Thursday , 26 April 2018

It’s Time to Disconnect While Driving

Driving in my trusty TSB mobile, I approach a car going 30 in a 40 mph speed zone on Virginia Parkway in McKinney. That’s fine, at least she’s in the right-hand lane I think to myself. I am about to pass only to see her jerk about a foot into the left lane. I break and slow for a few minutes noticing that the car continues to swerve left, right, then left again. I swear she’s drunk. At the next light, I am finally able to pass her. I glance over and she’s gabbing on the phone. At least her little ones weren’t with her I’m thinking as I grimace at the whole situation.  Just imagine if she was texting!

I have seen this kind of erratic driving much more frequently around town over the last year.  Several times a week I notice drivers texting and talking, hardly focused on the road.  I fear that it will be too late before we decide to take a tougher stance on cellphone use while driving.

As you have probably heard, the five-member National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended a total ban on cellphone usage while driving except during an emergency.  The Dallas Morning News reported that a spike in cellphone related crashes, “including one in which a teenager sent or received 11 text message in 11 minutes before an accident,” led to the board’s recommendation.

As a Libertarian at heart, I really don’t care what you do as long as it doesn’t harm me. Don’t wear a seatbelt; smoke 10 packs a day; don’t wear a coat when it’s below freezing out…all are personal choices.  Rick Perry vetoed the legislator-approved ban on texting while driving this year claiming the law would have “micromanaged the behavior of adults.” Absurd if you ask me.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that at any given point in time last year in America, one out of every 100 drivers were texting, emailing or surfing using some type of hand-held device. 

If these drivers like the one I observed, myself included, were driving in a vacuum, then have at it.  The reality is that texting can be as dangerous to other drivers as drunk driving and Texas, you’ll have to admit, is one of the best when it comes to enforcing that law.

If you’re against banning texting, can we please repeal the drunk driving laws?

What do you think? Will a total ban on electronic devices solve the problem of distracted driving?  Should we start with a ban on texting? What about enforcement?  Is this a slippery-slope that will begin to chip away at our driving freedoms as we know them? Should states take the lead without the federal government? Discuss.

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