Police Chief Gets Into Car Accident While Checking His Blackberry

from the nice-move dept

Just as politicians and the police have been increasingly cracking down on drivers who are using mobile phones for texting and emailing while driving, a police chief in the Seattle suburb of Federal Way has issued an apology for hitting another car while checking his Blackberry. Apparently it was a minor accident, that occurred when the chief, Brian Wilson, was stopped at a traffic light in an unmarked police car. He started checking his Blackberry and took his foot off the brake, allowing the car to roll forward into another vehicle. The chief says he takes full responsibility for the accident and is mortified... Of course, it sounds like no legal action will be taken even though Washington was the first state to enact anti-texting while driving laws.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Shawn, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 8:25am

    Just goes to show ya... because of the fact that nobody buys CDs anymore Brian Wilson gave up on the Beach Boys and went into Law Enforcement. It isn't just Record companies that suffer when we illegally copy songs it is innocent drivers :(

     

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  2.  
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    R. Miles, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 8:37am

    Was he cited for breaking the law?

    Doubt it.

    Too bad many more won't learn from this idiot's mistake.

    I can't believe people think it's more damn important to answer a message than it is to drive a car.

    What, does using a phone require more damn skills than driving a car now?

    Well, with a keyboard on some phones...

    I'm all for Faraday cages in cars. Block 'em all.

     

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  3.  
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    Not Guilty, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 9:00am

    Do as I say - Not as I Do

    Apparently the laws do not apply to those who make or enforce them.

    Another chapter in the continuing saga of "I'm Above the Law".

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 9:08am

    Give the guy some credit, he admitted what he did. Most people would probably just say they were not paying attention.

    I know I have almost hit another car because a nice looking blond was walking down the street. The only time I feel bad about doing that is when it turns out to be a wimpy hippy guy that just needed a haircut.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 9:10am

    Re: Do as I say - Not as I Do

    This makes me wonder how many tickets this chief of police guy has written (or overviewed his staff cite) to "drivers who are using mobile phones for texting and emailing while driving", while this guy chooses for himself to do nothing to remedy his own problem with the act..

    I agree completely with your statement: Another chapter in the continuing saga of "I'm Above the Law"

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 9:15am

    Re:

    "Give the guy some credit, he admitted what he did."

    The same could be said for the guys who flew stolen airplanes into buildings a few years back. They admitted to doing it and they received the credit for doing it.

    For both situations, also just give out the correct punishment which they earned for their acts.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 9:26am

    Brutal Crowd. At least he was using the BB while at a light, stopped (mostly).

     

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  8.  
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    Weird Harold's former #5 fan, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 9:31am

    Re:

    At least he was using the BB while at a light, stopped (mostly).

    That's still illegal here in California - for those of us not in the "I'm Above the Law" crowd, anyway.

     

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  9.  
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    Josh Cerdia, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 9:48am

    iPhone

    This would have never have happened if he had an iPhone, because the iPhone's navigation is easier to browse through emails/text and with it's big screen also better/easier to read.

    Buy iPhone ASAP before we start seeing more of these accidents in the country, you could even think as the iPhone saving lives!

    Josh

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward #42, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Do as I say - Not as I Do

    I would have to disagree with the statement about being above the law. If this officer believed he was above the law, he would have been tap-dancing like crazy to get out of any punishment, and might even go so far as to try and pin the blame on the driver of the car he hit. No, he admitted his guilt in the matter and accepted full responsibility for his actions. This man in no way believes he is above the law.

    Remember, everybody is human, and everybody makes honest mistakes, including law enforcement officers. The difference (and what defines your character) is whether you accept responsibility for your mistakes, or try to pass the blame to somebody else. I'm sure he has learned his lesson and will never allow this to happen again.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 9:52am

    Re: iPhone

    In addition, Josh Cerdia thinks it is legal to use your iphone while driving.

     

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  12.  
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    Josh Cerdia, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: iPhone

    Of course it is... I do it all the time in the freeway:

    - Lookup directions
    - Check my email
    - Make Phone calls
    - Take pictures (There are some bad drivers out there)
    - Read Texts

    I could type emails and texts, but it is a bit dangerous... when I need to reply, I move stop to the side of the road, though I could just type without watching the keypad, but it's a bit hard (but doable).

     

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  13.  
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    BlackWidow, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Federal Way has bigger problems

    I live in Federal Way and it is a a giant strip mall infested with gang members and meth heads. It has way bigger problems than the police chief and his blackberry. If you get rear ended at a stop light as the worst thing that happens to you while driving here, you are lucky! Yesterday someone was shot in the face at a park and ride!

