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Monday, February 21, 2011

Texting-While-Driving Bans: A Continued Discussion

Blogger Ron Black recently posted a guest editorial by Craig Dawkins on the issue of texting-while-driving bans.
Texting and Driving Bans are Abusive
By Craig Dawkins

February 18, 2011

The Oklahoma State Senate jumped on the ‘no texting while driving’ bandwagon when the Public Safety Committee approved Senate Bill 146 this week. Texting and driving bans have been approved in 30 other states and it appears that Senator Jerry Ellis –D, Valliant, wants Oklahoma to follow their lead.

Ellis cites discussions with people who’ve witnessed texting drivers driving badly. Perhaps they have. But I’ve witnessed many people driving badly while eating, applying makeup, lighting cigarettes, reading books, talking to people in the back seat, looking at attractive females, and I could go on. I’ll bet you’ve seen that too. So do we need to ban all of those things as well?

Read the rest of the column here. His post is also along the lines of a previous article I linked to back in January.

The fact is, a texting-while-driving ban is not much more than a PR stunt. Oklahoma already has laws on the books to crack down on inattentive driving. These laws are much broader and wide-ranging than a texting-while-driving ban would be.

The way to crack down on texting-while-driving is to enforce existing law, not pass a new law.


Mac Bentley said...

I suspect Mr. Dawkins' claim of seeing "many people" driving badly while applying makeup and reading books is nonsense. Looking at an attractive female, sure, I ran into a no-parking sign in 1967 doing that.
But I've seen none of what Mr. Dawkins has seen. I have, though, seen plenty of people driving poorly and going 55 mph on the Kilpatrick Turnpike while using a cell phone. They're obviously not paying attention, not even to their speedometer.
Would a trooper stop them and at least give them a warning? I wish.