunk drivers who are worried about getting caught are far more likely to go slower than the speed limit if anything, to avoid being pulled over for speeding.

            1. Re: Tulpa,

              However, in my experience drunk drivers who are worried about getting caught are far more likely to go slower than the speed limit if anything, to avoid being pulled over for speeding.

              I do not drive drunk, ever, but in MY experience, the guys that drive the fastest during holiday partying are either people going to a wedding or drunks.

            2. There was an old Chris Miller story in the National Lampoon about driving stoned and getting pulled over by a cop. Asked how fast he thinks he was going, he goes through an elaborate series of mental calculations, finally figuring he couldn’t have been going too much over the limit, and says something like “56 miles per hour?” The cop replies: “You were going 14 miles per hour. Get out of the car.”

              1. Yeah, they did that in Black Sheep, when Chris Farley is driving the stolen police car with a leaky Nitrous cylinder and gets stoned. I believe he “pulled over” onto the yellow center line, too.

              2. Re: PapayaSF,

          2. Except that you are ignoring the dangers of drunk driving per se: even if they are following all traffic laws, their judgment and reaction times are impaired, which makes them more dangerous on the road. So it makes sense to have blanket laws against it, and I suspect the net result is to make the roads safer.

            1. Kinda like a pre-emptive war?

            2. Bullshit. Old people as a class (define it at 70 or 80) are impaired.

              I suggest blanket laws banning them from the roads.

              How about instead let’s give people freedom and make them take responsibility? You fuck up on the roads and you pay (I don’t give a shit whether you are drunk, stupid, or retarded).

              1. “(I don’t give a shit whether you are drunk, stupid, or retarded)”

                or Chad.

            3. PSF, The same thing can be said about texting, fucking with the radio, yelling at your kids or trying to find something under the seat. I don’t think driving with a .08% BAC is uniquely dangerous.

            4. My thinking is that the behavior should be what you get pulled over for, but I don’t have a particular problem with some enhanced penalties for inherently dangerous activities. Being drunk and driving is negligent behavior, even if you’re not driving off the road. Ditto driving if you’re Dr. House. And so on.

              1. Being tired and driving is negligent behavior.

                .08 for many people is like being a bit tired.

    2. Re: Hazel Meade,

      I guess the best solution is to make drivers liable for punitive damages if they were texting by hand while driving. That would avoid the possibility of selective enforcement.

      Actually that would be the best solution and one that would have a more deterrent effect than straight prohibition.

      Anyway typing in text on a cell phone is WAY too attention conuming to be safe. It’s far more intelligent to phone.

      I am a designated texter.

      1. Good f’ing luck. Do you know how hard it is going to be for the injured pedestrian or other vehicle in the collision to prove in court that the at-fault driver was texting?

        1. Re: Tulpa,

          Do you know how hard it is going to be for the injured pedestrian or other vehicle in the collision to prove in court that the at-fault driver was texting?

          Can it be proven in order to enforce the current law? Same problem, Tulpa.

          1. It would be proven the same way we prove that someone ran a red light — by officer testimony.

            Not the perfect solution, I admit, but without pervasive traffic camera coverage (which the usual suspects around here would complain about anyway) that’s the only way to prove the violation of most traffic laws.

            1. 1. I doubt anyone here would object to traffic cams. Its the red-light-running, speed trapping, revenue generating variety that most posters here disagree with.

              2. Mmmmmmmm, Officer Testimony. Because there’s always an Officer around when you need one!

              I propose we get black boxes into cars. It can record the time, user inputs, accelerometer readings etc, and then we can have some data to study for every collision. Or just dash-cams for everyone.

              Might help against police abuse too if everyone had a mandatory dash-cam.

              1. I propose we get black boxes into cars.

                Too Late.

            2. Well, actually, you could probably subpeona the cell phone companies records of texts sent from the phone.

              Not the actual text of the text, mind you, but the time sent and maybe the length.

              Albeit, if the crash happened before the “send” button was hit it wouldn’t work.

        2. It doesnt need to be proved. If you are “at fault” and harmed a pedestrian or etc. then you are guilty whether texting, drunk, or just a really bad driver.

          1. No shit. This seems to be a concept that many retards can’t grasp.

          2. The original proposal was that you should be liable for additional punitive damages if you were texting at the time of the accident. That’s going to have to be proved in court.

    3. “I guess the best solution is to make drivers liable for punitive damages if they were texting by hand while driving.”

      Well, but capped of course, right HM 😉

    4. I guess the best solution is to make drivers liable for punitive damages if they were texting by hand while driving.

      Punitive damages don’t help the person killed by the texting driver. Better to prevent the accident than levy fines afterwards.

