Con-Text - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

November 24, 2008

Con-Text

The idea that people would play video games or text message while driving is a bit hard to comprehend.  Then again, since we all know people who eat, change CD or iPod tunes, put on make-up, read, or turn to converse with others in the car, nothing is really surprising on the road, perhaps.

The next time you pull up next to someone who is looking down while driving, you might wonder if they are looking at a mustard stain on their shirt or contemplating their navel, but they could be updating their friend on the latest hit from "High School Musical 3".  Needless to say, the City Council proposal to ban texting and playing video games while driving will be hard to police.  Clever texters will simply hide the naughty object below window level, which many people do now, without even thinking twice about it.  And how will law enforcement officials enforce the rule?  A negligent driver who doesn't use a seat belt is much easier to detect.

Banning what people can and cannot do while driving obviously goes far beyond common sense in our new technologically-enabling world.  After all, we've all seen stupid drivers- it's always the other guy- but there's no law against stupidity on the road, is there?  Watching people bend their necks to talk and drive, or eat and drive, should certainly bring concern to nearby drivers.  And a vote to ban text messaging and video game playing is a worthwhile gesture.  But how to enforce the law, if passed, that will invariably be the issue in deterring the activity.  Think about it...

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