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Old 03-13-2004, 12:14 PM
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Austin BMW driver killed while talking on phone

Austin woman dies in wreck while talking on cell phone
Friend on other end of call hears the crash


Saturday, March 13, 2004

Friends said 29-year-old Sarah Polkowski of Austin often talked on her cell phone while she was driving.

In the midst of a conversation Friday with her best friend, she lost control of her red BMW on a rain-slick road, swerved into oncoming traffic and hit a commercial truck.

Her friend "heard her intake of breath, like a startle," said her husband, Stephen Polkowski, "and then something that sounded like the start of a crash before the call ended."

Austin police, who were still investigating the cause of the noon wreck on RM 2222, said witnesses saw the westbound BMW veer into the eastbound lanes.

The friend called Stephen Polkowski, 35, who drove to where his wife died, west of River Place Boulevard, near the 3M research offices. Police told him his wife, who was alone in the late-model sports car, hit the 18-foot delivery truck as its driver tried to turn out of her way.

"She went under it and through the wheels and out the other side," Stephen Polkowski said. "The police believe she was killed instantly."

One of the truck's two occupants refused treatment; the other was taken to Seton Northwest Hospital with minimal injuries.

Warren Hassinger, a spokesman for Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Services, said some people who walk away from a wreck are changed forever.

"Some of them actually never get over it," he said.

Sarah Polkowski, who graduated from the University of Texas in 1998 with a degree in psychology, was from Wichita Falls. She was working as an academic adviser at Austin Community College where she won an award last summer for service excellence, according to the college's Web site.

Stephen Polkowski, a computer engineer with Centaur Technology, came to Austin from Philadelphia in the 1990s. He met his wife when she was still at UT.

"No kids, two dogs," he said. "She was like every other person in the world with a cell phone. She never (talked while driving) with me. But I know other people who said she did it a lot."
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2004, 12:18 PM
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Very sad. Yet another reminder to be extremely careful if you decide that its worth risking your life in order to talk on the phone while you are driving.

Last edited by JJKK; 03-13-2004 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 03-13-2004, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by hockeynut
Austin woman dies in wreck while talking on cell phone
Friend on other end of call hears the crash

"She was like every other person in the world with a cell phone. She never (talked while driving) with me. But I know other people who said she did it a lot."
i've said it before, i'll say it now... it should be illegal to transfer a wireless call between more than 2 cells, unless it's police/fire/rescue, etc.. the call should automatically drop upon reaching the 3rd cell.

if u want to talk on the phone, stop the car... yeah i know passengers could (more) safely talk while the driver drives....too bad... stop the car if anyone in the car needs to use the cell phone.
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Old 03-13-2004, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by JJKK
Very sad. Yet another reminder to be extremely careful if you decide that its worth risking your life in order to talk on the phone while you are driving.
Agreed. I used to be guilty of this, now I pull over if I'm going to talk. No call is worth yours (our some else's) life.
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Old 03-13-2004, 01:12 PM
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[QUOTE=___lk___]i've said it before, i'll say it now... it should be illegal to transfer a wireless call between more than 2 cells, unless it's police/fire/rescue, etc.. the call should automatically drop upon reaching the 3rd cell.

I don't get it. How will this stop people from talking on their cell phones while driving?
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Old 03-13-2004, 02:24 PM
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[QUOTE=330Legend]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ___lk___
i've said it before, i'll say it now... it should be illegal to transfer a wireless call between more than 2 cells, unless it's police/fire/rescue, etc.. the call should automatically drop upon reaching the 3rd cell.

I don't get it. How will this stop people from talking on their cell phones while driving?
The talker would constantly be cut off when they needed to transfer to a new tower (if not moving this would not happen). This could actually result in more redialing, which is where most people have the most trouble.
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Old 03-13-2004, 02:24 PM
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[QUOTE=330Legend]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ___lk___
i've said it before, i'll say it now... it should be illegal to transfer a wireless call between more than 2 cells, unless it's police/fire/rescue, etc.. the call should automatically drop upon reaching the 3rd cell.

I don't get it. How will this stop people from talking on their cell phones while driving?
Because while driving you go between bunches of cells. So if every couple of minutes your call got dropped, how much could you talk on the phone?
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Old 03-13-2004, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ___lk___
i've said it before, i'll say it now... it should be illegal to transfer a wireless call between more than 2 cells, unless it's police/fire/rescue, etc.. the call should automatically drop upon reaching the 3rd cell.
Right, and force the drivers to redial every several minutes. That'll help their concentration.
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Old 03-13-2004, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Mig29
Right, and force the drivers to redial every several minutes. That'll help their concentration.
a fine point....so let's make it impossible to redial any number from your phone for 15mins if u get dropped. if u get dropped again the interval becomes 1hr. once more and your phone is banned for 24hrs from anywhere.

sooner or later, maybe people will get the message that it's damn dangerous to talk on a phone while driving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone
if every couple of minutes your call got dropped, how much could you talk on the phone?
"gee officer, if i can't drive 110mph on this highway, how am i supposed to get home in time?"

