|Indiana's texting and driving law
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|Recently Indiana enacted a law against texting and driving. Do we really need yet another law?
Distracted driving can be very unsafe. People's driving can be very badly impacted while they are distracted by cell phones, make-up, books, food, passengers, car accidents, attractive people outside their vehicle, radios, and whatever else might be competing for the driver's attention. I'm not pro-distracted driving - whatever the cause.
The Indiana law does not allow police to seize telephones to determine if the driver was actually texting, so except in cases where the driver implicates himself police can't prove they were breaking the law. After all, I may just be looking for a phone number, or I might be using my GPS, or I might be playing Angry Birds ... or any of a dozen other things. In WTHR's report on this, they paraphrased an Indiana State Trooper who said that even if they couldn't prove you were actually texting, they could still hit you with a ticket for your unsafe driving.
So ... you're saying that a cop could already tag a distracted driver for unsafe driving no matter what the cause and we didn't need a new law in the first place?
Even worse than being unnecessary, I think this law is going to have the effect of being more distracting for drivers. Let's face it, some folks are going to break this law. Rather than holding their phone up by the steering wheel where they can easily glance at it as they drive, they're going to hold it down by their crotch and try to hide it. That means they're going to be even less likely to see something happening ahead of or around them, and be even more likely to drive unsafely. I'd like the first person injured by a distracted driver to sue the state legislature for passing this law.
Finally, this law criminalizes non-dangerous behavior. If I'm stopped behind traffic at a light and I read a text message or email, I'll be in violation of the law - even if I'm not putting anyone at any risk.
When it comes to law and politics, it is hard to get excited about the good things that are happening with the bad and stupid stuff.
And don't get me started on fiscal policy and debt.
Indiana's texting and driving law