The other day, while sitting in rush hour traffic, I looked around and noticed several drivers talking on their cell phones or texting while they waited for the opportunity to move forward a few feet.
Then in struck me—too many vehicular laws designed to enhance safety are completely ignored and almost impossible to enforce.
After reaching this conclusion, I asked a police officer friend about enforcing the new ban on texting while driving. “It’s very hard,” he said. “To actually catch someone in the act, you almost have to be in their car watching them to prove that they weren’t just looking for a phone number to call.”
So there’s your alibi (at least in this particular jurisdiction): just explain that you were trying to locate a phone number in your mobile device.
What about citing drivers who talk on their phones without the required hands free apparatus? “That’s easier to enforce, but often there are other crimes taking place that take priority,” commented my friend in blue. “Also, the driver can say that the conversation was on speaker.”
Clearly, driving while texting, reading e-mails and talking without a hands free device is a distraction, and for most drivers, it’s downright dangerous.
And so is adjusting the bass on a car stereo or looking for another CD to insert. Applying makeup looks like a distraction too, but I see a lot of drivers doing that as well.
Once, I made a bad decision in ordering tacos from the drive-through. In order to avoid spilling the tacos’ contents onto my lap while I was driving, I had to take both hands off the wheel several times to keep the tacos’ contents in place. I didn’t bother using my turn signal either.
My point is this: I’m getting frustrated with well-intentioned laws having no affect due to the next to impossible tasks of enforcing them. Why are suckers like me following laws that seemingly are ignored by the majority?
Perhaps it would make more sense if insurance rates increased for those individuals who’ve been involved in car accidents while distracted from driving.
(Now, please excuse me while I pull over to find the send button on my blackberry so I can email this post to Fox & Hounds).