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Cell phones are like little congressmen: "All of them are evil - except for yours."

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Buckley and Tyler Strandberg"Where is the uproar from people about driving while impaired by cell phones?"

That rhetorical question was posted online before sunrise this morning by a reader identified as jsmart71 -- at 6:18 a.m. already the seventh person to comment on today's story about a daughter, who has wrecked three cars while phoning and texting, and her father, who also texts and talks behind the wheel (see the story with more reader comments).

Where's the uproar? Here it is.  A few dozen more readers have chimed in since 6:18 a.m., many expressing outrage, hurling insults and recommending all sorts of punishment for Tyler and Buckley Strandberg.

Some people find it hard to believe that any drivers spend so much time thumbing and talking into their phones (and one reader has declared the story fraudulent).

But several commenters add their own stories -- not confessions of being distracted by their own phones, but scary encounters with other phone-distracted drivers.

And one of these readers, using the name thejerkstorecalled, thanks the Strandbergs for 'fessing up:

These two, while seemingly the tip of the blade of the problem of cell phones/driving, are just pointed examples of a much bigger problem. Kudos to them for being so honest and willing to be the seemingly extreme examples of this problem but I don't think they're extreme examples at all.

Cell phones are like little Congressman: All of them are evil - except for yours. I think they're rather ordinary by most people's driving standards. I believe that the driving behaviors of these two are rather commonplace - these two are just honest.

I drove to Maryland a few months ago and was rear ended by a guy who was texting and had totaled his own car days earlier. While on 95, going in both directions, the amount of drivers phoning was shocking.

I thank the Strandbergs, too. Safety researchers and police will confirm that their driving habits are not so unusual. 

I don't like to see anybody made the object of abuse and insults posted online by anonymous strangers. (In recent weeks we've seen cruel comments directed at a mother who lost two children in a crash, and another mother who died in a crash along with her son.)  

But I hope the Strandbergs' story will help North Carolinians understand the hazards of phone-distracted driving -- and decide what they want to do about it.


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More Questions Than Any Real Answers

Really, what was the point of the original article? Is Tyler aiming to be some reality TV star, with lack of personal responsibility her entrée into the business? I don't buy the Strandbergs excuses for one minute. And why delete all comments when you have the capacity to delete only those that cross the N&Os (arbitrary) line? Without the readers' comments, there is no effective counterpoint in the original article. Bruce, why didn't you ask any questions of the Strandbergs for the piece? Like "Who do you think you are driving like this?" or even "Do you realize what danger you place not only yourself, but others in, by your complete lack of personal responsibility?" It almost sounded like the Strandbergs were recorded surreptitiously, and a Sunday front page article extracted from their comments.

The Strandbergs think that because it is such a pervasive problem that that gives them an excuse for their behavior. And he thinks talking to the N&O will make others learn from their behavior, that they so obviously cannot change themselves? They are not really qualified to be the voice of this issue, or qualified as drivers for that matter. I'd much rather hear from all the motorists the Strandbergs have rear ended, and how the Strandbergs decisions have changed THEIR lives.

As published, the article was meant to be inflamatory. You're suprised at the comments received? Has the N&O become as blind to the reality outside its offices as the Strandbergs are while driving so recklessly?

If drivers like the Strandbergs are so pervasive, as you seem to think, there is no hope for ANY of us.

Delete the Comments, then delete the article

Do yourself and them a favor and remove the original article and all blogs about it from the website. That article was begging for "flaming". And this follow up of his doesn't help at all. Obviously the three of you have an agenda like getting a law passed to make cell phones unusable if they sense they are traveling over 5MPH. I'm sorry but the amount of laws being created to counter the growing lower collective intellect of our fellow Americans is ridiculous.
3 accidents and she continues???? Yes, that is a problem, but one only she can fix. And they both better fix it fast.
Watchtower Out

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About the blogger

Bruce Siceloff reports on traffic and transportation. A News & Observer reporter, editor and blogger since 1976, he took over the Road Worrier column in 2003. Lately he drives I-40 with the cruise control set at 68 mph. You can e-mail Bruce, call him at 919-829-4527, check out his Crosstown Traffic blog or follow him (@Road_Worrier) on Twitter.