    I am sure police officers have many things in their cars that could be considered much bigger distractions (Including the drunk bum in the back seat).

    I am not saying it is right what happened, but kudos to him for admitting to it.

    I have a blackberry and I don't even try to navigate it while my car is moving, but I have been guilty of checking my text messages at a stop light...my GPS is more distracting to me when I am looking at it and wondering WTF as it tells me to take some street that makes no sense.....

     

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  14.  
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    Erik Balderson, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Texting?

    Just because it was a Blackberry doesn't mean that he was texting or checking email.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Do as I say - Not as I Do

    Anonymous Coward #42: "Remember, everybody is human, and everybody makes honest mistakes"

    Please explain to me what part of, "using mobile phones for texting and emailing while driving" was an UNINTENTIONAL mistake?

     

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  16.  
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    Mikecancook, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 10:23am

    Ok

    The problem isn't the phone. Has no one here with an automatic transmission ever rolled forward without intending to? I remember in high school driving my grandma's automatic and, since I was used to driving a stick, rolled into the car in front of me. Accidents happen.

    Looking at his phone, changing the radio station, checking out the blond hippy, whatever.

     

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  17.  
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    Lucretious, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 10:24am

    so, are any of the anti cell-phone-while-driving-law folks (who seem to be legion here) want to comment on the obvious?

     

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  18.  
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    Mike, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 10:25am

    Re: Was he cited for breaking the law?

    even if he was cited it would just be a traffic ticket. Its not like the guy ran someone over. It was an honest accident. A stupid accident, but i'm really tired of the governments condinuos effots to legislate stupidity. And people wonder why our court system is broken or that we (the land of the free) put more people in jail/prison than any other country in the world.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 10:32am

    Re:

    Lucretious, I dont think that anyone is actually blaming the phone. Most people here are blaming the fact that because of this "law", that the ones who are put forward to enforce it (the police) are not doing that job... even when it comes to their own miss-use. This is defined by The Law in that state.

     

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  20.  
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    yer maw, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 10:45am

    stuped police chief

    i think that man sould be put in jial for that, setting a bad example for younger people like 18 or 19 year olds who dont know any better

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    ehrichweiss, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: iPhone

    I think you missed the point. In Washington it would still be illegal to make calls or txt while driving. The fact that it's made by Apple doesn't come into it at that point.

    Jeez, you Apple fanbois really do think you're gods, huh.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Josh Cerdia, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: iPhone

    First of all, it's NOT illegal in WA state to make or receive calls, it is illegal to do it without a headset of some kind.

    Second, I'm not an Apple Fanboy... I am however a gadget ninja that needs to be wired/(or unwired) to the net 24/7, every minute of the hour, every second of the minute.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Chunky Vomit, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:35am

    Re: Texting?

    I was waiting for somebody to point this out.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:38am

    Can You Hear Me Now

    The fact that he bumped another vehicle is secondary. The fact that he admitted to the cell phone use while driving infraction is commendable, but that does little to change the fact that he should not have been doing something that is considered illegal for everyone. I am not aware of a provision that exempts the police force from the cell phone use while driving law, is there one?

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    NullOp, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    Accident

    Firstly, I always wondered what happened to the "Beach Boys". Now I see Brian Wilson is a chief of police. I guess he got her out of his head...

    Secondly, everyone can make mistakes!

     

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  26.  
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    Sam Becket, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    Fun fun fun...

    Daddy should have taken his t-bird away.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    Two B's

    For future reference, it is Black_B_erry, not Blackberry.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 12:17pm

    Little known fact about the anti-texting law

    It's a secondary offense so you can't get pulled over for it. Though really, given reckless driving laws it seems to be a redundant point.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 12:28pm

    Re:

    its not about giving him credit, (It is good that he owned up to it though) its about the fact that hes simply braking the law, therefore should be cited for it. doesnt matter whos braking the law. Do as i say, not as I do.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Do as I say - Not as I Do

    yes yes, I agree that he admited he made a mistake, the REAL difference, is that if you were in an accident and admitted to texting/email you would probably get a ticket. (he may not be saying hes "above the law" but he for sure is living by it by not receiving a ticket) sry but that's the truth of it. PROVE ME WRONG.....

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 12:33pm

    MEDIA!

    why isnt the media all over this like WHITE ON RICE!!!!!?>>>>>????

