Representative James Tipton (R) has introduced HB 255 which would basically ban talking on your phone in the car unless you have a hands free device. First off we would like to say, please don't drive distracted, but....c'mon who is gonna follow this law, are the legislators even gonna follow this law? This is utterly pointless feel good legislation that at best will be a revenue generator, as there are penalties for doing so.
So let's think about who this could affect.
1) The elderly who do not have handsfree devices and probably don't know how to operate them. Just being honest a lot of older folks need help with electronics and so they stick to just answering the phone the old fashion way if they have a cell phone, speaker just doesn't work best for them.
2) The poor, because they would need to buy these hands free devices, lets face it speaker is not that good on the road, especially in older cars where you have road noise. Most poor drive older cars they don't have hands free capability.
3) People who drive older cars.
Kentucky already has no texting laws, no distracted driving laws, reckless driving laws, so do we really need another law pertaining to driving? People fiddle with the radio, the AC, and even eat while driving or worse, yet somehow talking on the phone is something of a concern. Many people can drive and talk at the same time, others cannot, if they are driving distracted or being down right reckless, pull them over and give them a ticket for that, don't blanket everyone who decides they want to hold the phone to there ear with a ticket.
We do not need another avenue for the government to generate revenue off its citizens and we do not need another reason for law enforcement to interact with citizens in what will not be a positive situation. Further as we understand it the texting law is hard to enforce in the first place, so what's the point of this bill, it will just wind up like that law?
This bill also prohibits you from pulling over to answer the phone so you are not driving distracted. We passed a bill a few years ago that prevents you from pulling over for non-emergencies, and who is to say its not an emergency. Sometimes you have to pull over, especially when people use their phone for a GPS device and they have to figure out where they are going. It is safer to pull over than mess with the phone while in traffic, which is what we thought the point of this bill was. Its a no win scenario, just keep driving, if you get lost, go the wrong way, thats alright.
Stop making useless laws, that punish people for doing nothing wrong, and will only serve as a revenue generator. Stop making laws that probably a good portion of the General Assembly won't follow. Stop making laws that take into consideration only the dumbest and most reckless among us and then applying them to everyone.
Finally did you know that in California, they are already planning on banning hands free devices? So by the time this passes we will probably already be behind the next trendy left coast law to start sweeping the nation.
Quite simply we don't want to follow this law, we are responsible adults, we have not harmed anyone yet, and probably never will, most of us never will. We understand that some people do let talking on the phone distract them, and that some people probably have been hurt, but to put it bluntly you can't make laws based on feelings, you can't make laws to contend for every dangerous scenario that might happen. Before you know it with all this government protecting us from ourselves, we will need protecting from the government. Sure its a simple step here, and a harmless step there, but the next thing you know we have created many possible scenarios where government interferes in your life, fines, imprisons you, or penalizes you some way for doing nothing wrong, for a violation or crime where there is no victim but the states pocket book and desire to have its authority bent to.
Call the legislative hotline at 502-564-8100 or 1-800-372-7181 and tell your Representative, All House Leadership, and members of the House Transportation Committee that your are Opposed to HB 255. Tell them you can talk and drive at the same time. Stop making revenue generating laws. Punish the reckless only.