The Idaho branch of the American Automobile Association, AAA, endorses the idea of Idaho joining 13 other states banning texting while driving. But like everything else these days, politics and exemptions get involved.
Truckers say they need to text while underway for business reasons. We also must not forget the tragic fatal commuter train crash last year in Los Angeles caused when the driver was texting on a cell phone.
Just about everyone has seen a copper going down the road in Boise with his head buried in a computer, often as not trying to type with one hand while driving. Just last week we saw a Boise FD command vehicle pull out of a parking spot and immediately start texting on a computer while driving down Capitol Blvd.
Boise’s top copper told us he is a strong advocate of his coppers wearing seatbelts, but he couldn’t get aboard a law that prevented his guys and gals from reading a computer while driving. He likened their skills to airplane pilots who are able to monitor various screens in the cockpit while flying, and noted dispatch messages are delivered and updated to patrol cars via mobile computer these days.
The difference is the pilots aren’t navigating crowded streets with obstacles–like cars– only a few feet away from a collision at any moment. To add to the mix we have the ability to get HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY information via cell phone that has to be read and GPS directions which have to be viewed while driving. Of course there are all those radios and music devices which display titles and choices on a screen as well.
The GUARDIAN thinks it is downright dangerous for ANYONE to dial a phone, text, read a computer, watch TV, apply make up, shave, or eat a salad with a fork while driving a two ton vehicle capable of killing people.
We don’t necessarily endorse the idea of yet another law, but if a law IS passed, it should apply to one and all.
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