Stop texting but not calling

April 26, 2014 

In your article about the cell phone law, Illinois State Police spokesman Calvin Dye compared it to the seat belt law. A better comparison is the 55 mph speed limit of the 1970s.

We have a history of communication equipment in cars and can determine whether talking on the phone is truly hazardous. Breaker 1-9, CB radios were popular in the '70s when history's second worst president gave us that 55 mph speed limit. Burt Reynolds was a superstar and Pontiac sold lots of TransAms. Car phones arrived in the '90s. Neither of these devices led to carnage on the roads yet 40 years later we get a ticket if we use one.

Like the 55 mph speed limit, the cell phone law will be widely ignored because for 40 years the majority of us drove safely while using this equipment. It's a convenience that sane and honest people aren't going to give up easily.

Texting's different, requiring both hands and eyes. If using anything in a vehicle that requires some attention and at least one hand is hazardous, we need to pass laws against radios, drive-thru food, cup holders, GPS, etc.

This law provides an indication of where legislators stand on many issues. Voting for this means they probably support any and every back-door attempt at taking money from the public under any and every lame excuse they think people will swallow.

We have elections in November. Let's encourage candidates who didn't vote for this to identify who did.

Gary Duff


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