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Adults are more likely to textwhile driving than teenagers,according to a survey conductedby AT&T.About 49 percent of more than1,000 surveyed adults admitted totexting while driving, compared to43 percent of more than 1,000 sur- veyed teenagers surveyed last April.The popularity of texting whiledriving, said Nicole McCroskey,isn’t surprising.Although her parents lecture herabout concentrating on the roadwhile driving, McCroskey, a fresh-man from Overland Park, is nevertaken aback when she catches hermom hypocritically texting whiledriving. The urge to immediately reply to her cellphone, McCroskey said, is an automatic reaction, eventhough she admits to laughing atand criticizing other drivers seenon their phone behind the wheel.“I don’t think people should textand drive, but that makes me ahypocrite because I text and drive,”McCroskey said.McCroskey would be among the98 percent of the survey responderswho admitted to texting while driv-ing that said doing so is unsafe.“I put my phone on top of my steering wheel and text while I’mkind of looking at the road in thebackground while my phone is inthe foreground,” McCroskey said.“I’m pretty sure everyone doesthat.”Kansas Statute 8-15,111 prohib-its drivers from reading or send-ing any written communication,including text messages, instantmessages and email. The law, how-ever, makes exceptions: drivers canaccess their contact list to make aphone call, use navigation applica-tions and even receive and readinformation related to safety alerts,weather alerts and traffic alerts.Although it’s a primary law,meaning that McCroskey could bepulled over and issued a $60 fine fortexting and driving without havingto be caught in any other violation,the law has so many exceptions thatSergeant Trent McKinley, LawrencePolice Department’s Public AffairsOfficer, may not pull a driver overeven if he sees she is on her phone.Even when next to another car ata stoplight, McKinley said it’s dif-ficult to be certain a driver is tex-ting rather than doing somethingexempted without sitting in thesame vehicle and literally lookingover her shoulder.“If I’m going to stop you, I wantto have some reasonable suspi-cion that you’re violating the law,”McKinley said. “For me to stop youand then find that you were look-ing up your mother’s telephonenumber at work, I would havepotentially made a mistake in stop-ping and detaining you.”Furthermore, asking for asearch warrant to verify, SergeantMcKinley said, may not be reason-able if a driver were to deny havingtexted and driven after being pulledover for a minor traffic violation.While Kansas is one of 39 statesthat ban text messaging while driv-ing, only 10 states ban handheldcellphone use altogether.“All of us will agree that mobiledevices like that — whether it bea GPS, a cellphone, any other elec-tronic device that requires yourattention — if you’re giving thatdevice attention, you’re not giv-ing the road and other things thelevel of attention that you should,”McKinley said. “It definitely createsa distraction, and those distrac-tions are dangerous.”Virginia Tech TransportationInstitute estimates that text mes-saging while driving increases therisk of crashing 23 times than whendriving while not distracted. In2010, the National Highway TrafficSafety Administration reportedthat 18 percent of crashes thatcaused fatality or injury was causedby driver distraction.“People text and drive becausethey don’t think that it can wait,”McCroskey said.
— Edited by Jordan Wisdom
Adults more likely to text and drive
Sphmre Alicia Crci rm ottawa, texts and drives n her way t the stre. In 2011, at least 23 percent all accidents invlved smene wh was texting while driv-ing, which is abut 1.3 millin crashes, accrding t textinganddrivingsaety.cm.
Thatcher remembered as more than a politician
LONDON — MargaretThatcher was not just a politi-cal titan, she was a cultural icon— skewered by comedians, trans-formed into a puppet and playedto Oscar-winning perfection by Meryl Streep.With her uncompromising pol-itics, ironclad certainty, bouffanthairstyle and ever-present hand-bag, the late British leader wasgrist for comedians, playwrights,novelists and songwriters whetherthey loved her or — as was moreoften the case — hated her.
Thatcher’s free-market policiestransformed and divided Britain,unleashing an outpouring of cre-ative anger from her opponents. Ageneration of British comedians,from Ben Elton to Alexei Sayle,honed their talents lampooningThatcher.In the U.S., “Saturday NightLive” got in on the act — albeitmore gently — making the IronLady the subject of several skits.In one of them, Monty Pythonmember Michael Palin played theprime minister shortly after herelection in 1979, poking fun at herhelmet of hair.
Pop was political in Thatcher’sday, as the bitter social divisions of the 1980s sparked an angry musi-cal outpouring.“Whenever I’m asked to namemy greatest inspiration, I alwaysanswer ‘Margaret Thatcher,’”musician Billy Bragg, one of hermost vocal opponents, said in2009. “Truth is, before she cameinto my life, I was just your run-of-the-mill singer-songwriter.”Bragg was a member of the1980s Red Wedge movement thatcampaigned against Thatcher andthe Conservatives and for theLabour Party.
Thatcher has made appearancesin several novels written or set inthe 1980s.She was a major, thoughmostly unseen, presence in AlanHollinghurst’s Booker Prize-winning 2004 novel “The Line of Beauty,” set during the height of Thatcher’s rule. The prime minis-ter’s appearance at a Conservativelawmaker’s party — where shesends the crowd into a tizzy anddances to the Rolling Stones withthe novel’s young protagonist— forms the dizzying pivot of Hollinghurst’s tale of 80s powerand excess.
STAGE AND SCREEN STAR
Thatcher’s transformation into astage and screen character startednot long after she took office.The most acclaimed recentscreen Thatcher was Streep’s turnas the politician looking back onher life in the 2011 film “The IronLady.” Streep won an Academy Award for a performance thathumanized a divisive character.“It is hard to imagine a part of our current history that has notbeen affected by measures she putforward in the U.K.,” Streep said.“But to me, she was a figure of awe for her personal strength andgrit.”
Thursday, April 11Friday, April 12Tuesday, April 9Wednesday, April 10
Persian Culture Fest: NwruzCelebratin
Spencer Museum Art,Receptin Rm
2 t 4 p.m.
Celebrate Nwruz, the IranianNew Year, by sampling Persian d,viewing Iranian handicrats andcultural items, and learning abutresurces r Persian languages atthe University.
Tuesday Nite Swing
Take lessns in a variety dance styles rm East Cast andLindy Hp t Hizzp Lindy and Balba,all r ree.
Persian Culture Fest: Film/ Panel “A Separatin”
Spencer Museum ArtAuditrium
5 t 7:30 p.m.
See this Academy Award-winning flm rm Iran r ree, thenparticipate in a panel discussinaterward.
KU Fit Launch
Ambler Student RecreatinFitness Center
4:30 t 9 p.m.
Hit up the Rec r the launch new ftness classes. Zumba, BdyPump, Hip Hp Hustle, Turb Kick andPwer Step classes will be eatured.
Cttin’s Hardware FarmersMarket
Cttin’s Hardware, 1832 Mas-sachusetts
Visit this small-scale indrarmers market and pick up hme-grwn treats.
Persian Culture Fest: An Eve-ning Persian Classical Music
Spner Hall, The Cmmns
Kansas City-based classicalPersian music grup orkideh will per-rm as part Persian Culture Fest.
Trinity Vintage Sale
Trinity Episcpal Church,1011 Vermnt St.
6 t 8 p.m.
This classy event eatureselegant items such as china, silver,art and urniture r sale. Bring $5r admissin Friday night, and enjywine, ruit and cheese.
“8” by Dustin Lance Black
: Wesce Hall, 3139
This new play by AcademyAward-winning screenwriter DustinLance Black chrnicles the ederaltrial abut Prpsitin 8 in Calirniaand addresses marriage equalityissues.