Sound Off

Sound Off: Reporting texters

Being in a college town, virtually every time I’m sitting at a stoplight, I see what appear to be college students or young people texting while driving. Is there a way to report people who text and drive?

Megan Gilliland, the city’s communications manager, said: Reports of traffic violations and other incidents can be made by calling police dispatch at 832-7509. Emergencies can be reported by calling 911.

Comments

GUMnNUTS 2 years, 3 months ago

You have to be kidding us with this sound off question.

rockchalker52 2 years, 3 months ago

Maybe they asked it to purposefully call attention to this serious problem.

Cassie Powell 2 years, 3 months ago

Last week I was at a red light, it turns green and we are still sitting there... you can plainly see that the driver in front of me holding up traffic is texting. I normally don't honk, I give the person time to pay attention, however this day I had to use the ladies room something fierce, so I honked! He goes to flip me the bird, and can't even flip me the bird because his damn cell phone is glued to his hand, he couldn't even put his phone down to give an impatient person an actual middle finger salute! Cell phones should utilize some type of GPS signal that puts them into airplane mode (unable to send/receive calls/texts) while they are moving.

Cai 2 years, 3 months ago

"Cell phones should utilize some type of GPS signal that puts them into airplane mode (unable to send/receive calls/texts) while they are moving."

This plan is ... not very well thought out. I ride the bus. A lot. On a 30 minute bus ride from JoCo to KU, should I not be allowed to use my phone just because i'm 'moving'?

I'm all for something, but you truly need to put more thought into it than that.

We have the technology to prevent cell phone use in the driver's seat. But what if I need to call the police after getting hit, and can't get out of the drivers seat or reach the 'of'f' switch of the car?

We have the technology to require the phone to be in a certain place on the car to keep the engine from shutting off. But what about people that leave phones at home / don't have them?

Further, people will do their damndest to get around any of these measures.

Texting while driving is a problem, yes. But you're looking at the wrong set of solutions.

verity 2 years, 3 months ago

At one time some years ago, some cars were made so they wouldn't start if the seatbelt wasn't buckled. Unfortunately, sometimes they wouldn't start even when it was buckled. I think that solution has a number of problems.

I don't know, maybe we could start teaching critical thinking in preschool/kindergarten so people will consider the consequences of their actions. Then maybe we wouldn't have to keep making laws to protect ourselves from stupidity. Just a thought.

Currahee 2 years, 3 months ago

How are you going to prove that they were texting? By pulling out YOUR phone and taking a picture of them with their license plate, which is just as bad as texting.

bad_dog 2 years, 3 months ago

It can be proven the same way they prove someone involved in an accident was texting at the time. Obtain the cell phone records from their service provider. Fortunately or unfortunately, taking a photograph while driving is not against the law. Texting while driving is.

Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

"Obtain the cell phone records from their service provider. "

LOL. Good luck getting a warrant.

bad_dog 2 years, 3 months ago

I didn't say I would obtain it. The question was how would you prove it.

If you photograph someone violating the law and provide it to the police they could sure get a warrant for the records. Whether they would remains to be seen, but that is one way to prove they were texting while driving. If an accident involving injury or damages occurred, you can bet records will be sought if there is an allegation texting was involved. If civil litigation ensued you could use the Court's discovery powers. A warrant would not be required. LOL indeed.

Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

They can't get a warrant because you saw some guy looking at his phone.

"If an accident involving injury or damages occurred, you can bet records will be sought if there is an allegation texting was involved"

And a warrant will be issued. There's a difference between an accident and you thinking you see some guy texting. Go call in a few and see what the cops tell you.

bad_dog 2 years, 3 months ago

This isn't about someone merely looking at their phone. The question posed was HOW to prove someone was texting while driving and not whether the police would seek a warrant to enforce the law. While a still photo would be of some value, I'll bet a creative, out of the box thinker like yourself might even come up with the idea of using their smart phone to capture video of the actual violation. Imagine that; actual evidence of a crime! The police can get a warrant if probable cause a crime was committed is provided to or obtained by them. Again, whether they will is another question.

And BTW, just because an accident happened doesn't mean a warrant would be issued or required. The fact texting was involved may not even arise until litigation begins. The injured party would likely seek production through Court ordered discovery.

Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

You can't prove it without an admission of guilt by the accused.

"And BTW, just because an accident happened doesn't mean a warrant would be issued or required."

