Lawyer Gal's Blog

A Young Lawyer's Perspective

Finally, a law that does not apply to me! Texting while driving (really folks?)

I don’t text…let me just get that out there.  It’s really annoying that I have to tell everyone I meet not to text me because I’ll never get it.  Texting is just not my thing, and I have no intentions of starting anytime soon.

While I am pleased to chalk up a law that doesn’t apply to me, it makes me realize how lame law-making has become.  Lawmakers are at the point of micro-managing citizens with laws that frankly cannot be enforced.  Moreover, the idea of promulgating a law that is utterly OBVIOUS seems like a waste of resources.  Yet, counties continue to push these anti-texting-while-driving agendas.

Lawmakers biggest rationale for these laws is deterring drivers from engaging in dangerous behavior.  Gee, whodathunkit? Texting is dangerous?  So are about 15 other activities that I could rattle off, and I’m sure you could add a few to the list.  How about enforcing an anti-make-up-while-driving agenda.  If you are found with mascara, then you are fined.  At least with mascara, you can only do one thing.

But a phone has so many features that the law doesn’t cover – like answering.  I assume everyone presses a button when answering – isn’t this basically like a mini text?  How will an officer know if someone is actually texting, or just answering?  And confiscating the phone would lead to a whole can of 4th amendment worms.

Call me an obsessive libertarian, but my theory is based on assumption of risk.  When I hit the roads, I assume people will sometimes participate in reckless activities such as texting.  Knowing this makes me a defensive driver.  Even though it would be unfortunate for my parents and student loans companies if I got killed by a texter, well, hey, it’s no different from a burger-popping trucker or a make-up maven.

Therefore, I advise all people to drive a big truck. The gas is kind of pain, but my truck is a helluva lot more painful than a little mini coup driven by an iphone obsessive person.

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June 28, 2010 - Posted by | Your legal rights

3 Comments »

  1. I don’t have texting on my phone. When I revel this to anyone..they look at me as though such a thing isn’t possible. I never really thought about all of this in this way… There’s a law against texting..but yes, what about all of the other features? The applications? What if I get a new idea for a blog post, and want to use notebook on my ipod to start writing it while driving (not that I would…I believe in not crashing my car)? You’ve made me want to blog about this! Not that I will. But very interesting. Good job.
    I think one HAS to be a defensive driver nowadays. With everyone talking on their cellphones..texting…not using turning signals (my major annoyance), I hit the roads with the realization that I simply have to be careful, and protect myself from the craziness of the roads.

    I’m going to look out for those mini coup drivers now!

    Comment by Sam | June 28, 2010 | Reply

  2. In a practical sense, couldn’t you just deny that you were texting and use the defense that you were doing something else with the phone? Something like “No, your honor, I wasn’t texting. I was surfing the internet and watching a movie on my phone.” Much more dangerous, perhaps, but not prohibited.

    It seems that the only law you could put in place would be some broad, over-arching “distracted driving” statute. But, of course, that leaves too much discretion in the hands of the police or municipal court judge to extend it to any behavior they don’t like, regardless of how dangerous it is.

    BTW, burger-popping truckers and makeup mavens can be some of your best clients. Don’t knock ’em.

    Comment by Ed | June 29, 2010 | Reply

  3. You seriously cannot drive and text at the same time…it’s impossible!! Why it’s not a common sense thing I have no idea!! I see at least three people texting and driving every single day. You always know who they are because they are swerving in and out of the lanes…basically it looks like they are drunk. Unfortunately, I don’t think a law against it will stop it. It’s illegal to drink and drive but it happens every single day…grrrr!!!

    Comment by Raul | July 2, 2010 | Reply


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