Saturday, January 23, 2010

Texting and driving is a battleground for liberty

Texting and driving is a battleground for liberty

Come on, New Mexico. Grow up and resist the peer pressure. If all the other states jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too? Well, if the bridge is marked "Texting and driving laws", it seems the answer might be an enthusiastic "yes".

"There oughta be a law...". With that phrase, time after time, freedom has been lost and rights have been violated. It happens every time some "well-meaning" person recognizes a problem without being able to think of a rational solution. Will a new "law" prevent texting drivers from being the cause of accidents? Don't bet on it. All it will do is give the enforcers an excuse for shaking down drivers and provide a new source of income, stolen income, for the state.

New "laws" are never the answer. An anti-texting (and anti-phoning) "law" will do nothing for anyone who is hurt in an accident; it will only be misused like all other "laws" inevitably are. People who cause accidents are already punished, so there is no need to provide for another punishment on top of the existing excuses for punishment. This "law" will only be used on those people who have not harmed anyone on the assumption that they might, in the future, cause an accident.

Then there is the added insult of criminalizing the peaceful act of talking on the phone while driving- without a "hands-free device" anyway. If this becomes the "law", then it must be applied equally to any LEO who talks on his police radio while driving. There is no difference in the two actions.

What's the next "big danger" to be forbidden? Talking to people in the car with you? Listening to the radio? Thinking?

When will this insanity end? This law pollution, making sure there is a "law" covering every possible action a person might take, dilutes all the "laws"; making them all less likely to be followed. When everything is either prohibited or mandatory people tend to ignore the "law" entirely. To me this is a good thing. The drawback is when some people only get their "ethics" from what the state says is right or wrong. These people, instead of just ignoring ridiculous "laws", reject right and wrong altogether, unable to tell the difference due to too many "laws" that remove their need to think for themselves.

Is it smart to text while you drive? Probably not. Will the new "law" have unintended consequences? They all do.

"Laws" can never replace personal responsibility. If someone causes harm, they need to pay restitution. Until then, mind your own business. And, as always, pay attention to the other drivers- because you can NEVER count on them paying attention to you, texting or not. "Laws" are just an excuse to abdicate your own responsibility and hand it over to someone else.