OldTechGuy

Texting while driving

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I appreciate that the mothers of america and their lobbyists have villified texting while operating a vehicle, and the politicians have rewarded them with new laws making this simple act a crime. On the surface it would seem to be a measure aimed at saving lives. But is it? Does it actually address the problem? I think it fails to accomplish its mission personally.

Do people have accidents without texting? yes. Therefore texting is not the source of the problem, its just the newest technology to gripe about and an easy thing to blame, giving those in power a way to make a new law that wins them favor with their voter base.

So what is the real issue if texting while driving is not the problem? Im glad you asked. The problem is not about texting while driving, the problem is failing to pay attention to your primary task while driving, which is safely operating your vehicle. Operating a motor vehicle does not involve the radio, the horn, or any other accessory. It is entirely about not hitting anything else between points A and B. All other activities are secondary, or even tertiary (third or lower). Texting should be perfectly acceptable for instance while sitting stopped at a traffic light that you know has at least 30 seconds to go. Quickly respond and put the phone down until the next light. But only if you can text while keeping your foot firmly on the brake pedal without getting confused. Glance up often to see if anything unusual is happening.

Unfortunately, texting while in the drivers seat is now illegal. Of course, is emailing while driving ok? I dunno, it doesnt say, only texting. What about typing in an address to use the mapping and gps functions? What about setting up your car's gps mapping while in motion? These things take your attention away from the road too, but the moms dont seem to get pissy over those.

I have known people who wreck because a light appeared on their dash and they stared at it. I have known people who crashed while tuning their radio. I even know a cop who crashed 12 patrol cars. But no, couldnt be their fault, because they were not texting at the time.

So no, texting should not be illegal while operating a car. What should be illegal, or added to the list of charges in an accident, is failing to pay attention. It applies to nearly all accidents, and often it applies to all parties involved in the accident. Because while you might not be at fault for the accident, had you been paying attention you might have avoided the accident entirely.

/Rant off for now
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