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Teens and driving,
New Danger Trunking
4css




msg:302796
 5:52 pm on Jun 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

According to a report on MSNBC today, there is a new danger wtih teens and driving.

Apparently to get around the rule of how many people you are allowed to have in a car, they are stuffing people into the trunk and driving.

With the high rate of car accidents with Teens today, many teens are dying due to this new trend.

Have teens driving? Talk to them. Not that they will listen, but try.

 

Draconian




msg:302797
 6:08 pm on Jun 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

That's not fair. How idiotic. I mean, where's the proof? Some drunkin kids probably got caught for it and it started a bit of a myth.

Seriously, how many people would go ahead and do that? If it were my kids, they'd wish they'd been in an accident and not survived. :p

PS - Why not just abolish that law? Wasn't around when I was a teenager, and I was a pretty careful driver.

4css




msg:302798
 6:19 pm on Jun 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

With so many teens on the road in comparsion to when I started to drive, and the rate of accidents with teens, especially due to drinking and driving fast, and feeling that they are not going to ever die.

I think it is a good law, and one I had with my children before it became law. Nobody drove with them till I knew they did good. I'm sure they did listen to me for the most part. Consquences of getting caught was me taking liscense away. ;)

Our high school, as do many in our area, will put a car that was in an accident in front of the school at prom time. OF course this car that was in the accident had people who lost their lives due to drinking and driving.

Small reminder to teens who feel it won't happen to them.

httpwebwitch




msg:302799
 8:48 pm on Jun 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

when I was <20 we would often ride in the trunk. Picture it: 9 friends, all meeting downtown, going to the same party/concert, only one is lucky to have both a license and a parent who lends them the car. Must fit all bodies in transportation. You can only get so many people into a back seat, even with 2 layers of people lying across everyone's lap. So... pop the boot.

it's a dumb thing to do.
but so is making it illegal.

Draconian




msg:302800
 9:02 pm on Jun 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

" it's a dumb thing to do.
but so is making it illegal. "

I completely agree. You can't fight fire with fire. (Something we should take into account when implementing another terrorist strategy). :p

4css




msg:302801
 9:22 pm on Jun 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think if teens are faced with loosing their liscense for doing this, they might think twice about it.

Tell the parents of a child who died due to this that it is dumb, or the officer that has to go to the door and tell the parents that their child died in the trunk of a car in an accident.

Just my opinion on this.

rocknbil




msg:302802
 10:22 pm on Jun 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, it should be illegal, I suppose. If anything happens to the driver they are basically trapped in there.

Does anyone remember Pedro and the Man at the Drive-In? That was the only instance we've ever trunked, and it went down just outside the theatre, not cruising down the highway.

JayC




msg:302803
 10:26 pm on Jun 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> According to a report on MSNBC today, there is
>> a new danger wtih teens and driving.

A new danger? Right, no one has ever voluntarily ridden in the trunk of a car before 2006. And now suddenly "the kids" are doing it all the time!

>> many teens are dying due to this new trend

How "many" would that be?

Hmm... is it a coincidence that I also just saw in the newpaper a story about MSNBC's dismal ratings in comparison to CNN and Fox News, and questioning the "relevance" of a third news network?

4css




msg:302804
 10:42 pm on Jun 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

lol, won't get into ratings as this isn't what its about.

Its about a story on a news station, One where a state trooper has seen enough teens die in crashes and is going to high schools to try to teach safety to the teens.

Legal or not legal, doesn't matter, All I care about are the kids who are dying from doing things that in a world of more cars on the road, and more dangerous drivers, the accident rates are higher today.

Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy has introduced Assembly Bill 1850 which will make it a misdemeanor for a person to drive a car while transporting another person in the trunk of that vehicle. It would also make it an infraction for the person voluntarily riding in the trunk.
Source [republican.assembly.ca.gov]

You can see the bill Here [info.sen.ca.gov]

Draconian




msg:302805
 11:46 pm on Jun 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

What if it's a pick up? Used to be fun to cruise the farm roads with a couch in the back... and beer.

