For those who either do not know or, to not know, more likely, do not care, Oregon, as of January 1st, has a new law intended solely to soothe the vocal political people.
I refer, of course, to the law that prohibits cell phone use while driving if you are holding the phone.
Now, I must admit I think the law is actually a good idea. Distracted driving is very dangerous to those of us who actually, you know, PAY ATTENTION to things going on between multiple 2-ton+ metal things moving at high rates of speed in close proximity to one another.
I assume that number is low based on the people I see merrily trailing the vehicle in front of them on rain-wet roads at 60 mph with a solid ten feet between their front bumper and the car in front of them's rear bumper.
And based on how often people notice their lane ends and decide to pass between me and the concrete barricade, even though i have a car immediately to my left and thus no place to go, and they are completely BEHIND me when their lane ends yet decide they must pass me after it ends. Yes, this happens almost every single week.
And based on the staggeringly high number of people who, in order to turn left across 2 lanes, get WAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY over to the right so nobody can go past them.
Anyway, clearly very few people pay attention while actually driving.
But they do pay enough attention that the brainless lumps of flesh in the state capitol got around to appeasing the greasy wheels and passing a law so we cannot use cell phones with our hands while driving, thus demonstrating our law-makers and many of the most strident activists combine to exhibit zero brain activity. Someone should check, they may actually be totally brain dead and still passing laws.
I say this because of the small, almost unnoticeable loopholes in the law. A few examples may be in order.
You may not drive with one hand holding the wheel and one holding the phone. You may, however, drive with one hand holding the wheel and one hand holding any of the following:
- a steaming hot beverage slopping out the top of the lid, leading to the very real possibility it will spill on your lap/arm/shirt/blouse/chin causing you to frantically search for a napkin/paper towel/old rag with which to stop the burning while weaving wildly back and forth.
- a freezing cold, ice-chilled beverage slopping out the top of the lid, leading to the very real possibility is will spill on your lap/arm/etc...you know the rest
- a food item of some sort with juices/toppings/condiments slopping out of it, leading to the very real possibility you will get food-related gunk dripping on your car or clothes leading to a frantic search for....well, you know the rest...
Of course, it is not just stuff you can hold. Other legal maneuvers far more dangerous, things I have personally seen, most of them repeatedly, that are far more dangerous include:
- Having your little adorable pet, usually a "toy breed" dog, on your lap as you drive with its head out your window
- changing the channel for your offspring on the overhead tv (are we really so addicted to video entertainment that we cannot drive from here to there without it?) IN THE BACK SEAT while driving.
- sitting so low in the seat you are looking through, rather than over, the steering wheel
- shaving/applying eyeliner/lipstick/make-up and/or combing /brushing/teasing your hair in the rear view mirror, your bulbous head completely blocking off any possibility of seeing what is going on behind or beside you int eh mirror and your attention in your favorite place instead of the asphalt jungle you are covering
- reading a map/newspaper/directions/book
- listening to John Denver, Brittany Spears, Celine Dion, or Guns & Roses while driving. The blood from your ears could easily get in your eyes and force you to swerve recklessly.
I am sure you, my loyal, devoted, and experienced readers, can think of dozens of other equally dangerous driving activities which are not covered by this law. Fortunately, the least dangerous activity is the one targeted by the loudest bleating, so even though the REAL problems are not addressed, we can all feel safer.
Much like we do since we take off our shoes in the airport. because, you know, those high-tech multi-million dollar security systems can only detect the bomb in your sandals/flip-flops/stilettos if you are NOT wearing them, but will not be able to if you are.
Seriously, does anybody buy into this nonsense? Anyone? Yes, I see that hand in the back. And who are you, sir? Oh, a Senator. In that case, it makes sense...
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