Perhaps you’ve replied to a text message to a friend or family member, but soon that will be illegal in Virginia. Law makers are considering completely banning the use of text messaging while driving in an effort to make driving safer. I have a few thoughts on this legislation.
How can a police officer enforce this?
One of the most challenging pieces of this, is the fact that law enforcement has very few tools to actually enforce this. The technology involved is easy controlled by mobile phone users. When a person sees a cop, all they need to do is hit the End button. No message, no drafts, nothing. Nothing that would ever stand up in court. How would an officer witness texting? I know I hold my phone in my car like I’m texting when I am making a speakerphone call. Smartphone discrimination? I can see it now.
It’s already illegal to talk on cell phones (as a minor), use radar detectors, and additional penalties are sanctioned against VA drivers … how much more legislation does VA residents need against them?
While this is very conservative of me, law makers need to stop trying to protect and regulate every aspect of driving. I strongly doubt that text messaging on a cell phone is the highest cause of accidents, so “safety” is just a cover for revenue, just as it was for the ‘abusive driver fees,’ which has now been under more criticism since it had no effect on traffic fatalities.
“But how do we stop people from texting while driving, who risk everyone’s life when they get on the roads?”
First, you’re probably the problem when it comes to traffic safety; as you read your newspaper, brush your teeth, fail to turn your headlights on, tailgate and speed when you drive. Not only that, I’ve personally avoided several accidents because of driver’s lack of experience when merging lanes. Further, depending on the state to provide a false sense of safety isn’t the answer. If you can tell me one time the state has enacted a law that actually resulted in fewer deaths, then please correct me. The only one who is responsible for your safety on the road is you, not the cops, not the legislators, not the courts. You should be an active, defensive driver who takes responsibility for the circumstances around them and not be a victim.
What do you think of this law? Will this actually save lives, protect others; or is it just infringing on the rights of all drivers in VA?