Victoria driver crashes into police car while texting

Ian Hardy

February 12, 2016 7:05am

“I just got into an accident, OMG. I was trying to txt u. Ran into a cop car. OMGGG.”

That text was sent by an unknown Victoria resident who was using her mobile device while driving. Shortly before it was sent she slammed directly into a police car.

The front of her vehicle suffered damage, but more importantly, the driver’s daughter was in the back seat at the time of the crash. Both passengers were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Constable Matt Rutherford and his police dog were uninjured in the crash.

B.C. banned the use of handheld devices while driving in 2010 and the fines for disobeying the law are $167 and three demerit points, which is one of the lowest penalties in the country.

  • GordyDevice

    The device should be seized, a fine and loss of drivers permit. The driver could have hit a person and if they did that person would be dead!
    We have to stop this insane practice of distracted driving, harsh penalties sometimes work. A better approach is some way to disable the mobile phone signal in a vehicle if hands free is not being used.

    • >A better approach is some way to disable the mobile phone signal in a vehicle if hands free is not being used.

      This is nearly impossible to do without impacting passengers’ use of device, which should be allowed. Also, if you’re talking about active jamming rather than disabling the radio on the device, there are very strict laws about jamming cellular signals.

    • Kriilin Namek

      Agreed, by the same logic a drunk person couldn’t ride in a cab or a sober friend’s car

    • Habs Killa

      Taking away their license after the fact doesn’t help the injured/dead people .

      Stiff sentences and education are the only way to reduce the carnage. Sadly, like drunk driving, it won’t be eliminated.

    • Sou-Zem

      Studies have shown, people using hands free phones have the same reaction times as people using regular cell phones.
      There is no reason to use a phone while driving.

    • What these studies showed is that people are just as distracted on hands free as they are with a phone to their ear, as they are talking to a person beside them. What you are ignoring in these studies is that if you have one hand on a phone one on the steering wheel you cannot possibly control your vehicle properly to avoid a crash or pedestrian fast enough as you could with two hands on the wheel. Thus proving the point that hands free is safer then talking with a phone on your ear

    • Sou-Zem

      No. I was referring to reaction times.
      There is no need to be talking on the phone and driving.
      Studies have shown the conversation, becomes the priority issue for the brain, thus delaying the reaction time.
      You may indeed be correct about controlling the vehicle with one hand, and in the case of cars without power steering, your point is a strong one.
      Once again, I was referring to reaction time, not control of the vehicle, 2 different things.

    • and its the same if you are talking to a passenger they are all distractions, your mind is thinking about talking to a person, same studies have shown all 3 cause the same delay in reaction. So should we stop talking to people in cars?

    • not arguing for it… just saying we are always distracted in the car, its a fact, do we need to add more… not really but putting down the phone or turning it off can eliminate one of them for sure. In my option simply put some people struggle with multi tasking some are way better then other talking and driving. If you know you cant multi task then stop!! if you know you are really good at it still be cautious no one is perfect.

    • Sou-Zem

      I agree with you.

      The US government has determined the computer, is “the driver” in the future self driving cars, that is a huge obstacle removed.
      150 years ago knowing how to ride a horse was an important skill.
      Cars removed the need to know that skill.
      The same will hold true for knowing how to drive a car in the future.
      As for society becoming dumber for not knowing how to drive.
      Did the IQ of society get smarter when cars became common ?
      Did the IQ go down with the invention of automatic transmissions.
      Some guy named Albert Einstein apparently didn’t learn to drive, it didn’t seem to hold him back.
      Yet some 10yr olds can drive.
      Knowing how to drive a car in 30 years will be seen as knowing how to ride a horse is now.
      When people see self driving cars now, they try and win the “auto-lotto” and have failed.
      The self driving cars will get better, people won’t.

    • Sou-Zem

      Each passenger is 2 more eyes on the road.

