Driving laws which target cell phone use during vehicle operation tend to resonate with the public. We can all attest to the fact that erratic driving as a result of phone distraction is quite pervasive. However, like all laws that are unconstitutional, yet laudatory in purpose, they invariably lead to abuse of power by government. If you surrender an inch of liberty for 'the better good', they will take a mile. Point in case is Maryland's new proposed ban on reading text messages while driving.
Yesterday, the Maryland House of delegates overwhelmingly passed H.B. 196-to ban the reading of phone messages while driving. Del. Michael Smigiel (R-Cecil County) rightly warned that this bill would lead to the infringement on our liberties. Despite his protests, the bill passed 116-22.
The real fun came in the Senate, as members offered amendments to the Senate version of the text messaging bill (S.B.424). The bill was sponsored by radical nanny stater Jim Brochin (D-Towson), the politician who disguises himself as a moderate. Later in the day, RINO Allan Kittleman, the former Republican Senate Leader (unbelievable!), added an amendment to ban eating and drinking while driving! Luckily, this amendment was defeated, but so were some other common-sense amendments like providing an exception for emergency text messages.
Although the attempt to ban eating while driving was defeated this time, we are all too painfully aware of the history of draconian legislation in Maryland. It is floated as a radical novelty one year, then becomes consensus the next session.
Drivers all over the state are justified in their desire to discourage unsafe driving habits. However, they must cogitate about the consequences of granting government so much power over our daily activities. What will be next? A ban on music in the car?