Sunday, 22 February 2015

Eating (a burger) or driving?
(Level: upper-intermediate / B2 to C1 / ***)

Eating and drinking while driving
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A man from Alabama got into trouble with the Cobb County police in Georgia because he allegedly breached the distracted driving laws (*). 

Alabama, USA
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Cobb County, Georgia, USA
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Georgia, USA
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 "Distracted driving is any action that could divert a driver's attention away from the primary task of driving."  
(Definition found on

Distracted driving includes texting, using a mobile phone, talking to passengers, eating and drinking, reading (including road maps), using a navigation system, watching a video, adjusting a radio etc.  

Click on the above-mentioned website if you want to know more!

You are going to watch a CNN report focusing on Mr. Turner who was pulled over by the police and ticketed for distracted driving. 

Before watching:

The following words could be useful:

to be ticketed: to be served with a notice of legal violation  / to be fined    faire l'objet d'un procès-verbal / recevoir une contravention  
to be pulled over: to be stopped or be asked by the police to bring one's vehicle to a halt by the side of the road       être contraint de s'arrêter sur le bas-côté... / être intercepté dans son véhicule... 
a drive-through: a window (at a restaurant) to which customers drive up to be served    un service-au-volant

A drive-through
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a Double Quarter Pounder burger with cheese
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to write someone up: to write a report e.g. about someone     établir un rapport / un constat sur qqn.
erratically: in a way so as to deviate from the proper conduct or behaviour       +/-dangereusement 
an attorney (US): a lawyer qualified to represent clients in legal proceedings     avocat

DUI attorney (US): a lawyer qualified to represent clients who drove under the influence, i.e. who drove while being drunk e.g.     (DUI = driving under the influence)

a citation: a summons, especially to appear in court        une citation à comparaître 

While watching:

Answer the following questions:
1. Why was the driver given a ticket and a citation?
2. Could he be sentenced after all?  Explain.

You can also watch the video on the CNN website: click HERE

When you are finished, you can check your answers:


Les policiers ont estimé que le conducteur s'est livré à une conduite risquée / inattentive en mangeant son hamburger au volant de sa voiture (sur une distance de deux miles / plus de trois kilomètres); il a donc enfreint la loi portant sur la conduite inattentive.  


Probablement pas!
- L'avocat interrogé dit que si c'était inscrit dans la loi, il faudrait engager plus d'avocats parce que tout le monde mange (un hamburger?) au volant, y compris lui! 
- C'est selon le même avocat la première fois qu'un conducteur se voit condamné à une amende et à une citation à comparaître pour cause de consommation d'un hamburger au volant!  En plus, il n'a provoqué aucun accident! 

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