That is true, but the police won't be able to legally gain access to server logs without a warrant.

"While a still photo would be of some value,"

An image of a person looking at a phone is proof (not really now) that a person is looking at a phone. Not Guilty.

Got more?

"capture video of the actual violation. Imagine that;"

-type "touch -t 196911111111 /Users/bad_dog/Desktop/fake_video_evidence.mov

I can imagine you shot the video in 1969.

bad_dog 2 years, 3 months ago

BS. It happens frequently. If you are in your vehicle with the keys in the ignition, I believe you meet the definition of "driving" under most state laws. That's how many DUIs are issued. The vehicle does not have to be moving.

bad_dog 2 years, 3 months ago

Yo, Ron. You might want to review the Kansas laws on this.

http://www.ksdot.org/burtrafficsaf/lel/laws.asp

In particular, direct your attention to paragraphs (a)(2)(b) and (a)(2)(c)(2). They indicate it is unlawful to write, send or read a written communication on a public road or highway. It is permissible to do so if the motor vehicle is stopped off the regular traveled portion of the roadway. To me this means you can't legally do what you suggest above at an intersection.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 3 months ago

No, you can't report that, but you can use the pictures for your personal erotic entertainment after you get home, if that's what you find enjoyable.

Bob Forer 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't understand the younger generation's infatuation with texting. Yes, it is occasionally a useful tool to send someone a short and necessary message, e.g. "be a few minutes late." But if you have something of substance to say, it is impossible to communicate such a message through those contraptions

John Kyle 2 years, 3 months ago

The key is "if you have something of substance to say". I doubt stoplight texting is very substantive.

Joe Blackford II 2 years, 3 months ago

Texting &/or any other use of a cell phone is a self-defeating prophecy that the user is communicating with another individual(s) who holds the belief that the user has an elemental role in the scheme of life on Earth.

The fact that intelligent alien lifeforms have managed to screen this EMF static from their historical records of contact from Earth is believed to be proof-positive of the universal irrelevance of Earthlings.

PhilChiles 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't think anyone posting responses to this question gets to decide what is and isn't "substantive"

Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 3 months ago

Excuse me? What did you just write? I can't believe that you are actually buying into this whole generation differences attitude. I can assure you that "old people" love their cell phones and use them just as much as anyone else. No one writes a letter anymore. No one.

I do realize you were being sarcastic but had to reply.

jjt 2 years, 3 months ago

If the good folk of Lawrence actually cared about texting or using the phone while driving then the Police could deal with it. A couple of plain cloths officers hanging around a number of different crossroad junctions and radioing a patrol car down the road to pull over the offender. It would get around quickly. Don't we sometimes think where is there a Police officer when we want one, more unmarked simple patrol cars between 7 and 9am would cure a great deal of this stuff. We just do not want to pay for it and the Police have to prioritize what they do.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

The cops do that looking for speeders in a local school zone every month or two. I watch out for them pretty well since I usually don't wear a seat belt and don't need a $10 nuisance ticket.

trinity 2 years, 3 months ago

Citizen's ARREST, citizen's ARREST!!!

Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 3 months ago

Then, make sure your friend is taking a picture of you doing this to put on YouTube. Man, that would go viral fast.

gsxr600 2 years, 3 months ago

Oh yeah, must only be young people and college students..

And let's all be real here. You can get away with speeding and running red lights pretty much everywhere in Lawrence. Why? Because there's hardly ever any real traffic enforcement in this town. Calling in someone that is texting while driving will probably illicit a roll-your-eyes approach by the dispatcher.

Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 3 months ago

And, the wheels on the bus go round and round.

Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 3 months ago

I fell on the floor laughing and I can't get up!

Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 3 months ago

By the way, I have a new blog up about the wonders of technology. appreciate a reader or two. Thanks.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 3 months ago

Covered under "Irresponsible Driving" Ordinance. However may lack teeth. And must be witnessed by law enforcement.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

I always see the signal thing as it being nobody's business which way I'm going. There are exceptions.

GMom05 2 years, 3 months ago

What about people that are just looking at their phone to check the time? I know a lot of people these days that no longer wear a watch and just pull out their phone instead. What if it looks like they're about to read a text, but are just checking the time? Not all vehicles have working clocks on the dash. Just a thought.

bearded_gnome 2 years, 2 months ago

Is there a way to report people who text and drive?

---paintball guns!

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