The governor has signed into law a bill that would ban 18 year-olds from using there cell phone behind the wheel. The only problem I have is that is it should apply to everyone. I think dialing, talking, texting, and emailing while driving is not a good idea. I’ll be the first to admit that I get too distracted doing those things on the road. I always vow to stop it, but NEXT time.
Fifteen or so years ago, not many people had cell phones, or “car phones” as they were probably more commonly known as back then and we all got along in life just fine. We had to stop at a pay phone to make a call and life was still good. Today, even if using your cell phone was banned while driving, you could still pull over and use it which is way better than what we had in the good ol’ days 15+ years ago. I would also have an exemption for obvious emergencies.
I’m also noticing a legislative trend here. Lawmakers like to get legislation passed and they sometimes find an easy mark that will satisfy their need to make laws with little to no political risk. The favorite, of course, is new and stricter punishment for law-breakers. More jail time! Stiffer fines! Take away rights! It’s politically profitable since no one wants to come out and be accused of being “soft on crime” even if the new, stricter penalties have no effect and just wind up costing money and further destroy lives. The law of diminishing returns, or even negative returns, starts to kick in at some point.
But lately, lawmakers here in Illinois seem to be piling on teenagers. Again, they’re an easy mark because they either can’t or won’t vote, and adults, who can and do vote more often, are always looking for ways to “control:” the wild and carefree teens. So we get ever more restrictions on teen driving. And to be honest, most teens have grown up multi-tasking and are probably more prepared to use a cell phone while driving than are their parents. If safety is the issue, we need to have the ban apply to everyone.