Michael Silence notes that Sen. Jim Tracy is trying to pass legislation that would make it illegal to read or send text messages while driving. These nanny state laws treat symptoms and not problems. My comment on No Silence Here:
We don’t need a nanny state! We need better education. IF we would teach people how to use T-9 then they could text without looking at the phone! er, I mean if we taught people the importance of not texting behind the wheel. You know..give a man a fish..well if he were eating fish while driving that would probably be bad too. Maybe we need a law to ban eating fish behind the wheel. Yes! Definitely. And fishing licenses. When the police pull cars over they should check for fishing licenses because he might be planning on catching a fish to eat while driving and we need to make sure that doesn’t happen. That’s important. Important enough that we need to set up road blocks and check everyone’s fishing licenses!! But then people might send text messages warning about the road blocks. No, we outlawed text messaging behind the wheel so that would never happen of course neither would the eating fish behind the wheel because we outlawed that too so why do we need the road blocks? You know, the radio stations will pick up on these quickly. We should outlaw radios in the cars. Wait a minute, wasn’t there a time when legislatures feared car radios would cause too many accidents and deaths. What happened to outlawing radios? Wait another minute. At least 2 people died in his district while text messaging behind the wheel. I wonder how many died tuning their radio?
Things we need to outlaw to keep people alive:
spiders, aids, diving, earthquakes, buildings, sports, suicide (wait, that’s already illegal), alcohol, lightning, steps, cold, heat, cancer, tall places, bees, surgery, and sharks.
The problem with these types of laws is that it does nothing to prevent the happening but only punishes if and when it is caught. To educate people to pull over, have a passenger do the texting, or just plain ignore the phone is a better use to time and tax dollars than more laws:
Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet opposed the bill because of provisions in the current law.
"I really don’t see the need for the bill," she said. "I’ve said time after time, I don’t think we can legislate against stupidity."
Furthermore, driving is a skill and not everyone has the same abilities. That is not a statement to justify one person texting behind the wheel while another doesn’t but to point out the people who are crossing the center line while texting may just as well be doing the same thing while reading a billboard, talking to a passenger, tuning the radio, or daydreaming. We have all done stupid things while driving. I bet everyone at one point has turned the wrong way down a one way street. I did in Memphis as a teenager. It scared me silly to see 3 lanes of lunch hour traffic barreling down on me. A law preventing me from going the wrong way on a one way street would have done nothing to prevent me from making that silly mistake..wait a minute..it is against the law to drive the wrong way on a one way street….oh.