      1. Laws dont prevent, they punish afterwords. Punitive damages dont prevent, they punish afterwords. Whats the diff?

        1. The difference is that punitive damages only happen after the accident, so the deterrent effect is more limited. But an anti-DD law applies whether you have an accident or not, thus having a wider deterrent effect. With a law, the message is “Don’t do it under any circumstances.” With punitive damages, the message is more like “It’s OK if you think you can do it safely.” Sorry, I don’t care if you think you can safely drive drunk, I just don’t want you doing it, because the risk to me and others is too great if you are wrong, and you almost certainly are.

          This area is an example where otherwise sensible libertarians can sabotage their cause by trying to apply their philosophy to the nth degree, and lose track of the bigger picture and alienate the less ideological. Given the known dangers of impaired/distracted driving to others, it makes perfect sense to submit it to some regulation. It seems obvious to me that the degree of liberty lost because even good drunk drivers aren’t legally allowed to drive drunk or while texting, or because police might use selective enforcement in an improper way, is quite small, while the benefits are quite large (fewer accidents/injuries/deaths).

  4. It’s OK.

    I’d rather be spanking the monkey anyway.

    1. The monkey or your monkey?

      This is important.

      1. In either case, I’m offended.

        1. Not into S&M Mr. Jungle Monkey?

          1. Sounds like a freak of nature.

    2. Exactly. Are there laws on the books against masturbating while driving? What about driving while coitusing? Reading books? Watching TV? Meditating? Disciplining your children in the back seat? Changing clothes?

      1. Putting on makeup? Eating a messy cheeseburger? Searching for a radio station? Looking for a song on your ipod? Getting road-head?

        1. A nation without road head can never be truly free.

          1. Just pull over the fucking car. Jesus H. Christ, is some head really worth risking an accident?

          2. That comment only works if you’re providing road head and texting your comment simultaneously.

        2. Hmm – road-head. Slurp! Slurp!

          1. I do not give road-head.

      2. I’m with PL here. Make dangerous driving, whatever the cause, a crime. These anti-texting laws have too much of the old person’s “get off my lawn with your newfangled cell phones” imo…

        1. Hello void for vagueness. You do know that “reckless driving” is already a crime in most states, right?

          Specific laws are better. Drunk driving is common and dangerous enough that it needs to be specifically banned. If that is the case with texting while driving, then a specific law against it is in order.

          1. Bullshit on “drunk driving”. I know plenty of sober drivers I want off the roads.

            Every year sober drivers kill more people.

          2. But what about the myriad of other stupid things people do when driving? Specific laws governing all behavior are foolish. What are we trying to prevent? Enhancing penalties for negligent behavior might make sense, but banning one form of foolishness over the hundreds of other forms makes almost no sense at all.

  5. A phone visible anywhere in the car is now a pretext for police to pull over anyone they like.

    I was reading something about this. The cops were saying they have a harder time nailing people for texting because the phone is not at the offender’s ear and in sight. And thankfully, car doors are not see-through (yet).

    1. What’s a car door?

  6. I can see this being used as a means to search for drugs and god knows what.

  7. I can see this being used as a means to search for drugs and god knows what children.

    Remember, it’s always about the children.

    1. The cops where you live have to search for children? Why don’t they just go to elementary schools and arrest a few there?

  8. A phone visible anywhere in the car is now a pretext for police to pull over anyone they like.

    A phone, perhaps; but what about the monkey?

    This is important.

    1. Didn’t you read upthread? The monkey’s been spanked – he’s learned his lesson about texting while driving.

      1. Love the trunk monkey.

  9. It’s on the books, she says, and that’s going to deter some drivers from picking up their phones.

    These “it’s on the books” people piss me off.

  10. Doggy style is on the books here in my state. I can tell you first hand it has zero deterrent effect.

    1. Yeah, that’s a totally stupid law. Cowgirl is much more dangerous — steering is a pain and your entire windshield gets blocked for goodness sake!

  11. Oh, come on. If they had issued 500 tickets in the past month you guys would be complaining about that. If they put a limit of 20 characters per text then you guys would be making fun of and complaining about that.

    If you’re just sending a very brief message in stop-and-go traffic as in KMW’s example, it won’t cost you much time to pull off the road and do it.

    1. It’s a stupid law–see my comments above, somewhere among all the needlessly and illegally threaded comments.

      1. I take it you oppose laws against, say, standing in the middle of a park and firing a shotgun in a randomly chosen horizontal direction. Chances are, you’re not going to shoot anyone or damage any property — but the danger is great enough that the govt is justified in punishing such action even if no one is harmed.

        That’s why drunk driving laws are justified imho. Texting while driving I’m not so sure on, because it’s not nearly as dangerous as drunk driving. But KMW’s criticisms in this post are so off-base that they demanded a response from this law and order libertarian.

