California Legislature Bans Burger Eating While Driving; In-N-Out Forced to Change Name to In-N-In

No, you did not accidentally stumble onto The Onion‘s website.  This is some of what was discussed recently in the California Senate, which took up the issue of text messaging while driving. That’s because California’s new hands-free cell phone law did NOT make texting while driving illegal.  According to the L.A. Times, the Senate approved a measure that would close this loophole and outlaw texting behind the wheel.

The Times article indicates that many Senate Republicans were not keen to pass the anti-texting measure.  They reportedly felt that existing laws already prohibit driving while “distracted,” which, they said, would cover texting.  One Senator, the appropriately named George Runner from Lancaster, was quoted as saying,  “We don’t need a law for everything a driver does. The next one is going to be you can’t drive while you are eating a hamburger.”

I can see George’s point.  I’m confident that, if studies were done, they would show that non-cell phoning activities while driving, such as eating, fiddling with the radio, applying makeup, reading the newspaper, and babe watching (guilty, Your Honor) are also potentially distracting and dangerous, yet I don’t think they are specifically outlawed, and, depending on the activity, it seems unreasonable or even nanny state absurd to try and outlaw them.  On the other hand, how hard must it be to enforce “distracted driving” as compared to specific activities which can be observed?  The driver would have to be weaving or drifting like a drunk driver. Plenty of drivers could be significantly “distracted” without demonstrating it that blatantly.

If anyone wonders why this matters, just take a look at Will.I.Am’s post about the alert driver who skillfully avoided hitting a girl on a bicycle.  What if that driver was texting at the time?  That’s something to think about while hitting the roads this Labor Day Weekend.  Have fun, and stay safe!

8 Replies to “California Legislature Bans Burger Eating While Driving; In-N-Out Forced to Change Name to In-N-In”

  1. On my motorcycle again today, almost hit by another distracted driver. Maybe I’ve just started noticing the cell phones more since the law went into effect. Perhaps those talking on cell phones are even more distracted because now they’re not only on the phone, but they have to scan the mirror constantly to look for cops. They’re certainly not looking for me.

    Today’s driver had the phone to her ear with her left hand, and (I am not making this up) the index finger of her right hand in her nose. I assume she was steering with her knees. Distracted to say the least.

    Why can’t people just drive when they’re driving? Leave the call for when you get out of the car. Save the nose picking for the wait at a red light, like everyone else who thinks we can’t see their fingers up their noses.

  2. Burns, I’m seeing less than a few weeks ago.
    Yesterday going to Malibu 5 people on the phone, coming home 7.
    This morning on the way to Venice…12 on the phone, 77 on the way home…that scared us as traffic was very heavy.

  3. I don’t think it is the government’s job to tell us what we can and can’t do… even if something is dangerous, like texting while driving, it doesn’t follow that it should be illegal.

  4. Here’s why texting and any use of a phone or text (except in cases of emergency) should be illegal:

    1. It makes people stupid.
    2. When people drive stupid, it not only causes accidents, it causes them to drive slower.
    3. If you haven’t noticed someone driving like an idiot, and then seen they were texting, you clearly haven’t been driving… or were too distracted by texting yourself.

    I would put a million dollars down that if people stopped talking on their cell phones and texting while driving, the roads would move much smoother, much more safely.

    I can’t take Ole seriously, mainly because in a previous comment he said driving while intoxicated should be allowed.

  5. No kidding on taking Ole9 seriously. What one does in the privacy of their own home is really their own business, but once they leave home and put others at risk it becomes another issue. Unfortunately if people won’t think before they act something needs to be done to force the issue.

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