Sounding off on Texting and Driving

Portland residents offer their views

| 4/23/2014, 11:51 a.m.
Some say it's "crazier than drinking and driving" others say people should even do jail time for it, Portland residents ...
(from left to right) David Seraya, Jennifer Carter, Keegan “Kaz” Alberts, Myldred Silvia, Valerie McBee, all offer their views on distracted driving. Photo by

Laws and data are one thing, but adherence to safety is another. We took to the streets to get some everyday Portlanders to speak out on the issue of texting and driving.

“It’s crazier than drinking and driving. I don’t know, I think that people should get fined, like real big time,” says Myldred Silvia, “Nothing’s that important. To let you take your eyes off the road. Kids are not getting it.”

Valerie McBee says she has long been a “stickler” for adhering to the laws of the road, especially in terms of distracted driving. However a new phone has been tempting her to break her practice.

“Now that I’ve got this new phone I’m like—ah!—I’m trying to leave it in the back seat so I don’t even have the temptation,” she says.

Jennifer Carter says she was aware of the doubling of fines that Oregon put into place this year, but says it’s not enough. Her proposal would be a few days in jail to hammer at the potential deadly consequences from a distracted driver.

“I think they should do some jail time, I really think they should. And I’ll sign anything on that,” she says.

One young driver says though he knows the dangers of texting and driving, it’s a habit he’s been working to break.

A recent close call served as even more motivation for David Seraya, who said he tried it on the freeway one day and almost got in a car accident.

Keegan “Kaz” Alberts says he doesn’t drive on account of his epilepsy, but whenever a friend in the driver’s seat whips out their phone on the road he says he tries to take it from them.

“I just think it’s stupid,” he says.

His advice to people who want to text and drive: pull over, or don’t do it at all.

--Donovan M. Smith