Readers Write: (April 24): Distracted driving, Columbus Day, Catholic Church, government 'handouts,' garbage hauling

  • Updated: April 23, 2014 - 6:37 PM

Overall leniency in the law sends a contrary message about texting.

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DISTRACTED DRIVING

A crackdown? Sure, but the laws need teeth

More than 500 people were cited for texting and driving during a recent crackdown on distracted-driving offenses, which cost nearly as many lives each year as drunken driving. If this is true, why is this offense a petty misdemeanor? The penalty does not fit the crime. If you are cited for drinking and driving, there are serious financial consequences. Depending on your occupation, it could also mean losing your job. Until the penalties are substantially increased, this distracted-driving epidemic will not go away.

Thomas Rowan, Apple Valley

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I agree that more needs to be done regarding distracted driving. Why not do what other countries have done successfully for years with a points system? If caught for distracted driving, receive a fine and one point on your record. Collect three points, and lose your license to drive for one year. Before regaining the privilege to drive again, you would have to retake and pass the written driver’s exam. It works elsewhere, and can work here.

Greg Buckley, Shorewood

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Texting and driving is a bad idea, but I have trouble taking campaigns against it seriously when I see ads for cars that have these distractions built into them (like using Siri to retrieve text messages).

And when are we going to ban cellphone use while driving? Studies have shown that having a phone conversation while driving impairs the driver as much as drunken driving. So why do we outlaw drunken driving while allowing drivers to blab on their cellphones?

It’s time we got serious.

Mike Wallis, Mound

 

COLUMBUS DAY

Minneapolis is right to evolve on this holiday

Regarding an April 23 letter opposing a proposal under consideration by the Minneapolis City Council to change the name of Columbus Day to “Indigenous People’s Day” on city communications: “We” didn’t all come from Europe. Some of us are indigenous. Some of us are saying that we will no longer be complicit in holding up just one story and completely ignoring the lives, presence, existence and history of indigenous people.

Betty Tisel, Minneapolis

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