Ryan, Plastic Surgeon, Dies: What Really may have Caused Crash?
(CBS) Dr. Frank Ryan, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who
gained notoriety for performing 10 procedures at once on TV star
Heidi Montag, was killed Monday August 16, 2010 in a car crash.
Ryan's Jeep Wrangler veered off of the Pacific Coast Highway and
landed on the rocks below, CBS News reported.
The 50-year-old doctor was tweeting that his border collie was
enjoying the view before the fatal accident, according to the
New York Daily News. Ryan's dog - reportedly unrestrained - was
thrown from the car but survived.
Investigators have not yet formally determined the cause of the
accident, but have confirmed that Ryan had been texting.
Experts say both activities - texting while driving and driving
with an unrestrained pet - can contribute to car accidents.
The CBS Early Show reported that in 2008 there were 6,000
fatalities due to accidents caused by distracted drivers. And,
in a recent survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and
pet product company Kurgo, 80 percent of respondents said
they've driven with their pets.
But only 17 percent of those who drive with pets said they use a
pet restraint system. This causes a distraction, says the AAA,
equal to talking on a cell phone or texting n driving.
"Early Show" correspondent and resident Veterinarian Dr. Debbye
Turner Bell says people who drive with pets should always keep
them in an enclosed area of the car.
Fast facts - Texting
bans - Text messaging is banned for all drivers in 23 states
and the District of Columbia: Alaska, Arkansas, California,
Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New
York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah,
Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
In addition, novice drivers are banned from texting in eight
states: Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri,
Texas and West Virginia.
Bi-Partisan Push to Stop Texting and
Obama Bans "Texting while Driving" for 4,500,000 government
workers - Nothing makes you a supporter of a ban on "texting
while driving" like your body coming into contact with a vehicle
driven by some moron fiddling with a cell phone. (Several Ars
staffers have had that unpleasant experience firsthand.)
President Obama doesn't want any of those morons to be federal
employees—as of Thursday, all government employees are banned
from texting while driving whenever they are on the job, driving
a federal vehicle, or using a government-supplied cell phone.
The executive order affects nearly 4.5 million employees across
the US, including postal workers and military personnel. The
only situations in which federal workers might be able to get
away with texting while driving is if they are not working, they
are driving their own vehicle, and they are using their own
phone; and that's assuming their particular state doesn't
already ban texting and driving.
"This order sends a very clear signal to the American public
that distracted driving is dangerous and unacceptable," said
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at this week's Distracted
Driving Summit in Washington D.C.
Indeed, the Distracted Driving Summit marked one of the first
major efforts for federal lawmakers, law enforcement, and safety
groups to address not only texting while driving, but all manner
of behind-the-wheel distractions. One of the big players at the
two-day meeting was the The Governors Highway Safety Association
(GHSA), which only recently got behind texting while driving
bans—previously, the GHSA opposed enacting
anti-texting-and-driving laws on the grounds that enforcement
would be difficult. The GHSA still believes this but says that
recent evidence has pushed it to reconsider supporting the ban
and that it would work towards enforcement education in the
A recent study out of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
found that those who texted while driving increased their crash
risk by 23 times; the state of Utah recently made headlines by
passing a law threatening 15 years in prison for those who end
up in an accident thanks to texting and driving.
According to the GHSA's helpful table on cell phone driving
laws, 18 states plus the District of Columbia already ban text
messaging for all drivers, while nine states ban it for "novice"
drivers and one state restricts it from school bus drivers only.
According to the US Department of Transportation, there were at
least 515,000 injuries and 5,870 fatalities in the US in 2008 as
a result of distracted driving—these numbers are taken from
police reports, so the actual numbers could be quite a bit
higher. By Jacqui Cheng
Tennessee 2nd in U.S.
for Texting and Driving - Almost nine of 10 Americans agree
that texting while driving spells trouble, yet South Carolina
and Tennessee lead the nation in those who admit to sending or
receiving text messages while behind the wheel.
A national survey of nearly 5,000 cell-phone users, released
this week by Common Knowledge Research Services for the Vlingo
Corp., revealed that Tennessee's text-messaging motorists are
topped only by those in South Carolina.
A bill that would have made driving while texting, or DWT,
illegal failed to pass the Tennessee Legislature in March. So
for now, at least, Tennessee's text messengers can go on typing
with their thumbs while steering with their pinkies, perhaps
assisted by their knees.
"Clearly it's an enormous danger for anybody to be texting while
driving," said Don Lindsey, longtime safety expert for AAA of
East Tennessee. "Not only do you have the distraction of
somebody thinking about what you're going to say, you either
have to either feel with your thumbs those little itty-bitty
buttons or, worse, look down on the phone and do it."
In an earlier Harris poll released last year, nine in 10 adults
said texting while driving is dangerous, according to national
reports. Nevertheless, almost 30 percent admit to texting from
behind the wheel, according to the new study.
Text messaging isn't just for teens anymore. Almost nine in 10
teens and young adults use text messaging, but adults who let
their fingers do the talking are fast expanding, with 55 percent
of all cell-phone users now making use of the alphabet on their
keypads, the new study revealed.
A new phrase has even been coined for business professionals who
text from beneath their desks, tables - or steering wheels. The
"BlackBerry prayer" is the term given to the giveaway lowered
eyes, bowed head and hands-in-lap posture.
