Sometimes law can be boring, which is a good thing. Sure, the newspaper reports a murder here, a traffic fatality there, but in general, if the news is absent of reports on ground shaking, precedent setting cases, life is good. Which begs the question, why do lawmakers feel compelled to make stupid laws in the first place? Is it about dealing with things that are dire and in need of addressing, or a desire to shake things up and put their mugs in front of the cameras so constituents feel like their votes amount to something? Just enforce the ones you already have. Case in point: cell phones and texting while driving.
First, let me be clear, TEXTING while driving is stupid and should be expressly against the law. It pulls the drivers’ eyes off the road and probably causes more accidents in any given year than drunk driving. Sure, the latter are often much more dire and even deadly, but drunk driving and SMS driving are equivalently distracting. But lately, some cities and states are going off the deep end by banning all cellular telephones from drivers, even hands free units. Stupid. Busy body lawmaking.
I heard last week that Chapel Hill, South Carolina, just passed one such ordinance. It bans all cellular telephones, headset or not. The absurdity of it was the mayor’s statement that it isn’t about issuing citations and collecting fines. It is about sending a message. Huh? A strategically placed billboard or two would “send a message.” This law will just make it more difficult to take that important call from a family member in need of help, or client who’s money is burning a hole in his pocket.
Who voted for these people? Whoever did obviously doesn’t need a cell phone to do business, which probably means they are professors at one of those high brow universities in Chapel Hill. The people paying their salaries are probably pretty ticked right now.
Why do I call these lawmakers busy bodies? Simple. Every city I know of already has laws on the books banning “careless” or “inattentive” driving. Whether you’re chomping on a Big Mac, putting on mascara, or