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BOTD 12-28-2016 Is It Texting while Driving? - An 18 Smacked Production

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Skater

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Bransom Postmaster
IS IT TEXTING WHILE DRIVING?
An 18 Smacked Production


When your sixteen-year old son, Jay, got his driver’s license, you got him a car. At that time, you made a contract with him that you both signed where he agreed (among other things) “not to text and drive.” Because of the seriousness of this sort of thing, you discussed how you absolutely did not want him ever to do this sort of thing, since that’s how serious accidents and traffic deaths occur. One day you text your son, and he immediately texts you back.

JAY - 16
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When Jay gets home, you question him, and he admits he was at a stop sign when he texted you. You believe this is texting while driving, because you told him that any texts were to be responded to only when he was pulled onto the side of the road or a parking lot. The contract specified spanking and key confiscation as possible consequences for any violations of any terms. You confiscate his keys, and ground him, pending further action from you. It has now been over a year since his last time over your knee. Is it time for another session(s)?

Was this texting while driving, and if so, what is appropriate punishment here?


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StevieWeeks

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Trailboss
Legally, in Ontario, it is forbidden for a driver to text or use any kind of handheld electronic device while waiting at a stop sign.

Ontario fines wrote:
As of September 1, 2015 the fines and penalties for distracted driving will increase.

If convicted of distracted driving, a fully licenced driver (holder of Class A, B, C, D, E, F, G) or a hybrid driver (holder of a full-class licence and a novice licence such as Class G and M1) will receive:

   a fine of $400, plus a victim surcharge and court fee, for a total of $490 if settled out of court
   fine of up to $1,000 if you receive a summons or fight your ticket
   three demerit points applied to your driver’s record

If convicted of distracted driving, a novice driver (subject to the Graduated Licensing program) will be subject to escalating sanctions:

   first occurrence will result in a 30-day licence suspension
   second occurrence will result in 90-day licence suspension
   licence cancellation and removal from the Graduated Licensing System for a third occurrence

Novice drivers will not be subject to demerit points.

Drivers who endanger others because of any distraction, including hand-held and hands-free devices, may still be charged with Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act or even Dangerous Driving under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Both charges carry heavy fines and penalties, if convicted, including 6 demerit points, fines of up to $2,000 and /or a jail term of six months, and up to two-year licence suspension in the case of Careless Driving. Dangerous Driving is a criminal offence and includes jail terms of up to five years.

If he'd been caught, he'd likely be subject to the Graduated licensing program since he's only 16...

His insurance rates would more than double after his suspension...

I'm not wealthy enough to consider giving a sixteen year old kid his own car in any case but if even if I was that foolish, paying $5000 a year for his insurance would be out of the question...

He's going to be hanging up his keys for 30 days anyway, and he can count himself lucky that he didn't get a ticket since, in that case, he'd be losing the car permanently and all...

Stevie

David M. Katz

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Marshall
I specifically said "side of the road or parking lot" not at a stop sign. This could lead to a slippery slope if not addressed. I don't see how a spanking will help. For a boy this age having him lose his driving privileges for a few days will be best. Jay can walk, ride a bike, or catch the bus for the next three days. I will rescind the grounding and let stand the loss of driving.


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Kat

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I'm more inclined to treat this with leniency. The question of whether Jay was driving is not clear cut. I'd be far more upset if he'd texted me while the vehicle was in motion. Nevertheless, texting at stop signs and traffic signals is inconsiderate and can lead to incidents. I'm going to clarify my position: no texting unless the car is parked. If this occurs again, Jay will have to take the consequences.

Kat

18Smacked

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Cowboy
I fully agree with Dave's thoughts on this one. It seems to me that spanking would be an extreme over-reaction, at least for the first time that this has occurred, and losing the car for two to three days will have as much impact as anything on the boy, inasmuch as he has gotten accustomed to having a car at his disposal. I will discuss the situation with my son, and make sure that we agree that he will cease all texting activity while the engine is running, unless the car is pulled over to the side of the road or is in a parking lot.