        1. If someone wrote a law for that specific situation, yes, I would say it is a bad law. Of course no one should ever do that, but a law about general reckless use of firearms or reckless endangerment of other people should cover it.

      2. threaded comments.

        Drink!

    2. Oh, come on.

  12. The solution is to require 10 hours of computer-simulation driving experience before you can drive a car for real. Included is a session where you’re asked to send a short text message while in stop-n-go traffic, and a child darts out in front of your car after a ball.

    If 80% of people strike and kill the child, then the law is reasonable but will not be needed, since if the simulation is sufficiently realistic — blood, et cetera — those enduring it won’t forget it in real life.

    On the other hand, if no one hits the child, the law has been empirically proven to be stupid.

    We can do the same with whatever the law enforcement fad o’ the moment happens to be. Tailgating? Speeding? Teen drivers with passengers? Try them out on the simulators, find out which are genuine problems and which lawmaker/activist fantasy threats — while simultaneously solving any real problems, without the need for additional lawmaking.

    As time goes by, and the number of complex scenarios to which aspirants of a driver’s license need respond grows, we will either have the world’s most amazingly well-trained drivers, or fewer drivers, or perhaps both. Yet another side-benefit.

    1. Not the worst idea.

  13. A phone visible anywhere in the car is now a pretext for police to pull over anyone they like.

    Keep in mind this has to be visible from another car. Unless you’re going retro with a vintage 1980s carphone, a phone that is not being used is unlikely to be visible from the police car.

    1. Tulpa’s absolutely right. Police have never been known to simply make up shit, no matter what professional/financial incentives they are given to do so.

      1. There are plenty of things for them to make up even without this law if they want to pull you over. KMW’s contention is that it gives them an opportunity to pull you over they didn’t have before, which is hogwash.

  14. If you are dumb enough to text while driving, which I admit is fairly dangerous, then why would making it illegal stop you.

  15. Texting while driving is clearly stupid and irresponsible, but just try taking away my mobile deep-fryer, pool table and Wii console.

    1. Oooooo, where’d you pick up that mobile pool table, or was it a DIY job? I gotta have one!

      I also wanna suggest the mobile easybake oven. Nothing like fresh cupcakes on the road.

      1. I have actually seen a picture of a mobile pizza oven using the cigarette lighter.

  16. Colorado recently joined 27 other states and the District of Columbia in banning texting while driving.

    What is up with the remaining 29 states?

    1. It’s cool, Boss. We’re getting them to ban driving while texting.

    2. SWOON! We love you BarryO!

      *flashes tits*

  17. This reminds me of bans on GPS units located above the window sill. Now drivers who use GPS units have to take their eyes further away from the road in order to see the GPS unit, compared to when the unit was located near the line of sight. That seems like a net negative for safety. This result is so obvious it’s unclear to me what the authors of these laws thought they were accomplishing by such bans.

    1. it’s unclear to me what the authors of these laws thought they were accomplishing by such bans.

      “thought”?

  18. (CNN) — Legislatures in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico met in 2009, leading to the enactment of 40,697 laws, many of which take effect January 1.

    The new laws cover a variety of areas, from texting and tanning beds to human trafficking and seat-belt safety.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/…..opstories+(RSS:+Top+Stories)

    Hey, better get started with reading – remember, lack of knowledge of the law is no excuse!

  19. Thank you for posting this! I really like your blog!!

    Common Cents
    http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

    ps. Link Exchange?

  20. Re: Tulpa,

    I take it you oppose laws against, say, standing in the middle of a park and firing a shotgun in a randomly chosen horizontal direction.

    If the park was in the middle of the Saharan Desert, why would you need a law against shooting your shotgun?

    Don’t look at the above as just a joke – you cannot legislate common sense, i.e. you cannot account for every possible scenario through laws.

    With Drunken Driving laws or Texting laws, you are basically prohibiting an activity because of what MAY happen – gosh, under that argument, we better stop doing anything, god forbid something bad happens.

    Chances are, you’re not going to shoot anyone or damage any property — but the danger is great enough that the govt is justified in punishing such action even if no one is harmed.

    How great is this “great danger”? What does that mean? You’re begging the question.

    That’s why drunk driving laws are justified imho.

    They are not. You cannot abridge a person’s rights for something he may do, even if the person is intoxicated.

    1. If the park was in the middle of the Saharan Desert, why would you need a law against shooting your shotgun?

      Not just shooting your shotgun…shooting your shotgun when you don’t know what the bullet is going to hit. And yes, even in the middle of the desert, you could hit someone or their property if you can’t see what you’re shooting at. That’s rule #1 of gun safety, no?

      And of course comparing a road to a desert is ridiculous; there are almost certainly going to be other vehicles on the road. If the road is completely deserted, then you don’t have to worry about any cops.

      under that argument, we better stop doing anything, god forbid something bad happens.

