I'm traveling through NC this week, so I heard on the radio about this new law in NC that bans texting while driving (see news story here). The station I was listening to asked listeners what they thought of the idea.
I confess I only heard one or two callers and then not completely, definitely not a representative sample. One caller complained that police officers had enough to do as it was, burdening them with more workload was counterproductive. He claimed they "barely knew enough about the law to make arrests." His tone was very anti-police.
I also confess to wanting less government interference in our lives. But this one seems reasonable. I've seen people texting, sending notes on Blackberries, etc and it just doesn't seem safe. Passing a specific law, rather than having police interpret bad driving, seems like it will help.
First, some number of people will follow the law, simply because it's the law. Ok, that's a small number, but it's significant. Then, some will be afraid of the $100 (plus court costs) fine and will stop. Others will hear about friends who were ticketed and decide to save the $100 for themselves. Regardless, the number of texting drivers will decrease and that's good.
I've also heard of an increasing number of warrants being drafted for cell phone records. Seems you can't hide, they will find out if you've been texting while driving. And expect the lawsuits to be quite large.
I once held an instant messenger conversation with someone and then found out he was using his laptop while driving. My last message to him was that I was not going to do this and I shut down the instant messenger session. I have no doubt that he continued to use his laptop while driving, but I didn't want to be a part of the wreck he caused. That's been 2 or 3 years ago, he now has a Blackberry and I don't want to know what he does with it or when he does it. But I don't have to be a part of it...