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Columnist, mom: I should be able to text and drive in “my mobile office”

Posted by on October 14th, 2010 at 10:51 am

Portland Fox TV affiliate station KPTV has published an article on their website titled, No Texting In Car? Doesn’t Work For Mom: Car Becomes Mobile Office. The article is written by Laura Lewis Brown, a syndicated columnist who writes for

The article is a bit shocking given the massive national effort to combat distracted driving and the well-known consequences that can come from texting while driving. A friend of mine on Facebook (a mom who rides her kids around town on bicycles) saw the article and wrote via a status update, “I am speechless! Is this a joke? What planet is this woman from?”

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Without time or space for communication, my car has become my mobile office. I can text without sticky fingers vying for the buttons and talk without interruption as long as I drive. My kids are great in the car, so they actually let me talk while they read books or comment on the passing scenery.

And then the local government outlawed texting while driving. I know it can be a major distraction to even the most experienced driver. I never want to be in an accident, or worse, cause a wreck.

Even though I’m confident that I can text and drive, that’s not to say the other people on the road can do the same. I do not bury my head in my phone, looking up for air. I don’t even have to look at my phone to text and send, but the law doesn’t care about that. It doesn’t care that I can diaper children one-handed or carry three upstairs for naptime while dodging dogs and toys along the way…

Now that I’ve broken the texting while driving habit, the state handed me a new challenge: No handheld devices while driving. Those precious moments I get on the phone between points A and B are no longer allowed unless I wear a headset or some such contraption.”

Reminds me of the “I drive better drunk” joke, but from what I can tell, this article is not a joke.

I wonder if this is the kind of testimony we’ll hear down in Salem this year when lawmakers try to strengthen the existing cell phone law?

Read the full article here.

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  • Nick October 14, 2010 at 10:57 am

    She has such a huge responsibility for the safety of the people around her and all she can do is complain about being inconvenienced. Some people never grow up.

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  • erin g October 14, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Nearly everyday I have a close-call while biking responsibly and respectfully to and from work, due to people texting or talking on cell phones. This is why law in Oregon prohibits such dangerous behavior. I was nearly hit two days ago, and when I calmly said to the driver (whose windows were down), “Please do not text and drive,” the 20-something in her SUV told me to $%*@ off. This behavior – which endangers lives of other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians – needs to stop, and law enforcement surrounding the issues needs to increase. Three Octobers ago, our city suffered profound losses of life due to drivers “not seeing” others on the road. My hope is that people will turn off their phones or pull over to use them if necessary while driving.

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  • boriskat October 14, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Sounds like she shouldn’t have had kids, if they’re such a hindrance to her getting work done.

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  • El Biciclero October 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    From the editorial (emphasis mine):

    “I would put my phone by my right thigh and glance down whenever it vibrated to signal a new tidbit from a friend.”

    “My friend can tell me about the office crush mid-meeting…”

    Well I, for one, am glad to see that at least the information with which this author distracts herself is of critical importance. I know I wouldn’t want to go 15 minutes without knowing the latest “tidbit” about the “office crush”.

    I find this blog post and campaign interesting; maybe someone should point it out to Ms. Brown.

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  • Bryant Turnage October 14, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    How disgusting that a person like this is still out there roaming the streets, putting herself, her children, and the public at large at risk of serious injury or death. Deeply disturbing.

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  • seems like neglect to me... October 14, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Anonymous tip to Child Services anyone?

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  • Roland October 14, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    So you’re already benefiting from the following subsidies, paid for by me and everyone else, through the government:
    – highway and other infrastructure spending disproportionate to your contribution to society
    – military spending to secure fuel for your (doubtless it’s a…) minivan
    – direct aid, loans and other “corporate welfare” for the auto industry to lessen your purchase price
    – who-knows-what subsidies and advantages the FCC and FTC bestow upon the cellular communications industry to lessen your costs there

    …and now, after all we’ve done for you, you further want us to give you an exception to the law, to let you endanger us on the roads for purposes of your shallow office gossip, and the reason you deserve this is, because you got knocked up (creating a further burden on an already overpopulated planet I might add) and this has given you superhuman multi-tasking ability?

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  • Spiffy October 18, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    her kids are great in the car, oh except that one that’s constantly whining for the blue-tooth headset…

    but I hate the hands-free cell phone law… it’s an impersonal blanket law that was already covered with existing general distracted driving laws… all it does now is make it illegal to do something specific that sometimes could make you drive poorly…

    the problem is that until they can enforce it neither law (old existing or new) does any good…

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  • Sara November 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Lady Brown needs to watch “Driving Distracted.” I don’t know where to get it, but I had to watch it in a safety meeting at work. I will NEVER AGAIN try to text while driving. Or talk on the phone. Would Mrs. Brown want her kids, when they become teens, to be texting while driving their cars? HECK NO, she wouldn’t. Texting while driving IS dangerous. Nobody should do it, not even oh-so busy MOTHERS. When phones can take dictation for texts, that might be a healthy solution.

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  • CaptainKarma November 9, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    i am so glad I am not face-to-face with this woman. I was rear-ended recently by a young lady who was either texting or talking on her cell phone. I was totally stopped at a stoplight, the light was red, my tail & brake lights were on. It was like I was not there, for her. Imagine had I been on a bike.

    I really really really shoulda called “the bureau”, but there wasn’t any visible damage even though she hit hard. It’s hard to get them to come out for a fender-bender or a stolen bike, so I just let it go. I sure hope this girl learned her lesson, but I doubt it.

    Now my brake foot twitches and pulses the brake lights on & off at stop lights. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome symptom!

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  • Michael December 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Perhaps she should consider taking a bus and leave her car at home. That way she could text all she wants away from the children that are obviously an interference in her life, but do so in a responsible way that doesn’t distract her from paying attention to her driving.

    I hate to inform her but there’s been plenty of research in the area of multi-tasking and distracted driving. None of it agrees with her superior attitude of her being far better then those other people stupid enough to text while driving.

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