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by ARLnow.com | December 5, 2012 at 8:55 am | 3,239 views | 67 Comments

Va. to Consider Tougher Texting Laws — In January, state lawmakers will consider bills that would stiffen the penalties for texting while driving in Virginia. Currently, texting while driving is a secondary offense — you can only be charged with it if pulled over for another violation — and the penalty is a $20 fine for the first offense and $50 for subsequent offenses. Del. Scott Surovell (D-Mt. Vernon) wants drivers to be charged with reckless driving if they get in an accident while texting. [Lynchburg News & Advance, Daily Press, WTOP]

Road Closures for ‘Jingle Bell Run’ — Parts of S. Joyce Street and Army Navy Drive in Pentagon City will be closed from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. Race attendees are encouraged to take Metro. [Arlington County Police]

Hynes Lauds Animal Welfare Efforts — Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes has issued a proclamation praising the Animal Welfare League of Arlington and The Humane Society of the United States “for working together to improve the treatment of animals, including farm animals in the food industry.” [Humane Society]

PG Lawmaker Called ‘Too Arlington’ — Prince George’s County Council member Eric Olson, a progressive Democrat and noted environmentalist, recently lost his bid to become chairman of the Council. One lawyer who represents developers in Prince George’s County said of Olson: “Some people think he is too ‘Arlington.’” [Washington Post]

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  • NIMBY The Chicken

    I love that insult.

    • Taylor

      Would be interesting to see the reaction if someone in Arlington were to categorize someone else as “too PG.”

      • Captain_Obvious

        that’s not ok, only white people can be racist…

      • Novanglus

        It happened in the 90′s — Arlington GOP chair Henriette Warfield about County Board member Charles Monroe. She disappeared from the scene soon afterwards.

        • WL95

          So did he.

  • CrystalMikey

    I’m all for tougher texting laws.

    • Captain_Obvious

      I am too, but how can they actually be enforced ? How does the cop know that I wasn’t just making a phone call ? Its pretty easy and quick to delete a text.

      • Quoth the Raven

        Then they should outlaw talking on your phone while driving too. Both are dangerous, although texting is definitely more dangerous.

        • Captain_Obvious

          right, DC and MD have “hands-free” laws, I guess that covers everything.

        • Glebe Roader

          I also think VA should have a hands-free law.

    • JamesE

      They should be the same punishment as DUI laws

      • Rebecky

        +1000

  • mk

    I’ve always felt that I’m not enough “Arlington”.

    • b-money

      That’s sounds like a good thing to me.

  • NoVapologist

    The PG County-ese to English dictionary translates “too Arlington” as, “no felony convictions.”

  • drax

    Don’t let PG become another prosperous, good-schools, low-traffic, low-crime, good-government, good-quality-of-life, ranked-best-place-to-raise-kids Arlington!

    • South Awwlington

      I too am proud of our County…but I would suggest that “good-government” is subjective and “low-traffic” – ever seen Columbia Pike and Jefferson Davis Hwy at 8 am or 5 pm?

      All others – Cheers!

      • Novanglus

        Ever see Central Avenue at any time of day? Compared to our neighbors, Arlington has very few traffic backups..

        • South Awwlington

          Which Central Ave? MontCo? I have seen Columbia Pike, Jefferson Davis Hwy, Lee Highway, Wilson Blvd, 395, etc choked full of non-moving traffic from one side of the County to the other. The fact is, we live in a congested area…and its not getting better until everyone takes part in the reduction. Transit, pooling, biking, walking = all part of the puzzle.

      • drax

        Good government is indeed subjective, but as we ArlNow readers know, a recent survey showed an overhwelmingly positive view of Arlington’s government by its residents.

        Low traffic means it could be worse.

    • Old Yeller

      You forgot lowest-unemployment and highest per-capita income. Wouldn’t want THOSE things happening anywhere near PG county. The horror!

      • drax

        I did forget those. Thanks. Also award-winning. Anything else?

  • JMB

    “Too ‘Arlington’ ” = “prone to flipping SUVs”?
    “rabid proponent of bocce”?

  • electricbill

    Lets all pray we never get anyone on the board who is too PG county!

  • meh..

    that’s racist

    • electricbill

      What is racist?

  • drax

    I think we’ve found a solution for all the commenters here who hate Arlington – move to PG, where life is much better.

    • Libby

      I thought dissent was patriotic.

      • Wayne Kubicki

        Anyone here remember this statement?

        “I’m sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration”?

        • Bluemontsince1961

          Yep, sure do.

