Archive for Monday, December 27, 2010

Kansas texting law takes full effect Jan. 1

December 27, 2010


Come Jan. 1, Kansas motorists might want to think twice before picking up a cell phone to send or read a text message.

If they are spotted by a law enforcement officer, that action could cost them a $60 ticket and in Douglas County another $93.50 in court fines.

Following a six-month warning period, the state’s ban on texting goes into effect at the start of 2011.

“It will be enforced like any other Kansas law. You see it, you take care of the problem,” said Lt. Robert Baker with the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Technically, the state law extends beyond texting to instant messages and e-mails. The law states that drivers are prohibited from using a “wireless device to write, send or read a written communication” while driving.

Exceptions are provided to law enforcement officers and emergency service personnel using their phone on the job. Texts messages also can be read for emergency, traffic and weather related alerts, and for receiving information related to operating or navigating the vehicle.

Texting is allowed if it would prevent injury to a person or damage to property and to report a crime.

Baker isn’t concerned that law enforcement officers will have trouble discerning when a driver is sending a text message versus when they are dialing a phone number.

Someone making a phone call looks down for just several seconds. Drivers who are texting can be looking at their phones for 30 to 40 seconds.

“It is very obvious when you are driving down the road,” Baker said.

For those who claim they were dialing, not texting, Baker said they can always contest their ticket in court.

Over the past several months, Baker has written his share of warnings to texting drivers.

“They sit there and apologize. It’s just that folks have so many things going on at one time, but they don’t realize just how dangerous it is,” he said.

If someone has to send or read a text message, Baker recommends they pull over to the side of the road to do it.

Kansas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kim Qualls said the law couldn’t come at a better time. With winter weather at hand, drivers need to be focused on the road, not their phones, she said.


gr 3 years, 3 months ago

"The law states that drivers are prohibited from using a “wireless device to write, send or read a written communication” while driving."

Just make sure to plug your phone in. And make sure to use an in-dash or plugged in GPS.

Or is that wireless "transmission" of written communication?


kujhawkfan 3 years, 3 months ago

I use my phone for my turn by turn navagation all the time. How is an officer going to know if I'm looking down at a text message or looking down at my GPS. People don't just use phones to text and write emails. So I guess it's ok to take pictures with your phone while you drive or record some video, use your GPS, compass, change the stations on your radio apps, and all the numerous other things smart phones can do. I don't see how any officer can determine which one of those things I'm doing by how long I look at my phone. This law is a joke, there are way too many things phones can do now days besides text and write emails. I see no way they will be able to determine what I'm using my phone for. I plug my phone into my car stereo and use it to play music also.


DrRustinMcGillicuddy 3 years, 3 months ago

1) Put hands at "10" and "2" position 2) Hold phone in hand that is at "2" position 3) Use your peripheral vision to guide your vehicle as you read online articles and or flip through iBooks.

Tip: Reading aloud the text will help with cognition and retention while allowing you to focus on mainly on driving.


Kris_H 3 years, 3 months ago

I don't like to answer my cellphone or make calls while driving, but I sometimes do it. I would definitely never try to text while driving! The existence of this law is testimony to a whole lot of stupidity on the part of many drivers.

It wouldn't break my heart if using a handheld electronic device to do anything while driving were made illegal. Yes, there are dozens of things that are unsafe distractions from driving. That doesn't mean we have to allow the most dangerous ones to continue.


evilpenguin 3 years, 3 months ago

Thank Goodness, texting while driving is a ridiculously dangerous thing to attempt. There is a friend of our family who was on a trip one day and her10 year old daughter was in the front passenger seat texting her grandma. She asked her mum to help her send the text and her mum did.

Then she crashed into a road median killing her daughter. And she survived.

If you're not willing to consider your own safety or the safety of others, you should not be allowed to drive.

Next up: Let's not allow people to use cell phones at all while driving. I'm pretty sure nobody's social life is worth it.


Dispersant 3 years, 3 months ago

I agree with this law. But what I want to ask is, where are the people who disagree with the smoking ban on this issue? If not being allowed to smoke in an establishment is an invasion of your rights, and not being able to choose if your customers are allowed to smoke in your establishment is an invasion of your rights. Isn't being able to choose whether to text or not while driving an issue of individual choice as well?

It just seems a little inconsistent to me. Where are the "We want less government!" people on this? It's just another case of "We want less government (for things we disagree with)!"