      Fallacy of the excluded middle. Driving drunk vastly increases one’s chance of being at fault in a car accident, just as firing a gun that may or may not be loaded at a person vastly increases one’s chances of shooting someone. As I said, I’m not convinced about driving while texting causes a significant enough increase in this risk to justify prior restraint.

      1. Please Jesus don’t bring up logical fallacies with Old Mexican. You might as well ask a deaf person what their favorite Police album was…

        1. Sourpuss.

      2. Re: Tulpa,

        Not just shooting your shotgun… shooting your shotgun when you don’t know what the bullet is going to hit. And yes, even in the middle of the desert, you could hit someone or their property if you can’t see what you’re shooting at. That’s rule #1 of gun safety, no?

        Indeed, Tulpa, and that was the point of my comment – you do not need to involve the government in a matter that involves individual responsibility. How can the government enforce a law prohibiting shooting your shotgun at random, before you SHOOT the shotgun? It can only do it in the same way it enforces other stupid laws – by making people that have not committed a real crime into criminals.

        Fallacy of the excluded middle.

        No, Tulpa, you are missing the point – you’re talking about abridging people’s rights because of something that may happen upon a certain act. People take many risks all the time yet you cannot argue the government regulates them all.

        Driving drunk vastly increases one’s chance of being at fault in a car accident, just as firing a gun that may or may not be loaded at a person vastly increases one’s chances of shooting someone.

        That’s likely, but in itself does not justify criminalizing an act before consequences exist. Prohibitions where there is no clear victim leads to unintended consequences, like for instance, drunk drivers going as fast as possible (rather than very slow) to get home before they get caught.

        1. OK, hypothetical for you here. Let’s say you are in the second floor of a parking garage and notice a blindfolded man pointing a rifle down from the parking deck onto the street below. You see that there are people walking around on the street below, totally unaware of the man with the rifle.

          Now from your point of view, you can’t tell whether firing the gun would result in the bullet hitting someone. Neither can the guy with the rifle, of course. He’s not threatening the people on the street, either, since they don’t even know he’s there.

          So the question is, do you run over and grab him to prevent him from firing the rifle? Under your preferred legal regime, he is committing no crime, so your action would constitute assault. Under my preferred legal regime (and thankfully the one that actually exists) you would be considered to be acting in the defense of others and thus not guilty of assault.

          drunk drivers going as fast as possible (rather than very slow) to get home before they get caught.
          reply to this

          This does not happen in practice. Any driver who attempts this is not only drunk but irredeemably stupid — you’re basically begging to get pulled over!

          1. Re: Tulpa,

            OK, hypothetical for you here. Let’s say you are in the second floor of a parking garage and notice a blindfolded man pointing a rifle down from the parking deck onto the street below. You see that there are people walking around on the street below, totally unaware of the man with the rifle.

            Now from your point of view, you can’t tell whether firing the gun would result in the bullet hitting someone. Neither can the guy with the rifle, of course. He’s not threatening the people on the street, either, since they don’t even know he’s there.

            So the question is, do you run over and grab him to prevent him from firing the rifle? Under your preferred legal regime, he is committing no crime, so your action would constitute assault. Under my preferred legal regime (and thankfully the one that actually exists) you would be considered to be acting in the defense of others and thus not guilty of assault.

            I would shout to the people in the street “Look out! There’s a fool with a rifle pointing every which way!” and then get out of there. No need to assault the guy.

            This does not happen in practice. Any driver who attempts this is not only drunk but irredeemably stupid — you’re basically begging to get pulled over!

            It’s not as far fetched as you think, Tulpa. Most accidents today happen not because the drunk driver is going very SLOW, but because he was going FAST. I can detect a drunk driver when he’s going slow – I can’t say the same when he’s going fast. Which one do you think is EASIER to catch? The slow drunk driver, or the fast drunk driver? There IS an unintended incentive that stems from the laws to get as fast as possible home, instead of trying to drive more carefully.

            1. The drunk drivers who are going fast are doing so because of impaired judgement of their speed (and slowed reaction time), not because they’re trying to beat the cops home. The last thing you want to do if you’re driving drunk is risk getting pulled over for something unrelated like speeding. Perhaps a few idiots do this, but not even remotely enough to counter the deterrent effect of drunk driving laws.

            2. I would shout to the people in the street “Look out! There’s a fool with a rifle pointing every which way!” and then get out of there. No need to assault the guy.

              Dude, I seriously hope I’m not one of those people on the street depending on your Solomonic wisdom to save me. The people on the street will have to figure out where your voice is coming from, figure out where the rifleman is, and then figure out where they can flee to that will be safe, and then do it. At any point during the 20-30 seconds that process is likely to take, the rifle could be fired and one of them could be shot.