    • Umm going to say no on that, your still distracted if they say something you still have to react to them saying something then process it then react to it. It would actually be slower to listen to a passenger alert you of problems on the road, way slower then your own reaction to it. If your eyes are on the road while having a conversation a passenger will not help at all because they are just as distracted having to conversation as you are

    • Sou-Zem

      Then bring on self driving cars

    • I agree

    • Charlie Kung

      This point was addressed in another article from Mobilesyrup a while back. Whereas passengers and people over the phone can both both carry a conversation with the driver, only the former is situationally aware of the driver’s surroundings, and will converse in a manner that is less likely to be distracting. Example: If you see a collision ahead that could realistically impact yourself (the driver), a reasonable passenger will usually shut up and observe. But a person on the phone will keep talking unless you alert them of the situation, which is already splitting your much needed attention. Furthermore, in cases of imminent danger where the driver is fully focused, the person on the phone will likely continue to pester the driver with, “Hey can you hear me? Are you there? Hello? What’s going on? Hellllooooo?” Talking on the phone is not the same as talking to a passenger

    • Abel

      Actually, this is not accurate. Talking to the passengers is way safer than talking to someone on the phone (whether it’s hands-free or not), as long as you don’t turn your head off the road to look at the passengers, of course.

      The theory is that when we are talking with someone on the phone, our brain sort of “travels” out of the car. What I mean is that we lose a bit of situation/location awareness, hence why the reaction times increase, as the previous poster correctly put it.

      If you want to test this, try driving with someone who times your reaction while you talk to them and while you talk to someone on the phone. You’ll be surprised.

    • Thanks for the reply..

      Not disagreeing that this is possible but I am basing my opinion of profession research done by Universities and bigger research studies, your opinions are based on your habits and your experiences. This is obviously all you have to pull from which is knowledge you know. But it is not a proper scientific way to form a conclusion.

      You are just as distracted if talking to someone in the car as you are talking to someone on the phone hands free if not more by the person beside you. This is because when someone is beside you people sub contentiously look for visual cues when having a conversation. Now you could try really hard not to do that but who is going to really think that when trying to have a conversation? So both sides really have arguments to dispute the other side. The only way to know for sure is to do proper studies with many different drivers to come to a conclusion which has been done. I can take that conclusion and say “see you’re wrong i can do it” but that does not mean the study that shows average drivers cannot do this.. and that is all that matters really

      Not saying you are wrong but i will trust the studies done by professionals

    • Abel

      Nope. You are not entirely right when you say I based my comment on my experience (only). I, too, have read and/or heard about studies made by researchers, and some of those put out that view.

      But, as in everything in life, you’ll find very reputable institutions/researchers vouching for either side. When that happens, then I tend to look inward and see how it reflects on me.

      In my specific case, I don’t use the phone much when I’m driving, and most of the times, I ignore the calls, even though it’s connected to the bluetooth hands free, but the only time I ran into a red light, I was speaking on the phone, via bluetooth. It was a tough discussion with a Customer Service agent (you could agree I should have not made the call, but that’s not how it happened. I was on the call after a long wait on hold when I had to leave and drive to pick up someone), and I only realised I had run into the red light after I passed a car on the next lane that had stopped. I went all the way through and stopped after I crossed the intersection, but something bad might have happened.

      To this day, I am thankful that: 1- No car was coming through the intersecting street; and, 2- There was no red-light camera! LOL

      I drive with someone in my car 100 times more often than I talk on the phone hands free (including the daily commute to and from work) and I have never had a similar situation when I am talking with the passengers.

    • Very good way to look at it,

      I have a Priv now and when I get in the car I put on my podcast then turn on do not disturb on for 15-30 minutes so that even if someone emails/calls/textes me I don’t know it till I get home, It’s been the only way to stop distracting myself. Its a hard habit to break in a connected world

  • Andrew English

    They should just ban all cell phones from being in vehicles. And if caught they should be able to take your car and crush it, and put you in jail for a year.

    • Nadefrenzy

      Nah, that’s light. I suggest capital punishment. Death-row. Bring back the death penalty if we must!