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ivor

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Marshall
Seeing that my son seems pretty dumb I guess after I take his keys away the next thing will be him getting a fine for jaywalking........

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Jack

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Admin
I'm going to ask Jay to fetch the contract, then I'll ask him to read the applicable portion of what he signed. We'll talk about why what he did wasn't okay (my thoughts are about the same as Kat's on that). On the other hand, he was honest with me. Forgetting the terms of our agreement don't excuse his behavior, but I want him to continue to be honest with me.

I'm leaning towards giving him a choice of being grounded Saturday, losing his keys for... probably two days, or 2 swats bare or three on boxers. Mild enough not to be heinous, but enough to remind him that the rules are there for a reason.


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squarecutter

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Sherrif
Sounds almost like I texted him when I knew he was driving? Was I testing him. Be that as it may I think removing his keys for 3 days will make he point. I am in full agreement that texting and driving is beyond stupid

Jack

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Admin
squarecutter wrote:Sounds almost like I texted him when I knew he was driving?

I will often send a text when I know/suspect someone is driving or is in classes (another time my boys aren't allowed to answer the phone), not because I expect an immediate answer, but because I want to send some info while I'm thinking about it.


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Pi Beta

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RIP 9 Jan 47 - 17 June 17
Texting with the engine running in the UK is also illegal, whether stopped or not. I'm with Jack on the consequences for this.

Jack

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Pi Beta wrote:Texting with the engine running in the UK is also illegal, whether stopped or not. I'm with Jack on the consequences for this.

This is an interesting one, because the legality of it is so different in some places. There are actually cities in Texas where it's illegal, and some cities where I understand it's illegal to have your phone in your hands while you're driving. It's not here, and that's how I phrased my answer, because I can see him thinking it's all right, even though it violated the actual agreement. I would be harsher (but not to much harsher) if it was actually illegal here.


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18Smacked

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Cowboy
For the benefit of those who are not from the U.S., simply to clarify....

Every state defines their own laws regarding driving. Some states have enacted laws regarding "distracted driving," as I believe most anti-texting laws are called but that is not true of all states, such as the one where I reside. My state's officials have said no such laws are needed as such an offense is already covered under other laws we have. Funny, though, every accident I have had in the past 6 years had the other driver getting out of their car with their phone glued to their ear.  Evil or Very Mad

I am aware that Tucson has laws against using a phone without a hand-free mode/device but only a few cities here have such laws.

I don't know if all texting while the engine is running is prohibited in those states that have specific laws against texting while driving. I would agree with Jack that if the law specifically addressed what my son did then it would warrant a tad harsher punishment, but if not, simply losing the keys for 2 or 3 days should suffice.

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Eldo

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Cowboy
My proposition? He loses the car for a month, and gets a strapping. 
Thoughts, everyone? Is that appropriate?

18Smacked

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Cowboy
Eldo wrote:My proposition? He loses the car for a month, and gets a strapping. 
Thoughts, everyone? Is that appropriate?

Eldo- Thanks for the clarification on for how long you'd take away the car.



Last edited by 18Smacked on Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Adric

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Cowboy
18Smacked wrote:You believe this is texting while driving, because you told him that any texts were to be responded to only when he was pulled onto the side of the road or a parking lot.

Well that seems pretty clear - a stop sign is not a parking lot or the side of the road.

18Smacked wrote:The contract specified spanking and key confiscation as possible consequences for any violations of any terms.

Okay, so he knows spanking is still on the table, even though he's 16 and probably thinks he is too old for that.

Jack wrote:I'm leaning towards giving him a choice of being grounded Saturday, losing his keys for... probably two days, or 2 swats bare or three on boxers.  Mild enough not to be heinous, but enough to remind him that the rules are there for a reason.

I'll go with Jack's plan.  A side benefit of the choice is that it will tell me how these four punishments stack up against each other in his opinion.  That could be useful for me to know in the future.