              Never mind that you’re going to have to camp out next to him, periodically yelling to the people down on the street, since no one (save perhaps the owner of the garage) is allowed to force him to put down his rifle or leave his position under your legal regime, so he could just stay there for hours before firing.

              1. I see no reason the guy couldnt be tackled and not be guilty of a crime. There are plenty of “dangers” that you can save people from without assaulting them. If I prevent you from accidentally walking off a bridge, I havent committed assault. Actually, even if you are doing it on purpose, it isnt assault.

                Same for tackling the blindfolded rifleman.

                1. The reason it’s not assault when you grab a person who is about to jump off a bridge is because suicide is illegal. If it weren’t, you would be guilty of assault at the least, and if you forcibly removed them from the bridge to keep them from trying again, that would be even more serious (unlawful detention? kidnapping? not sure).

                  And since the rifleman is certainly going to resist your interference, you’re definitely going to have to assault him (or take away his rifle, which of course would be theft) if you want to prevent him from firing at the street.

                  1. Not to mention the fact that you just threw the non-initiation of force principle out the window. If the rifleman’s actions do not count as force, tackling him counts as an initiation of force, and you’ve just broken your pledge.

                    1. Who said his actions didnt count as force? I was talking about the law.

                      The initiation of force may be immoral, but, in some cases, it shouldnt necessarily be illegal. I personally dont have a problem with laws against random shootings or drunk driving, but I see reasonable alternatives, such as waiting until actual damage is done.

                      A crime needs a victim. “Society” doesnt count.

  21. I am way… too baked for any of this shitt.

  22. See, I’m not worried about the person who texts without it negatively effecting his driving, I’m worried about the person who drives badly because they are texting. Which is why it strikes me that the law should aim at the bad driving, not the cause.

    If a person, texts or drives drunk or whatever, and they harm someone, they should get ass-fucked by the law. Wouldn’t that be a deterrent as powerful as some misdemeanor primary offense for an activity that at “best” is just associated with more dangerous driving? I mean, if the person can be deterred reading about someone rotting in prison because they were texting and ran into someone should do the trick while leaving those who present no danger to be free to live their life the way they want more…

    1. I am very surprised no one has mentioned the Car and Driver experiment that demonstrated fairly conclusively that texting while driving is much, much worse than driving drunk.

      Of course as a wild and crazy anarchist, I would not advocate outlawing texting, just repealing drunk driving laws!

      http://www.caranddriver.com/fe…..t_-feature

      1. Everyone knows Car&Driver; “studies” are worthless, otherwise we’d all be allowed to smoke pot and drive.

        1. As it is now, only some of us are. And who are you to say that some people are not better drivers when they are stoned?

    2. Everyone thinks they can handle texting while driving until they hit someone. Just like drunk drivers always think they can drive just fine with 0.12 BAC — it’s those pussies out there who can’t handle it.

      1. But wouldn’t such a person also think it’s only other people who will get ticketed?

        1. That’s why enforcement must be ruthless. The probability of getting ticketed should be made much higher than the probability of hitting someone, and the penalties must be onerous in order to overcome drivers’ delusions of adequacy.

          1. People like Tulpa are dangerous.

            I say let’s be careful and ban their existence.

      2. Personally, I don’t text while driving, or drink before doing so. Or eat a burger. Or answer the phone.

        But I still do not advocate outlawing any of the aforementioned behaviors!

        I have over 500,000 miles logged in the last ten years without so much as a ticket, let alone an accident. The key is to never, ever, ever, take your eyes from the road. Not to use the CB, not to text, not to adjust the heater…

        1. Good luck legislating that in a clear and enforceable manner. And that’s an impossible task, of course; you have to look at the spedometer and rearview mirror every once in a while at the very least, and are definitely not going to be looking at the road in front of you when you check your blind spot while changing lanes.

          1. What part of “But I still do not advocate outlawing any of the aforementioned behaviors!” indicates I advocate outlawing anything???

            Oh – and blindspots are very easy to eliminate – fisheye mirrors and backing mirrors on the rear of your CDL vehicle work wonders…

          2. Good luck legislating that

            Which is why i propse making all drivers wear VR helmets linked to a series of cameras outside the car. Then they’ll have no choice but to look at the road.

            Of course, anyone not wearing their ViewHelm will be subject to severe prosecution.

            1. And what happens when the helmet or one of the cameras goes on the fritz? Any replacement of mechanical systems with an electronic one is just adding another thing that can break and render the entire vehicle unusable. Heck, I’m already against power windows and locks for this reason.

              1. Who cares about unintended consequences?

              2. Oh, and solid-state electrical systems tend to be more reliable than mechanical systems. Like digital clocks, and semiconductor based powerconversion Vs. generator-motor sets.

