Our View: We’re glad police will ticket TWITs

March 27, 2014 

Hey TWIT, the cops are looking for you. TWITs are those guilty of Texting While in Traffic. In San Francisco, a graphic artist named Brian Singer got so fed up seeing people paying more attention to their cellphones than to the task at hand that he started taking photos (not while driving) and posting them on a website – www.twitspotting.com.

Singer is trying to shame people into not committing suicide. You’d think they’d be more receptive. Unfortunately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 5,000 people will die this year because of distracted driving and another 440,000 will be in accidents serious enough to sustain injury.

“It’s incredibly serious,” said Modesto police Chief Galen Carroll. “When you’re texting and driving, it’s probably worse than drunk driving.”

Most people have seen the stats before and have chosen to ignore them. Still, we’ll point out that you’re 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident if you’re texting. Even listening to a phone call hands-free makes you 1.3 times more likely to wreck. All age groups are guilty of this idiocy, but 13 percent of drivers ages 18 to 20 admit it. And an amazing 77 percent of young adults truly believe they can safely text and drive. They’re wrong. So very, very wrong. Simply put, texting while in traffic is dumb.

That’s among the reasons most law enforcement agencies in the county will be cracking down on TWITs for four days in April. First-time offenders will pay $161, but that’s only for the ticket. There are six associated court fees that are tacked on, of around $32 each, bringing the total cost to at least $350. For those TWITs dumb enough to get caught a second time, the fine is $281 and with fees the total is nearer $600.

Bottom line: Don’t be a TWIT-diot. Texting while driving will make you poorer, and could make you dead.

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