Dec 082009
 
Authors: Johnathan Kastner

The Constitution of these great United States guarantees us many rights and liberties that people elsewhere in the world don’t have because, according to experts, they’re too poor. But now, thanks to jerks on the right and/or left, one of our unalienable rights is being taken away: the right to text while driving.

On Tuesday, Coloradans fell under the terrible sway of a new law banning texting while driving and talking while driving if the driver is under 18. The founding fathers would be weeping into their stuffy white wigs.

Sure, some people may say, the founding fathers may have been somehow unaware of texting. After all, they’re old, and old people don’t get technology. But if they were still in politics today, I’m sure they’d think exactly like me.

We all know the Constitution allows for freedom of the press and freedom of speech. There are some exceptions, like the notion that shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater should be reserved for when it’s really funny or, conversely, if the movie stars Rob Schneider.

It’s not just about my right to do whatever I want whenever I want forever regardless of consequence and risk, it’s about facts. Like the fact that texting while driving is, according to Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, only slightly more dangerous than a non-distracted driver.

Some “radicals” may try to explain that being 23 times as dangerous is not, in fact,

“slightly.” But one must keep in mind that this is not 23 times the number of accidents, but rather 23 times the “risk of crash or a near crash event.” That’s not a wreck at all! Playing with numbers won’t help make this biased study any more condemning, radicals.

The issue here is that lawmakers don’t understand exactly how vital it is that everyone be allowed to text and drive. There are times you simply must know, “how r u” and be able to share that you are, “lol whut i am driving and texting o no a tree lol.” This is the kind of conversation that demands the subtlety and nuance of language only texting provides.

I think we can all see where this is going. First, no texting while driving. Then they’ll want us to not watch DVDs while driving. Finally, they’ll insist that eating, driving, applying makeup and trying to get a cat to take a pill should be separate activities.

There’s also the terrible possibility that a law enforcement officer may cite someone for texting while driving, when in fact, the driver was engaging in the economy-saving activity of Twittering. Twittering, while visually similar to texting, is a social activity that gives brief updates to your friends and family who wonder where you are (driving) and how things are going (erratically).

I am certain, though, that any competent officer will realize that the law that applies to texting does not apply to Twittering, or playing Minesweeper on your iPhone or scrolling through your vast list of mp3s, looking for the right song to express your disdain for the daily commute. This is not texting, and clearly you cannot be fined for it.

I for one intend to protest this law by ignoring it. I’m sure I’ll have many brave compatriots who, like me, will not be cowed by “formal studies” or the “rule of law.” Obeying this new law would be a bunch of responsibility and effort, and together, we can change the world if we only don’t try.

 Posted by at 9:00 am

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