4css




msg:302806
 12:03 am on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Uhmm pickups aren't mentioned.

Your pick up sounds like my sons Van in progress. He has our old 90 dodge caravan. And he is doing some major things to it. LOL.

Heh, at least it doesn't have a trunk, and he removed and trashed one of the seats.

JayC




msg:302807
 12:07 am on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> won't get into ratings as this isn't what its about.

I didn't see the story on MSNBC, so that may mean my criticism is off base, but it's about ratings to me when a news source sensationalizes a story. Among the ways that might can be done is to exaggerate how widespread a problem is, or to present something as a new development that is not.

So maybe the story wasn't actually reported the way it was related here, so I'm just commenting on how the story has been reported in this thread: "many teens are dying due to this new trend" seems to include two misstatements.

I've searched for news stories that would tell the tales of these "many teens" and find plenty of stories of kids who were accidentally locked in trunks (generally by climbing in too hide), and of parents who transported their kids in car trunks.

The latter, by the way, typically resulted in charges ranging from reckless endangerment to child abuse -- the point of which is that there's not a need for a new law anyway; anyone carrying someone else in the trunk of a car could be charged under existing laws with reckless endangerment. The representative, in the statement linked to above, also points out that it's already a traffic infraction. He relates one incident in which two kids were killed, and implies that kids do it all the time without being caught -- a declaration that is anecdotal at best.

So this seems to be a combination of a grandstanding legislator and (if in fact the above account of the TV report is accurate) sensationalistic news reporting.

grandpa




msg:302808
 12:19 am on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

...they might think twice about it.
People who do stupid things (even teens) rarely even think once about their action.

<OT>
As an example, one 18 yr. old that I know never thought once about driving while under the influence. Wrecked the car (into a building), left the scene (on foot), and reported the car stolen (to the first officer to be located). Now is ducking out on talking to an investigator.
</OT>

4css




msg:302809
 12:49 am on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>I've searched for news stories that would tell the >>tales of these "many teens

Funny i found several news chanels with the reports in regards to this.

IMO 1, 2 or 3 teens is one too many to loose to this or any other accident involving recklesness.

skibum




msg:302810
 1:10 am on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Underage drinking is already illegal, DUI, pot, most of the other things kids do to get in trouble. Making it illegal isn't going to stop people from doing it but it will make lawyers more money, waste lots of parents time, increase revenue for police departments and give potential employers a reason not to hire them if this kind of thing shows up on a background check.

In the heat of the moment, when kids are out to have a good time, if one is included to ride in the trunk they're not going to think about getting a citation - they're just going to do it.

Occasionally riding in the trunk of a car has been going on for at least 15 years.

JayC




msg:302811
 1:53 am on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> Funny i found several news chanels with the reports in regards to this.

Several news stories reporting the same incident (I found that one), or news stories supporting the idea that "many teens" die this way?

>> IMO 1, 2 or 3 teens is one too many to loose to this or any other accident involving recklesness.

Certainly. But new legislation in response to one isolated incident is rarely good public policy -- and is little more than a waste of time when there are alrealy laws on the books that deal with the matter.

Essex_boy




msg:302812
 6:03 am on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Conjures up visions of Indian trains....

