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Letters to the Editor

Pay attention

August 19, 2008

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To the editor:

When did talking on a cell phone while driving become legal? Cell phone driving is equated to drunken driving because it is a huge distraction.

Talking while driving could be declared irresponsible driving. If my memory serves me well, there is an ordinance against irresponsible driving. Is this ordinance enforced?

Now, really, how important is any phone call that it cannot wait until one is parked? Haven't we all found ourselves fumbling around in our pockets, a purse or whatever to catch that phone call? Is that not a distraction or what?

Some cyclists also should consider not talking on cell phones until stopped as well.

Quite recently there was a bicycle-truck accident on Sixth Street. The cyclist was on the sidewalk pulling a child in a trailer. How in the world could a driver run over a cyclist on a sidewalk in plain sight? What could have been the distraction?

Are drivers simply not paying attention? On a Kansas Highway 10 marquee it says watch out for motorcycles. There are billboards stating the same thing. Apparently car and truck drivers are needing encouragement to pay attention.

There are more motorcycles, scooters, bicycles and pedestrians in the area now than ever due to high gasoline prices, people concerned about the environment and a variety of other reasons. All are subjected to traffic ordinances, but all of us paying attention is as important as any traffic ordinance.

Richard Heckler,
Lawrence

Comments

KS 5 years, 8 months ago

We need more roundabouts.

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Andrew Stahmer 5 years, 8 months ago

The problem with drunk driving is that usually the low-lives who drink and drive come out of the accidents without ANY kind of scars (including mental; they have no concern about human life outside of themselves.)At least with this 'distracted' driving ... you do it, you're most likely gonna get hurt. So at least there is more of a consiquence.As a pedestrian, I don't like either!!Whatever happend to all that 'hands-free' cell technology? If people are going to use cellphones no matter what...and they are. It would be one small help if they at least had both hands on the wheel.Hey...take the bus...you can talk on your cellphone to your hearts content! You can be 100% sure you won't hurt anyone! (ooops...what did I just do......)

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Darrell Lea 5 years, 8 months ago

"gl0ck0wnr (Anonymous) says:Richard Heckler = Merrill. You can thank him for all the expensive "traffic calming" devices in town.Dickie, I'd like to take this opportunity, on gl0ck0wnr's behalf, to personally thank you for all the expensive traffic calming devices in town. Anyone who pays attention to events in our city knows that traffic around here certainly needs calming, and I sure appreciate all that you do to keep things cool here in River City.Now, if there was only such a thing as a rhetoric-calming device...

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lsense 5 years, 8 months ago

Why the hell didn't the ban pass before? Think about it, they could pass the ban, and then make enough money in fines that they wouldn't even need to think about raising taxes. Richard is absolutely right in his statement about no one being so important that you can't just wait until you stop to talk to them. The same goes for all these morons on phones in the stores, in line to pay for things, etc. People act like they'd be lost without their phone to their head; for some reason they can't live without them. And speaking of which, I saw a lady at the bus stop this morning on 6th street with her 3 year old kid. The kid was standing by herself off to the side, while the mom was sitting there on the sidewalk gabbing away on her cell phone. What's wrong with talking to your daughter while waiting for the bus? How worthless.

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Baille 5 years, 8 months ago

Oh. Smells like someone is desperate for a little conflict.http://www.lookingforafight.com/

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gl0ck0wnr 5 years, 8 months ago

"Cell phone driving is equated to drunken driving because it is a huge distraction."Oh... and this sentence is utter nonsense. The two may be equated in Richard's aging mind, but it certainly isn't true legally. To equate the two minimizes the impact of deaths from drunken driving. Why does RIchard Heckler hate victims of drunken drivers?

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cato_the_elder 5 years, 8 months ago

Emily Hadley, I take it from your post that you believe that it's appropriate for bicyclists to tow 2-year old children in trailers not just on sidewalks near vehicular traffic, but on city streets as well. Am I correct?

