Nanny State: Look, officer – no hands

17 March 2007

Look, officer – no hands

Austin American-Statesman

Saturday, March 17, 2007

We've all seen it. Women applying eye shadow and lipstick while driving; men reading, eating a sandwich or drinking a soda while behind the wheel. But modern technology has brought new versions of an old problem — Driving While Distracted — to America's highways.

Some states are debating laws to make certain forms of DWD illegal. Washington's state legislature is considering a bill making it a crime to drive while "reading, writing or sending electronic messages," according to The Wall Street Journal. Oregon has a bill pending that would fine drivers up to $720 for text messaging or holding a phone to the ear. In Arizona, the Journal continued, drivers sending text messages by cell phone or BlackBerry would be ticketed if caught.

Texas is not anyone's idea of a nanny state, but it hasn't been left out of the trend altogether. Lawmakers have filed bills that would make it illegal to use a cell phone or other wireless communication device without a hands-free attachment. Neither the Senate bill filed by state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, nor the House bill filed by state Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, has gone anywhere yet, however.

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