In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Banning Cells and Text Messaging
Banning Cells and Text Messaging Lawmakers use to joke that they could safely vote for a cigarette tax increase because 70% of the voters didn't smoke. But when it comes to banning cell phones and text messaging while driving your car, that's a different story. Seems like everybody and his uncle is out there on the ditches with one hand on the wheel and another on the Blackberry, cell phone, or heaven forbid, both. Yet a trio of lawmakers are crusading to ban the practice suggesting that lives will be saved. Actually Michigan and the United States are far behind the curve. 46 counties including Great Brittan already do it while only five states have such prohibitions. The father of a 12-year-old boy told a house committee this week that he lost his son after a woman, on a cell phone, plowed into the family car after she ran a red light and never hit the brakes. Rep. Fred Miller (D) Macomb County was moved by the testimony and changed his no vote to a yes. However the Michigan State Police, which is in the business of traffic safety, does not support the cell ban while backing the text-messaging proposal. MSP lobbyist Matt Bolger tells FOX 2 that it is "not reasonable" to do that because then you'd have to outlaw other driving distractions such as eating, fixing your make-up and what all. "That's disappointing," says Rep. Gino Polidori who would love to have the MSP on board. Regardless he is not giving up, but if a lawmaker was looking for a reason to kill this legislation, he or she can hide behind the state police opposition. In other words don't look for a ban anytime soon.