Texting Driver Crashes Into Bus In Los Angeles

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Posted on 14th September 2012 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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People are just not getting the message about texting and driving.

On Friday morning a motorist was texting in downtown Los Angeles when he ran a red light, hitting a Metro bus, according to the Los Angeles Times. The bus then went over a curb, struck a tree and knocked down a light post.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/09/at-least-8-injured-as-texting-driver-crashes-into-bus-in-downtown-la.html

At least eight people were injured in the accident, which took place at 5 a.m., the Times reported.

The bus was traveling north on Broadway when the texting driver, moving east on 2nd Street, went through the light.

South Carolina Weighs Texting Ban for School Bus Drivers

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Posted on 4th February 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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South Carolina is considering a bill that bans school bus drivers from texting while they’re behind the wheel. http://news.sc/2010/02/03/texting-ban-planned-for-south-carolina-school-bus-drivers/

The question must be asked: how could such a measure fail to pass? If there is any place that texting would violate all concepts of safety and public policy, it would have to be while driving school children in a bus.

Under the proposed legislation, school bus drivers would face up to a $100 fine if they were caught violating the texting prohibition.

If it passes the ban, South Carolina would be an addition to the 19 states and Washington, D.C., who have already barred texting while driving.

There has been considerable research on whether texting bans really lead to less accidents. A recent study by the Highway Loss Data Institute found the restrictions have no impact, while research by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute said that texting drivers are 23 times more at risk to have an accident or almost have an accident than those who are not distracted. Add a touch screen phone like the Iphone to that equation and the risk of a catastrophe has to grow exponentially.

Deadly Consequences of Mixing Cell Phones and Vehicle Operation

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Posted on 24th September 2008 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Just yesterday I was driving down a busy main street when a young girl pulled across traffic in front of me, narrowly missing a car in the oncoming traffic, all the while chatting animatedly on her cell phone. Its not the first close encounter I have had, not that long ago I was rear ended by an uninsured driver who openly admitted she wasn’t paying attention because she was on the phone. We’ve all had these close encounters in the past few years and the public’s awareness of the danger of driving while talking on a cell phone is not the issue, its the awareness of just how deadly the consequences can be. There have been some very tragic consequences in the headlines recently.

On Tuesday a Florida Highway Patrol report confirmed that truck driver, Reinaldo Gonzalez of Orlanda, had been on his cell phone when he slammed into a school bus which was stopped to let off children. A stop sign and flashing lights were not enough to alert a distracted driver. A 13 year old child was killed and several injured as a result. The driver of the truck leapt to safety before the two vehicles burst into flame. The occupants of the school bus weren’t so fortunate.

http://www.ocala.com/article/20080924/NEWS/809241998/1001/News01?Title=FHP__Truck_driver_in_deadly_bus_crash_was_on_his_cell

This tragic accident comes on the heels of a deadly train crash in California that killed 25 people. It is suspected that texting played a role in the crash. Two teenage train buffs disclosed that they had received a text message from the engineer just a moment before the crash. No phone was found at the scene.

Whether its texting or talking, government studies confirm that distracted drivers account for nearly 8 out of 10 collisions or near-crashes. “A researcher who worked on the 2006 study, Charlie Klauer of the Virginia Tech Traffic Institute, says the crash risk was doubled when a driver looked away from the road for two seconds out of six.”

http://planes-trains-buses.blogspot.com/2008/09/train-crash-probe-renews-focus-on.html

Much of the focus of studies has been on young drivers. What makes these stories newsworthy is that in both cases adults were in control of vehicles capable of deadly destruction. This escalates the problem significantly. There is a big difference between a moment of distraction in a car and a moment of distraction in a train engine or a tractor trailer. The ability to react quickly is greatly reduced. As such, both drivers in these instances had a greater obligation to be diligent in the operation of these vehicles and should be under stricter guidelines for the operation of their vehicles.