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Iconoclast

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Trailboss
When I say "no texting while driving" I mean "no texting while the car is in motion". Jay was stopped at a stop sign and so no punishment!

Iconoclast

Pi Beta

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RIP 9 Jan 47 - 17 June 17
Iconoclast wrote:When I say "no texting while driving" I mean "no texting while the car is in motion".  Jay was stopped at a stop sign and so no punishment!

Iconoclast

So can one assume that when you are driving and come to a stop at a narrow road junction behind another vehicle whose driver is ignoring the fact that the road is now clear and he (and you) could go if he'd just take his eyes and fingers off the screen, you'll think that is perfectly legitimate?

AFinch

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Sherrif
I think it depends on the text Pi. No one is going to be inconvenienced by waiting for: "home in a minute". If the text is a graduate school thesis, that's another matter, but one which I think is unlikely given the scenario.

The problem with this sort of thing, for me at least, is the scenario doesn't specify, and the law doesn't distinguish between "OK" and multiple paragraphs.

I would agree that texting while the car is in motion is irresponsible and dangerous for everyone. I would disagree that typing "OK" while standing at a stop sign or red light is the same thing. It is a puzzlement to me that the so-called most liberal parts of this country are the places that revel in having the most restrictive laws defining every and any sort of behavior.

Kat

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Editor Extraordinaire
AFinch wrote: It is a puzzlement to me that the so-called most liberal parts of this country are the places that revel in having the most restrictive laws defining every and any sort of behavior.

City governments are the most intrusive level of government, and you find plenty of intrusive municipalities in Texas, which is a hotbed of right wing politics. Many people are more bound by sympathy with authoritarianism than they are any particular political philosophy.

A teaching colleague once said all parents want discipline; they just want it for other people's kids and not their own. Authoritarians want rules and laws for everyone else.

Kat

18Smacked

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Cowboy
OK, I can add that this was, in fact, based on a RL situation with a boy IK who is 17 years-old. He said that he had not texted when someone was behind him- ever. (And, this boy is as honest as the sun is bright.) He said,""If no one was inconvenienced, and the car was not moving, where was the danger?" I had to admit, I agreed with the boy and I went to bat on his behalf with the father. I will simply say that the father, a cyberfriend of mine and I negotiated at length, and ultimately, I was not in agreement with what resulted. If you want the details, PM me.

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AFinch

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Sherrif
Kat wrote:
AFinch wrote: It is a puzzlement to me that the so-called most liberal parts of this country are the places that revel in having the most restrictive laws defining every and any sort of behavior.

City governments are the most intrusive level of government, and you find plenty of intrusive municipalities in Texas, which is a hotbed of right wing politics. Many people are more bound by sympathy with authoritarianism than they are any particular political philosophy.

A teaching colleague once said all parents want discipline; they just want it for other people's kids and not their own. Authoritarians want rules and laws for everyone else.

Kat
Kat, New York and Chicago have the most intrusive politics, and the greatest number of self-professed liberals in the nation, both per capita and as straight numbers. The politics in both those places is anything BUT right wing. I am unaware that Texas lawmakers tried to set a limit on the size soda cup your could purchase, or that Texas citizens applauded the move to do so. Most New Yorkers did, up until the moment that SCOTUS, which they believe is the ONLY branch of government, said it was unconstitutional. Just saying. I agree with you about authoritarians--I am currently trying to figure out why someone who owns a bakeshop must be compelled to bake a cake for a client he doesn't want to serve (leaving the reason why totally out of the equation--I remember, and still see the "we refuse the right to refuse service to anyone" signs) while individual Rockettes, who are paid to perform for an audience, are applauded for refusing to perform for certain individuals (who I also find reprehensible). I'm trying to figure out why it's OK for an actor to publicly berate someone from the stage who has paid for a ticket, and why those people who think it's OK cite as their reason that said person was "invading their safe space". Does that mean, then, that all audience members must first be vetted by casts paying upwards of a thousand dollars a seat to make sure no one in the cast is offended by their presence? If you have any insight, I'd be happy to hear it.