Beer Guy 3 years, 3 months ago

So it cost $93.50 to process a $60 ticket? How do I get into that business?


kernal 3 years, 3 months ago

I love it when you text at a red light and don't notice it changed to green and back to red before you look up. Why did you think those two cars honked at you - incoming flying dragons? You didn't even notice the guy who gave the one finger salute. Unbelievable.


wtfusa 3 years, 3 months ago

what if i'm stopped at a stop sign, or a red light. I bet there going to pull me over anyways even though thats probably one of the safest situation to text and drive. I also have a problem with reading a text message is counted at texting, i mean I have to read all the time when i'm driving, does society really think i cant handle a quick glimpse of a message. lawmakers are being drunk with banning anything and everything. Also, iphones do a lot more than texting, the music in my car is controlled by my iphone because the radio is awful. am i going to get pulled over for changing a song, because thats as distracting as changing the radio station. this law is another chip away on our rights as american, oh wait those dont exist anymore...


Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

Next up, nose-picking totally banned while driving. If you have to deal with a nose-goblin, pull off to the side of the road.


pooter 3 years, 3 months ago

Just another way for the state to commit highway robbery, by giving big brother yet another reason to pull you over for both inspection and "fines"



Haiku 3 years, 3 months ago

Your itchy fingers can't wait to type "LOL". Meanwhile, head-on.


Healthcare_Moocher 3 years, 3 months ago

Texting while driving is worse that having a couple of beers and driving. At least the guy with the beers is watching the road.


iLikelawrence 3 years, 3 months ago

Can I text while driving to report a violation- like seeing someone else texting while driving? I wonder if the officer would find that acceptable....

In all seriousness, I've found that the smarter my phone is the harder it is to use while a vehicle in motion. Gone are the t9 days sending a message without having to even watch the screen so I can watch the road. Now my Pre stays in my pocket pretty much 99% of the time. Except when I report people texting while driving.


Sean Livingstone 3 years, 3 months ago

I see many skeptics here... if you're trying to joke, that's fine. I can help defend why texting is not ok: Your eyes!

When you eat, pet your dogs, talk on cellphone, talk to friends..... your eyes are still on the road (or at least you can still do so if you want).

However, you need your eyes when you're texting, and you'll not be able to look in front. Don't give me the crap that oh, I often look at my friends when I'm talking, I look at my dogs when I'm talking, I look at my food when I'm eating. You don't have to in most cases, and only need to catch a short glimpse. And don't tell me you can text and not look at your keyboard and what you're typing. Many other countries ban talking on the cellphone when you're driving.


Aiko 3 years, 3 months ago

What about eating? I have seen people on the roads many times eating while paying no attention to the people driving around them.


true_patriot 3 years, 3 months ago

It's about time. This was long overdue.

One odd thing - while there are exceptions for everyone to text if saving life or property, reporting a crime, etc., law enforcement & emergency personnel can text while driving. Someone driving a reinforced vehicle while exceeding the speed limit and multi-tasking way beyond even the texting is allowed to text while driving on the job?

The same general exception for emergency texting should just apply across the board to everyone with no special exception for those at much greater risk of being distracted and causing greater damage while texting and driving.


gsxr600 3 years, 3 months ago

So you really can't even answer your phone then can you..... since you have to read something before you pick it up.

And it's ok to fiddle with radio stations but not change music on my phone. Alright herp derp.


sherbert 3 years, 3 months ago

I saw 3 different drivers last week with a DOG in their lap. This has got to be the most dangerous of all distractions.


jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Generally I think this is a good idea, and I hope it will cut down on accidents.

But how will they be able to determine that the person wasn't checking traffic information, for example, which is still legal?


Chris Ogle 3 years, 3 months ago

The law states that drivers are prohibited from using a “wireless device to write, send or read a written communication” while driving.

Is it okay to write a letter???


yankeevet 3 years, 3 months ago

So u get pulled over and charged by the officer for texting; and u explain to him; no;........i was just calling home on my cell phone.............oh boy; the courts are gonna be busy.... wtf.........


BigPrune 3 years, 3 months ago

My phone has voice activated text messaging, so I guess I'm exempt.


ronwell_dobbs 3 years, 3 months ago

Maybe it's just me, but the text msg shown in the graphic seems to contain a "phallic" emoticon. (<3). I don't want to pretend to have cracked the young'ens code for something, but, just sayin'.


Stuart Evans 3 years, 3 months ago

Great, Now I can only use my phone to browse the internet, play games, peruse my music list, take pictures, and trade stock while driving. It's completely useless if I can't text at the same time.


Tom Shewmon 3 years, 3 months ago

"...Baker recommends they pull over to the side of the road to do it."

Which could cause accidents too, and disruption on the roads. Just say NO to texting while driving, and eating, and blowing your nose, and coughing, and sneezing, and messing with the radio, and applying lipstick and makeup, and reading a map, and looking at your guages and.........


yankeevet 3 years, 3 months ago

So they will have to determine how many seconds were u looking down??? wtf


Benjamin Roberts 3 years, 3 months ago

This is one law, qualifying the privilege of driving, that is long overdue.

"If someone has to send or read a text message, Baker recommends they pull over to the side of the road to do it." - That would certainly reduce traffic; half the cars will be sitting on the side of the road.

Drive Safely!


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