Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

September 30, 2008

California Taking All The Fun Out Of Driving

by Brad Warbiany

First, no phone calls unless they’re hands-free. Now, no texts or emails on my Crackberry…

Starting January 1, 2009 a new law will go into effect where writing, sending, or reading a text-based communication while driving will be against the law for all drivers in California.

This new law applies to electronic wireless communications devices used to manually communicate with any person using text-based communication, including, but not limited to, communications referred to as a text message, instant message, or electronic mail.

Violating this law is punishable by a base fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. With the addition of penalty assessments, fines can be more than triple the base fine amount.

I suppose this won’t apply to those enforcing the law, though.

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  • thomasblair

    This is a great law. More laws like this are needed to destroy the legitimacy of the state in the eyes of the people. When they realize what they’ve lost, they’ll understand what they have to gain by throwing off the chains of the state.

  • Paul

    To the first poster: I half-agree with you, but when I look at the UK nanny state, I’m afraid that people have become far too apathetic.

    I believe that foreign nations requiring military training may actually have a better patriotic foundation than our United States, and of course, the soft UK.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    Thomas,

    In all honesty, this law actually will probably improve safety. Texting/emailing while driving is *not* safe, and I know that having done it many times. This isn’t one that will raise the public’s ire, because there is at least a compelling case to be made that this is a safety measure.

    Personally, I criticize this because I think it’s largely a “revenue-raising” and “give me a reason to pull you over so I can investigate you further” measure. But I’m not cynical enough to believe that regulating texting/emailing while driving won’t improve safety.

    If you want an example that might actually get the public into a frenzy, let’s see the justice department start throwing people in jail for playing online poker. Right now it’s “illegal”, but not enforced in the slightest. If the government started cracking down on these “offenders”, there might be some backlash. Which is why they don’t do it. They make it illegal to placate the Baptists, and the Bootleggers know their markets won’t be broken up.

  • Norm Nelson

    Actually I think it is making it less safe. Many now instead of putting the device up in front of them are now hiding the device in their laps where police are less likely to see them and drivers are much more eye diverted. I see it all the time as I drive in the slow lane and others pass by on my left.

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