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Driver charged with texting while driving down Mass. Ave. in Cambridge

Cambridge Police report a Somerville resident with a suspended license was nabbed for driving while texting shortly before 1 p.m. on Thursday.

Police say an officer on patrol noticed a driver stopped at a light on Mass. Ave. and Rindge Ave., texting. As the light turned green and the motorist started driving towards Porter Square, the driver kept typing, police say.

The motorist got several blocks, to Porter Street, where the officer closed in. In addition to being cited for "using an electronic device while operating a motor vehicle," the driver was also cited for driving with a suspended license and not having a license in possession, police say.

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Comments

Or she?

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Cambridge Police used both pronouns, so I've switched the references to "motorist" and "driver."

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Why does that matter? Do you want to ask them out on a date?

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3,215,804 to go

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…. the driver was allowed to continue on their way.
I hope not as a driver.

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I believe the car would have been impounded.

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I've wondered if a good, deterring penalty for texting-while-driving would be having the police take your phone away for two weeks or so. I think many people would be horrified, or at least very discomforted, at the prospect of not having their phone for that long of a time period, almost more so than not having a car. You could then swing by the police station and retrieve your phone after the time period is up. Another advantage is that, if the phone is removed on the spot, you've removed the risk of the driver using it, and, ergo, they can continue on their merry way.

In the meantime, props to Cambridge PD for caring about this.

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That would have to be a court decision.

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I may not support all types of police seizure, but they can and do tow away your car if you get nabbed for OUI or reckless endangerment.

Give people a choice: we're writing you a ticket, and we're going to impound either your phone or your car. In either case, you can pick it up tomorrow at police HQ. The phone is going to be a lot cheaper because we won't charge a tow and impound fee.

For a lot of people this would be a very hard decision.

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…. for many people.

But how would taking someone’s phone but letting them keep the car keep the public safe?
Take the car so there is no chance they drive.
Then they can text all they want on a bus and put no one at further risk.

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S'tru @Ari O.

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It would require a warrant to look at calls, texts, etc. But if the phone goes into a locker and isn't touched during that time, it shouldn't require a court decision if there is a law allowing it.

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Taking the phone works with middle schoolers. For a while.

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This would be a great idea, but I can’t see any department embracing it in a post-POST world. I could see this being a huge headache for police departments, and the complaints against police skyrocketing.

Many people on here frequently comment “why don’t the cops care about traffic violations/stop more cars”, like the bike obsessed commentator who turns every single issue into something about bikes (kinopio or pinnichio or something is his name). It’s because the vast majority of police, at least in Boston, don’t want to be accused of something and end up having to explain themselves before POST or IAD. That’s it. So most decide it’s better for their careers to become do nothings.

Body cams certainly help, but anyone can file an IAD complaint, which automatically triggers an investigation. Even if the officer is found innocent, that complaint becomes a permanent part of their work record. So officers think, “why bother then?”

- a Boston Cop

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nice to have an inside perspective as to why cops today refuse to ever do anything of actual value to society

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Two words: Salaried employee.

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that cops should be salaried employees, and thus not eligible for overtime? Excellent idea.

When I first read your comment, I interpreted it as an expression of contempt towards salaried employees, and wrote a screed in their defense. Then I went and took a shower, and, as my brain cooled, realized that cops are not salaried employees, and that that wasn't what you were getting at at all. My apologies.

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Chased texting drivers or chased gun-toting gangsters, which would you choose?

That's not anti-cop, that's just an understanding of human response to incentives.

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Are you suggesting that police officers should be paid according to the dangerousness of the arrests they make? Maybe a points system? Pull over a speeding car, one point, stand in front of a speeding car, ten points? Yeah, that will lead to some great policing.

Your comments are cryptic. It's not clear what you consider the right method of police compensation. This would make me wonder whether you have any such idea, or are just throwing out mindless and meaningless snark, but of course I think much better of you than that.

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The problem is the cops don't seem to be doing much of either. It seems they get paid just for sitting in their SUVs resting so they can do details later.

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I'm always for a good laugh at the constabulary's expense, but policing is one of those jobs that consist largely of waiting around doing nothing until one is desperately needed. Firemen are also in this category (so are the military, but I've has enough to say on that topic for a while). The lack of activity while waiting doesn't mitigate the need.

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While they're waiting for a more urgent need of their services, couldn't they enforce some traffic/parking regulations as well?

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Do your job or quit you lazy piece to shit.

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But regret that this incident made a headline alla man bites dog.
I wish more drivers were arrested for texting and driving. I see it everywhere. So far have only had near misses and near heart attacks with asshole texting drivers. Knock on wood.

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