Webwork




msg:302813
 10:06 am on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

  • Lapbelts, shoulder harnesses in the trunk? 0
  • Head rests in the trunk? 0
  • Airbags in the trunk? 0
  • Suitably padded "hard edges" in the trunk, padded for human contact in sudden deceleration? Likely 0
  • Edges sharp and hard enough to cut in a sudden deceleration? Likely >0
  • Objects likely to become projectiles on a sudden deceleration, likely at face or head level? Likely >0
  • Ergonomically designed back support in trunk, intended to minimize spinal trauma in sudden deceleration or impact accident? 0
  • Side impact protection built into trunk space? Likely 0
  • Crush zones in the trunk (area intended to crush and deform to protect occupants of passenger compartment)? Likely >0
  • Laws governing behavior of occupants of passenger compartment that have saved lives? Likely >1 (child safety seats, seat belts, no open alcohol)
  • Laws governing the behavior of manufacturers when it comes to building occupant safety into passenger compartment? Likely >50
  • Laws governing the behavior of manufacturers when it comes to building occupant safety into the trunk area? Likely 0

    In 25 years of personal injury litigation I've seen some real tragic outcomes of stupid behavior, including decapitations and crushed skulls. I have not yet seen the outcome of an impact on a trunk occupant, but do I really need to see it to know it will not be pretty?

    Have you ever seen the intended crumpling of a passenger vehicle in a high impact rear end collision? I'm sure you all have. Trunks are meant to collapse to protect those in the passenger compartment. How stupid, to ride in what is designed to act as a "crush to absorb impact" zone.

    Don't tell me that the driver will be extra careful knowing that there's someone in the trunk. It's the driver approaching the driver from the rear or side that's equally the source of danger to trunk occupants. Ever get rear-ended? Mostly, you don't see it coming in time to do anything about it.

    One cannot eliminate stupidity by outlawing stupidity, but one can make one accountable for facilitating stupid self-destructive behavior. I have no problem holding a driver accountable for the death of someone riding in the trunk of the car they operate, because given vehicle design putting someone in the trunk is literally putting someone in harm's way. I don't know what stops the next fool from allowing this to happen, either knowing someone was killed by the practice or knowing, that as the driver, you will go to jail if someone is killed in one's trunk. I'm not certain I care which version works in this scenario, so long as it does work.

    As a parent of 1 teen and 1 20 year old I can tell you this is the type of stupidity I most fear. There have been 4 separate deaths this year of my children's present or immediate past high school classmates, 3 motor vehicle related and 1, as yet unexplained but possibly alcohol related death (John Fiocco, apparently crushed in a college trash dumpster).

    This stuff scares me, worse than most, because I've spent 25 years learning how most tragedies get put into motion. Most start off with poor judgment. Putting anyone in the trunk of a car that is going onto a roadway is classic "I didn't see it coming" poor judgment. It's invariably all fun and laughs up to a point, where the realities of the poor judgment take hold by circumstance.

  • 4css




    msg:302814
     10:30 am on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

    Thank you webwork, I think someone with a point of view from what you deal with was a needed point of view here.

    Your knowledge of the law and the teens that you have defended, my daughter being one of them, and that also by a driver who did not care to heed the driving laws. Thankfully my daughter turned out fine from what was a horrible accident.

    And from that accident, I went before the School board to get busing to the school through a very dangerous area that the kids had to walk through to get to school. We live within walkind distance, but that distance is a dangerous one.

    I suppose JayC would think that the one inccident would not have been enough, but the school board, all who have children seemed to agree with my speech that night, and bussing was immediatly put into place.

    Teens and other drivers, need to learn and be held accountable for their actions with driving, no matter how they cause the accident, or what is involved, trunking, drinking, talking on cell phones (wont' even go into that one)

    See, to me, all lives are important.

    And if legislation can save lives, I am all for it.

    Maybe some people just need to be in the situation where they loose their child, or their child looses a few body parts, or becomes paralyized before they can see the importance of this. :(

    hannamyluv




    msg:302815
     11:32 am on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

    I think if teens are faced with loosing their liscense for doing this, they might think twice about it.

    Drinking and driving, speeding and driving like an idiot has the same penalty and it does not seem to affect them doing that.

    Teens will forever have a "it won't be me" attitude. I personally think that an older age to get your licence would be better overall. Or at least stricter driving restrictions for kids under 18 (i.e. daylight only, work & school only, etc.)