                Pretty sure automotive ignition systems became more reliable when they switched from contact breakers to solid-state switches.

                1. Still not as reliable as mirrors!

                  I’m not an engineer, but it seems electric systems exposed to water and temperature extremes would be less reliable than their mechanical counterparts. Power windows and locks are notorious in this respect.

                  1. Mirrors don’t work if they get moved and you’re too stupid to check&readjust; them.

                    And you got me on locks and windows….but then again, you’re not going to cause a wreck if your window gets stuck or you can’t open your door.

                    Hell, thinking of most of the clunkers i’ve ridden in, most of those mechanical windows and doors didn’t work either.

    3. Re: MNG,

      If a person, texts or drives drunk or whatever, and they harm someone, they should get ass-fucked by the law.

      That has been my argument and ProLib’s also: when there is HARM against a person, and there are aggravating circumstances (like impairment due to drunkenness or drug use), then the person should face the consequences of losing his property and his future income in compensation.

      I would say it would be in the interest of the auto insurance companies to determine if their clients are drunk drivers or not, and raise their premiums. I don’t agree with laws that make it mandatory to BUY insurance, but certainly it would make more sense to make it more expensive for drunks or druggies to drive, rather than just a risk of being caught by a cop.

      1. “when there is HARM against a person, and there are aggravating circumstances (like impairment due to drunkenness or drug use), then the person should face the consequences of losing his property and his future income in compensation.”

        Fuck that, they should also lose their liberty for a long time. That kind of thing once it got around to all would deter those who can be deterred while still preserving the freedom of those who do no harm.

        1. Re: MNG,

          That’s your preference – I cannot say that putting away a person really helps, since the cost of his stupidity is now borne by the taxpayers, instead of him only.

    4. We don’t have to even wait until they hurt someone. Simply swerving in lanes or driving in an erratic manner is already subject to ticketing and fine.

      I don’t give a fuck why someone is driving like a jerk. They should be punished for it. Conversely, if someone can text and not put anyone at risk while doing so, then go for it.

  23. Way to wipe out that 28 minutes of excellent defense by letting TCU march down the field for a TD in the last two minutes of the half BSU!

    Goddam, they need to ban prevent defense…

  24. “A phone visible anywhere in the car is now a pretext for police to pull over anyone they like.”

    Or dislike…

    1. Cue the story about the police searching for a young big-breasted female suspect with a tattoo on her lower breast…

  25. People who defend these laws must inevitably come to the conclusion that no one must be allowed to drive. It’s too dangerous.

    1. I don’t want to ban everyone from driving. But I would really like if the whole licensing system was designed to actually weed out people who will be irresponsible behind-the-wheel. As it is, the new fangled “graduated” system just weeds out people who don’t want to jump through a bunch of hoops.

      As long as your parents are willing to jump those hoops for you, nothing at all is accomplished.

    2. I mean, MD started grad licensing around ’99, and ten years later, i still see PSA’s about how driving is the #1 killer amongst ages 16-24.

      Mission accomplished.

    3. Triple post ftw. Think my thoughts through before hitting submit? No way man.

      My conspiracy theory about the “Real Goal” of the graduated system is to prevent immigrants (regardless of legal status) from acquiring licenses.

  26. Someone needs to invent hands free voice texting.

    1. Someone e-mail the DragonSpeak people and tell them to make an iPhone app.

    2. It probably already exists.

      There’s code to transcribe speech to text (MacSpeech Dictate), and there’s code to send a text message from a computer program. if someone hasn’t combined the two in a handy applet, i will lose all faith in humanity.

  27. Of course, the fatal flaw in Tulpa’s argument here is that he refuses to draw a line — in his own words:

    Driving drunk vastly increases one’s chance of being at fault in a car accident

    Define “vastly”.

    1. There’s no obvious level of risk to draw the line at, but that doesn’t mean that any risk less than 100% should be immune from prior restraint. Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good.

      Consider my hypothetical for Old Mexican above. Should a blindfolded man on the second deck of a parking garage be allowed to point a rifle down at a busy street and randomly fire it? There’s a nonzero probability that the bullet causes no injuries and no property damage; so under the legal regime where prior restraint is not allowed, anyone trying to forcibly prevent him from firing the rifle at the street would be guilty of assault, since he’s just an innocent guy minding his own business and exercising his inalienable right to fire guns in random directions.

      1. Even if there is no obvious risk level to draw the line at, shouldnt the law define one and use that as its point. Then you can do a statistical analysis afterwords and decide what blood alcohol level (or street crowdiness level) to set the laws at.

        For example, I would expect, with a reasonable risk level, that BAC limits would go from the .08 to about .12 before the risk justifies the law.

