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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Do U like 2 Text?

If you are one of millions who love to text and do it while you drive- you might soon have an unwelcomed encounter with a police officer at a traffic stop. On December 1st the new law will go into effect that makes texting while driving illegal. The fine will be $100 plus court costs. On a side note, court costs are currently $121, but as the budget woes are bound to continue, be prepared for those to increase as well.

Ok, so here is my issue with the law- it is still legal to talk on your phone, dial a phone number, and check your messages. You are driving down the interstate and you see the little red light blinking every few seconds on your Blackberry. You reach down and grab your phone, unlock it, and start pressing buttons to check your messages. Officer traveling behind watches you do this. Should the officer pull you over? My long winded point- how does an officer tell if you are dialing a call or sending a text? How is this going to be enforced? Moreover, assume the officer has a strong case you are texting. He pulls you over. Does the officer have grounds to seize the phone? If he does, shouldn't the officer get a search warrant before he is legally permitted to access the history on your phone.

Don't get me wrong, texting while driving is extremely dangerous. A recent study in Britain found that texting while driving is more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. My issue is with the legislature passing a law that sounds great. They can boast about it as an accomplishment when they go for re-election and bombard us with our favorite election commercials. Meanwhile these well intended laws leave a mess for the police, judges, state prosecutors and defense attorneys to work out. More on well intended laws draining state resources later.. Hint.. 3 Strikes, You're Out.

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