    • Unorthodox

      Your sarcasm is utterly inappropriate. That dumb chick had HER CHILD IN HER CAR!!! If she doesn’t care for her own child, she certainly wouldn’t care about running you and me into a wall with her car.
      In my opinion – life-long ban from driving. And full disclosure of the story to her daughter when she reaches 20.

    • Felipe Cortinas

      I’m looking forward to the day when texting will be seen as dangerous as fiddling with your radio. That used to cause a big uproar as well. Same with keeping your hands at 10 and 2, let’s go ahead and arrest those careless people who don’t rotate their tires in a timely fashion as well since a ruptured tire could endanger the lives of innocent bystanders.

      Really if you are constantly aware of your surroundings nearly every accident is avoidable. So anyone involved in an accident should get a, what did you suggest? A ” life-long ban from driving” that way only us superior, flawless drivers can use the roadways in complete safety.

    • Nadefrenzy

      Your overreaction is equally inappropriate. No excuse for the mistakes made by the woman. It was entirely her fault, and she should be penalized, but to enact a ban on driving completely or as the wise gentleman above said to ‘crush’ your car for texting and driving, regardless of how severe the repercussions may be, is just insane.

    • flashpoint

      Calm down.

    • HelloCDN

      That’s also stupid. What about hands free? How is it different from being able to talk with passengers in the car – should we also ban having passengers too? Being able to change radio stations?

    • Sou-Zem

      Hands free reaction time, also poor.
      A passenger in the car is 2 more eyes on the road.
      Changing stations is done on the steering wheel on most newer cars. How many people have been killed world wide by changing of radio stations in the past 100 years.
      I would say less than the people killed annually by distracted or impaired drivers.

    • Hoss Gaming

      Okay, so for non-transit users we can’t take our cellphones with us, which is what they’re f***ing meant for…. Makes sense! Keep the portable phones at home. Right.

    • Brad Fortin

      Don’t forget to chop off their hand.

    • quadibloc

      No, they should take the car and sell it. There is no excuse for wasting it. And, of course, if people have can’t have cell phones in their pockets, what are they supposed to do, buy one for home and one to keep in the desk at work? It’s using the phone in the car that’s the problem, not transporting it or having it for emergencies.

  • So I just crashed while reading this article and replying to this comment while driving!

    • Victor Creed

      OMG. OMGGG!

    • Crap I forgot the OMG!!

  • xanth18

    The penalty needs to be MUCH higher. $10,000, bare minimum for a first infraction… I think that’s about right for being a d*****s. It needs to be high so people question whether they really want to risk their financial well-being.

    • Samuel Gomez Recuero

      that proposal is hilarious 10K, then what should DUI/DWI should be?

    • thorsten garbe

      Minimum 10 years
      The harder ther better.
      People have to lern

    • Hoss Gaming

      To spell. People have to learn to spell lol

      (Its a joke so don’t get overly offended)

    • thorsten garbe

      No no. Lol.
      My keyboard was set to german .

    • Hoss Gaming

      Ahaha I’m just on here to see who will bite at stuff like that, light trolling. Mein Deutsche est (is I think) Klein, guten nacht.

    • jayzon12

      You should have just corrected your spelling on the previous comment and than made everyone really confused looking for a spelling error or wondering what he was talking about lol

  • Felipe Cortinas

    I disagree with the whole no texting and driving thing. You can’t ban cell phones from working in a car for emergency situations. Nor can a cop differentiate someone using their cell phone for texting or using it as a GPS for example.

    And if you ban using it as a GPS are you ging to ban all GPS? Are you going to ban people from changing their radio stations as well? Ban people from having kids in the car because lord knows they are a distraction.

    • Comrade Yeti

      The first common sense response here. Harsh punishments have never deterred behaviour and yet everyone things a 10K fine and seizing the vehicle are the answer.

    • TP

      Using it as a GPS or changing their radio stations does not require your eyes off the road, or does not require your hand(s) to actually grab the device. Dude, texting is a completely different story. It requires you to grab your phone in hand. It requires your eyes on the screen to be able to tap the right key on touchscreen.