    Essex_boy




    msg:302816
     11:43 am on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

    talking on cell phones - Used to do that until I nearly crashed around 10 years ago.

    havent done so since.

    Sarah Atkinson




    msg:302817
     4:17 pm on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

    When I was in highchool I think there was aboult one fatal accedent per year and 1 pedestrian accedent (usualy not fatal per year)

    I don't know if it just seems like it or if it acctualy is but it seems like the # of fatal accedents has gone up a lot. Most also seem to be instances where the car flips.

    I did a lot of stuff to the car I had as a kid but never fliped it. Slid off the road, down a 10 foot enbankment and landed on the drivers side so I had to craw out the pasangers door once but never acctualy fliped it. And I also spun through 3 lanes of interstate traffic and back only to hit a gard rail.

    Some of them also are single car accedents where the driver is goign to fast gets off the road and over corects only to loose control.

    JayC




    msg:302818
     6:54 pm on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

    > I suppose JayC would think that the one
    > inccident would not have been enough,

    Come on. I've made two points in this thread: that the assertion "many teens are dying" this way is a huge exaggeration, and that the situation is already covered under existing law. I'm neither advocating carrying passengers in car trunks nor saying that it should be legal to do so.

    As I mentioned, there have been several cases in which people have been charged with crimes including reckless endangerment and child abuse as a result of having been caught transporting someone in a trunk. Additionally, doing so already is a traffic violation in most if not all states including California where this new proposal has been introduced.

    From Section 21712 of California's Vehicle Code:
    (a) No person driving a motor vehicle shall knowingly permit any person to ride on any vehicle or upon any portion thereof not designed or intended for the use of passengers.

    (b) No person shall ride on any vehicle or upon any portion thereof not designed or intended for the use of passengers.

    All this proposed legislation, in its current form, would do is to specify that if the "portion thereof" is the trunk, it's a 2-point violation for the driver instead of one point, and a $100 fine instead of the standard fine schedule.

    So if the idea is that "many teens" are planning to carry passengers in their trunks because it's only going to cost them one violation point if they get caught, but once it's two points they'll surely reconsider... then, yeah, this law will be very effective.

    Draconian




    msg:302819
     6:59 pm on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

    "Drinking and driving, speeding and driving like an idiot has the same penalty and it does not seem to affect them doing that.

    Teens will forever have a "it won't be me" attitude. I personally think that an older age to get your licence would be better overall. Or at least stricter driving restrictions for kids under 18 (i.e. daylight only, work & school only, etc.) "

    It's easy for the older generation to use teens as their scapegoat, but I've seen plenty of older people do stupid things.

    18 and under? What are you nuts? How old do you have to be to get into a bar? US generally >21. Canada generally >19. Irresponsible teens grow into irresponsible adults, that's just he way it works. So yeah place blame where need be, but the majority of crashes will take place over 18...

    4css




    msg:302820
     11:07 pm on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

    JayC,
    Teenage accidents are on the rise as are the deaths of teens in those accidents.

    In my state, they have what they call the cinderella law, I believe that is what it is called.

    Stricter driving times, no friends in the car, no late driving, unles you are returning from work (If I am remembering this all correctly as my 17 year old just now falls under this new law)

    Reason for this, IS the INCREASE in deaths of teens in accidents.

    IMO, I think that bill needs to be more strict.

    And yes, there are just as many bad adult drivers that don't care. The "it won't be me" attitude hits everyone.

    Only those who have had it happen to them realize how each day is an important day to them. Life is short, and can be snuffed out in a second. The loss of a loved one is never easy to deal with.

    Also, watching my daughter,my baby, my best friend in life, in the ccu unit and not knowing if she would wake up, or if she would die, wasn't easy to watch. I have been there, and any law that stops idiots from doing thigns they should not do IMO is worth it.

    lawman




    msg:302821
     11:39 pm on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

    More and tougher laws aren't the answer. We need to start moving in the direction where human behavior is no longer a factor in the manner of driving.