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: iPhone

    they are gods!!!!!! bow 2 the apple gods...... bitch.. ;)

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Paul man, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: iPhone

    ok, so even if it becomes Illegal to use phones in Illinois (i know it is in chitown) I will still use them, just power it off as the officer approches the car. and say i just like the feel of it, look osifer its off ;)

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Luci, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Texting?

    Well, except for the linked article that states he 'glanced down at his BlackBerry to view newspaper headlines and e-mails.' Could have been a newspaper, would have been the same thing. The fact that he wasn't texting saved him from that ticket.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: iPhone

    Just tell the officer that your iphone is in car mode.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Kilgore Trout, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: iPhone

    You really need to get a life.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Josh Cerdia, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: iPhone

    I have a life! You just don't understand us IT folk.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    josh Cerdia, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: iPhone

    There is no such thing... If you turn on the "Airplane Mode" you won't be able to access the 2.5 or 3G networks for Google Maps, or get phone calls, or text. The only dumb thing you can do on your car with your iPhone while driving is play games or look at video podcasts,e tc...

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Phil McCraken, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re:

    WTF is wrong with you? Do you understand what a continuum is? On the continuum of logic with one end being good and the other end being moronic, you don't even make the scale...

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Baloney Joe, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: iPhone

    Sarcasm, look it up in the dictionary...

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Josh Cerdia, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: iPhone

    Dictionary? what's that?...*Googles it*... Oh, I see:

    sarcasm |ˈsärˌkazəm|
    noun
    the use of irony to mock or convey contempt : his voice, hardened by sarcasm, could not hide his resentment. See note at wit .
    ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from French sarcasme, or via late Latin from late Greek sarkasmos, from Greek sarkazein ‘tear flesh,’ in late Greek ‘gnash the teeth, speak bitterly’ (from sarx, sark- ‘flesh’ ).

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 2:54pm

    time to outlaw Police'ing. To dangerous.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Lucretious, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re:

    I understand the point of Mike's post.

    I found the story ironic and I'm just asking folks who seem to be against any type of law that would prohibit cell phone use while driving (again, there seem to be many here) what they have to say about how this particular person got into an accident doing exactly what the laws are meant to deter.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Pravitus, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 4:36pm

    Re: Do as I say - Not as I Do

    Exactly true. Although Washington has enacted an "anti-texting" law, and a hands-free cellphone law, it is true that public safety officers are exempt from this law. See RCW 46.61.668 http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=46.61.668 Pravitus

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: iPhone

    Airplane mode - Ha - it was an obvious joke dude.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Not Guilty, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Do as I say - Not as I Do

    Thanks for the link - proves the point, they are above the law.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Do as I say - Not as I Do

    No, he admitted his guilt in the matter and accepted full responsibility for his actions

    Accepting full responsibility would mean getting a ticket and conviction for negligent collision on his driving record. That isn't happening.

    This man in no way believes he is above the law.

    He apparently does.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Do as I say - Not as I Do

    I don't know about the State of Washington, but in Texas state law says that accidents involving a police officer do not go on the officer's record. and they sure don't get tickets. That's why they all have such good driving records if you check.

    Now if one of them gets stinking drink behind the wheel and causes the death of a whole family with some cute little kids in the car and the press picks up on it, then they might be be held accountable. Might. Provided of course that the officer wasn't just doing his duty to stop a "terrorist" family from carrying out their dastardly plan of invading the local Walmart on a Sunday morning when any decent family would have been in church.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    WTF is wrong with you? Can't you see that admitting to a wrong doesn't excuse it? In fact, some people even brag.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 10:24pm

    Talk about corruption

    In-your-face proof of corruption right here, folks!

    Brian Wilson is a SCHMUCK!! He should be dragged through the mud just as he himself exercises the power to do to the "plain ol' citizen" that's guilty of the same thing.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Rosa, Jun 4th, 2009 @ 9:10am

    hypocrisy from police, no!

    more proof that DWT laws are unenforceable. i wonder if the crash looked like this: http://www.newsy.com/videos/texting_and_driving_your_right_or_a_new_way_to_crash

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    kobe, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 12:18pm

    notyhing

    shit head

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Straight Talk, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 9:26am

    Texting While Driving Needs to Stop

    While yes, cities like Federal Way may have a lot of problems, I personally believe texting while driving is something that should be addressed everywhere. Please don't do it as it is stupid and dangerous. Washington's strict texting while driving laws

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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