I know I’m in the minority with this, but Greenville’s just-passed texting while driving ban isn’t going to make anything better.
The CDC reports that 25 percent of all auto accidents involve a cell phone, while 69 percent of drivers will admit to talking on the phone while driving and 31 percent will admit to texting or emailing (Amateurs. I’ve checked Facebook.).
|There’s no one around on a straight, one-way road. I see nothing wrong here.|
Obviously, not all of those people are involved in wrecks. Additionally, South Carolina’s traffic death rate is actually on the decline, so nobody can say that things have gotten X amount of worse.
But enough of that. Let’s get to why this is stupid.
First off, we’re supposedly in the most conservative part of the most conservative state in Merica. But they just voted to expand government. Is this not hypocritical? They’re regulating behavior, which is the ultimate argument that many made against Obamacare. Hmm.
|But this is still cool.|
Additionally, a Greenville police officer can now simply say that someone was using a phone as an excuse to pull them over. Of course, it’ll result in a fine, even if the accused – who is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, mind you – denies it. They could be looking at a reminder written on their hand or at their watch or any number of things.
Not only did they just make the cops’ jobs harder, they just blew up the Fourth Amendment even more. If all it takes is suspicion to go through your phone, then that puts GPD on par with the NSA and TSA for invading our privacy even more.
It also screws over my First Amendment right to record a police officer with my phone during a traffic stop. My phone also serves as a video recording device, but that will be lost if it’s subject to automatic inspection, which means less accountability for the police. And don’t think we’re not immune to that in South Carolina.
Also, has anyone considered that reporting someone else for distracted driving will be breaking the letter of the law? That would mean you would have to be using a phone and driving. Oops.
Has anyone also also considered how many people use their phones for GPS navigation? This ordinance, as it stands, would require people to spend money on a mount in order to use that function. Way to look out for the little guy.
The biggest issue is that this attempts to solve a symptom and not the problem itself. People are still going to text and drive, but they’ll just hide it more, which will actually make driving more dangerous.
But people aren’t going to listen to logic. They’ll instead listen to all the overly dramatic TV commercials showing teenagers dying. It’s not enough to punish something wrong that actually happens anymore; we’ve resorted to trying to preempt something isn’t even that much of a problem.
|This chick is obviously going too fast for a two-lane road. Look at the speedometer.|
Honestly, I just want the government to remove itself from my life as much as possible. This isn’t helping, nor will it solve any existing issues. It’ll only end up leading to idiocy like this, where the sender of a text can held responsible.
And if you don’t believe that, just look at Prohibition. That worked really well.