        • Libby

          I wonder if Mrs. Clinton still stands by her words.

          • South Awwlington

            That’s Secretary Clinton, thank you…and future President if I have my way.

        • drax

          Dissent is indeed patriotic. People here have every right to complain about anything. I merely offer one solution they might consider if they think their complaints go unheeded, because apparently they would like a place that’s less like Arlington.

      • drax

        I wasn’t criticizing dissent.

    • MrMeow

      Dems control both places. Why would I want to move to another Dem controlled place?

  • Mr. Rogers

    PG is getting a Trolley too? Does this make them the Oakland to our San Francisco?

  • MrMeow

    How are texting laws actually drafted? Is it literally just texting? Because fiddling with pandora or your iphones songs can be just as distracting.

    • Captain_Obvious

      I think thats why DC and MD have the hands-free laws

    • CW

      “Fiddling with your pandora”…lol

  • MrMeow

    If you have a hands free law, why are you allowed to fiddle with your AC or your car stereo? They have increasingly complex car stereos these days, with pandora, etc. What about GPS things?

    • Captain_Obvious

      because people don’t read their AC like they do on their phones. Agree about GPS though.

      • MrMeow

        Reading isn’t the only distracting thing. You take your eyes of the road when you adjust the AC and play with the radio, and more so with satellite radios due to how many stations there are.

        • Captain_Obvious

          maybe cars should be made with no interior buttons. You want AC ? Lower your windows. You want radio ? Sing to yourself.

  • Ben

    Great – so we want to make our roads more dangerous by banning texting?

    “The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that 3 of every 4 states that have enacted a ban on texting while driving have seen crashes actually go up rather than down.”

    http://www.ksl.com/?sid=22657873&nid=148&title=do-bans-on-texting-while-driving-actually-increase-accidents&s_cid=featured-1

    • Old Yeller

      So, maybe we should make texting-while-driving mandatory?

    • Stoneridge

      Flipping a finger (with nontexting hand) at The Man is smart.

    • Quoth the Raven

      But the study says the reason is that drivers are trying to hide their phones WHILE STILL TEXTING and thus they are even more distracted. So, if drivers would simply follow the law, and put their darn phones down for a second, it would not increase accidents at all.

      • BoredHouseWife

        people need to stop exercising poor judgement when it comes to automobiles. first it was drinking and driving now it is texting. I have seen people more engaged in their text conversations than the road at speeds above 60 MPH. common sense tells me and physics tells me, an error in the slightest would have serious repercussions for the driver and probably someone else. I just don’t understand the inconsiderateness of their fellow man when they do these things.

      • Ben

        Agree but human behavior doesn’t follow that notion.

  • MrMeow

    Automatic transmissions make it easier to text and drive. You can’t accellerate while texting in a manual. You can in an automatic.

    • Don’t know about you but..

      I use my feet to operate the pedals

      • drax

        Sigh. In a manual transmission, you have to use one hand to steer and the other to shift.

        • Internet Police

          We’ll let you go with just a warning this time, but you do realize that you have already exceeded your monthly allotment of beginning a comment thread post with “Sigh.” or “*sigh*” or any variation thereof? The allotment is ONE per month.

          • drax

            Sigh.

        • well duh

          …..and the accelerator is a pedal.

      • MrMeow

        Fine, you can accellerate in one gear while texting. so you’ll either explode your engine or have to put the phone down to shift gears, unlike in an automatic.

    • Quoth the Raven

      By the way, Meow, if you were trying to hide your identity, this post pretty blew your cover. Not that anyone was fooled, of course…..

      • drax

        Smoking is dangerous while driving any kind of car. Or not driving.

    • Captain_Obvious

      ok, what is your obsession with this automatic vs manual ?

    • BoredHouseWife

      I am sure there are some talented people that could text with the hand on the steering wheel leaving the shifting hand free to shift.

    • JamesE

      I can, 1st gear goes to 55!

      • JamesE

        hell I could just start it in 2nd then never shift for city driving, I don’t text while driving but you can easily do it in a manual.

    • Buckingham Beauty

      Well, technically you CAN, if you just go fast enough to stay in 5th gear the whole time…

  • ID

    The squirrel in the pic just got back from Colorado.

    • Rocky

      It looks like he’s in the midst of scratching his nose.

  • IDK

    His ear?

  • Mary-Austin

    The folks on the PG council are the same ones that play the race card all the time and are offended by anything. Anything can be a “code word” when they want it to be.
    I wonder if they realize the hypocrisy where “too Arlington” is blatantly code for “we don’ t want a white boy to be Chairman.”

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