Wednesday, January 02, 2008

All Thumbs!

A new law has gone into effect in our neighboring state of Washington. No more text messaging while driving. The problem is the law is a "secondary" law; you cannot be pulled over for that alone. If you run a red light and it's found you've been text messaging then you're in trouble!

Why this has gone into effect before the no talking on a cell phone while driving law slated for July is beyond me but if it too is slated to be a secondary law, why bother? Hub tells me it's all the legislature could get. If true I suggest each and every member be tested as to their ability to do either well. If the majority pass, well I guess I have no argument.

I listened to the people on the street interviews. There were the usual rants about one more "civil right" being denied us. Then there were the comments by the young. It's an old folks' problem. Seems we're so electronically deficient we just aren't able to text and chew gum at the same time. We can't handle a faster paced life anymore. Sluggish reflexes, don't you know.

I've a slightly different take on it. My reflexes are just fine thank you. Much better than the person whipping out of a side street or parking lot happily chatting away and totally oblivious to the fact someone else is on the road and actually has the right of way.

I think it's more a sense of invincibility. The young are full of it; we more mature types realize with each passing day we are not. For the young this sense tends to peak around graduation time. Drinking, driving, talking, texting - they all take lives. If drinking and driving is primary why not texting and talking?? How many more youngsters would live to begin life as an adult?

Anyone who rides in a vehicle on a roadway is at risk without the added distractions of talking and texting. If you're a victim of an accident because of it I doubt you'll think the offense "secondary"!


Word Tosser said...

How in heavens name did we ever get from point a to point b in a car before without talking on a cell phone or texting.

Bill McCrory said...

The anti-texting measure exempts transit and emergency vehicle personnel, as well as anyone who is text-messaging to report illegal activity or summon emergency help.

Why are transit and emergency vehicle personnel exempted? A distraction is a distraction regardless of the occupational choice of the person doing the texting.

Probably a more reasonable answer for the exemptions is that public transit and public safety agencies have invested a substantial amount of money in mobile data terminal (MDT) equipment. Police and fire now can receive far more detailed and complete information on the rack-mounted laptop computer in their vehicle. There's no problem as long as the person in the right front seat is operating the MDT and the driver is operating the vehicle. But when you put an MDT in a one-man patrol car and expect the driver to both drive and process message traffic on the MDT, s/he's not devoting the correct amount of attention to either.