        1. The line used in drunk driving laws is based on a level of impairment that is both recognizable to the driver (you can tell you have been drinking at .08 – you feel, a little, drunk) and at a level whereby you have an significantly impaired ability (impairment kicks in at about .05 even though you don’t feel drunk).

          Texting is far more dangerous.

          1. But, IIRC, the research shows that drunks become a serious danger at the .12-.16 level.

            There is a reason most states had it at .10 until just recently, and the change wasnt due to any new analysis.

            1. You, of course, raise the “what is a serious danger” question, but the research was used to create the 0.08 rule…after studies had shown the significant number of lives saved with the reduction.

      2. People are rightly afraid of someone shooting at them. On the other hand, if someone is driving normally and endangering no one, what are you so afraid of?

  28. …The zombies stood in a circle. From his vantage point, Gillespie
    could not fully see what was going on. He only heard the soft
    moans of the zombies. He crouched back down behind the
    garbage cans. Whatever they were doing was keeping them
    occupied. He was pretty sure he could dart around them and
    be out of the alley before they even noticed him. He stood up,
    ready to run when he saw the ladder bolted to the wall. The
    ladder led up to a balcony on the second floor. He turned and
    looked at the zombies again. They continued to moan. More
    had joined the circle. There had to be at least thirty of them
    gathered around. As he scanned the zombies he noticed a
    couple looking at him. They stared at him and bared their
    teeth. He prepared for the onslaught but it was all for naught.
    The zombies ignored him and looked back down towards the
    ground. In the hours since the outbreak this was the first time
    he had seen them not advance on the living. What was holding
    their attention? What were they staring at? He had to know.
    He turned and grabbed a hold of the ladder and began climbing
    up. The sound of his wet shoes making contact with the metal
    squeaked loudly. He raced up expecting to feel dead hands
    pulling at his legs. When he reached the second floor landing
    he looked down and none had moved. Many more had joined
    the circle. He stretched to look into the circle of zombies but
    couldn’t see anything. Another ladder led to the third floor. He
    began to climb it. It now was more than curiosity for him. This
    could be a way to end the outbreak. If something could hold
    their attention then they could be easily grouped together and
    destroyed. He reached the third floor and turned around.
    There was a woman kneeling in the center of the circle. Her
    back was facing towards Gillespie. She was jerking off two
    zombies. Drool dripped from their lips as she stroked their
    cocks. Her head was moving forward and back quickly. She
    was obviously performing fellatio on the zombie in front of her.
    The other zombies stood around in a circle masturbating.
    Some of the zombie’s cocks had rotted off right into their
    hands. Still they shook it back and forth, kind of like mixing a
    baby’s bottle. The zombie she was giving head to arched his
    back. A rib poked out of his chest and black fluid began to spill
    out. At the same time he groaned. Gillespie could see the
    zombie’s dead cock begin to squirt. “Arrghhhhh”, the zombie
    moaned as he began dousing her with semen. Thick jets of
    spooge bounced all over her. Some landed in her hair, some
    shot all the way over her head. The two zombies she was
    jerking off also began to ejaculate, as did a few of the ones
    that were pleasuring themselves. It was like a fire hydrant
    going off as the dead shot life all over her face and body.
    Gillespie noticed that some of the semen was moving, crawling.
    He was horrified as he realized that some of the more
    decomposed bodies weren’t ejaculating semen. They were
    cumming maggots. The woman let go of the zombie cocks she
    had just drained and turned completely around facing Gillespie and
    smiled. Gillespie’s lip began to quiver and he felt on the verge of
    passing out. She was a mess. Cum and maggots covered her
    from head to toe. Her left eye was completely spooged shut.
    She reached up with her left hand and wiped cum out of her
    eyes and down into her mouth. She greedily gobbled it up.
    Another zombie began to ejaculate and she turned to face them
    taking their entire load into her mouth. She flicked her tongue
    back and forth licking her lips. She reached out and grabbed a
    zombie dick in each hand and began to yank on them. The
    zombies moaned. The woman’s eyes sparkled as she looked
    up at Gillespie. They were alive as can be. She was enjoying
    every minute of the zombie bukkake. Gillespie stood and looked
    at his senior editor and threw up. Katherine Mangu-Ward only smiled
    wider.
    “Come down here honey”, she said as she jacked off the dead,
    waiting hungrily for their seed. “This is what turns you on isn’t
    it? Come down here and join in. I must be honest with you
    though, since you are my editor-in-chief and I love you. I think I
    prefer the taste of dead cum over yours.” All the zombies
    began to ejaculate at the same time. Their semen shot in the
    air like a hose. All of their streams of goo met about thirty feet
    in the air, directly above her head, where they blended together
    swirling in the air like a cloud before flowing down upon her in
    one big stream. Gillespie opened his mouth to scream but before
    he could utter a single sound a large lightning strike of man
    juice erupted from the cloud splattering into him. He turned his
    head and coughed out what he could but the cum kept barreling
    into him, pushing him into the building. He tried to move but
    slipped and fell. The river of cum carried him down the steps,
    like a waterslide, where he landed two floors down in a sea of
    spooge. He paddled and fought the current that was pulling
    him towards the zombies and his senior editor. It was no use. The
    zombies parted and he flowed right into the center of the circle,
    where he came face to face with his senior editor. The semen had quit
    showering. He was able to sit up.
    “How could you let this happen”, she said crying. Her face
    was filled with disgust and fear. Before he could reply, smoke
    began to roll off of her face. Her skin began to drip off where
    the cum was. Gillespie watched terrified and hopeless as his senior editor
    melted into a sludgy mess before him. Zombies began to
    scoop up the liquefied remnants and stuff them in their mouths.
    He tried to get up but couldn’t. The cum had suddenly
    hardened and he was trapped sitting Indian style in the center
    of the circle. The inner layer of zombies stepped back and for
    a second he thought they were leaving. He wasn’t happy with
    the thought. At this point all he could think about was dying.
    He didn’t want to live, not without Katherine. He put his head
    down and began to sob. The sound of zombies went away and
    he looked up. Standing in front of him were some familiar
    faces; Matt, Jesse, Radley, Brian and Michael.
    “Guys. What are you doing here? Help me. My senior editor?.oh
    god?she just melted. She fucking melted.” None of the men
    spoke or acknowledged him. They just stared.
    Matt was the first to move. He unzipped his fly and pulled out
    his big, black, uncircumcised cock and began stroking it. The
    rest followed suit. All his friends began to form a circle jerk
    around him. Gillespie closed his eyes and when he opened them
    he saw a single man standing in front of him looking down.
    “Jesus Christ. No. Don’t fucking cum on me. Please don’t. I
    don’t wanna melt”, Gillespie screamed as he sat up.
    “Fuck man. Calm down. You’re ok. Shit.” The bald man
    said. From behind him came a couple more men looking
    worried. They were all dressed in black army style pants and
    vests. They had a logo over they’re right shirt pocket that said
    HR. They carried guns.
    Gillespie sat up.
    “Must have been some fucking dream”, the man said as he
    reached out a canteen full of water towards Gillespie. Gillespie
    grabbed the canteen and took a big swig. It was warm and he
    choked on it. Some water spilled out of his mouth and ran
    down his chin. He wiped it off with his sleeve, thought about
    the dream and fought with all his might to keep from vomiting.
    “Name’s Ronald Bailey”, the man said outstretching his hand, “We’re the
    zombie squad.”

