Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Idaho Prosecutor Taking Bold Move to Stop Texting While Driving

Supplementing my earlier blogs and posts regarding this subject (texting while driving - see and, a prosecuting attorney from Canyon County, Idaho has been reported to have announced an intention to prosecute drivers who are ticketed for driving inattentively while texting and simultaneoulsy operating a motor vehicle. See

Data suggests from an earlier study conducted this year that texting while driving is akin to driving under the influence of alcohol or other illegal substances. See

This isn't akin to chewing gum and walking. Texting requires concentration and attention. When a driver's eyes are diverted to another task such as texting, the focus and attention of the driver is diverted away from driving and is an unsafe situation. Hence, if a driver loses control of a vehicle which results in the vehicle crashing into another or a driver is otherwise unable to maintain course and speed in a legal and lawful manner due to the driver's attention being diverted from the roadway due to the receiving or sending text messages under the law the officer and prosecutor have discretion to charge the driver with inattentive driving in my opinion. Hopefully, the Idaho Legislature will take this issue up again. Texting and driving is an unsafe practice. In some cases, perhaps the situation of texting and driving a motor vehicle may be reckless depending on the circumstances. An occassional glance to a phone to ascertain the identity of a caller is distinguishable from texting. Texting requires greater time and attention to the task at hand. Therefore, the safest tactic is for the driver to defer receiving and sending text messages while operating a motor vehicle. A vehicle traveling at a speed of 30 mph is traveling at a rate of 44 feet per second. A vehicle traveling 45 mph is traveling at a rate of 66 feet per second. Hence, a person texting for 5 seconds traveling at a rate of 45 mph has traveled 330 feet or 110 yards (well over the distance of a football field). If a child is riding a bicycle on the right side of the road and the vehicle travels to the right due to the fact that the driver is preoccupied with texting - game over for the bicyclist. Respectfully, it's time for the Idaho Legislators to wake up and smell the coffee; it's time for the state legislature to make texting illegal while operating a motor vehicle.

CONTACT INFORMATION: If you or a family member have been injured or damaged due to the fault or responsibility of someone else, an industrial accident or by a dangerous or defective product, drug or toxic substance, contact Alan Morton for a no obligation, free consultation.

For additional information contact:

Alan L. Morton
1005 North Eighth Street
Post Office Box 420
Boise, ID 83701-0420
Telephone: 208.344.5555
Toll Free: 866.946.1669 [866.WIN.1.NOW]
Facsimile: 208.342.2509

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