An alert — and now $175 poorer — “06880” reader writes:
The other day I got a $175 ticket while sitting at a red light for entering an address on Waze on my phone.
I had no idea it was against the law to check your phone at a red light. The officer was very nice, and I mentioned to him that I felt like specific cell phone usage laws aren’t well publicized.
I know you can’t text and drive, and it makes sense you shouldn’t check your phone at a light either. I just didn’t know.
I have no idea whose job it is to publicize driving cell phone rules, but no one I mentioned this to had any idea you couldn’t check your phone or enter an address in Waze at a red light.
I’m curious if this is well known. Or maybe I’m just an idiot.
Texting while driving is illegal — even at a red light.
Last week, “06880” reported on an important effort by Staples’ Teen Awareness Group to educate peers on the problem idiocy of texting while driving.
A survey was done as part of the project. The results are in.
Results are mixed. There’s good news (awareness of the issue) and bad (the issue is real).
Among the 101 high school drivers surveyed:
- 42 have texted while driving; 56 have not
- 7 have lost control of their car while texting; 10 came close to crashing
- 32 say it’s easy to text and drive; 52 say it’s not
- 46 talk with their parents about texting and driving; 43 don’t
- 52 talk with their friends about it; 43 don’t.
Among the 171 passengers surveyed:
- 130 have been in a car when the driver texted; 16 have not
- 14 were comfortable when the driver texted; 138 were not (3 said “it depends on who”)
- 117 have said something to driver about his or her behavior; 42 have not
- 47 have been in a car that came close to crashing while the driver texted; 118 have not
- 95 talk with their parents about texting while driving; 65 do not
- 85 talk with their friends about the topic; 75 do not.
Some further insights into Staples’ student drivers:
The cars most of them drive are Hondas (16) and Toyotas (12). Those are followed by Jeep (7), Volvo (6), and BMW and Lexus (5 each). Three drive Mercedeses.
The 2 most popular phones are BlackBerries (30) and iPhones (21).
Feel free to pass along this important distracted-driving survey. By email, please.
(The TAG TXT U L8TR project is sponsored by Yale-New Haven Hospital and Allstate.)