Even Lindsey acknowledges he likes the efficiency of text
messaging and has received text messages from associates on the
road. He wouldn't consider it himself, he said.
"The risk of collision increases up to 400 percent while talking
on a cell phone while driving," said Lindsey, citing a report
from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In less
than one second, a car traveling at 60 mph can travel the length
of a tractor trailer, Lindsey added.
While executives may favor the BlackBerry or similar devices
with expanded QWERTY keyboards, or typical typewriter keyboards,
almost 90 percent of cell-phone users are still using awkward
nine-button numeric keypads for text messaging, the new study
Tennessee outlaws any cell phone use by teens on learner's
permits or provisional graduated driving licenses. Other drivers
may be cited for reckless driving or failure to control their
vehicles if involved in a collision while using their phones,
Lindsey pointed out.
"If it's shown you were distracted, you can be charged with a
variety of things," Lindsey added.
By Marti Davis Knoxville News Sentinel Posted May
Iowa Texting Ban Goes Into
Effect July 1st - Council Bluffs, IA - Three laws in effect
beginning July 1st. No texting while driving for adults and for
drivers under 18, a complete ban on cell phone use. A similar ban
goes into effect in Nebraska July 15th. That ban includes no texting
while driving and is a secondary offense in Nebraska, meaning police
need another reason to pull over drivers.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval
Patrick to Sign Safe Driving Bill - July 01, 2010 Boston
Governor Deval Patrick is preparing to sign a safe driving
bill that bans texting while driving and requires older drivers to
get vision tests every five years. The governor will sign the bill
on Friday at noon. Those caught texting and driving would face a
fine and the suspension of their license or learner's permit under
the legislation. The bill completely bans drivers under 18 from
using cell phones. Anyone 18 and older would still be able to use
cell phones while driving without facing any penalty.
The Associated Press
Georgia's New Texting n
Driving Law - Governor Signs Texting and Cell Phone Bill
Governor Perdue has signed two new distracted driving bills into
law, Senate Bill 360 and House Bill 23. Senate Bill 360 is the
Caleb Sorohan Act and prohibits individuals from using wireless
telecommunications devices for writing, sending or receiving
text messages while operating a motor vehicle. Specifically the
new law states:
"No person shall
operate a motor vehicle on any public road or highway of this
state while using a wireless telecommunications device to write,
send, or read any text based communication, including but not
limited to a text message, instant message, electronic mail, or
The fine for offenders
will be $150 and one point on their driver license, the new law
goes into effect on July 1st, 2010. House Bill 23 was also
signed into law by the Governor. This new law prohibits drivers
under the age of 18 from using a wireless communication device.
Specifically the new law states:
"prohibits use of
wireless telecommunications devices by persons under 18 years of
age with an instruction permit or Class D license while
operating a motor vehicle"
Like the other new driving
law, the fine for offenders will be $150 and one point on their
driver license, the new law goes into effect on July 1st, 2010.
Michigan bans texting
while driving - LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan motorists
should have one less excuse for being distracted behind the
wheel. The state's ban on texting while driving takes effect
Thursday, July 01, 2010.
The law makes it illegal for a person to read, write or send
text messages from a cell phone or other device while operating
fraction with a $100 fine for a first offense and $200 after
that. The state doesn't add any points to a driver's record for
ban signed into R.I. law - Nov 10, 2009 - PROVIDENCE, R.I. _
With the stroke of Governor Carcieri's pen, it is now illegal to
text-message while driving in Rhode Island.
Sending, reading or writing a text message, such as an e-mail or
instant message, with any kind of data-transmission device while
operating a moving motor vehicle would be punishable at the
Traffic Tribunal by a fine of $85 on first offense, $100 on
second offense and $125 for a third or subsequent offense.
Transportation Secretary LaHood, Congressional Leaders and
Jordin Sparks Join Allstate in Urging Americans to Stop Texting
and Driving - WASHINGTON, April 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -
Today, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood joined
singing sensation Jordin Sparks, Congressional leaders and
Allstate senior executives to urge Americans to take a pledge
not to text and drive.
“Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic, and we need to
work together to stop thousands of unnecessary injuries and
deaths every year,” said Secretary LaHood. “I applaud the
efforts of Allstate to encourage Americans to take personal
responsibility and help put an end to this dangerous behavior.”
Ban on cellphone use
while driving leads to nearly 670 citations
The state's (Washington) new ban on using a cellphone or texting
while driving has led to nearly 670 citations between June 10
and July 1, 2010. By Seattle Times staff
State Patrol Chief John Batiste believes compliance has
increased since the violation became a primary offense, and
that's making things easier for troopers. "Those who continue to
flout the law are now much easier to spot," Batiste said in a
On June 10, the state's old law on cellphones and texting moved
from being a secondary offense to a primary one, which means
that troopers no longer need some other reason to stop a driver
they see texting or using a cellphone.
The State Patrol did not give a formal grace period, as it
typically does with new laws. Drivers who don't use a handsfree
device can get a $124 ticket. Along with the nearly 670
citations, nearly 500 warnings were issued.
During the same period in 2009, only about 110 cellphone and
texting citations were issued by the State Patrol. In the state,
between 2006 and 2008, more than 3,000 drivers were involved in
collisions while using cellphones.