    • I am going to disagree to a degree. Most GPS these days have voice navigation, including ones from phones. In the case of texting, you physically need to remove your hand from the steering wheel and actually look at what you’re typing(.’. a partial loss of control and attention) in order to perform the action.

      if you’re changing the radio station or changing gear, these are made in a way that you would be able to do with without looking and can be done in less than a few seconds.

      Cops probably have a hard time differentiating, and if someone was wrongly accused, they’d probably fight it in court and win (proof if texts were sent, browsing history etc). But, having seen people texting and driving, there’s an immediate different between someone looking straight down at their laps for more than a few seconds, or someone doing a quick radio station change or head turn to check their blind spot.

      EDIT: I’d also add that phonemakers have made numerous ways to perform actions without actually having to use your hands. Voice navigation only gets better as more people use it. It’s probably not the ‘best’ solution, but it’d surely be better than removing your attention from the road.

    • Felipe Cortinas

      I guess that’s the distinction I was going for. You could have the phone read you the incoming texts, and plenty of phones have voice to text capabilities. So merely the act of “texting” should not be subject to some of the extreme punishments that some people are proposing.

      I live in the States and we had a senator here wanting to pass a bill that would require kill switches on cell phones if the accelormeter sensed it was going faster then 20Mph. That’s not just some guy posting on a forum, a member of our legislative body wanted to kill cellphone usage period when traveling at a certain speed.

      It’s those heavy handed reactions that concern me.

    • norsem4n

      I want you to die.

    • Felipe Cortinas

      Thank you for your insightful addition to this conversation.

      I on the other hand want you to live, that’s why I was suggesting people not waste their energy trying to legislate good behavior and instead use technology to minimize the risky behavior people are going to want to engage in.

    • Nadefrenzy

      Not if you use swype. You can text quick responses without even looking at your screen. I used to do that in the past pretty effectively, but stopped sometime back as it encourages you to text more, and is still more distracting than not texting.

    • jayzon12

      A GPS should be set before you leave on your trip. A GPS will adjust and remap you if you make a wrong turn. A GPS should require not touching at all while driving. Also most cars are moving radio controls on to the steering wheel so that you don’t have to look or take your hands off the wheel. Why can people not wait the 5-30 min commute to reply to a text? Why do you have to be connected at every moment and put other people at risk because you cant put your phone down for a few mins?

  • Samuel Gomez Recuero

    Driving while texting should meet the same penalties as a DUI/DWI after all your driving is impaired if you are texting behind the wheel.

  • Waqqas Khokhar

    On the bright side, with the advent of things like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, texting could very well transform into “speaking” or “voicing” messages to one another, and hopefully be safer.

    • Samuel Gomez Recuero

      Maybe, but the fact remains that talking on the phone with someone is more dangerous that someone in your car. Cause usually the other person in your car will notice if you are moving out of your lane or if the car in front of you is not moving but the person on the phone would not.

    • the unfortunate part is that the lack of widespread adaptation is what’s holding it back from exactly that. Texting, voice recognition and hands-off controls all really depend on gathering information through usage.

  • Humberto Giambrone

    Women should be banned from operating vehicles. Between this and doing their makeup behind the wheel, society just can’t afford it anymore.

  • Richard Williams

    The government doesn’t necessarily have to raise the minimum fines everywhere and in every case, but they should definitely raise the maximum penalty depending on the situation. There is a massive difference between a cop trolling for revenue and glancing at someone in a car passing by who may or may not have a cell phone (or wallet, or glove etc.) in his or her hand, and someone who crashes into a police car with her child in the back seat who’s first reaction is to continue texting. Hopefully, a litany of charges will still be leveled at this driver such as reckless driving, child endangerment, assaulting a police officer, etc. the ability to suspend her insurance and her driver’s license etc. If she only gets charged $167 and three demerit points, that would be utterly ridiculous.

