DCMM: Driving While Multitasking

The last two mornings while driving my children to school, I heard news stories on the radio about proposed bans on multitasking while driving.

One New Jersey legislator wants to ban people from smoking while driving (some states have proposals that specifically target smoker-drivers who have children in the car). And Virginia and Maryland want to ban texting while driving.

I’m worried about where this is going to go. Are they going to ban my manic jotting down of notes about blogging ideas while I’m driving?

I get that these proposals are intended to improve road safety. I get that they can’t necessarily be compared to helmet and seatbelt laws, because these new proposals are aimed at the safety of everyone, not just the personal safety of the helmet or seatbelt wearer.

I can’t argue that if I text (but I probably won’t) while driving, the only one I can hurt is me.

But these laws offend me, nonetheless. Yeah, texting while you’re driving is an idiotic thing to do. As is reading or making notes. But it seems ridiculous to start banning individual (legal) activities just because of the location in which you engage in them.

And why target texting, smoking, and talking on hand held cell phones? What about changing a CD or a radio station? What about putting on lipstick? What about reading a newspaper behind the wheel? I’ve seen all of these things. I’ve engaged in them at times. I’m sure they’ve all led to accidents. Should we ban them too?

I’m not unsympathetic to road safety. My father was killed in a car accident when I was a young child, so I understand that cars are dangerous and that full attention should be put on the road when you’re behind the wheel.

But I also think that the lawmakers are not my parents. The government is not my boss. I am an adult and I should be left to make some decisions for myself. Hopefully while using common sense.

Originally posted at DC Metro Moms Blog.

Jean uses those notes she jots down to remember ideas for posts at Stimeyland and her new deculuttering blog, The Junk Pyramid.

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