24 May 2017

Text and Drive - A No Brainer

While driving in our fair city the other day, we notice this car weaving and crossing the white line.  Then we realize she's just texting.  Duh. It's a "no brainer" - literally.

I'm reminded of a time when my Flemish teacher entered class late one day saying he'd just been fined 100 euros for using his cell phone while driving.

So using your cell phone while driving is banned in Europe?  Mostly, yes.  In Belgium - yes. Austria - yes.  France - yes. Germany - yes. Italy - yes.  Switzerland - yes. Netherlands - yes.  Portugal, Spain, Sweden - yes, yes yes.

Elsewhere.  Australia - yes. Egypt - yes. China - yes. Russia - yes.  India, Brazil, Turkey - yes, yes, yes.

You get the picture.  In some countries, you can pay up to 2000 euros and two weeks in jail!

So what about here in the good old US of A?  Only 14 states prohibit cell phone use while driving. I'll admit that's better than none.  Most other states (the other 36) do have some form of regulation, albeit minimal.  The closest one to Texas appears to be about 8 hours away in Illinois.  For the most part, in Texas, you can talk and text and drive  . . . if you're over 18!

-from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

According to a recent article in the local Longview News-Journal, the reason there are no regulations: 

"Texas House members from this area said forbidding drivers from texting, traditionally seen by conservatives as trodding on personal freedom, has become a public safety priority as casualties mount on roadways."

Wow.  That's right.  Your personal freedom to text and go head-on with me trumps (no pun intended) my personal safety.  And yours.

Texas is currently, once again, considering a state law to address this issue, but according to one of our own, Rep. Jay Dean:

"We all recognize (texting while driving) is a problem, but we want to be careful of state overreach into our cities and counties."

Another example of why intervention is necessary . . . to save us from ourselves.  And the idiots who represent us.  I think this new attempt at a law will be the fourth.  Fourth times' the charm, perhaps.

In this same news article, a couple of local mayors were interviewed:

Longview Mayor Andy Mack said:
"Longview is not considering anything unless it's state-mandated," "It's not something that we're going to regulate."
White Oak Mayor Kyle Kutch said he hopes the Legislature will enact a ban, but if a texting while driving law fails again, the city might need to enact its own ordinance.
"If the state doesn't address it, then we might because it's probably the right thing to do," he said.



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