  • cartfan88

    Modern technology can’t fix stupid.

    • Unless you have a driver less car. Sad that those who will benefit most from that technology are the ignorati.

    • Hoss Gaming

      Ironic how in the age of information ignorance abounds.

    • Hoss Gaming

      The double OMGGG leads me to believe that she’s a valley girl-esque housewife with no intelligence, who after crashing had more intent on texting than making sure her CHILD was okay, that the officers were okay, and that her child wasn’t freaking the f*** out in the back, all before the cops, obviously bewildered by this random collision get out fairly quickly, assuming she could have done it with intent, and obviously arrest her, but hey, F*** it, gotta text.

  • GordyDevice

    How about active driving lessons like on Canada’s Worst Driver where drivers go on a course and do the distractions that CWD picked up on the person, like eating, doing makeup, texting, phoning and even reading!
    Once the drivers went on this course they never drove distracted again.

    Maybe it should be part of drivers education before getting a license.

  • hardy83

    Give it the exact same rules as driving under impairment.
    Same demerit points, same fines, same possible jail time, same license suspension, everything.

    Possibly design a device that can jam cellphone signals (unless a collision occurs, at which point it deactivates) in the car that repeated offenders have to put in their vehicle.
    Similar to locking a car with a breathalyzer.

  • Tyrannosaur3464

    I love how the photo of the dimwitted looking female texting on her Samsung is recycled for every distracted driving article. Hilarious.

    • HelloCDN

      I think it’s from the ICBC campaign in BC against texting and driving. They spent about 5 million bucks on it. Curiously, the base rates also went up that year, apparently due to increased number of accidents….

    • Tyrannosaur3464

      Hahaha, that’s purely amazing.

  • Mo Dabbas

    I’m glad the police officer and the police dog were not injured. It’s shocking to me that somebody can be so careless especially when their children safety is involved. It’s good they didn’t have any serious injuries but that woman should never put her children’s safety at risk to send a stupid text. Park on the side for a minute if the text is that important. Why is it a difficult thing to do?

  • h2oflyer

    That’s Sheldon’s girlfriend sexting Horowitz

  • thorsten garbe

    Endangering a childs welfare and public safety
    Well thats what she should get. Idiots
    160$ fine is so wrong. For a province like bc it should 1000$ or month jail.

  • Alain Lafond

    Dummer than dum!!! Can you do worst?

    • Hoss Gaming

      I don’t think I could spell dumb worse

  • John Timothy Hulsey

    And doing it with a child in the car. Wake up and smell the coffee, it is time to start giving prison terms for this nonsense.

    • Hoss Gaming

      Caffeine is bad for you

  • How about we make it so our phones are the keys to our car? This way you will have to put your phone in the center console to start the car, this console will connect what is lawfully allowed to your cars infotainment system and block all other notifications to prevent them from distracting you. If this compartment is opened then the car will sound an audio warning that is annoying as hell, like nickleback or something. If you want to use your phone you can pull over and when in park can use your phone but can’t shift out of park till the phone is returned. This way people can’t use their phones when driving! Technology to save the day!

    • Abel

      LOL at Nickelback.

  • Sou-Zem

    As distracted driving has surpassed impaired driving as the #1 killer on the roads, please, please self driving cars, get here soon.
    Then those that want to text, talk on their phones or drive impaired won’t be hurting or killing the innocent.
    Then there is also the benefit of, no speeding, no running red lights or stop signs, tailgaiting, passing while unsafe, playing chicken, falling asleep at the wheel, applying cosmetics or blow drying your hair while driving.
    Self driving cars hold the center of their lane far better than people do,
    Every day a Telsa car is on the road, it is mapping the road and sending the data back to Tesla, hopefully other car companies are doing the same thing,
    If they are, and also sharing the data, the cars will be driving even better.

  • flashpoint

    Damn, someone is gonna get some buttfucking tonight.

  • Delphus

    Take a hammer and smash the device, just as if it would have been the bumper, that should get the message across 🙂