Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Bill to End All Activities Beyond Breathing in Motor Vehicles

Today it’s Texas. Tomorrow it could be your state.

Up before the Texas state legislature is another draconian bill designed to eliminate the “inattentive operation” of a motor vehicle. Well actually, the bill is designed to up the fines for accidents to at least twice the minimum fine applicable to any driving offense if “inattentive” behaviors are involved in the offense.

The bill lists a multitude of “inattentive’ behaviors including the consumption of food or beverage, tuning a radio, and even interacting with a passenger. Of course every imaginable behavior that could be deemed as “inattentive” couldn’t be included or the bill would have run on for hundreds of pages, so the sponsor added this little phrase to cover all bases: “engaging in another activity that prevents the operator from safely operating the motor vehicle.”

Since this bill makes every imaginable behavior beyond the act of breathing an “inattentive behavior” wouldn’t the sponsor have been more honest to simply write a bill that doubles all driving fines for offenses of reckless driving laws currently in effect?

Some say that this bill, if passed into law, would be unenforceable, but they are wrong. The police are not going to stop you just because they see you sipping your morning cup of Jo, but if you commit any minor driving violation with even an empty cup of coffee in your cup holder, you will get a double fine. Eventually you will either leave home without your coffee or you will be sure to dump the evidence at your first convenience. The unintended consequences – sleepy drivers and more highway litter!

What would be the point of sponsoring this bill? Perhaps the sponsor just wanted fifteen minutes of fame? Or perhaps this is one of many bills designed to test the waters? Getting people used to accepting seemingly ludicrous or unenforceable laws is a good Orwellian plan. Loading up state legislatures with repressive bills is a kind of socialist lottery. Eventually enough inattentive voters will discover that their own state legislatures actually passed such a bill and then other states will easily fall.

I first heard about this bill on Thursday night when our local TV stations were all a buzz and actually making fun of the bill. None of the news broadcasts mentioned the name or number of the bill or its sponsor.

Naturally, I began to ponder this question: “Who would sponsor such a bill?” My first thought was that it had to be sponsored by a National Socialist (NAZI) hell-bent on dishonest social engineering and someone who actually believes that more government regulation is the answer to all human problems.

I wouldn’t want poor Rep. Chente Quintanilla, Democrat, of El Paso, Texas to be disappointed that his name failed to get mentioned in many of the news broadcasts the other night. Let me give him the fame his bill, 81(R) HB 738, deserves!

If you are a Texan please be sure to drop your state representative a little note about this bill. Tell your representative to “Let it die!!!” If you live in another state check out the bills up before your state legislature today.


Trackposted The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary's Thoughts, Political Byline, Woman Honor Thyself, Wingless - Alastair Crooke on Gaza & Hamas - living in the twilight zone!,Leaning Straight Up, and Democrat=Socialist, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

14 comments:

  1. Not to worry it will never pass. The intent of the bill was to call attention to the problems of cell phone use, text messaging, and yes actually eating while driving. It wouldn't hurt to include applying make-up but that would be considered sexist, well except in California perhaps. LOL

    The reason for the wording to be sort of a catchall is because of the lobbying by the cell phone companies who of course want nothing to slow the sales of their product.

    The legislature doesn't have the spine to just put forth the bill saying HANG UP AND DRIVE. That would stop the constant yakkers on the cell phones. Confiscation of phones and a hefty fine for 1st time offense and revoking of licenses to drive there after.

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  2. The point of the bill is to test the waters. "Getting people used to accepting seemingly ludicrous or unenforceable laws is a good Orwellian plan. Loading up state legislatures with repressive bills is a kind of socialist lottery. Eventually enough inattentive voters will discover that their own state legislatures actually passed such a bill and then other states will easily fall."

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  3. There is active and rampant nannyism going on all over. The socialistic liberal Democrats want broad or total government control over us, and they are now emboldened by the election of Barack Obama.