    Draconian




    msg:302822
     11:53 pm on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

    "Only those who have had it happen to them realize how each day is an important day to them. Life is short, and can be snuffed out in a second. The loss of a loved one is never easy to deal with."

    Not true. My grandmother drives at about 15mph in every zone and has never had a near death experience. :p

    But seriously, we emphasize so much on younger drivers. I was in a car with a friend that rear ended another man infront of us during a blizzard. The guy slammed on his breaks out of nowhere and we slide into him (black ice).

    Guess what? The guy was 55, blind drunk (not kidding, couldn't even walk) and could barely walk straight. When the cop showed up, he told us that because we had rear ended him, no matter what, we were liable. Ok, fair enough as we were the one's to hit (Even though it was due to road conditions, and the guy stopping abruptly in the middle of the road). But he was @#$^ drunk. Honestly, who's more at fault here?

    Needless to say we were 17 at the time and my friend, being a new driver, had his premium rise to an astronomical amount. This is the sort of stuff that makes a kid go, "So... what good is the law?".

    I understand that my thoughts on this scenario may not be widely agreed upon as we were the ones that hit the car, but my argument is:

    Shouldn't the older, more intoxicated, "experienced" driver be liable for at least a small amount of responsibilty? After all, the law should be LESS lenient on those who have more road "experience". But the system seems to be as harsh as possible to you when starting, then ease up on you later in life. Meh, glad I'm not 17 anymore.

    Btw, this does not mean I'm against laws on new drivers, just the way they are delivered. It's a learning experience like any other, punishment is necessary, where warranted.

    JayC




    msg:302823
     12:34 am on Jun 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

    >> Teenage accidents are on the rise as are the deaths of teens in those accidents.

    Absolutely true, absolutely a tragedy, and absolutely something that legislators and law enforcement should be trying to turn around. But legislation that does nothing more than set a specific small fine and a slight increase in violation points for something that is an extremely rare occurrence does nothing to address that problem.

    Sure, there'd be no harm in passing it. But I'd rather see legislative attention and energy, research expenditures, and law enforcement attention put into finding real solutions that might bring real benefits.

    According to the earlier link to the text of the bill, there's a death because of someone riding outside the passenger compartment of a vehicle about once every two years nationally. That's not just teens trying to get around limits on their restricted licenses, and it's not just people being in a car's trunk -- it would include such things as riding in a pickup truck bed, or playing around by hitching a ride on the hood of a car.

    Even if an increase in violation points for that offense in California miraculously elimated all of those deaths nationwide (again, one every two years), the affect on the increase in traffic deaths among teenagers would be less than negligible.

    In fact this ineffectual bill (can anyone really believe that one extra violation point would be a deterrent?) is nothing but a home district PR move ("This problem was brought to my attention through a tragic accident that occurred in my District") of almost no real-world significance.

    4css




    msg:302824
     9:36 am on Jun 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

    JayC
    I realize that points aren't the answer, and that bill is only a start at something. Sure it should be stricter. And no not all teens are going to care.

    If it helps just one teen care IMO it is worth it.

    On my local news there are always reports of accidents involving teens, speeding, drinking, crashing, and dying. Cars split in half due to speed.

    I appluad the 25 year old state trooper that has decided to go to schools to teach teens driving safety. Someone who is tired of having to tell parents their child has died in an accident.

    More public awarness is needed. (Main reason for start of this thread.) Public awareness, talk to your children. My children are aware of the fact that it can happen to them. They have experienced it. Their sister is an example to them of what can happen in an instant in their lives.

    And if it is happening in California, it is happening elsewhere.

    There are too many distractions for people in cars today. Cell phones, tv's etc.. Add to that the increase in the number of cars and non responsable drivers on the road today.

    Parents need to spend more time teaching their children well. Talk to them. They think they know more then us now, but eventually, they realize how smart we really are.

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