Texting law doesn’t go far enough

Published 9:52 am Wednesday, June 6, 2012

To quote the 1960s rock band The Doors, “Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel.”

At least while driving in Ohio.

Gov. John Kasich approved a new law last week that makes texting while operating a motor vehicle illegal. The law will take effect Aug. 30.

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This certainly qualifies as commonsense legislation as the cases of accidents caused by distracted drivers have increased significantly in recent years. This can certainly be tied, at least somewhat, to the prevalence of texting, smart phones and other technological advances that keep people’s eyes, hands and mind elsewhere while driving.

The problem is the law simply didn’t go far enough.

It focused almost exclusively on texting except for teens, softened the penalties for adults, creates enforcement issues and ignored a variety of other distractions that also require people to be hands-on and take away from their attention to the road. These include reading books, doing makeup, watching television and more.

Hopefully, Ohio lawmakers will go back and revisit this at some point in the near future.

It is impossible to make people become good drivers but it certainly is reasonable to legislate that they make their best effort.

Because of the potential danger it poses to others, operating a motor vehicle isn’t a right. It is a privilege. It also comes with certain responsibilities and paying attention to your vehicle and those of other drivers is certainly chief among them.