    I think you have hit the nail on the head.

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  4. It is one thing to fine those who don't wear a seatbelt, use a cell phone or even put make-up on while driving. But this one goes too far. We don't need Nanny State. What we need is people driving with a sense of RESPONSIBILITY.

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  5. The bill would be unenforceable.

    As for the test of engaging in the listed activities or any oother activity that prevents the operator from safely operating the motor vehicle?

    That's individual-driver specific.

    So the debate comes on what constitutes, generally, safe driving.

    I'm sure we all have certain opinons on that, as do the law-enforcement officials.

    As do the insurance companies.

    As do the trial lawyers.

    As do victims of accidents caused by others.

    As do the families of the victims.

    As do the causers of those accidents.

    Etc.

    BTW: Whatever rules, that'd include even the law-enforcement officials who'd police and enforce any regulations coming out of this law.

    BTW: Not sure a even a fascist or NAZI would propose something like this.

    But someone with apparently chronic HUTA syndrome would, and did.

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  6. Sounds like something they would do here in New York.

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  7. Wow, that is crazy! I'm just curious as to how they think this will be enforced.

    Hey I found you on the Read My Lipstick Network (of which I'm now a member). I've subscribed to your blog and would just like to invite you to check my blog out - http://caffeinatedthoughts.com

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  8. I suppose that means no hanky-panky too? Shoot, hubby will be upset while driving. What then?

    Hope you all know I'm joking… laughing in the face of intimidation. HA! Just try and take my cup of java.

    ps Saw ya on twitter... good going

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  9. Yes they can enforce it very simply in the same way they enforce a no open container law with alcohol. They will enforce it when you are pulled over for a minor infraction as they look into your car and see an emply Java cup. It amazes me at how far America has fallen into the nanny state and still folks bury their heads with the "they can't enforce it" mentality.

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  10. Hi The Bird. Visited your great blog but couldn't leave a comment.

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  11. Looking at some of the alternatives, this law sounds a lot more reasonable. California started a "no texting while driving" law Jan 1. The alternative is to spell out every single activity that could cause inattentiveness and hence an accident. THAT would be more like Singapore than anything else.

    Fact is there shouldn't have to be a California law to not text while driving -- or to not read the newspaper or shave while driving. People should be trusted to do the right thing and not have a supercomplex legal system spell every nuance out for them -- which none of us would read.

    A blanket law sounds much better, and a jury of peers can always work out if the cop is crazy or not. Otherwise, it's ridiculous to have people swerving lanes on their mobile phones today, and studies show that inattentiveness delays your reaction time to that of a drunk.

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  12. I'll go ya one better. I don't think they have the right to tell us ANYTHING about what we do. If I have to eat while I drive, I will. If I need to answer the phone because I am during business hours and happen to be a travelling salesperson, then I will answer it, by golly!

    Okay, I don't have a cell phone, and I don't even have a car. The idea still remains. IT'S MY LIFE, man. Leave me alone or pay the consequences...

    Have a nice day, lol.

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  13. I am afraid all of you are wrong. The bill simply gives a judge the option of increase the fine for a traffic violation or traffic accident if the driver was inattentive at the wheel; cell pn use, shaving, putting on makeup, smooching. Do you get it now? Thousands of folks do those things and drive safely. Those who dont might have a fine increased at the most doubled.

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  14. The bill simply gives a judge the option of increase the fine for a traffic violation or traffic accident if the driver was inattentive at the wheel; cell pn use, shaving, putting on makeup, smooching. Thousands of folks do those things and drive safely.

    I don't know one cop who actually believes that. Not one and I know dozens. Not paying attention while driving is becoming a leading cause of accidents and deaths on American Highways.

    Driving is a privilege, not a right! Shave, put on make-up, smooch, use your cell phone before or after you drive, not while you are doing it. It is called COMMON SENSE and all too many people are lacking it.

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