    1. What the fuck? Too many loads dripping off your face Bukkakinator?

    2. How does this apply to texting while driving? Or anything else here?

  29. I keep saying this in these kinds of debates, and I stand by it:

    We should not be banning phones, texting, eating, being drunk or being stoned. We should ban DRIVING.

    We are already at the point of technological development where I’m absolutely positive we could make an affordable computer-driving system that could take your car to your chosen destination just as quickly and much more safely than you can. And best of all, you could simply drink, nap, party, work, or whatever you want as you sit in your computer-driven car. We should come up with some recommended safety parameters, and mandate that all new cars have such a system from now on. Eventually, when the system gets cheap enough, have it retro-fitted on all cars that share the road.

    Fewer people would die on the road, the office commute would be more tolerable, and we could all once again go out for a few drinks and get home without needing a “designated driver” in the group.

    1. It’s the lack of automated driving that stands between us and flying cars, so I’m all for it.

    2. People have been and are working on this technology, but it isn’t better than human driving yet. Computers have a hard time dealing with unexpected events like pedestrians jaywalking, obstacles in the street, rain, wierd traffic intersections, and bad human drivers.

      Basically, they can only deal with “normal” driving on clear sunny days. They can’t handle anomalies.

  30. Vehicular Man’s Laughter is no LOL matter?

    It sounds hilarious to me.

  31. It would be awesome Katie, if you backed up that “posted speed limits have little to do with the actual safe speed to travel”
    Not that I do not disagree with the idea. Speed limits in residential areas have to do with safe stopping distances. But some highways have speed limits because that is why the optimum fuel economy is.

  32. Our local rescue squad is wanting to start an “anti-texting” campaign due to the increased number of vehicle accidents as a result of texting while driving. We desperately need flyers, posters, bumper stickers, shirts, etc. and are needing to purchase these items but can’t find anywhere to aquire them. Does anyone out there have any information where we can get “Anti-Texting” materials? Please help us as soon as possible. Thank you very much!!

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