Dear Berry: Texting While Driving

By Mara Blumenthal on 25 Sep 2008 09:33 am EDT

Dear Berry Dear Berry,

I am writing to tell you more of a story than asking advice. This is hard for me to understand. Maybe you can explain it to me.

I was just out of town and taking a tour on a trolley. A guy came to a screeching halt almost hitting our trolley head-on. Not only was he speeding like crazy, he was wearing a neck brace and yes, typing on his Blackberry. Some people obviously NEVER learn. I don't object to the Blackberry as a productive and/or even a fun device. However, people like this can seriously hurt others. It's become like drinking and driving. Can you understand this person or others who are similar? It seems to me extremely selfish!!!


- Confused

Dear "Confused",

I have no explanation at all for this person unfortunately. He obviously has not learned his lesson in any of the situations he has been in. Also, my guess is that he won't learn his lesson in the future unless something happens that is out of the ordinary.

As for others, I know people who are trying harder to stop themselves from using their Blackberrys while driving. But even so, there is the addictive "itch" to look for the red blinking light. I believe people are finding it easier to cease from typing while driving however, avoiding reading the messages are another story and is harder.

Be careful on the road and for everyone, stay away from cars if you see someone typing!

Be safe,

- Berry

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Reader comments

Dear Berry: Texting While Driving


*cricket, cricket*

Haha, I think no one has commented on this because of all cell phone user's proclivity to read texts on the road.

There is actually a thread about this very thing. If AG's post does not dissuade you from texting while driving, then you deserve whatever fate befalls you. Yet, I must also point out that texting while walking tends to cause accidents as well. So, imagine texting while driving. In effect, I would try to limit if not eradicate texting while you are driving a vehicle or a train. Just a thought.

Maybe CB could do another feature on vlingo. vlingo allows you to text or send emails with your voice so you do not have to type while you are driving if you ABSOLUTELY need to get that reply sent. There was a train crash and bus accident recently due specifically to texting and using a phone.

Thanks for the comments, all!! Keep them coming. Definitely, texting on a cell phone falls into the same category and texting while walking has also gotten completely out of control. Thank you for those links. Just by coincidence, here is an interesting (but painful) article on the same topic!!

Good point about vlingo!

let people do what they want and suffer the consequences. It isn't illegal to own a gun, but if that gun kills someone (whether you do it on purpose or accidentally) you will suffer consequences. Same goes for using a phone while driving. The mere act shouldn't be illegal, but if you injure or kill someone then you will suffer the consequences. Just my opinion.

Texting while driving should just be treated and charged as reckless driving. That way no special laws need be created. Andy anybody who wants to defend texting while driving as either acceptable or legal .... I don't know, probably the same type who thinks drinking and driving are OK as long as your not hurting anyone.

Just my 2 cents.

i know where im from they are trying to enforce no devices when driving not sure if its going to work but good for them for trying

In Minnesota, it is illegal to use your phone for any other purpose than a call. It's a pull-overable offense, and it goes on your driving record.

In Minnesota, it is illegal to use your phone for any other purpose than a call. It's a pull-overable offense, and it goes on your driving record.

that law, in MN, applies even when stopped at stop lights... it's a primary offense, so if they spot you doing it, thats reason enough to pull you over

Not safe basically... If I have to text while behind the wheel I'll wait til I'm in the parking lot of where I am or where I'm leaving... or a brief text while stopped at a red light... Those who do otherwise are nuts.

Like where I work, I went out on a business meeting with my boss.. he's texting on 2 phones and driving.... I was holding onto the oh sh** handle" on the passenger side. Just in case.

Common sense dictates that you should pull off to the side of the road or into a parking lot or some other safe place if you need to do something with your cell phone other than answer a call using a hands free headset. And even then it really isn't a good idea to carry on a phone conversation while driving unless there is little or no traffic. Anything that does or pottencially take your attension off of driving is a hazzard to yourself and more importantly others. I support any action that makes it illegal to do things like text and drive, apply makeup, or anything else that is recklace to do while driving. I have nearly gotten into several accidents related to someone else doing the very two things I specified.

Perhaps classes in common sense education need to be made an yearly requirement for the privelege to drive.amungst other things. There are far too many incidents as a result of stupidity on the road. There are a lot of drivers I see dirving young and old that should not be allowed to be behind the wheel of a vehicle based on their actions.

If seeing the BB red light causes an "itch" then shut the BB off until you're in a safe place to read and reply. Seldom are any of the messages we received worth taking a life; even ours. Seems like the word "self centered" comes to mind. Is that too harsh? I don't think so.