Distracted Driver Seen Playing Trumpet Behind The Wheel
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Out on the interstate, we all see drivers distracted behind the wheel with their phones, food, and personal grooming.
However, most of us have probably never seen someone playing an instrument behind the wheel – until today.
“There are a lot of people who get into accidents because of distracted driving,” said 13-year-old Brynlee Eggett.
That’s obvious to Brynlee. At approximately 5:30 p.m. Nov. 18, She and her older sister shot video of a man playing a trumpet while driving with their family on I-15 in Utah County. He had no hands on the wheel part of the time.
She showed the video to a teacher who shared it with KSL TV. They think it should be a wake-up call for other distracted drivers.
“I think it’s pretty dangerous because you can’t be using your hands to drive,”Brynlee said. “And you’re also not looking at the road.”
Distracted driving has been one of the most critical issues on Utah roads over the last decade, according to the Utah Department of Transportation.
UDOT manages the Zero Fatalities safety campaign. Eighteen people died on Utah roads last year in distracted driving crashes.
KSL TV showed the video to UDOT Spokesman John Gleason.
“I think there’s a tendency to kind of laugh about this and laugh it off, but this guy could kill people,” he said. “It’s incredible that somebody would think that that would be acceptable.”
“I really haven’t seen a more egregious example of somebody not caring about safety on our roads,” he added.
Is it dangerous, distracted driving to play the trumpet behind the wheel? KSL TV posed the question to the Utah Highway Patrol.
“It’s a very unsafe thing to be doing behind the wheel of a moving vehicle,” said UHP Sgt. Nick Street.
However, unless he’s speeding or committing another moving violation, he’s not breaking the Utah careless driving law, Street said.
“What we need to see, as a law-enforcement officer, is a moving violation committed in conjunction with that behavior,” he said. “Then we would stop that car for careless driving.”
He noted law enforcement has discretion when it comes to safety based on what average Utahns would deem reasonable.
“Common sense has to prevail, and reasonableness has to prevail,” said Street. “This is one example where that’s not a reasonable thing to be doing behind the wheel when other people’s lives are at stake.”
Based on social media feedback on the video, nobody thinks driving while trumpeting is reasonable behavior.
Regardless of the specific wording of the careless driving statute, Street said he believes most troopers would pull the driver over.
“I would say a good portion of our officers would stop just based on their behavior alone,” he said.
Brynlee couldn’t believe it when she found out it isn’t illegal to play the trumpet while driving. She said she thinks the careless driving law should be changed to include: “No distracting yourself with anything.”
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