Wednesday, January 4, 2012

They've Banned Reading Texts

With every new year comes the hundreds, actually thousands of new laws that go into effect. The majority of them could not be any more ridiculous unless they actually tried. And even then I'm not so sure that the various legislatures around the country would be able to top themselves. California, I'm looking at you!

It has been illegal in California for a couple of years now to send a text message while you are driving. That seems like a reasonable law, as I don't think that it's a good idea that anyone be using the equivalent of a typewriter when they are behind the wheel and whizzing down the freeway at 65mph. But they have now expanded that law into a realm that I find rather inexplicable. Yes, it now illegal to read a text message when you're driving in California.

Are the people who wrote and enacted this ridiculous law aware of the fact that there are an awful
lot of things that all drivers read every single time that they get behind the wheel? I don't think that they are. And, in that case, I think that they're going to be really surprised when I tell them about billboards. See, billboards are these massive, hulking signs which line the sides of major roadways across this fine land of ours. Some of them are even electronic and change their displays within seconds of every message. I'm pretty sure that the way that they work is that the drivers who whiz by them are supposed to pay attention to them and read them. Huh. And yet, they haven't outlawed billboards because, well, because that would be stupid.

As long as I'm on the subject of how ridiculous I think that this not reading text messages is, how about if I go over a hypothetical situation? Let's say that I have a GPS in my car and I am looking at it while I drive in order to obtain directions to my destination. How in the world is that any different than, say, if I was headed to a friend's house and instead of looking at my GPS, my friend texted me the directions to his house and I looked at that instead? Oh, that's right. It's NOT different. In fact, it's pretty much the freaking same!

I'm all for not having distracted drivers out there on the road, but let's just get real about what is going to help and what is not going to help. Banning the reading of text messages is NOT going to help. If they want to do something to cut down on the number of distracted drivers, how about they ban eating in the car? At the very least, ban any sort of Mexican-themed fast food fare from those behind the wheel. There is nothing more distracting than trying to drive and eat a crunchy taco without making a mess. It's a heck of a lot more dangerous than glancing at a text message on your phone, I'll tell you that. But no one ever addresses these asinine, yet necessary, hypothetical situations that really call into question the legitimacy of the stupid law to begin with. Maybe I'll start.

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1 comment:

Enterprise Used Cars said...

The difference is that billboards are in your line of vision whereas you need to push buttons and look down to read a text. As for GPS most people have theirs mounted which makes it easy to read.