Emergency Service

Texting Crash Should Be Lesson For Coppers

When the young guy texting on his cellphone smacked a Boise copper’s patrol unit over the weekend, the incident became THE major local story.

The TV newsies came up with facts and figures of the dangers of inattentive driving along with in-car video of what it looks like behind the wheel when one texts. Coppers and their spokesperson seriously intoned the dangers of not paying attention to one’s driving while video of a crumpled copper car was on the screen.

HOWEVER, who among us hasn’t seen a Boise copper going down the street–often as not at 15 miles an hour–reading his console mounted computer? We have even seen coppers typing as they drive!

Bottom line, copper or kid, it simply isn’t safe to “multi-task” especially when you have to look at a telephone or computer screen. Dedicated as they are–heroes, first responders, dedicated public servants, most coppers are also human and they need to “do as they say.”

Comments & Discussion

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  1. DWI..Driving While Inattentive.

    I have actually seen people on the phone, driving on the freeway, and flipping throught what looked like an order book while eating a hamburger.

  2. Mike Murphy
    Apr 13, 2009, 2:02 pm

    I hope they lock that moron up for a good, long time for Inattentive Driving and Depraved Indifference.

    I believe it’s time to outlaw Texting and Cell Phones when driving within Boise City Limits, and substantially increase the penalties for an accident where they were in use.

    And from the Pot-Calling-The-Kettle-Black Department: The Police!

  3. Amused with Dave
    Apr 13, 2009, 2:39 pm

    Dave, I agree! “Coppers” should not be expected to multi-task while driving! They should be prohibited from using the MDT’s, radio, cell phone, spotlight, and all their other toys. In addition, they should be DRIVING, not looking for things (I.e. bad guys, broken windows, people trying to flag them down etc.). Because, as you said, it’s just not safe.

    My solution: Area officers should be assigned to their area Fire Stations. They could sit in the Lazy Boys and wait for Dispatch calls. They could then drive straight to the call and not have to worry about distractions! AND… Think of all the fuel we could save if the Patrol officers would just stop PATROLLING! It would be green heaven!

  4. Unfortunately the job of a police officer requires you to multitask…not sure how we can eliminate this problem. In todays world the ‘coppers’ get very little information from dispatch (dispatchers are handling multiple calls at once),so they have to rely on the computer to get the information regarding the call. Based on the urgency of responding to some calls they don’t have the luxury of pulling over on the side of the road, running names, and looking up vehicle information on the suspect who is fleeing the scene.

    But hey, amused with dave has a point…reactive policing only! Coppers could wear a jump suit, and sleep during the night. When a call came they could respond just like the fire/ems people do…

    EDITOR NOTE– Having a problem with this one. The message seems to be that coppers have some sort of super sense that allows them to be safe drivers, watch out for crime/violations AND bury their noses in a computer. We can buy all but the computer reading and writing while driving. These arguments make a good case for two man patrol units. LJ, you are scaring me! You mean if the call is urgent, they not only type and read the computer, but the also drive fast?

  5. Not saying anything about coppers having a ‘super sense.’ I was stating that I do not know how to eliminate the problem. They have to read the computer, and at times run names/license plates while driving. It is a double edged sword.

    I think you have a great point with the two man unit concept. It saves gas, equipment, and is safer for the officers. It also decreases response time because they don’t have to wait a block away from a scene waiting for backup (their backup is already there)!

  6. Amused with Dave
    Apr 14, 2009, 3:10 am

    Dang it Dave… Here I am poking fun at you for telling POLICE OFFICERS to stop multi-tasking and then you have to go and come up with a solution that makes sense! (i.e. 2 man cars). So, in an effort to amuse myself, I suggest combining my suggestion & your suggestion: 2 man cars that sit at the fire station and save TWICE the gas! HA!

    Mr. ?Logic?: I simply DEFY poor logic. Like LJ said, the nature of policing is a double edged sword. You sound like one of those whiny libs that wants to ban ‘tag’ on the playground because thousands of kids end up in the ER with injuries…. Guess what – sometimes society doesn’t get to be 100% safe. And yet we’ve managed to make it this far.

  7. Brianthedog
    Apr 15, 2009, 4:35 am

    Cops are better drivers then any of you. Now get over it and get on with your life. Compare miles driven with the accident rate of the average motoring public.

  8. Yeah G-man, don’t ever forget, those dudes would take a bullet for you.
    Two Cops in a car! You ever smell what two hard working guys is like on a hot day on a black car?
    Besides what if one cop was gay?
    Where would the citizen ride along sit?

  9. Yeah I think there’s a difference between some idiot texting his girlfriend, pizza order or whatever and a Police Officer who is checking his MDT for information on a dispatched call for service that one of us called in.

    What a reach for an obvious attempt at bashing “coppers”. Its obvious theres already a slant since you try to belittle the profession by calling them anything but police officers with every story you do.


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