It's Common Sense People

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            This editorial, "Texting ban: Budget fiasco",  is on an issue that has been overlooked for far too long. Texting while driving causes deaths every year and yet only "eighteen states have banned it". The Patriot News Editorial Board argues that deaths caused by texting while driving are "casualties of the budget fiasco...Because, while lawmakers have negotiated and postured and stonewalled about the budget for months, all other work at the Capitol has slowed to a crawl".  Perhaps if all states had banned texting while driving, a taxi driver, a social worker, and a teacher would still be alive. And yet, legislators seem to not have time for this matter. The author writes, "In 2007, legislators passed 95 laws through September. Last year, they passed 174 laws during that period. This year? 54".

            The author of this article admits that there are a few "valid" arguments against banning texting while driving. In my opinion, weak arguments, such as, saying that drinking coffee is just as bad as texting while driving. But the author shuts down this ridiculous claim saying, "Texting requires looking at the phone's keyboard not just for a few seconds but over and over, leaving no eyes on the road. Texting often requires two hands, leaving no hands on the wheel".   

            The author also touches on the fact that there a few bills against texting while driving, but some only target drivers under age 18. I thought this country was about equality? Who's to say that a teenage driver is any worse than a middle age driver? Just because middle age drivers generally have more experience does not mean they are any better than a newer driver. Many newer drivers are even more cautious then other drivers because they do not have that false sense of security that experienced drivers get once they've driven long enough to feel they have perfected the art. No matter how much experience one has, texting while driving is just as risky for a new driver as it is for a more experienced driver.

            Just to prove how little attention is being placed on this issue, the author states, "A weak texting ban passed the Senate July 7. That bill by Sen. Robert 'Tommy' Tomlinson, R-Bucks County, would make DWT -- driving while texting -- a secondary offense, enforceable only if a driver is cited for another violation. It would carry a maximum $100 fine. You can get a stiffer fine in many towns for playing music too loud".  So there you have it. Government is regarding texting while driving as being as dangerous as playing loud music. Even though the first is likely to cause casualties and the latter, a headache? I could not agree more with the author saying "It's time for the Legislature to pass a comprehensive ban on driving while texting, as a primary offense with stiff penalties, before another life is lost".

            In the meantime, drivers need to understand the risks of texting while driving and stop doing the act. It is common sense that an accident could result from taking one's eyes off the road so people need to understand they are not exempt from car accidents. It can happen to anyone, but fewer accidents could occur if people started being more cautious drivers.

2 Comments

That is absolutely true. My best friend from high school (we rarely speak now) texts while driving all the time. She has been in two wrecks so far, thankfully neither of them were lethal.

A note about age restrictions in texting: This obviously isn't true with all older adults, but teenagers are typically more adept at texting. My dad, for example, takes 10 minutes to text one sentence. For others who are just as slow, that would mean even more time for an accident to occur.

Brooke Kuehn said:

Wow you would think the first accident would have taught her not to be so careless. I totally agree. WHen i first read that there were some laws that only focused on teens and texting, i was shocked not only because it should apply to all ages, but also because teens are generally better, faster txters. Maybe they saw this as meaning teens would also be more likely to txt while driving, but either way, it is wrong.

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