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gl0ck0wnr 5 years, 8 months ago

"canyon_wren (Anonymous) says: So where is Merrill, bowhunter?"Richard Heckler = Merrill. You can thank him for all the expensive "traffic calming" devices in town. Realistically, he doesn't want people to drive (except him). He'd much prefer everyone (except him) ride the T.

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OonlyBonly 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm seeing the constant use of the word "driver." Let's be real honest there are few drivers on the road today. They are "riders" nestled in their 4000 pound steel cocoons, reading, eating, drinking, telephoning, primping while watching DVDs on the flip up screen auto-stereo home theater unit in the dash in glorious 5.1 surround while whistfully daydreaming of a happier simpler time.

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Emily Hadley 5 years, 8 months ago

Qtd comment below is evidence of the ignorance and arrogance that causes most auto accidents. If you can't see a bike with a brightly colored trailer and two human beings IN FRONT OF YOU when driving, you SHOULD NOT be driving. You are responsible for avoiding everything in front of you when driving, whether it is a 2 year old or a tree branch falling off of a moving truck.This:http://york.gumtree.com/posting_images/74/24282774121179395811-954ab082b8ce649308660c364a2180cd.big__.jpgis not hard to see on the road. It is MUCH more foolish to get into a huge steel machine with a combustion engine equal to 100s of horses and mow down everything in your path than to take your child out in a bicycle trailer specifically designed for kids.Alcohol, speed, or distractions such as children or phonecalls--doesn't matter-- if you can't control your vehicle, you aren't safe to have the PRIVILEGE of driving one."Richard, there is nothing as foolish as a bicyclist towing a 2-year old child in a trailer anywhere near motor vehicle traffic. Your stated concern that drivers do not pay attention as they should underscores it. Hopefully, the Kansas legislature next session will make it illegal to tow a 2-year old child behind a bicycle, just as it is illegal to transport a 2-year old child in an automobile without first securing the child in an approved child safety seat."

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JackRipper 5 years, 8 months ago

It's pretty bad when the only option for transportation is the car because we refuse to require proper driver's training and demand the same kind of attention while driving as one has in an airplane, making the roads so dangerous that you all tell people getting around any other way that they shouldn't. So the starting point isn't the person driving the lethal weapon and instead we all should just get the biggest vehicle we can to prepare for the inevitable accident? Good ol cow town Lawrence.

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Bowhunter99 5 years, 8 months ago

canyon_wren,Yes indeed he wrote the letter to the editor...

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canyon_wren 5 years, 8 months ago

Bowhunter--are you saying that this letter writer IS Merrill? Guess I didn't know that. Pretty interesting.

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canyon_wren 5 years, 8 months ago

So where is Merrill, bowhunter? Cato--you brought up a good point. I don't live in Lawrence, but in a much smaller community which has lots of cyclists, and seeing all the little ones towed behind bicycles makes me extremely nervous, too. Some of the local riders DO display the orange flag on a post as BigPrune suggests, and that does help a little.

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Bowhunter99 5 years, 8 months ago

Here comes Merrill once again sending letters to the editor based on previous online posts... what happened merrill? noone paid enough attention to you the first time?

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BigPrune 5 years, 8 months ago

Why not pass a law that all bicyclists, motorcycles, and scooters display a large orange flag on a stick?Imagine the Slow Ride Roadhouse.

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cato_the_elder 5 years, 8 months ago

Richard, there is nothing as foolish as a bicyclist towing a 2-year old child in a trailer anywhere near motor vehicle traffic. Your stated concern that drivers do not pay attention as they should underscores it. Hopefully, the Kansas legislature next session will make it illegal to tow a 2-year old child behind a bicycle, just as it is illegal to transport a 2-year old child in an automobile without first securing the child in an approved child safety seat.

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crane13 5 years, 8 months ago

can we all just go ahead and replace our frontal lobes with sim chips? i mean really, telling becky her butt isnt big and that her boyfriend carson slept with her best friend is wayyyyyyy more important than aiming the 6000 pound suburban mommy and daddy bought. watch out for those Johnson county plates

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Ragingbear 5 years, 8 months ago

We tried to make it illegal a few years ago. That flopped horribly.

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