Posts tagged ‘texting’

Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online

As parents, it can often be hard to keep up with your children’s internet usage, let alone the latest websites, online interactive tools, or technologies. Now OnGuard Online has created a great resource for parents that gives an overview of specific technologies and ways to talk to your kids about their online activities, titled, Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online. The guide is available for free online download, or you can order a free physical copy of the guide as well as reprint it, give it away, or reuse the material in any way that is most useful to you.

Download a free copy here.

Order a free copy here.

(Thanks to iKeepSafe for the tip)

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October 20, 2009 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Pledge to Stop Distracted Driving

Although many states have created laws restricting or banning the use of cell phones, traffic fatalities related to cell phone use still kill hundreds of people each year and leave thousands of others injured—sometimes for life. Safe Kids USA, a non-profit agency dedicated to reducing accidental childhood injury through education, has created a pledge to stop distracted driving.

When you sign the pledge, you agree to stop talking or testing while driving, as well as any other activity that would divert your attention from the road while driving. The less people who drive distracted, the less accidents will occur. And that means saving hundreds of lives and preventing thousands of injuries.

Click here for more information and to sign the pledge.

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October 1, 2009 at 5:00 am 2 comments

Only 10 States Have Laws Against Texting While Driving

A recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute concluded that a texting driver was four times as likely to be in an accident than a driver who was talking on a cell phone. But a texting driver was 23 TIMES MORE LIKELY to be in an accident than a driver who was not using a cell phone at all. Also, a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that, in 2002, 955 deaths and a quarter of a million accidents were caused by drivers either texting or talking on cell phones while driving.

Texting while driving has also been highlighted in the media recently, with the emergence of an extremely graphic public service announcement produced by a law enforcement agency in Wales, UK.

Currently, only 10 states have laws against texting while driving, although nine others are planning to enact laws in the near future. I realize it is hard to prosecute texting while driving cases until after an accident has happened. Enacting laws may help spread the news that texting while driving can be deadly.


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September 3, 2009 at 10:44 am 1 comment

Teen ‘Sexting’ Could Label Them Sex Offenders for Life

Although we’ve discussed “sexting,” the practice of sending sexually explicit images through cell phones, before, it’s an issue that bears repeating multiple times and something that parents need to discuss with their teens.

Sexting Laws

A recent article posted at eAdvocate warns of the dangers that teens may fall into if they either send or receive sexually explicit images through their phone. For example, some states are making sexting between teens a misdemeanor; however, many state laws consider the possession or transmission of sexual images of teens, between teens punishable under child pornography laws—even if the one sending the material is a teen.

As a result, under current laws, if your teen takes a nude or semi-nude picture of him or herself and sends it to anyone, they could be tried and convicted of felony distribution of child pornography. As well, if your teen receives nude or semi-nude pictures of other teens, he or she could be charged with felony possession of child pornography. Either offense could require your teen to register as a sex offender and abide by state sex offender regulations, including residency restriction laws.

Teen Sexting is Not Harmless

Although some think that sexting is harmless—akin to finding a skin magazine under your teen’s mattress—the effects of sexting are extremely far-reaching. Images sent by phone can immediately be forwarded on to hundreds or thousands of individuals. In fact, one quarter of the 2,100 children identified as victims of online pornography sent the original image themselves (according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children). That original image was then taken, forwarded, uploaded, and posted for hosts of other people to see.

What Sexting Means for Parents

Communication is the first line of defense. Talk to your teens about the potential dangers of sexting, warn them about the far-reaching effects one sexually-explicit image of themselves or one of their peers can have, including prosecution, humiliation, and registering as a sex offender.

Second, their phones are your phones. Check their text messages and images on a regular basis. They may see it as an invasion of privacy, but your phone policing can keep them honest and out of trouble. Or course, your actions should all be based on what will work best for you are your teen.

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September 1, 2009 at 6:00 am 3 comments

Iowans Become First in the Country to Text 911

Today you can order a pizza, pay your cell phone bill, blog, and tweet by texting on your cell phone, but you cannot text 911 in an emergency—until now. Iowans in the Waterloo and Black Hawk County area of Eastern Iowa are the first citizens in the country to be able to text 911 in case of an emergency.

This new service has clear advantages for the disabled, who can now text a 911 operator instead of talking to them in case of an emergency. As well, if citizens are in an area where their cell phone signal is weak, they can send a text message, which doesn’t require as strong a signal as verbal communication.

Other law enforcement agencies are watching the Iowan experiment as they consider creating similar capability in their communities.


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August 11, 2009 at 12:02 pm Leave a comment

More Drivers Ticketed for Using Cell Phone While Driving

Although it has been almost a year since California outlawed the use of handheld cell phones while driving, many drivers are flat-out ignoring the law. However, California law enforcement has not forgotten and the number of tickets given to California drivers is going up. In fact, for the month of May, law enforcement issued roughly 12,500 tickets for talking on a handheld cell phone or texting while driving.

But more than the threat of having to pay for a traffic ticket, talking on a cell phone while driving can also be a threat to your life. The National Safety Council says that talking on a cell phone while driving is extremely dangerous whether you hold it in your hand or use a hands-free or bluetooth device. In addition, Car and Driver Magazine, recently published a study showing that texting while driving impairs your reaction time as much as driving drunk.

Although police cannot accurately count the number of auto-related fatalities are related to talking or texting while driving, cell phone usage is linked to many auto accidents each year.

To avoid harming yourself, your family, or anyone else riding in your car or in another car, answer your phone once you get to your destination. Remember, your life is more important than the cell phone company’s customer service survey call.


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June 29, 2009 at 1:44 pm Leave a comment

Woman Arrested for Texting While Driving

Put the cell phone down! New York’s is reporting that a woman was recently arrested for texting while driving. Apparently, a 22 year-old woman was stopped at an intersection, when an officer approached her car to ask why she was stopped in the middle of a busy street instead of moving on. The woman said was texting, and the officer also found the woman was drunk.

We’ve been hearing for awhile now that texting a driving don’t mix and may impair your reactions, potentially causing accidents. Notwithstanding the fact that the woman above was drunk, you too could be fined or arrested for texting while driving, Although New York does not have a law against texting while driving, many states have recently passed such legislation or are planning on it in the near future.

Be careful when you drive, and don’t text. No only could you face legal consequences, but you could cause an accident and hurt others, potentially even loved ones who are in the car with you.

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April 6, 2009 at 6:01 pm Leave a comment



The views expressed in this blog are those of the individual contributing bloggers and may not necessarily reflect the official or actual opinions of CrimeReports, its parent company Public Engines, or any of its employees.


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