Last edited by ___lk___; 03-13-2004 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 03-13-2004, 04:03 PM
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the assumption is that talking on the cell phone resulted or contributed to the accident, it's just an assumption, not necessarily a fact
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Old 03-13-2004, 05:54 PM
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in cdma (is95/is2000), there's the soft handoff in which the mobile/cell is in communications w/ several, even upto 4 (depending on the number of rake receivers in the mobile), basestations at one time.
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Old 03-13-2004, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by TeamZ4
the assumption is that talking on the cell phone resulted or contributed to the accident, it's just an assumption, not necessarily a fact
You are right, but that point is nearly irrelevant to the discussion at this point. This is an issue regardless of why SHE crashed.
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Old 03-13-2004, 05:59 PM
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but statistically, driver's talking on cell phones are 4x likely to have an accident.
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Old 03-13-2004, 07:24 PM
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Cell phones are no doubt are a problem with road safety. But there are so many other things, too. Time and time again I see women putting their make up on while driving in rush-hour, stop-and-go traffic. I'm sure these women do the same thing everyday. The other day, the guy behind me was on the phone and fixing his hair while looking in the rear view. I think the problem is getting a license (at least in CA) is too easy. There are a lot of people who should NOT be on the road due to lack of knowledge of driving. The road test should be much harder to confirm whether a person truly has the skills to drive a vehicle. And road test should be done more often. Yes, it would be an inconvenience but more idoit drivers would be off the road. Just my $0.02.
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Old 03-13-2004, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frog
FM 2222 can be a MOFO, but folks typically screw the pooch between 360 and Northland where this road is VERY twisty and a lot of it downhill.

Very sad.
Apparently this was on 2222 at the entrance to River Place (closer to 620).
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Old 03-13-2004, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdk330i
Cell phones are no doubt are a problem with road safety. But there are so many other things, too. Time and time again I see women putting their make up on while driving in rush-hour, stop-and-go traffic. I'm sure these women do the same thing everyday. The other day, the guy behind me was on the phone and fixing his hair while looking in the rear view. I think the problem is getting a license (at least in CA) is too easy. There are a lot of people who should NOT be on the road due to lack of knowledge of driving. The road test should be much harder to confirm whether a person truly has the skills to drive a vehicle. And road test should be done more often. Yes, it would be an inconvenience but more idoit drivers would be off the road. Just my $0.02.

yep, so is smoking, eating, drinking, audio system, computer, reading materials, kids fighting, etc. etc.; i.e. anything that can cause a distraction.

it has yet to be established if she was holding the phone or if she had a hands-free system - judgement without facts

and regardless how difficult you make a driving test, a test can never account for general carelessness

we always have to rationalize everything, why can't it just be an unfortunate accident?
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Old 03-14-2004, 09:51 AM
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Someone yapping on the cell phone lost concentration on their driving?? No way.......
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Old 03-14-2004, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ___lk___
i've said it before, i'll say it now... it should be illegal to transfer a wireless call between more than 2 cells, unless it's police/fire/rescue, etc.. the call should automatically drop upon reaching the 3rd cell.

if u want to talk on the phone, stop the car... yeah i know passengers could (more) safely talk while the driver drives....too bad... stop the car if anyone in the car needs to use the cell phone.
What if I'm a passenger in the car? Not going to work.
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Old 03-14-2004, 12:16 PM
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Right. So render my MOBILE phone mobile-less by banning multi-cell transfers due to jackasses who can't walk and chew gum at the same time. That's it. Ruin it for all the bus-riders, train-takers, and cab-takers as well. Or, even people who are competent enough and smart enough to use a hands-free set. I mean, it is just like talking to someone in the car with you when you're hands free. Or do you want to ban conversations between two or more people in a car as well?

Give me a break. Mandate hands free if you do anything at all.
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Old 03-14-2004, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by pintnight
What if I'm a passenger in the car? Not going to work.
do u even bother to read the quoted post in your reply?
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Old 03-14-2004, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ___lk___
do u even bother to read the quoted post in your reply?
Of course I did, this is the comment that basically mean you don't care.

Quote:
too bad
Why not just ban cell phones all together then.

Like TeamZ4 said:

Quote:
yep, so is smoking, eating, drinking, audio system, computer, reading materials, kids fighting, etc. etc.; i.e. anything that can cause a distraction.
What about those?
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Old 03-14-2004, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by pintnight

Like TeamZ4 said:

What about those?
there's not much that can be done to control those factors. but why not do something that CAN be done, instead of thinking about all the things we CAN'T fix...

watching TV is illegal for front-seat passengers, for good reason. so there is certainly precedent for restricting behavior of passengers for the sake of driver attentiveness, and overall public safety.
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Old 03-14-2004, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ___lk___
there's not much that can be done to control those factors. but why not do something that CAN be done, instead of thinking about all the things we CAN'T fix...

watching TV is illegal for front-seat passengers, for good reason. so there is certainly precedent for restricting behavior of passengers for the sake of driver attentiveness, and overall public safety.
I still see people watching TV while driving.

But, seems strange that you are going out of your way to not say that nothing CAN be done to stop all the other types of problems that is distracting the drivers.

Billboards are distracting to the drivers, ban 'em!
Radios are distracting to the drivers, ban 'em!
Smoking are distracting to the drivers, ban 'em!
Drinking (not booze, water, soda, juice, etc) are distracting to the drivers, ban 'em!

There are a lot of things the government CAN do to ban items from cars.

But, that's not going to happen. What's going to have to happen is that people need to start being more responsible and alert when driving.
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Old 03-14-2004, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pintnight
What's going to have to happen is that people need to start being more responsible and alert when driving.

sadly ,that's not going to happen either they take it all for granted
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Old 03-14-2004, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ff
Someone yapping on the cell phone lost concentration on their driving?? No way.......
Yea, and unbelievably it wasn't an SUV driver!
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