A Driving Selfie May Not Be 'Distracted Driving,' Legally Speaking

Illustration for article titled A Driving Selfie May Not Be Distracted Driving, Legally Speaking

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today, we have reports from Vermont Public Radio, Motherboard and Ate Up With Motor.

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Is It Illegal To Take Selfies While Driving? Depends On Your Definition Of 'Negligent'Vermont Public Radio

Much like the smartphone navigation app lawsuit in California, anti-texting laws in states such as Vermont are just not sophisticated enough to cover what people are doing with their phones these days. But above all else, it's still a stupid thing to do.

The law bans "the reading or the manual composing or sending of electronic communications, including text messages, instant messages, or e-mails, using a portable electronic device" while driving.

Bram Kranichfeld is a former prosecutor who now serves as the executive director of the Vermont Department of State's Attorneys and Sheriffs. He doesn't think the texting and driving law would necessarily apply to selfies.

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Driverless Cars Can Never Be Crashproof, Physics SaysMotherboard

So what's the point, then?

The only way to truly create a driverless car that never crashes would be to first turn driverless cars into devices that can perfectly predict the future, according to a recent look at the realities of physics and space and time and that sort of thing by French computer scientist Thierry Fraichard. In a new paper, Fraichard spells out the mathematics and physics behind "what if some idiot jumps out in front of the Google car at the last second?"

Thunder and Lightning, Part 1: The Toyota Corolla Levin and Sprinter TruenoAte Up With Motor

Remember when the Toyota Corolla was a fun car in the lineup? No? Well, read up.

Although the Toyota Corolla is one of the world's bestselling automotive nameplates, it's not one that generally arouses much enthusiast interest. Twenty years ago, however, the Corolla Levin coupe and its near-twin, the Sprinter Trueno, were sporty rear-wheel-drive cars that are still coveted by street racers today. We'll get to the legendary AE86 in part two; in this installment of Ate Up With Motor, we examine the history of the early DOHC Corolla and Sprinter coupes, their Yamaha-developed 2T-G engine, and the more mundane cars on which they were based.

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DISCUSSION

As dangerous as the texting problem is becoming, it's incredibly difficult to legislate what people do inside of their cars.

I realize it's incredibly easy to see when someone's texting and driving, but nobody texting and driving cares if you see them, it's the police they're worried about. Our handy dandy law enforcement officers should cruise up to texters with ease and catch them in the act, but thanks to childish, flashy liveries that insure the word "POLICE" is visible from every conceivable angle, even the most inattentive drivers will notice police in their vicinity and put their phones away until the trouble passes. Set all the road traps you can, no cop is going to notice the bimbo tweeting going 5 under in the left lane.

I'd hate to say it folks, but this problem isn't going away until phones are deactivated in cars somehow.