18Smacked

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Cowboy
AFinch wrote: 


 I'm trying to figure out why it's OK for an actor to publicly berate someone from the stage who has paid for a ticket, and why those people who think it's OK cite as their reason that said person was "invading their safe space".  Does that mean, then, that all audience members must first be vetted by casts paying upwards of a thousand dollars a seat to make sure no one in the cast is offended by their presence?  If you have any insight, I'd be happy to hear it.

I assume, Kier, you are referring to the actor (I do not recall the name) from Hamilton who addressed VP-elect Pence after the performance. I listened to all the actor said, and I certainly would be hard pressed to term it "berating." He requested that the administration listen to the voice of the people whom they are elected to serve. In an interview afterwards, the man (whose name fails me) said that he took the opportunity simply because there are few other chances one gets to speak to these people, particularly once they take the oaths of office. It was respectful and certainly was not anything near berating. And, I did not see anyone holding down Mr. Pence; he was free to leave at any time, but he did not do so. Moreover, while Mr. Trump took umbrage and offense at the talk, Mr. Pence himself said that he did not see any problem with what was said to him. I honestly applaud his efforts, and only hope it might have given Mr. Pence pause to think and consider what was said to him.

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Kat

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Editor Extraordinaire
Wasn't Michael Bloomberg a Republican when he proposed the limit on the size of soda cups in NYC? Yet Bernie Sanders I love you, who is far more liberal than Hillary Clinton, opposed the soda tax proposed in several cities.

Kier wrote:I am currently trying to figure out why someone who owns a bakeshop must be compelled to bake a cake for a client he doesn't want to serve.


I can't understand why anyone would choose to run a business in which he or she finds it necessary to humiliate people who come in and seek a product or service in an appropriate manner. I fully understand why the law protects certain classes of people from discrimination. Life would be very difficult if every business transaction carried the possibility of failure and humiliation. What if there were only one source in an area for the product or service?

I would like to think public pressure rather than legal action will either drive those who discriminate out of business or cause them to change their attitude. Unfortunately, I've seen a meanness in a large number of American people that has destroyed my faith in the decency of this country. People have made money out of refusing services to gay couples, sometimes when no one even requested the service. The only hope for stopping discrimination against whole classes of people is the force of the law. With Trump as president, I imagine any of us who require that legal protection are shit out of luck.

Kat

AFinch

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Sherrif
I'm unaware of anyone who has made money out of refusing to service a gay couple, especially when no service was requested. If you could provide some documentation, I'm most happy to be educated. I am aware of at least two businesses, now former businesses, that were bankrupted paying lawyers in civil rights cases. If I were a professional baker, I'd happily bake cakes for anyone who wanted them and could pay for them. If I were planning to marry and a bakery didn't want to bake my cake because I was Jewish (which has happened) or gay or African-American, I would take my business elsewhere. In both cases of which I am aware, there were other local choices for bakeries. The "force of law" won't stop discrimination--it will cause discriminators to come up with plausible "legal reasons". I wish it were otherwise, but I don't believe it's so. Much as I wish it were otherwise, you can't legislate courtesy.

I agree that this country (and every other country I've visited) has become "meaner" in my lifetime. I grew up being taught, and actually believing, in random acts of kindness. Nowadays, "that's for suckers". I remember when, if you saw someone fall in the street, you went over and helped them up. Now, someone snaps a picture of their embarrassment with their phones, posts it to snapchat/instagram/facebook and keeps walking.

18Smacked

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Cowboy
Iconoclast wrote:When I say "no texting while driving" I mean "no texting while the car is in motion".  Jay was stopped at a stop sign and so no punishment!

Iconoclast

I fully agree with you, Icon, but sadly, the RL dad didn't see it that way, even after more than 40 hours of my negotiating with him.

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