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.

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Comments on “Police Chief Gets Into Car Accident While Checking His Blackberry”

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R. Miles says:

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.

Mike says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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”

Anonymous Coward #42 says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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…..

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Josh Cerdia says:


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 Cerdia says:

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).

Josh Cerdia says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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.

Josh Cerdia says:

Re: Re: Re:5 iPhone

Dictionary? what’s that?…*Googles it*… Oh, I see:

sarcasm |ˈsärˌkazəm|
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’ ).

josh Cerdia says:

Re: Re: Re:4 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…

BlackWidow says:

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…..

Mikecancook (profile) says:


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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Lucretious (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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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